Press the Buttons (via Fast Co.) recently got their hands on something very special: a copy of Nintendo's Style Guide, a 1993 document that sought to formalise all kinds of weird Nintendo-related mascot matters, like what exact colour Mario's and Samus' outfits have to be.
It's as obsessive as it is fascinating.
Mario's famous overalls, for example, must be Pantone 293, while his iconic red cap has to be Pantone 485.
Note: his colours may have changed in the years since, not enough for you to notice it, but enough for a design nerd to say "IT'S NOW A SLIGHTLY DIFFERENT SHADE".
I found the height chart more interesting, though. It breaks down what every character's size must be in relation to everyone else in the Mushroom Kingdom, and the standard by which all other heights are judged appears to be Peach's crown. If every game's story revolves around Peach, then it's only right that the universe's size itself is measured against her.
Also amazing: Samus' colour rules, if only because it's such a killer illustration.
That last one is pretty cool.
You can read the whole thing here.
Total Recall is a look back at the history of video games through their characters, franchises, developers and trends.