Mario is one of the longest-lasting game franchises around. It’s evolved from a game about a down-to-earth premise – a monkey has abducted your girlfriend so you, a plumber, have to brave the unknown heights of construction workers and traverse half-built buildings to get her back. Now you turn into a cat girl and punch a Dracula-dinosaur in the face while black rain falls down into a painting created by his potentially half-human child. The series has changed is what we’re saying and it’s been wild sometimes.

But that’s good, what are flowers if they’re not allowed to grow – and aren’t weeds a part of nature? What is a mushroom if it can’t grow, spread spores, and be eaten by a fat Italian man to make his jumps go higher? Here’s a retrospective on Mario and how he and all his friends have changed over the years.

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