Mario (Japanese: マリオ, Mario) is the main protagonist of the Mario series. He is the legendary mascot of Nintendo. Mario is a plumber, but in most games, he uses his legendary jump and combat abilities to defend the inhabitants of the usually peaceful Mushroom World from power-hungry villains such as Bowser. During most of his adventures, he often teams up with his younger brother Luigi and their partner Yoshi and sometimes even Toads for extra support, as they are the only three characters he fully trusts to help him. When not adventuring, Mario participates in a variety of sporting events and even works as one of his alter-egos, Dr. Mario.

Mario was created out of necessity by Shigeru Miyamoto after Nintendo lost the license to create a video game based on the Popeye universe. The designers kept the gameplay, but created a new cast of characters. Mario assumed Popeye's role, and the game was released as the arcade version of Donkey Kong. In this game, he was originally referred to as "Jumpman." Jumpman was renamed "Mario" when an employee at Nintendo of America's office in New York City pointed out the similar physical appearances of Jumpman and Nintendo's Italian landlord, Mario Segale.[1]

Since then, Mario has appeared in nearly every title in the Super Mario series. In addition, he has appeared in multiple television programs, comic books, and even a feature film. He is currently one of the most recognizable fictional characters in the world, having appeared in hundreds of video games. Many consider him the face of video gaming.