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Wait, Mario's Hat Hasn't Always Been Red

Wait, Mario's Hat Hasn't Always Been Red
Nintendo

Written by 

Tom Chapman

Posted 

10th Mar 2022 11:49

He's one of the most iconic faces in video games, but some 41 years after that portly plumber leapt into our lives as "Jumpman" for 1981's Donkey Kong arcade game, it turns out we barely know him at all. For example, did you know Mario's hat hasn't always been red? Exactly... our whole life has been a lie.

From his original inception, creator Shigeru Miyamoto never thought Jumpman would be popular and had only planned him for cameo appearances every now and then. However, the character turned into a breakout star of Donkey Kong and returned four years later for Super Mario Bros. as a fully-formed Mario.

Across the decades, Mario has become an icon of the industry, and although he's changed a lot from his 2D pixel days, he's always been known for his red hat and overalls... or so you'd think?

Has Mario's Hat Always Been Red?

A fascinating thread appeared on Twitter and claimed that only one of Mario's appearances can really claim he's got a red hat. The account @MarioBrothBlog grabbed samples of the plumber's signature hat from a number of games, then put them in Photoshop - using the colour dropper to find their true shades.

They deciphered the hex colour of Mario's hat, and it turns out that only Super Mario 64 has the hex numbering of #FF0000, which is known as true red. From the brownish hues of his early games through to a vibrant Super Mario Sunshine and maroon Super Mario Galaxy, it's a Dulux colour chart of different shades. 

Yes, we know it's a bit pedantic, but if you look at the colour chart, it's pretty clear his Super Mario World hat is closer to pink. You only have to look at screenshots of Mario riding Yoshi in the 1990 classic to agree his hat definitely looks pink. 

What Have Fans Said About Mario's Hat?

Super Mario World might be an anomaly, but even then, it's close enough to red to let it pass. Look, Mario's hat is red. Even if colourists will be furious at this statement, most of us can agree that Cappy from Super Mario Odyssey is red. The tweet goes on to explain that advances in technology mean there are no flat areas in Cappy, meaning it's impossible to figure out a single tone of his colour. 

 

Championing the pure hat of Super Mario 64, one fan gushed: "I always kinda enjoyed how 'bright' Mario looked in 64 and I guess this kinda explains it. Really the game in general is super colorful despite it being really primitive early 3D. That color feels more eye-catching than other platformers from the time period." Another added: "That pinkish tone in Super Mario World created this warm, dreamy feel. Maybe that's why lots of people favor that game over other ones."

As part of the thread, one gamer went on to ask what's the most yellow Wario. Can we call it yellow or is it lemon? Also, what about Luigi, is his hat green or lime? Either way, this one has opened up a whole can of worms, meaning someone is sure to tackle Waluigi and say his overalls are violet instead of purple.

 

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