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15 Nintendo facts we never want to hear again

From Jumpman to Final Fantasy VII...

There are some facts we never get bored of hearing. 'A bird's feathers weigh more than its skeleton', for example, or 'the average person accidentally eats 430 bugs a year'.


But there are some Nintendo-related facts that get trotted out so regularly - by bored hacks or drunk mates - that we'd be quite happy to never hear them again. The facts are these...

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1. Nintendo began life as a Hanafuda company in 1889
People spout this one off all the time, but whenever we ask them what 'hanafuda' is, they stare into the middle distance and make a guttural noise that sounds like a goose being ground up in the gears of an industrial machine.

If you're going to repeat this card game FACT, you need to also have a follow-up hanafuda FACT, such as 'hanafuda was banned in Japan in 1791, during the Kansei era'. And then hope they don't ask you any awkward questions about the Kansei era. Shame we don't have any Kansei era FACTS, eh?

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2. Translated into English, Nintendo means 'leave luck to heaven'
Yeah, right. Can anyone here speak enough Japanese to verify this? We reckon it could be a linguistic rib, like the time Team NGamer went to France and we made Matthew wear a T-shirt that read 'J'aime le poo-poo-poo dans ma bouche-bouche-bouche'.

In truth, the word Nintendo probably translates as 'Pull my finger, receive a surprise', a company motto that president Satoru Iwata is intent on taking to its terrifying conclusion.

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3. Mario used to be called 'Jumpman'
Oh man. We hope you never find out about the whole Opal Fruits/ Starburst thing, otherwise the NHS's £65 million mortgage debt will be dwarfed in comparison to the vast amount of resources and man hours it'll take for them to resuscitate you.

Yes, Mario used to be called Jumpman, and before that Mr Video, until some wag at Nintendo noticed that he looked a bit like the company's landlord, Mario Segale. The name stuck.

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4. Super Mario Bros 2 isn't a real Mario game
*Sigh* Surely everyone knows this one by now? It should be made a crime against obviousness to mention it.

Once more for the record: since the original Super Mario Bros 2 (which can be found on Virtual Console as The Lost Levels) was considered too difficult for feeble western thumbs, Nintendo re-skinned Yume Kojo: Doki Doki Panic, an obscure Arabian-themed platformer of dubious worth, and sold it under the Mario banner.

Ironically, nowadays many developers tone down the difficulty levels for Japanese audiences. Who's got the crappy thumbs now, eh?

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5. Shigeru Miyamoto cycles to work every day
The only reason he does this is because his car boot is crammed with decapitated cat bodies. Er, is that libellous?

Uh, in that case, what we mean is Shigeru Miyamoto bicycles to work every morning because he doesn't have a car, and we never tire of hearing that fact.

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6. The bushes in Super Mario Bros are green cloud sprites
A fun fact this, and one that shows the memory constraints developers once had to work with, but there's only so many times we need to be told.

To create the bushes in Super Mario Bros, the devs recoloured the top half of the cloud sprites and recycled them as shrubbery. Now we all know, it doesn't need repeating.

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7. Gunpei Yokoi, creator of the Game Boy, died in a road accident.
You've got to feel sorry for Gunpei Yokoi. One of Ninty's greats, his name should be spoken in the same hushed tones as Shigsy's.

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