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The Untold Truth Of Mario Paint

The magical world of the Mushroom Kingdom is full of wonder, color, and delight. The Mario series is bursting with artistic charm and splendor. Though Mario may indeed be a plumber, he's known to wear many hats (both figuratively and literally). Beneath the mustache, Mario has an artistic side that took the Super Nintendo by storm in the '90s.


Almost any time Mario is in a game, it's going to be a hit. It's true Mario may have participated in his fair share of spin-offs that Nintendo wants the world to forget, but Mario Paint was a major success. It was a creative, robust art studio and a very notable entry in the franchise. After all, if a Mario game has an Easter egg in the most recent adventure in the series, you know it had an impact. While younger gamers may not understand the importance of Mario Paint, there's no denying its influence on a generation of Nintendo fans. If you grew up with this Super Nintendo classic in your collection, you may be especially surprised to learn some of these lesser known facts.

Nintendo's answer to educational games

In the '90s, the video game industry was booming. Kids couldn't get enough, which was a growing concern for parents. The term "Nintemper tantrum" became more common as adults were tying poor behavior in their children to excessive action games. Though parents were concerned, psychologists saw the potential in video games as an educational tool for kids. Nintendo knew this potential existed, but had to find a way to make it work.


Educational games were growing in popularity on PC, but not as much on home consoles. Nintendo realized early on that educational titles were harder to sell, so the company moved away from developing its own games in that genre. Still, there was an opportunity in making an affordable option in the education genre for a home console, and Nintendo knew it needed to seize this opportunity.

Mario was the perfect way to present some form of learning experience in a fun package. The result was Mario Paint, which gave children many ways to exercise their creativity. Whether they wanted to draw pictures, create animation, or even compose their own tunes, Mario Paint provided kids with endless opportunities to express themselves.


Mario Paint wasn't alone

Even if you haven't played Mario Paint, you're probably at least aware of its existence. Did you know there were other installments in the series?

The Super Nintendo was followed by the N64, and naturally, Mario Paint had a few sequels on this newer console. These games, however, were not released in the U.S., or even on the base N64. Instead, they were sold for a disc drive add-on called the 64DD, which was intended to reach the States, but it bombed. As a result, Nintendo stopped supporting the 64DD less than a year after its release.


Four games were made under the rebranded Mario Artist banner: Paint Studio, Polygon Studio, Talent Studio, and the Communication Kit. Nintendo had even more in the works, but sadly the 64DD did not last long enough for those other installments to see the light of day. Because the unit sold so poorly, the Mario Artist games are quite rare

It's a shame the Mario Artist series didn't take off. Had the 64DD been a success and the Mario Artist games reached a wider audience, the Mario Paint series may have continued to this day. Perhaps one day Nintendo will give fans a new game in the series.