Images that Defined Gaming – Super Mario 64

November 6th, 2007

super mario 64

Images that Defined Gaming is a featured series showcasing the various images that changed the way we thought about gaming, the characters and franchises within it. To view more entries in this series click here.

Theres not much that I can really say about Mario that you don’t already know. Like a lot of gamers I grew up with the plumber, as a child I adored him and as an adult well yeah I still adore him. Now when Mario went 3D this was a big deal and Nintendo went to great lengths to let everyone know that he was back, in 3D and that to play his games you had to have an N64.

The advertising campaign which included TV adverts and ‘Mario’s Million Dollar Mission’ where Mario fans were bought onto a TV set and had to shovel as many piles of coins as they could to get a million dollars. Ah yes, exciting times indeed.

Now one of the key images that I remember from this time was the following one:

super mario 64 world sphere

We see Mario flying with his winged cap, the castle and familiar enemies and environments(now in 3D). Nintendo always did a good job with their promotional work for the Mario series. They always showcase a lot of what is in the game(see SMB3 or SML2). This image shows off a lot of what is in the game(although not a much as some of the SMB3 or SML2 art). All very important parts of the game. But also it leaves enough to the imagination and hints and what might be to come(ie. Theres Boos in the image but no haunted house).

super mario bros artwork

I think that this is the ideal image to express Mario’s transformation into the 3D environment. Its rather ironic how it uses the circle planet, with the upcoming western release of Super Mario Galaxy.