In case you missed it, this past weekend marked the 30-year anniversary of the release of Nintendo's Super Mario Bros.
Nearly three decades later, the franchise that spun off of the classic title is still going strong: Mario is the best-selling video game franchise of all time. To date, Nintendo has sold over 210 million copies of Mario-based games, including titles that aren't Super Mario, but feature Mario as a main character, such as Mario Kart.
But the original Super Mario remains a favorite among gamers who grew up in the Nintendo generation. In fact, Nintendo has released at least one Super Mario game for every console and handheld the company produced.
Now, to celebrate 30 years of Mario jumping on mushrooms, hopping on platforms and getting sucked down into pipes, here's the first-ever commercial promoting the game in Japan.
"Mario now has a status in popular culture equal to Mickey Mouse," said Florent Gorges, author of a book on Nintendo's history, to AFP.
Although Mario first appeared in Donkey Kong, it wasn't until Super Mario Bros. that he became a household name. The games follow Mario's adventures through a Mushroom Kingdom, as he smashes enemies and traverses dangers to rescue Princess Peach from her kidnapper, Bowser. During his travels, Mario collects coins and power-ups, which help him along the way. Some later titles even give Mario occasional superpowers, like the ability to fly and throw balls of fire.
Super Mario Bros. also introduced the concept of side-scrolling, which allowed video game designers to expand their worlds beyond the current screen. Some would even argue that the game saved a crashing video game industry. Super Mario Bros. was also the game that came with the Nintendo console, which helped launch a successful console industry that later included both Sony and Microsoft.