Mario — or Super Mario, or Mario Mario — is undoubtedly the most recognisable and beloved video game character of all time. His popularity may have waned in recent years, but everyone regardless of age knows who he is.
But do they really know Mario?
Nintendo along with Mario’s creator, Shigeru Miyamoto, have mostly kept the character’s backstory and personality a mystery, aside from the obvious like his profession, nationality and love interest/s (and you can probably throw in his drug habits, too).
Strangely, Miyamoto actually revealed quite a bit about Mario back in a 2005 interview, which went mostly unnoticed until the folks over at ArsTechnica dug it up.
“I think it was fortuitous that we didn’t put any restrictions on Mario as a character,” Miyamoto said. “Normally when you create a character and present him to the world, all the details get filed in: what’s his favourite colour? what kind of food does he like to eat?”
Then comes this interesting little nugget: Mario’s age.
“But aside from the fact that he’s about 24-25 years old, we didn’t define anything else.”
Mario always looked like a mid-40s plumber, what with the stocky frame, heavy moustache and, well, worldly confidence. But now that the truth is out there (as it has been for a decade), I can kind of see a 24-year-old hipster beneath those red overalls.
“When we make a game we take care not to add incongruence to that game’s world. With that caveat, I’d like to keep using Mario in future games,” Miyamoto added.
This means that Luigi is also around 24-25, seeing as though he and Mario are twin brothers according to Super Mario Bros. canon. Unsurprisingly, Mario is the older of the two.
You’ll next be able to see Mario in Super Mario Run on iOS this December.