Donkey Kong Wiki
MvDK NS Mario
Mario's artwork from the game Mario vs Donkey Kong for Switch.
Full Name Mario Mario (according to Super Mario Bros.: The Movie[1])
Super Mario
Mr. Video
Ossan (Middle-Aged Man in Japanese)
Star Child
Pauline's Hero
Pauline's 1-Up Boy
Mustache (by Princess Peach)
Homeland Metro Kingdom[2]

Residence(s) Mushroom Kingdom
Family Luigi (younger twin brother),
Stanley the Bugman (cousin)
Species Human/Homo Nintendous[citation needed]
Gender Male
Affiliation(s) Princess Peach
Occupation(s) Various, most notably a carpenter and a plumber
Powers/Abilities Great jumping skill,
Super Strength,
Control over fire and some other elements,
Great skill with hammers,
Releasing caged animals
Donkey Kong the Third (formerly),
Game(s) Donkey Kong,
Donkey Kong Jr.,
Donkey Kong Circus,
Super Mario Bros. series,
Mario Kart series,
Donkey Kong '94,
Mario Party series,
Super Smash Bros. series,
Mario vs. Donkey Kong series,
Mario & Sonic series
First Appearance Donkey Kong (for Arcade) (1981)
Latest Appearance Mario vs. Donkey Kong (Nintendo Switch) (2023)
Voice Actor/Actress Lou Albano (The Super Mario Bros. Super Show!)
Walker Boone (The Adventures of Super Mario Bros. 3 and Super Mario World (TV series))
Marc Graue (Hotel Mario)
Nicholas Glaeser (Mario is Missing!)
Charles Martinet (1991-2023, 2024)
Chris Pratt (2023 movie)
Kevin Afghani (2023-present)
"YOU, sir, have a deal! I'll fight your son, and win!"
—Mario, played by Chris Pratt, The Super Mario Bros. Movie

Mario (マリオ, in Japan), also known as Jumpman, is the main protagonist of the Super Mario Bros. series and the mascot for Nintendo. He is the older twin brother of Luigi, older cousin of Stanley the Bugman, and the ex-boyfriend of Pauline. The character was created by Shigeru Miyamoto, and has appeared in over 200 games. Originally, he only appeared in platform games, however, he now is also featured in sporting games, racing games and fighting games etc. Mario is considered by many to be the most famous character in video game history and has a bottomless love for journeying and adventures.

Mario is a super hero who lives in the Mushroom Kingdom. In the Super Mario Bros. series, he usually uses his well-known jump and combat abilities, assisted by his brother Luigi and close friends, like Yoshi and the various Toads, in stopping Bowser from kidnapping Princess Peach and taking over the Mushroom Kingdom. Along with Bowser, he has had other enemies such as Donkey Kong Sr. and Wario. In recent games, Mario was formerly voiced by Charles Martinet[3]. Starting with Super Mario Bros Wonder, Mario is currently voiced by Kevin Afghani. In the 2023 movie, he is voiced by Chriss Pratt.


Mario first appeared in 1981, in the Donkey Kong game for Arcade, as a carpenter named "Jumpman". Fan theories have suggested that Jumpman may actually be the father of Mario, however it is confirmed that Jumpman and Mario are the same character, and Cranky Kong, formerly known as Donkey Kong Sr., is also the grandfather of the current Donkey Kong.

There are two possible theories why Mario was named as such. The first one is a heated argument ensued between Nintendo's warehouse landlord, Mario Segale[4], and the president of Nintendo at the time, Minoru Arakawa[5]. After a resolution was brought between the two, fellow Nintendo employees chose to name the character Mario after him as they physically had a striking resemblance to each other. The second theory says that there was a family-owned restaurant nearby Nintendo of America offices called "Mario and Luigi's", however this is only true for Luigi.[citation needed]

Due to hardware limitations at the time, Shigeru Miyamoto dressed Mario in bright red overalls and a blue shirt to contrast against the in-game backgrounds. He was also given white gloves, so that the player could see his arms moving on screen. A cap was added so that Miyamoto would not have to animate the character's hair when he jumped up and down. A mustache was added for the same reasons, as it was difficult to animate facial expressions at the time.

Later, Mario got a younger twin brother named Luigi, who first appeared in the arcade game Mario Bros. Over time, Luigi's appearance has become more defined. For example, he wears green, a green "L" and a white circle has been added to his hat, and gold buttons have been added to his overalls. He's also gained many friends, such as Yoshi and his species, his love interest Peach, her loyal Toads and more.

Mario was developed as a "go to" character for games that could be put in any title as needed. At the time, Shigeru Miyamoto did not expect Mario to become popular. In his later appearances, Mario has also become more defined, sporting a red "M" in a white circle on his hat, and gold buttons on his overalls. Mario has appeared in many television shows, video releases, comic books, and a feature-length live-action film called Super Mario Bros.: The Movie. He has also spawned a series of branded merchandise.

Game Appearances[]

Donkey Kong Circus[]

180px-Donkey Kong Circus

Donkey Kong Circus gameplay as seen on the Game & Watch[6].

Note: This game was released three years after the original Donkey Kong game, but it takes place before the first game.

In the game Donkey Kong Circus for the Game & Watch[6], Mario was a carpenter and audience member who was watching the circus act, with the star of the show being Donkey Kong, Mario, unintentionally laughed at the Kong when he made a mistake during the act. In the game, the player must move Donkey Kong around while he balances over a barrel, juggling pineapples and avoiding deadly flames at the same time.

Donkey Kong[]

During the events of the game Donkey Kong, one day, Donkey Kong Sr. captured Mario's girlfriend the Lady and took her onto a construction site. Mario went on to rescue his girlfriend avoiding barrels thrown at him by Donkey Kong and a fire started by the ape. After going through four different areas on the construction site, avoiding hazards and dangerous heights, Mario rescued his girlfriend and Donkey Kong was recaptured.

Donkey Kong Jr.[]

In the game Donkey Kong Jr., Mario imprisoned Donkey Kong Sr. inside a cage. Donkey Kong Jr. went on to try and rescue his father. Mario attempted to stop the young ape by releasing various types of traps mainly consisting of animals. Junior eventually did make it to his father and the two primates able to leave. Soon after that, Donkey Kong Sr. tries to take refuge inside Stanley the Bugman's greenhouse, during the game Donkey Kong 3. The fumigator able to repel away the large ape.

Donkey Kong '94[]

In the game Donkey Kong for Game Boy, Donkey Kong Sr. once again kidnaps Pauline, now assisted by his son, Donkey Kong Jr. After Mario going through similar construction site from the first game, and traversing multiple enviroments, with many hazards and enemies, through nine worlds, he faces a giant mutated Donkey Kong Sr. at the top of a tower. By defeating the primate, Mario able to revert to his normal size, and he, Donkey Kong, Junior and Pauline take a photo together, implying that they finally make peace with each other.

Some time later, after Cranky Kong, previously known as Donkey Kong Sr., retiring, and his grandson, Donkey Kong the Third debuting in the game Donkey Kong Country, Donkey Kong the Third effectively took his place as new leader of the Kong Family and protagonist in later games.

Mario vs. Donkey Kong series[]

Mario appears as one of the protagonists of the Mario vs. Donkey Kong series, which the games follow a similar premise of the game Donkey Kong '94, but adding a toy company setting and using mini toys versions of the main characters to clear puzzles. Donkey Kong the Third, now replacing his grandfather, is usually an antagonist for Mario in the same series.

Donkey Kong Country 2 and Donkey Kong Land 2[]

Mario makes a cameo appearance at the end of the games Donkey Kong Country 2 and Donkey Kong Land 2, respectively, alongside Yoshi and Link. Cranky Kong shows Diddy Kong his current ranking at the Video Game Heroes contest which rates heroes based on how many DK Coins each character had collected. In Donkey Kong Land 2 and the Super Nintendo Entertainment System version of Donkey Kong Country 2, Mario had collected thirty-nine coins; Yoshi, twenty-nine coins; and Link, nineteen coins. In the Game Boy Advance version of Donkey Kong Country 2, Mario had collected sixty-seven coins; Link, fifty coins; and Yoshi, thirty-five coins, instead.

Other Games[]

Mario and Donkey Kong the Third have competed or teamed up in many spinoff games, including sports games, racing games, board games, etc.

Mario Kart series[]

Mario is a playable racer in every single game of the Mario Kart series. Donkey Kong Jr. appeared as a playable character only in the game Super Mario Kart. After debuting in the game Mario Kart 64, Donkey Kong appeared as a racer in all of the later games of the same series.

Super Smash Bros. series[]

Mario appears as a playable character in all entries of the Super Smash Bros. series. He is a default character in all the games as well. Other characters from the Super Mario Bros. series appear as playable characters too, such as Luigi, Peach, Bowser, Dr. Mario, Rosalina & Luma, and Bowser Jr. (featuring the Koopalings as his alternative swaps). These characters are all fighters in the games Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS and Wii U and Super Smash Bros. Ultimate.

In Super Smash Bros. Brawl, Mario does not have any interaction with Donkey Kong the Third or Diddy Kong in the Subspace Emissary until the three groups of fighters team up to face the final boss, Tabuu.

Mario & Sonic series[]

In the Mario & Sonic series, Mario appeared as a playable character along with his rival Sonic the Hedgehog. Donkey Kong the Third also appeared in some later games of the same series.


Donkey Kong the Third[]

Donkey Kong the Third, or just Donkey Kong, is the grandson of Mario's old arch-enemy[7] from the original Donkey Kong game, in which the younger Cranky Kong kidnapped Pauline for revenge. But unlike his grandfather, Donkey Kong appears to be on good terms with Mario and his friends and will often help Mario.

For most of the situations, Mario and Donkey Kong had work together. Examples of this include:

  • Mario defeated Dry Bones to restore Donkey Kong after being turned into stone during the game Mario Party DS.
  • In the same game, Donkey and Diddy Kong destroyed Bowser's Minimizer and returned Mario and his friends back to normal size.
  • Donkey Kong helped Mario to save the Baseball Kingdom in the game Mario Super Sluggers.
  • In some later games of the Mario Party series, whenever the player lands on a DK Space, Donkey Kong will exchange bananas earned by the player during a minigame for coins.

However, both characters also have a friendly rivalry as shown in the Mario vs. Donkey Kong series, and seemingly in sports and kart-racing games. Though Donkey Kong is large in size, he acts as being still much younger than Mario (it was the opposite with Cranky Kong who is drastically older than Mario by at least one generation). As Donkey appears to act like a child, Mario appears to be a paternal figure for him.


Pauline first appeared in the 1981 arcade game Donkey Kong as Mario's first love interest. Known as "The Lady" at the time, she was the damsel in distress in this classic game. She had been kidnapped by Donkey Kong Sr., a mighty ape who wanted revenge against the carpenter who laughed at him at the circus, during the events of the game Donkey Kong Circus. Mario eventually saved the Lady.

In the game Donkey Kong '94, Pauline is kidnapped again by Donkey Kong Sr. and his son Junior. After Pauline being taken by the large ape through many locations, including a construction site, a city, a forest, a ship, a jungle, a desert, an airplane, an iceberg, a stone valley, Mario finally confronts Donkey Kong Sr. at the summit of a tall tower. With the gorilla defeated again, Pauline, Donkey Kong Sr., Junior and Mario pose together for a photograph, apparently becoming friends.

Pauline also appears in the game Mario vs. Donkey Kong 2: March of the Minis. During the game, she is given the choice between taking Mario's mini toy version of himself, or Donkey Kong the Third's mini toy version of himself. When she chooses Mario's, DK is not happy by this and thus he drags Pauline to an elevator, Mario tries to rescue the damsel, but Donkey Kong is too quick. The gorilla had already pressed the buttons and taunted Mario by waving goodbye at him with a large grin. In the end, Mario and his army of Mini Mario toys go to rescue Pauline.

In the game Super Mario Odyssey, Pauline is now the mayor of the New Donk City. It seems Pauline still has feelings for Mario, because of some verses of the song "Jump Up, Super Star!" (also known as "Let's Do the Odyssey" or "I'll Be Your 1-Up Girl"), sung by her during the same game, appear to hint some affection towards Mario.


  • According to Shigeru Miyamoto, Mario's physical age is about 24-25 years old.[8]
  • Real-life gorillas age much faster than humans and reach their elderly years at ages 35-45, and 50 would be the maximum age of a gorilla's life.[9] They also reach the age to desire a child at 6-10 years old, and mature at 11-15 since they age two or three times faster than humans, meaning Cranky Kong would be around those elderly ages, making him significantly older than Mario and is likely even older than Mario's parents, explaining the "missing generation" and huge age difference between Cranky and the current Donkey Kong. Mario would also be younger than Donkey Kong Jr.
    • It can be speculated that the mysterious properties of the Donkey and Diddy Kong's banana hoard are responsible for keeping Cranky alive and healthy.
    • In the game Yoshi's Island DS, Baby Mario, Baby Donkey Kong and the other Star Children appear to be around the same age group. However, it can be atributed to the time travel during the events of the same game. That way, it can still be argued that the current Donkey Kong is actually younger than Mario.
    • It can also be speculated that Mario regularly eats 1-Up Mushrooms that make him physically age slowly.

External Links[]