Of all the icons in gaming there can be few so immediately identifiable as Nintendo mascot "Super" Mario. With his fancy hat and erotic moustache and particular way of saying "woo-hoo", there's nobody else quite like him.
"Super" had a particularly busy 2014, starring in both Super Mario Kart 8 and two new Super Smash Bros. games - and later this year he'll be back in Mario Maker, in which you'll get the opportunity to place the diminutive Italian 'dungaroo' into thrilling adventures of your own devising.
"Super" Mario took some time out of his busy schedule to chat to Digitiser 2000.
SM: "Yeah, I'm mostly alright. I've been getting the runs a lot recently, but whatever."
CAN YOU TELL US A BIT ABOUT HOW YOU FIRST GOT INVOLVED IN VIDEO GAMES?
SM: "I was working as a waiter in an Italian restaurant, when that Nintendo guy - Shigeru Miyamoto, y'know - came in. I recall he ordered a bowl of lampredotto (cow's stomach) and engaged me in conversation about the film director John Woo, who I hadn't heard of at the time.
"That's how I got my signature catchphrase - 'Woo Who?'. After I angrily repeated the question to him ten or twelve times, as he stared at me impassively, Shigeru announced I'd make the perfect addition to his long-running series of games starring me. Unfortunately, the main thing I remember about that night is getting the runs."
WHICH GAME OF YOURS IS YOUR FAVOURITE?
SM: "It's gotta be the first - Donkey Kong. People might not know this, but I really do hate that ape. When you see me in the game running along the scaffolding with that mallet, I had every intention of hitting him in the face with it. I wouldn't have regretted it either. Not even if I'd gone to prison for hurting a monkey."
WHY DO YOU HATE DONKEY KONG SO MUCH?
SM: "He once inserted an old dog toy in my mouth, and it gave me the runs."
YOU'RE KNOWN FOR YOUR DISTINCTIVE DRESS SENSE. CAN YOU TELL US A BIT ABOUT THAT?
SM: "I don't dress like this for fun, y'know. It's all part of the branding. Unfortunately, the terms of the contract I signed when I first started working for Nintendo require me to literally glue the clothes to my body. As you can imagine, that can be problematic if you have the runs."
WHY DO YOU GET THE RUNS SO OFTEN?
SM: "I honestly don't know. I've seen several doctors about it, but they're always totally disgusted, because every time they start talking to me about the runs, I get the runs. Talking to you about it is giving me the runs right now. And I'm very sorry for that."
HAVE YOU TRIED TAKING IMMODIUM?
SM: "Mate, I've tried everything. Immodium, herbal treatments, acupuncture. I tried spraying my anus with Deep Freeze spray, but that just gave me a really itchy rash. I'm just resigned to the fact I'll probably always have the runs."
"SUPER" MARIO - THANKS FOR YOUR TIME.