1. Mario is in his mid-20s


When you think of Mario, you probably have a certain image in your head. If you're like a lot of folks, you see a cartoony middle-aged plumber with a fungus addiction. But according to Shigeru Miyamoto, creator of Mario, you might have been misinterpreting Nintendo's iconic mascot for decades. 

In a recently re-published interview from 2005, Miyamoto stated that there weren't any strict guidelines or definitions when it came to Mario lore.  

"I think it was fortuitous that we didn't put any restrictions on Mario as a character (...) 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? But aside from the fact that he's about 24-25 years old, we didn't define anything else."

Though Mario has appeared in games for over 30 years, he's apparently still young enough to stay on his parents' health insurance. That's probably a good thing, since the Mushroom Kingdom benefits package is mostly comprised of cake and kisses on the cheek.

2. "Yoshi" isn't Yoshi's full name


There are a lot of things we just sort of accept about Yoshi. For one, the fact that he hatches fully-formed out of the egg, complete with a built-in saddle. That, and we just sort of pretend every dinosaur that comes out of a polka-dotted egg is named "Yoshi," even if that was the name of the guy that got dumped in a bottomless pit two levels back. We can ignore these existential questions because hey, it's a video game.

No one was really asking what Yoshi's full name was, but apparently someone at Nintendo thought that was a more important issue to address than a dinosaur being born with shoes. An internal character guide unearthed by Blake Harris revealed something startling about Yoshi.


So, Yoshi's full name is... "T. Yoshisaur Munchakoopas." The T. is left ambiguous, though we could guess it stands for "Transportation" or "Tyrannosaurus" or "Travis." 

This has never been referenced by any official Nintendo game, but the fact of the matter is it's still on an official Nintendo document. Of course, if everything here is true, that would also mean that Mario really is a member of the species "homo nintendonus," in which case we'd have a lot more questions.

3. Super Mario Bros. had a code for infinite lives all this time


Did you ever beat Super Mario Bros.? Okay, did you ever beat Super Mario Bros. without using the Warp Pipes? Don't worry, it's less common than you think. It's a hard game, made in a time when games were an hour long, but also as hard as a diamond Nokia phone. And of course, there was no saving of any kind -- if you lost all your lives, that was it. Game Over, start from the beginning. 

Unless you held the A button and pressed Start. Then you would go back to the World you died on. 

I know. I know. Most people have lived their lives without knowing that secret. But it was right there all along, in the Official Nintendo Player's Guide.  


This was before the internet, so you'll find pockets of kids in different neighborhoods across the country who knew of this unsung legend, but to the world at large, this is a revelation on the scale of realizing that Player 2 can control the duck in Duck Hunt.

...You did know Player 2 could control the duck in Duck Hunt, right?

4. Luigi was originally colored green because of technological limitations


Luigi has gotten the short end of the stick for most of his life. For the most part, he's always been mentioned in relation to his more famous sibling; most know him as "Mario's brother" or "Player 2" or "Green Mario." This goes back to the creation of the original "Mario Bros." game -- not the classic sidescroller, but the weird single-screen arcade game. You might have played a variation of it in Super Mario Bros. 3's battle mode. 

See, Nintendo wanted another character for multiplayer purposes, but they had limited memory. So Luigi (which is close to the Japanese word "ruiji," which means "similar") was built as an exact copy of his brother. But when it came time to design Luigi's clothes, Nintendo had a problem. They couldn't very well give him the exact same wardrobe as Mario, but they didn't have a ton of memory left over for the palette. So, making do with what they had, Luigi borrowed the color from the Koopa's green shell. 


That's right. Not only did Luigi get hand-me-down looks from Mario, but even his trademark green outfit was given to him second-hand from a turtle. Miyamoto noted that the technological limitations ended up working out, since it's tough to imagine the brothers any other way. 

5. You can eat the dolphins in the Japanese version of Super Mario World (but not in the US)

mario world

One of the most memorable levels in Super Mario World has to be "Vanilla Secret #3." There's a reason that it's often called "The Dolphin Level," as porpoises bound across the screen, acting as mobile platforms for Mario to travel across. It's not the toughest level in the game, but its

And it's way different in Japan. 

Should you visit Vanilla Secret #3 while playing the US version of SMW, you'll find that the cute, cuddly dolphins are immune to Yoshi's tongue. But in the Japanese version of the game, these dolphins are just as eatable as any apple or koopa you might come across. 

No one is really sure why this is, but there are a couple of theories out there. One suggests that Western audiences were particularly attached to dolphins during the early 90s, as anyone with a Lisa Frank Peechee folder could attest. Some think that it was actually a way to make the game easier for dummies in the US, since allowing players to swallow the dolphins is essentially letting them destroy the quickest path across the level.