Super Mario: How Nintendo Conquered America

Super Mario: How Nintendo Conquered America

by Jeff Ryan


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The definitive story of the rise of Nintendo.

In 1981, Nintendo of America was a one-year-old business already on the brink of failure. Its president, Mino Arakawa, was stuck with two thousand unsold arcade cabinets for a dud of a game (Radar Scope). So he hatched a plan.

Back in Japan, a boyish, shaggy-haired staff artist named Shigeru Miyamoto designed a new game for the unsold cabinets featur­ing an angry gorilla and a small jumping man. Donkey Kong brought in $180 million in its first year alone and launched the career of a short, chubby plumber named Mario.

Since then, Mario has starred in over two hundred games, gen­erating profits in the billions. He is more recognizable than Mickey Mouse, yet he’s little more than a mustache in bib overalls. How did a mere smear of pixels gain such huge popularity?

Super Mario tells the story behind the Nintendo games millions of us grew up with, explaining how a Japanese trading card company rose to dominate the fiercely competitive video-game industry.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781591845638
Publisher: Penguin Publishing Group
Publication date: 09/25/2012
Pages: 320
Sales rank: 381,289
Product dimensions: 5.40(w) x 8.40(h) x 0.90(d)
Age Range: 18 Years

About the Author

Jeff Ryan, a lifelong gamer, has been featured on and All Things Considered. He reviewed over 500 video games and covered four console launches as the games editor for Katrillion, a popular dotcom-era news and entertainment Web site. He lives in Bloomfield, New Jersey.

Table of Contents

Introduction: Mario's Inside Story 1

Part 1 Arcade Fire 7

1 Baby Mario: The Birth of Nintendo of America 9

2 Mario's Artist: Shigeru Miyamoto and the Creation of Donkey Kong 19

3 Mario's Brawl: The MCA Universal Lawsuit 33

4 Mario's Early Years: The Video Game Crash of 1983 45

Part 2 Super 8 57

5 Mario's Island: Japan and the Famicom 59

6 Mario's Sunshine: Super Mario Bros. And the Nintendo Entertainment System 69

7 Mario's Bomb: The Lost Levels 81

8 Mario's Smash: Super Mario Bros. 3 89

9 Mario's Brothers: The Nes and the Game Boy 101

10 Mario's Drift: Sega, the Genesis, and a Very Fast Hedgehog 107

Part 3 Sweet 16 117

11 Mario's Clash: The Sonic-Mario Showdown 119

12 Mario's Galaxy: Spinoffs Galore 129

13 Mario the Juggler: Mario Paint 139

14 Mario's Advance: Nintendo's Discs 139

15 Mario's Kart (Ridge): Virtual Boy and Other Three-Dimensional Fun 159

Part 4 Third Prize Is You're Fired 173

16 Mario's World: The N64 175

17 Mario's Communication Kit: The Nintendo DD 185

18 Mario's Melee: The Gamecube 195

19 Mario's Time Machine: The Game Boy Advance 207

20 Mario's Saga: Sunshine and Darkness 213

Part 5 Wii are the Champions 227

21 Mario's Revolution: The DS 229

22 Mario's Princess: The Wii 239

23 Mario's Party: Three Days in The Life of Nintendo 251

24 Mario's Legend: The Future of Nintendo 265

25 Mario's Misfortune: How Nintendo Survived 2011 277

Thanks, Mario, But Our Notes and Acknowledgments are in Another Castle 293

Bibliography 297

Index 301

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Super Mario 4.2 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 148 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
B&N should add nintendo power to there magazines Select helpful so B&N can see this
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Mario is super awsome!!!1.he's beaten bowser like,26 times.2.he's went to the moon.3.he's been turned into shadow Mario one adventure.4.he gave me the weirdest dream.Mario and pals explore the moon and find a factory.somehow he gets kicked ALLLL the way to earth.Then this mob showes up thinking Mario's hurt.When the crowd moves away he comes out EXACLY THE SAME WAY HE WAS BEFORE!Then they all shout "Hooray!".Then I woke up.Anyway,Mario is SWEET!!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
A great book it had me hooked and showed me the evalution and detailed history of mario from nintendo.
BoutDragon More than 1 year ago
This kept me intertained until it ended.Its a great story about Nintendo and Mario's history.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book talk about straight mario. How small game came to be one of,the games of ALL TIME?
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
It was really good
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
When I was 4 we had an old nintendo. I have never knew that nintendos games were so popular. And know that I am 9 I still like mario.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This was a really good book, and was informative, but in a good way.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I belidvw it is a very captivating book. I enjoyed reading it :)
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
$12.99?Mario is waaaaaaayyyyy better than $12.99!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book is awesome as it shows the history of mario and other things. I would recomend it to someone who likes mario, gaming and would like to know the history about him.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
; ) my bro loves it.....
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I could barley stop reading to write this review! In short, READ THIS BOOK IF YOU LOVE ALL THINGS NINTENDO
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Although I may not be much of a Mario fan (Die-Hard Zelda fan, here), I think it was a good read for new and expert gamers alike. This book was very informative and to-the-point. Also, no bias remarks whatsoever!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
My god it looks the total best i am begging my mom for it i mean sereosly i cant not wait although im only nine and a good speller and typer
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Great book love it!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Great Mario book
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Like i said febuary first i acually grew horns i kidnapped sonic until june thirtyth until his speedy shoes become mine and i become sonic101 my true potential
FlyoverNative on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I didn't find this book dull, but there were some glaring editing issues that made it hard to read in spots. At one point, when discussing the CD based gaming system - the text uses "Philips" and "Panasonic" interchangeably over two pages. There were were also a few paragraphs that just sort of ended, A couple that just sort of rambled, and a few that when I finished it, I couldn't help but say "what?" - and reread it (sometimes multiple times) and ended up with the same reaction.In the notes to the book, the author states that he easily could have stretched the book out to twice it's size, but cut it down to make it more "user friendly". I agree with this decision, as the flow of the book seems to follow fairly well under this model - however, the copy editor needs to be smacked for not doing their job a little better and actually making sure things made sense, subjects agreed with verbs, etc.Overall, a decent history, and I do recommend the book - just be willing to read it for information, and glean facts from that - don't expect it to be read flawlessly and you will be fine.One other note - I have to agree that it waxes poetic about Mario a little bit too much. While I suppose if you look at the title as "Super Mario, How Nintendo Conquered America" it's fine, but if you but the colon in there (expecting the book to be about Nintendo's dominance over the past 3 decades in gaming, but cleverly named after their #1 superhero) it falls short.
zzshupinga on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
ARC provided by netGalleyMario. The iconic figure that we all know and love from many classic video games (many of which people continue to hunt for and play to this day.) He was one of the first heroes that anyone could imagine themselves being in video games (even if he is a slightly pudgy plumber.) He captured our imagination and our hearts oh so many years ago and this book chronicles not only his rise to fame, but how Nintendo became the worldwide phenomenon that it is.You wouldn¿t think a book about a video game company would be such a compelling read. But Nintendo isn¿t just any video game company. And Mario isn¿t your average video game character. Mario is that one character that we can all recognize and relate to. And this book does a masterful job of not only giving us the history behind Mario (did you know that he was Donkey Kong¿s captor at one point?), but also gives us the history of the company and how it survived when so many other didn¿t.Ryan balances the successes and failures of Nintendo in this book and avoids being overly gushing about the company even though he¿s a fan. He presents a fairly straightforward history of the company, where it came from, how it came to America, and some of the big chances they took to conquer the world. He provides some fascinating insights into how the company revolutionized the gaming world.Even if you aren¿t a big fan of gaming systems, this is still a book worth picking up because it¿s easy to read and lets us know more about that pudgy little plumber from Brooklyn that conquered the world.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago