One of the few gaming constants over time is Mario, along with the high calibre of the majority of the key Super Mario Bros. titles. Although it seems like Mario has always been around and that he will continue to be a staple of video games for years to come, his incredible longevity doesn’t provide an answer to the question that has perplexed us for more than 35 years: “How old is Mario?”
It’s simple to respond to that question if you’re discussing the Super Mario games or even the character’s origin, but it can be difficult to determine Mario’s age in relation to both the Super Mario universe and the whole Nintendo timeline.
I can’t promise that researching this topic will provide an answer you’ll find satisfactory, but if you’re just interested in going down this particular rabbit hole further, here’s a slightly more thorough attempt to respond to a question that has turned out to be much trickier than you’d ever expect it to be.
Shigeru Miyamoto Says Mario Is 24-25 Years Old…Wait, What?
Let’s begin with the one and only “direct” piece of knowledge we have on Mario’s age.
Shigeru Miyamoto, the inventor of Mario, claimed in an interview from 2005 that Nintendo “didn’t really set any constraints on Mario as a character” other from the fact that “he’s roughly 24–25 years old.”
You’re undoubtedly raising an eyebrow at that suggestion, just like the rest of the globe. Let’s start with the observation that Mario doesn’t appear to be between the ages of 24 and 25. We’ll get into the many grounds for your doubt here in a moment.
There are a few plausible theories in that regard. The first, and most likely explanation, is that Nintendo hasn’t given issue much thought and doesn’t really care about it. As a result, the character’s dependable design is perhaps more significant to them than this statement made by Miyamoto in the past. They likely consider Mario to be almost immortal, similar to the character’s fame.
You could also make the case that Mario has aged since Miyamoto made that statement if you want to go a little farther. After all, Miyamoto would have made that assertion around the time of Super Mario’s 20th anniversary, so when considered just from that standpoint, the number would have made a little more sense.
As others have noted, Miyamoto may have been implying that Mario has the physical capabilities of someone that age (no doubt due to his consistent jumping exercise routines). There is merit to the claim that Miyamoto was estimating Mario’s age based on his physical capabilities, even though I would lean more toward the “Mario is immortal” position.
Mario Has Been Called a “Weird Old Dude” by Shigeru Miyamoto
Although Miyamoto has only directly said that Mario is between the ages of 24 and 25, he has previously made remarks that slightly conflict with that information.
For instance, Miyamoto was questioned about Mario’s “unrealistic” motions in a 1996 interview for a Japanese strategy book. What he had to say about it was as follows:
Little “lies” like that can be overlooked in 3D. Thus, we lied a lot! Mario is this strange old man who can jump three times as high as himself, after all. so who’s keeping track? (laughs)”
Okay, the term “old” is a relative one, but it still seems weird to apply it to someone who is in their mid-twenties. If I had to speculate, I’d say that Miyamoto initially considered making Mario older but ultimately decided to maintain the character in his physical prime. Or perhaps, he might have been kidding.
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