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1up- The Essential 100, No. 49: Super Mario Kart

When Shigeru Miyamoto first created Mario, he originally thought to call the then-nameless hero "Mr. Video." His thinking was that Mario -- or rather, Mr. Video -- would serve as an all-purpose protagonist, able to stand in for any role his creators could possibly conceive. Despite going with the more affable moniker "Mario," Nintendo put Miyamoto's Mr. Video plan into effect from the very beginning, thrusting the character into a number of Game & Watch titles shortly after the debut of Donkey Kong. A couple of years later, the Famicom (NES) home console launched in Japan, and even before the revolutionary Super Mario Bros. debuted Mario had his hands full with cameos in a great many early NES titles.

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