Quick question: How old do you think Super Mario is?
Everyone's favorite Italian plumber is one of the most recognizable faces in gaming, and if you've ever picked up a GameBoy or N64, he was probably a massive part of your childhood.
I'm a big fan of the Mario games, but I can honestly say that never once have I considered the little man's age.
And why would I? I'd always be too busy leaping between platforms, beating the living crap out of other characters in the immortal Super Smash Bros or racing around tracks at breakneck speeds.
But in an old interview with Nintendo's Shigeru Miyamoto, we have the answer to a question that no one has ever really asked.
Mario is 24 or 25.
According to Niche Gamer, Miyamoto said,
I think it was fortuitous that we didn't put any restrictions on Mario as a character. Normally when you create a character and present him to the world, all the details get filled in: What's his favorite color? What kind of food does he like to eat? But aside from the fact that he's about 24-25 years old, we didn't define anything else.
To back this up, Mario is listed as being 26 in Super Smash Bros Melee.
There are conflicting accounts over whether Luigi is his twin or his younger brother, but either way, the green-clad hero is about the same age, or slightly younger.
You can make the case the Mario brothers are about this age, or younger still — after all, they love extreme sports, have endless energy and incredible athletic ability.
But if I had to guess, I'd have said Mario was a middle-aged guy.
We know he's a plumber, and it would be utterly irresponsible and ridiculous for that role to be carried out by a child (yes, I'm aware this is a fictional cartoon world, and no, that doesn't make my point invalid).
But really, it comes down to the strong 'stache.
Feast your eyes on that thing.
Surely no one under the age of 40 can grow a mustache that thick and glorious.
He's also carrying some extra timber, which is probably another reason why you thought he was a little older.
But forget that, he's probably about half the age you thought he was.
Childhood. Changed. Forever.