Because of humanity’s interest in getting fresh drinking water and getting as far away from waste as quickly as possible, it’s not surprising that the idea of sewer cleaners and plumbing contractors are in the public consciousness.
When that happens, it’s not surprising that these characters will seep into the popular culture, or, to use a more pretentious word, the zeitgeist. And as much as people might not think of plumbers as being something aspire to, subconsciously they view them as heroes. Don’t believe us? There are two plumbers that are the heroes of a multi-billion dollar industry…and you probably have some incarnation of them in your house right now.
Mario and Luigi Arrive!
Mario and Luigi are two plumbing brothers who first appeared in a stand-up arcade game in 1983 called Mario Bros., created by Nintendo legend Shigeru Miyamoto. In the game the plumbing brothers are trying to defeat creatures such as turtles and crabs in a sewer system by punching the ground underneath them, flipping the animals onto their backs and kicking them off the screen. Unlike nearly every subsequent Mario game, you’re not allowed to jump on top of the creatures.
(Some of you will be saying to yourselves, “wait a second, wasn’t that Mario in Donkey Kong?” While Mario originally appeared in Donkey Kong, there’s no mention of him being a plumber at all. Think of the situation: he’s climbing a building to defeat a huge gorilla, and the only thing he ever holds is a giant hammer. While that was certainly Mario, he didn’t exhibit any characteristics of a plumber or sewer worker.)
Then The Big One Hit
From there came Super Mario Bros., released on the Nintendo Entertainment System in 1985. This is the one that people remember most, because it came pre-packaged with most every NES system (and sometimes included Duck Hunt on the same cartridge.) If you played a single-player game, Mario was the only one you’d ever see. Luigi (in the green outfit) only appeared if you were the second player. This 31-year-old game is still being played today as people attempt “speed runs,” trying to beat the game in as short a time as possible. The current world record is 4:57 seconds. (The writer of this article could do it in 8 minutes back in the day, not bad for the time.)
Just How Popular Are They?
From there Mario and Luigi have gone on to appear in over 250 (!) video games since their first game together in 1983. They’ve appeared on consoles, stand-up machines, desktop computers, and handheld devices.
So you might not think of those who offer plumbing services as heroes, but a certain video game series has certainly made these two plumbers two of the most recognizable fictional characters ever. We’re pretty sure that when your pipes have burst and you you need emergency plumbers, the technicians at Garvin’s will look like heroes to you! Contact us at the first sign of trouble!