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How your favorite Nintendo characters have evolved over time

Why is Donkey Kong wearing cutoff shorts? A new video series looks at how Mario and other popular Nintendo characters have changed over the years.

It's-a-me, Mario! The world's most popular plumber and several other Nintendo characters have been around for about 30 years now, and a new series of videos looks at how they've evolved over the past three decades.

The videos come courtesy of PicClick -- a visual search tool that aims to make eBay searches easier -- and each takes a look at a single character in the Nintendo universe from its initial debut to its most recent likeness on the current-generation Nintendo Wii U gaming console. PicClick gave CNET an exclusive peek at the series, which hasn't officially launched yet.

From their pixelated beginnings in games like Super Mario Bros. and Donkey Kong to current hits like Mario Kart 8 and Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze, six popular Nintendo characters are captured in the video clips. The clips really give a sense of how these characters have changed over time, and how they've stayed the same.

For example, Mario has always worn a shirt and overalls, but when he first appeared in the 1981 classic Donkey Kong, his overalls were red and his shirt was blue. Mario switched to a green shirt and red overalls in the original Super Mario Bros. (1985) before settling into his current standard outfit of red shirt and blue overalls, a reverse of his original attire.

Donkey Kong has also changed. He originally didn't really wear much of anything in the first few decades, then apparently decided to sport a tie in 1994's hit Donkey Kong Country. He's stuck with the tie ever since, even eventually getting one with the initials DK emblazoned on the front, lest he or anyone else forget exactly who he is.

The sole exception to that rule is Donkey Kong's latest game -- Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze, in which the beloved ape wears a tank top with cutoff shorts, a bandana and sunglasses for some reason. And no, you can't un-see Donkey Kong's wacky outfit, so consider yourself warned.

You can watch the Mario video above, and the Donkey Kong and Link (from Legend of Zelda) videos below. Get looks at the rest of the characters -- which include the likes of Kirby, Princess Peach and Samus (from Metroid) -- on PicClick's blog.