In "devastating" news for video gamers and plumbers everywhere, Nintendo has seemingly confirmed that company icon Mario no longer works in his longtime plumbing occupation.
Saving princesses and jumping onto various platforms with a gold-encrusted hammer since 1981, the character of Mario has been a massive and influential presence in the history of video games. Making his first appearance in Donkey Kong, Mario and his many friends/enemies have been playable characters in many different gaming forms throughout their careers, starring in various styles of games well beyond their initial debuts (kart racing, baseball, olympic events, various party games). One forgets that in his humble beginnings Mario started as a simple working-class plumber just trying to save the girl of his dreams from a fire-breathing baddie.
Gaming site Kotaku was the one to initially catch a potential revealing change to the legendary character. An attentive eye browsing through Nintendo's Japanese language profile for Mario noticed some interesting wording in the biography. When translated into English, the passage reads like this:
All around sporty, whether it’s tennis or baseball, soccer or car racing, he [Mario] does everything cool. As a matter of fact, he also seems to have worked as a plumber a long time ago…
Though there may have been some crucial details lost in translation in the sentence structure, it appears that the site is referring to Mario's plumbing career in past tense. If this is to be taken as fact, it appears that Mario (and most likely his brother Luigi) has retired from the plumbing lifestyle and has officially moved on to bigger and better things. Really, this is not too much of a shock - given the wealth and popularity that the character and his companions have given Nintendo over almost half a century, he's long surpassed this job. In fact, the character has spent much more time not being a plumber than he has being one.
The decision to make Mario a plumber came in 1983, when creator Shigeru Miyamoto transitioned the character from "Jumpman" carpenter to plumber. There is no further word of what this could mean for the Mario character. Throughout his illustrious career, the character rarely changes costume, as his classic outfit is one of the most recognizable wardrobes in pop culture history. Given that he's no longer a plumber, will he ditch the red cap and the blue overalls for something more practical and comfortable to wear? With around 100 video game appearances under his belt, that seems unlikely. Still, Mario no longer being a plumber marks the end of an era for one of the video game greats.