Who the heck is Jumpman, you ask?
Ahh, nostalgia. What a wonderful friend… Who doesn’t miss the days when you’d finish a long and challenging day at school, run home, hook up your favourite game system, blow into it to make it work and then sit back to defeat the villain of the day? To help you relive some of those glory gaming days, we’ve pulled together a few fun facts about those classic video games.
So Who the Heck is Jumpman?
Nintendo’s leading man, Mario, actually first appeared in the arcade game Donkey Kong in July 1981, and he went by the name Jumpman.
In this game, Donkey Kong was Mario’s pet ape who escapes and kidnaps Mario’s pet ape who escapes and kidnaps Mario’s girlfriend, Pauline.
A Carpenter - or a Plumber?
When Mario made his debut in this game, his profession was a carpenter since the game took place at a construction site. It wasn’t until Mario Bros. that Mario made the career change to plumber, as much of this game took place underground.
Bowser, the main antagonist of Nintendo’s Mario franchise, was initially envisioned as an ox. This is probably why he has horns and a defined snout, even though he is a turtle.
Due to the popularity of the Mario Bros. game in 1983, there was a massive increase in the number of people naming their children Mario during that time.
Let's Talk Atari
Nolan Bushnell and Ted Dabney started Atari with just $500.00. Within five years, the company earned $28 million, and by 1982, sales topped $2 billion.
In addition to starting Atari, Nolan Bushnell founded the famous pizza and entertainment company Chuck E. Cheese.
Space Invaders Speeds Up
In Space Invaders, the more aliens you kill, the faster they come at you. This pattern of the game getting more challenging the more you play has become a staple in the gaming world, but it started as a fluke! The aliens were always supposed to come at you at the same speed, but with so many aliens on the screen, the hardware couldn’t handle it, so they were slowed down. The more aliens you killed as you played, the more system memory was freed up, so the game ended up running faster.
An Urban Legend Comes True
The design of the Playstation 2 is based on an old Atari computer, the Falcon 030 Microbox. Apparently, Sony bought the design patent when Atari was going bankrupt.
The urban legend – that turned out to be true – was that Atari had so many unsold copies of E.T. the Extra Terrestrial that they buried them in the desert. A documentary crew actually went out and dug them up!
Most of the above mentioned E.T. games (which they couldn’t seem to sell) were eventually sold on Ebay for a total of around $108,000.
Last Level Lounge
Did you already know most of this? Then we’re sending a digital high five for you. Discover some new, cool video game facts? You are most welcome. Go forth now and bestow these tidbits of knowledge to your friends and family, or better yet – invite them to Last Level Lounge to play with you once the world reopens. Enjoy all the classics and more. Who says the glory days are over?
Written By: Jane Laker
Photo Credit: Stephen Elliott
If you have fun facts or trivia that we haven’t mentioned, please feel free to comment.