Last year Brian Miggels and Samuel Clairborn of IGN posted "The Mario You Never Knew," a highly intriguing article about elements that almost made it into the original "Super Mario Bros." game.
If I were to say Mario is the most iconic video game character of all-time, I don't know who would disagree. According to Wikipedia he has appeared in over 200 video games, which have sold over 200 million copies. The ultimate princess-saving-hero made his first appearance in the arcade classic "Donkey Kong." Then he was known simply as Jumpman. He was the product of one Shigeru Miyamoto, a legend among video game designers responsible for many Nintendo properties including "The Legend of Zelda," "Star Fox," "Pikmin," and of course "Super Mario Bros." and "Donkey Kong."
Check out the IGN piece for quotes from Miyamoto himself about the development of "Super Mario Bros." for multiple insights of what gaming's star almost was. He almost had a gun, he was going to fly, and he wasn't always a plumber?! All this and more to be discovered!
Will you find yourself saying "Thank goodness!" or "Awww... man!"? It is hard to imagine "Super Mario Bros." (widely regarding as one of the best games ever made) any different than it is. Still, it is fun to learn about the development process for the one, the only, Mario.