Twenty-five years ago, game designer Shigeru Miyamoto created the video game Super Mario Bros., which has since sold millions of copies and spawned numerous spin-offs. Here are some highlights from the history of the computerized plumber:

  • 1974—In a bizarre incident that will come to shape his development of Mario years later, Miyamoto accidentally smacks his head against a brick outcropping and some gold coins fall out
  • 1981—Kept up all night by a leaky flush toilet mechanism, Miyamoto fantasizes about having a giant ape pelt his shiftless plumber with barrels
  • 1986-1993—In the so-called 'Mario mania' years, Sega fails time and time again to score a hit with its goateed Croatian electrician character, Milorad
  • 1991Super Mario World introduces Yoshi, a complicated allegory for the state of Japanese politics
  • 1994—Following the box-office failure of the Super Mario Bros. movie the previous year, the script for a Mario Kart–based sequel is hastily rewritten into the film Speed, with Dennis Hopper reprising his role as the villain
  • 1994—Hoping to replicate the success of Mario's brother Luigi, a third brother, Dan, joined them briefly before giving up the video game life and going back to his family and financial planning job in Pasadena
  • 1999—Mario is licensed to the State of New York for use in its plumbers certification exam-prep software
  • 2005—Mario celebrates his 100 billionth death