Nintendo is a consumer electronics company centered around the development of video games, and hardware to run them. The company was founded in 1889 by entrepreneur Fusajiro Yamauchi, originally as a seller of hanafuda playing card games, at the time banned by the Japanese government due to its ties to gambling; Yamauchi's hanafuda playing cards were one of few that were permitted for sale to the Japanese public. Around the 1960s, Nintendo started to experiment with numerous ventures, including a taxi service (their most successful venture at the time), love hotels, a TV network, and the sale of instant rice. After securing the rights to distribute the Magnavox Odyssey game console in Japan in 1974, Nintendo started to solely focus on the development of video games and gaming hardware for both arcades and home use. Today, Nintendo is best known for its participation in the video game console market, with consoles such as the DS, Game Boy, Wii, NES, and most recently, Switch. They are also the owners of numerous iconic gaming franchises, including Super Mario, Donkey Kong, Pokémon, Metroid, The Legend of Zelda, Star Fox, Kid Icarus, Kirby, and Pikmin, among others.
Nintendo began to use stylized logos in their games in 1990.
1st Logo (November 21, 1990-October 21, 2003)
Logo: On a black background, we see "- Nintendo -" in its corporate font without the oblong shape. Below it is "Presents".
Music/Sounds: A random sound effect from the game.
- On Super Mario World and Super Mario World 2: Yoshi's Island for SNES, the coin collect sound effect from the game is heard.
- On Yoshi's Island: Super Mario Advance 3, Yoshi says the word "Nintendo".
- On Yoshi's Story, a chorus of Yoshis say "Nintendo".
- On The Legend of Zelda: A Link To The Past, the Rupee collect sound effect from the game plays.
- On Super Scope 6, none.
Availability: Uncommon. Seen on Super Mario World, Super Mario World 2: Yoshi's Island, Yoshi's Story, The Legend of Zelda: A Link To The Past, Super Scope 6, Super Mario Advance 2: Super Mario World, Super Mario Advance 3: Yoshi's Island and Super Mario Advance 4: Super Mario Bros. 3. On Super Mario Advance, there was no Nintendo logo at all.
2nd Logo (King of the Zoo variant) (1990)
This logo contains flashing images at 0:09-0:10.
The video of this logo may be too loud or severely distorted.
Logo: Same as the Nexoft logo used in Penguin Wars, but with the corporate Nintendo logo, sans the oblong shape.
Technique: See Nexoft.
Music/Sounds: See Nexoft.
Availability: Ultra rare. Seen only on King of the Zoo, a European localization of Penguin Wars for the Game Boy.
3rd Logo (September 1, 1992-December 1994, December 12, 2010) (USA)
Logo: On a black background, we see the normal Nintendo logo, but the oblong shape is stretched out a bit. On top of the text is a gold Mario coin that shines once.
Variant: On Super Mario Kart, Yoshi's Safari, Super Punch-Out!! (this game has the logo in silver), and Stunt Race FX (this game has the logo in pink), there is no gold Mario coin.
Technique: Sprite-based 2D animation.
Music/Sounds: The coin sound effect from the 1st logo.
- On Stunt Race FX, a honking sound effect is heard.
- On Super Punch-Out!!, a bling sound akin to the Game Boy startup the is heard.
Availability: Uncommon. Seen on Super Mario Kart, Super Mario All-Stars (+ Super Mario World), Stunt Race FX, Super Punch-Out!!, Yoshi's Safari, and Super Mario All-Stars 25th Anniversary Edition. The Super Mario Advance series doesn't have this logo, as in the first game there was no Nintendo logo at all, and the later three use the first logo.
4th Logo (October 1992- )
Logo: We see either the Nintendo logo on either a black or white background or copyright information for the company below the title screen of the game.
- On NTSC-J/PAL releases of some Nintendo games, the logo is colored in blue instead of red.
- On Super Mario 64, the Super Mario 64 logo pops up before zooming out and fading away, with copyright information for Nintendo seen below.
Music/Sounds: None or the opening theme of the game.
- The coin collect sound effect from the Mario series is heard on Super Mario 64, Super Mario Sunshine, New Super Mario Bros., and Super Mario 64 DS.
- On Super Mario 64, we also hear Mario saying "It's-a-me, Mario!"
Availability: Very common. One of the first games to contain this logo is the US version of NCAA Basketball (SNES). It can be seen on most Nintendo games and their title screens such as Paper Mario, Mario Party 5, The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker, among others. This logo is absent on the Super Mario Advance series; in the first game there was no Nintendo logo at all, and the other games use the 1st logo. In most relatively recent games such as New Super Mario Bros. Wii, the logo is absent, but it still shows up occasionally, such as on Kirby and the Forgotten Land.
5th Logo (Eternal Darkness: Sanity's Requiem custom variant) (June 24, 2002)
The video of this logo may be too loud or severely distorted.
Logo: On a black background, we see some reddish-gray smoke rising, forming a red skeleton with its eyes lit green, which then looks to the camera with its mouth opening. Its eyes brighten up before a cyan flash of light appears, causing the skeleton to melt to the right, off the screen. The flash becomes a beam of light, circling around before it reaches the bottom-center of an outline of the Nintendo logo. It flashes even brighter and the full Nintendo logo appears in light blue. Throughout its screen time, the color of the Nintendo logo changes to red.
Variant: On the PAL/European versions of the game, the Nintendo logo would turn blue instead of red.
Technique: All CGI.
Music/Sounds: Ominous orchestral music, accompanied by the skeleton growling. After a phasing sound when the Nintendo logo gets formed, a deep "thud" is heard and a deep male announcer says the company name.
Availability: Extremely rare. Only seen on Eternal Darkness: Sanity's Requiem for the Nintendo GameCube.
Legacy: The smoke, the frightening and jarring appearance of the creature growling, the orchestral sting and the creepy announcer will be very unsettling to most, but this is undeniably intentional, given the subject matter of the game that follows this logo.