Nintendo icon Super Mario’s real age revealed

The answer will surprise you...

Nintendo's Super Mario
It's me, Mario! Nintendo's Super Mario soars into action. Image Nintendo

Ever wondered how old Nintendo icon Super Mario actually is?

The friendly Italian plumber has always had an avuncular charm about him, but it turns out he’s actually much younger than you’d expect.

In an old interview with creator Shigeru Miyamoto from 2005, reposted on Nintendo’s Japanese website, the gaming mastermind revealed that the only aspect of Mario that was defined was his age.

“I think it was fortuitous that we didn’t put any restrictions on Mario as a character,” he 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?

Super Mario Bros
Super Mario Bros Bob Hoskins and John Leguizamo. Image Picture Buena Vista Pictures

“But aside from the fact that he’s about 24-25 years old, we didn’t define anything else. 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.”

As reported by Ars Technica, Mario’s brother Luigi, assumed by many to be much younger than his red cap-wearing sibling, is actually his twin (although he was born after).

Maybe it’s because Bob Hoskins – 50 at the time of the Super Mario Bros movie release – just doesn’t seem like he could pass as a 24-year-old.

John Leguizamo, though, was 29 on release and slightly more age appropriate to fulfil Miyamoto’s vision.

You know what they say? Every day’s a school day.

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Loaded digital media manager Simon Reynolds has written about film and entertainment for various leading websites since 2008. Follow Simon at @simonreyn