Why "8 Red Coins" are Rewarding in Mario Games
Starting in Super Mario 64, a new item has become a mainstay into the Super Mario universe - red coins. Coins have long been a collectible in most Mario games, where collecting 100 coins rewards a 1-Up.
Red coins were more rare in Super Mario 64, only with 8 of them in each stage, and collecting 8 red coins rewards a Power Star - a big reward to get you closer rescuing Princess Peach by unlocking more stages in the game.
But why red coins, and why eight of them? If you look at it a little bit more deeply, it probably was not something completely arbitrary. Perhaps there is a little bit of meaning behind the red coins.
Of course, Nintendo is based in Japan. Similar to other Asian cultures, the colour red is auspicious and considered lucky in Japan. Ok, so red coins could be a lucky type of coin.
Not only that the number 8 is also considered a lucky number in Japanese. The reason it is considered lucky is different than in Chinese (which sounds similar to "wealth" or "prosperous". In Japanese, they consider 8 prosperous because the character 八 "broadens gradually" as in the bottom of the character widens.
Some of the other rewards for Mario getting 8 red coins include: Shine in Super Mario Sunshine, Power-ups in the New Super Mario Bros. series, Super Mario 3D Land and Super Mario 3D World.
Perhaps luck is a big thing in the Marioverse. Mario is a man of few (spoken words), and one of the words he actually does say is "lucky" in Super Mario Advance when he's collecting a cherry. The Lucky Bell is the name of the power-up for Cat Mario in Super Mario 3D World. So it's fitting that getting 8 red coins in a Mario game is indeed very lucky as it gives you a nice prize.