Nowadays Nintendo is one of the most beloved brands in all of gaming. Over the years they’ve given us some great characters such as Mario, Link, Donkey Kong and Kirby just to name a few. It’s safe to say that Nintendo is pretty much the Disney of the gaming world and their impact on the industry is a true testament to their success.
You may know a lot about Nintendo but there’s also a few things you might not know. Today you’re going to learn 6 surprising facts about Nintendo.
#6 – Super Mario Kart’s Characters Got Crunk In Japan
Not sure if the word crunk is still being used nowadays but it sounded appropriate for the header. Anyone who has played Super Mario Kart for SNES might be surprised to find out that some of their favorite characters have a drinking problem. In the Japanese version of Super Mario Kart most characters would celebrate winning the competition by holding a bottle of champagne and Bowser as well as Peach were even shown drinking from the bottle. Nintendo decided this just would not work in the American version and they decided to take it out of the game.
#5 – Nintendo Is Really Really Old…Like REALLY Old
Many people think of Nintendo as the company that helped define the modern era of video games with the NES in the 1980s but Nintendo has been around much longer than that. Nintendo actually started as a company that made toys and playing cards many years ago back in 1889. The company was originally famous for making Hanafuda playing cards which is a subject for a whole other article.
#4 – Nintendo Let One Of The Most Popular Games Of All Time Slip Through Their Fingers
After releasing quite a few Final Fantasy titles on their systems Nintendo saw major success with Final Fantasy VI in 1994. The company was planning on releasing the next installment in the series Final Fantasy VII on the SNES but a delay in production changed everything. Nintendo needed more time to work on the Squaresoft game Chrono Trigger, which forced production on Final Fantasy VII to be pushed back and the company planned to release it on their next system, the N64.
Squaresoft then decided to move the game to Sony’s Playstation console due to the fact that Sony was using CD-ROMS and Nintendo was sticking with cartridges for the N64. This is one of those facts about Nintendo that would prove to be a tough break for the company as Final Fantasy VII has sold over 10 million copies to date and seems to be the reason many people bought a Sony Playstation in the first place.
#3 – The D-Pad? Yeah, Nintendo Invented That
The D-Pad which is the directional pad commonly found on the left hand side of video game controllers is a staple in modern gaming and the industry has Nintendo to thank for it. The invention was designed by Gunpei Yokoi who originally created it for a handheld Donkey Kong game back in the year 1982. Which means this invention has been bringing people hours of entertainment and providing us with blisters on our thumbs for 32 years now.
#2 – Nintendo Owns A Major League Baseball Team
Back in 1992 Nintendo became the majority owners of the Seattle Mariners. That explains why you might see a few Nintendo advertisements at Safeco Field. Nintendo hasn’t made many changes to the Major League Baseball team but they did change their mascot to Super Mario for a very brief period of time. We would love to see Super Mario face off against the Green Monster from the Boston Red Sox in the next Super Smash Brothers game. Make it happen Nintendo, make it happen.
#1 – They Weren’t Always Family Friendly
Nintendo has quite the family friendly image nowadays but back in the day they were actually kind of shady. In the 1960s Nintendo opened up a “love hotel” which is a hotel that rents by the hour, which to put it bluntly means it was an establishment where people would go to engage in sexual activity with hookers. Surprisingly the hotel didn’t work out too well and ended up failing. Not surprisingly the location of this “love hotel” is now unknown as this is one of those facts about Nintendo they don’t want people to know.