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Mario is the true character and protagonist of the long-running and highly successful Mario series. He was created by Japanese video game designer Shigeru Miyamoto and also serves as the main mascot of Nintendo. Mario made his first appearance as the protagonist of the arcade game Donkey Kong, released in 1981. Since Super Mario Bros., his trademark abilities have been his jumping and stomping powers, with which he defeats most of his enemies, and his ability to change size and gain powers with a plethora of items, such as the Super Mushroom and Fire Flower. Games have usually portrayed Mario as a silent character without a distinct personality (Fortune Street is a notable exception). According to Nintendo's philosophy, this allows Mario to fit in many different genres and roles. In most games, he is the hero that goes on an adventure to save Princess Peach from Bowser, but he has been shown doing many other activities besides adventuring, such as racing and sporting with his younger twin brother and others.

Super Mario 64/Super Mario 64 DSEdit

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In Super Mario 64, Mario is invited to have a cake with Princess Peach at her castle but finds the castle taken over and Peach kidnapped by Bowser when he arrives there. In order to save Princess Peach, Mario has to collect the castle's Power Stars to advance further and defeat Bowser. When facing off against Bowser, Mario grabs his tail and spins him around to throw him off of the fighting platform. After being rescued, Peach kisses Mario and bakes him the cake.

In this game, Mario is in a three-dimensional environment. He also has additional moves. He can now crouch and combine ducking with jumping. Pressing ducking and jumping while standing results in a backwards somersault, and doing it while running results in a Long Jump. Mario can jump higher when doing consecutive jumps (the Triple Jump), and a side somersault can be performed by quickly changing direction. Wall jumps, another first, can also be performed. Mario has more offensive options: he can punch, kick, slide attack, and use the Ground Pound. Super Mario 64 has also introduced the health meter, so Mario can take more hits before losing a life. Mario can receive special abilities by activating Exclamation Mark Blocks, including the Wing Cap or the Metal Cap. Super Mario 64 is also the first game to limit the time Mario can spend underwater; his health meter empties the longer Mario stays underwater. Mario's health can be refilled with coins or water bubbles or by surfacing on the water. Mario can also take falling damage from dropping from high elevations. Mario can also lose his hat in the game, and until he gets it back, he will take more damage and his health depletes faster underwater.

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In the game's remake, Super Mario 64 DS, Mario is once again invited to Peach's castle for cake, along with Wario and Luigi. However, some time after entering, Bowser overtakes the castle. The trio is thrown behind locked doors, with Mario being sealed away by Goomboss, who keeps the key to his door. Yoshi, who has avoided capture by sleeping on the castle's roof, is able to find a portrait of Mario in Peach's room and finds Goomboss. After defeating him, Yoshi unlocks Mario's door with the key he receives.

From then on, Mario is an additional playable character. He is required to rescue Luigi (while Luigi is needed to rescue Wario). Mario is also required to enter the final level to rescue Princess Peach. Mario has average stats, with decent power, speed, and jump. His special ability is the balloon floating power gained by the Power Flower. Mario can still use the Feather, this game's equivalent to the Wing Cap, which gives him more abilities than the other characters. Mario is also the only character that can wall jump. Other characters can transform into Mario, gaining his appearance but not his voice, by putting on Mario's Hat. Mario himself can transform into Luigi and Wario this way but not into Yoshi. The game's story is otherwise identical to that of the original game.

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