Blake J. Harris, author of the excellent book Console Wars: Sega, Nintendo, and the Battle that Defined a Generation, took to Twitter recently to share some scans from Nintendo’s insider promotional materials. Dating back to 1993, these images show the Mario gang in their Super Nintendo designs, though they reveal some information you might not have known about these classic characters.
For instance, Yoshi actually has a real name! It’s T. Yoshisaur Munchakoopas. Yes, much like how humans in the 17th century had last names based on their professions, Yoshis apparently have last names based on the fauna that they eat. Still, I can’t help but wonder what the “T” stands for.
Also included in the scans is a character sheet for Mario that reveals some interesting facts. Turns out, he’s not even human! His species is labeled as homo nintendonus, which is probably the greatest fake species ever labeled. The character sheet defines Mario as adventurous, brave, curious, resourceful, and… tolerant? Yes, of the five adjectives they chose to define Mario, his open-mindedness made the cut. Hey, for 1993 I’m impressed.
Press The Buttons has more of these scans with even more revelations, such as Peach’s “white magic” and the fact that even Bowser’s subordinates seem to hate him. I always love digging up stuff like this from the past–it manages to paint some of the most well-known characters of all time in a new light. And to think, we might have gone our whole lives without knowing “Yoshi” was just a nickname.