With the possible exception of Roberto Benigni, Mario is the most popular fictional Italian in the world. To commemorate the release of Super Mario Galaxy and over 26 years of Mario, we've compiled some fascinating little-known facts about the portly plumber and his adventures in the Mushroom Kingdom. For each piece of trivia that you already knew, give yourself one point. For every one that you had never heard of before, deduct one point. Add up all your points at the end to see how your Mario knowledge ranks!

Did you know...
That Mario's first appearance wasn't as the protagonist in Donkey Kong, but in the Atari 2600 game Combat, where he was Tank #2 (the blue one)?

Did you know...
That the Mushroom Kingdom is modeled after the real city of Detroit, Michigan? When Shigeru Miyamoto visited the town as a small child, he was fascinated by the building-sized mushrooms that dotted the pristine landscape and the city's lax turtle leash laws.

Did you know...
That the Tanooki Suit was a last-minute addition to Super Mario 3? It replaced the Brown Three Piece Suit, which was considered a game-breaking powerup due to the effectiveness of its classic fit and the blue tie that brought out Mario's eyes.

Did you know...
That if you have a friend hold the Select + B buttons from the moment you boot up your NES console to the very end of a complete Super Mario Brothers 2 playthrough, you can laugh at him for wasting his time and his hands will be too cramped to retaliate?

Did you know...
That the number of term papers and theses entitled "The Correlation Between Super Mario And Socialism" or "Mario Brothers: An Allegory For (insert social issue)?" written every year is inversely proportional to the number of fatal dorm fires caused by defective bongs?

Did you know...
Bowser is kind of a dick?

Did you know...
That the Mario Brothers arcade game was originally named "Fuckman Brothers", but was changed when it was discovered that delinquents could easily use a marker to vandalize the machine's marquee to read "Pacman Brothers"?

Did you know...
That the iconic Warp Whistle only appeared in Super Mario Brothers 3 because it had absolutely no function whatsoever beyond playing a pleasant musical note?

Your Rank
-8 to -3 : An erection in a high school hallway, covered up by a tattered copy of the Halo novel.
-2 to 2: A cookie that sort of looks like you, but with a lot more facial hair.
3 to 8: A rubber duck in the middle of the ocean.

One Sentence Reviews

Call Of Duty 4: Modern Warfare
Now that Call Of Duty has left World War II behind, I sincerely hope that "six hours of yelling 'holy shit' in single player followed by a fun and rewarding multiplayer" becomes the industry's next cliched genre. 9/10

Kane & Lynch: Dead Men
The unauthorized biography of Michael Mann's films, soon to be a motion picture. 7/10

Assassin's Creed
Visually stunning and detailed, but I was under the impression that this was entirely about Jade Raymond so it's the most disappointing game of the year. 7/10

Super Mario Galaxy
The guy that registered supermariouniverse.com is going to be sooo rich in a few years. 10/10

Mario & Sonic At The Olympic Games
The biggest bomb the Olympics have seen since the '96 games. 5/10

EA Playground
Much more involving than EA Naptime, but not quite as intense than EA Loose Tooth. 6/10

Resident Evil: The Umbrella Chronicles
This fresh and original on-rails shooter takes you through several houses that are full of the dead. 7/10

Crysis
I liked Predator and Far Cry better the second time around, when they were called Crysis... wait. 8/10

Tabula Rasa
In case you were wondering, Tabula Rasa means Richard Garriott in pig latin. 8/10

Showtime Championship Boxing
If there were more than three boxing fans left, this would constitute the use of the emergency broadcast system to protect the populace. 1/10

– Dennis "Corin Tucker's Stalker" Farrell

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