Since his first appearance in 1981 in Nintendo’s Donkey Kong, Mario’s surname has been something of a mystery within the gaming world. There are a couple of popular theories out there – but what is Mario’s last name?
A simple Google search will return thousands of possible answers, ranging from ridiculous suggestions such as Mario being his last name and his first name being ‘Itsumi’ – no, I’m not joking. Down to the more believable ‘Mario Mario’, this is a possibility as it is very common in older Italian families to name their children this way.
Mario’s last name first became a popular conversation topic when Mario creator Shigero Miyamoto stated that Mario’s last name is simply non-existent. He stated this in multiple interviews until 2015.
At the Super Mario Bros. 30th Anniversary Festival, the question was once again put to Miyamoto regarding the last name and his current stance. To everyone’s surprise in attendance, Miyamoto declared that Mario’s – and Luigi’s – last name, is simply, Mario.
This theory is probably the longest-standing, with the ill-fated 1993 movie leading some credence as well as the ‘Super Mario Bros.’ title of the series itself.
This would make Mario and Luigi, Mario Mario and Luigi Mario, respectively. Of course this could just be a gag, as Miyamoto has also stated that Link, from the Legend of Zelda series, has the last name Link, making him Link Link. I think it is safe to say that he may be pulling a long-game gag on us with this one.
So with that out of the way, we are still no closer to knowing Mario’s real last name, so what are the many possibilities?
This is a strong contender for Mario, as it is very common with Italian heritage to continue the lineage of parentage via naming their children twice, rather like the English tradition of adding suffixes such as, the second, the third and so on, to the existing last name.
A joke, I think it is fair to say, often posted by many Redditors. Would this be hilarious if true? Yes! Is there a chance it could be? Very little, but we can dream!
During development of the Donkey Kong game, Mario was given this last name. Upon completion and publication, this name was subsequently dropped for the final product where he was simply known as, Jumpman.
Throughout Yoshi’s New Island, Mario is incognito as a warp pipe and referred to throughout as “Mr Pipe”. The name obviously refers to the appearance of the disguise in the game, and is most likely not a serious contender for Mario’s last name.
A Reddit user on r/fantheories, u/option8, posited the following theory:
“In the 1983 game, Mario Fratelli (antagonist of the “Donkey Kong” games) is featured in his first eponymous game. The jumping carpenter-turned-plumber, is joined by his brother(?) Luigi. After multiple translations, the game’s title is mistakenly altered. Mario’s last name will thereafter be anglicized “Brothers” (an uncommon, but enduring Irish family name with roots as far back as the Domesday Book). Mario Brothers. Not The Mario Brothers. (Shortened, of course, for convenience to Bros.)
“And so, the franchise of games is only coincidentally about a pair of brothers. It is named after an Italian plumber with super powers, Super Mario Fratelli.”
This stands to be the most realistic reasoning in my mind for Mario’s last name.
However, the last reason may perhaps be the most beautiful and the most interesting; Mario is simply named after a landlord.
According to a story that was widely circulated during the localisation of the Donkey Kong series, a landlord named Mario Segale demanded back-rent from then-Nintendo president Minoru Arakawa. After a heated argument, it was decided that the villainous plumber would then be named Mario in his honour and to reflect his real-life villain status in Arakawa’s eyes.
While it may never be revealed once and for all what Mario’s last name truly is, it is extremely fun to suppose and predict. Hopefully this article has got you thinking, based on everything you know and everything you think – what do you believe Mario’s last name truly to be?
Let us know and in the meantime, remember, the princess is in another castle!