An archetype is the universally understood symbolic representation of an object. In the Mario video game series, the three main characters display glaringly obvious archetypes; Mario, the confident hero; Princess Peach, the damsel in distress; and Bowser, representing Satan.
Mario is a classic, side-scrolling game with about as much of a storyline as most garden hoses. The premise is that Bowser, a giant, fire-breathing turtle, kidnaps princess peach. Mario, upon hearing of this tragedy, sets out on his 2-D adventure across strange lands and even stranger castles to rescue his princess. He jumps across the stage, eventually making it to a castle, and a bizarre creature (that he defeats), only to be confronted with a message: "Sorry Mario, your princess is in another castle."
Mario is the fearless hero, transformed from his humble profession as a plumber, to fireball hurling powerhouse. Bowser, an evil, giant, spiked turtle (that can breath fire), personifies greed and evil, perhaps even showing the evil in humans, or giving form to Satan himself. Finally, Princess Peach, the damsel in distress, and the object and holy grail of the quest. All are well known archetypes, people can relate to the characters in some way, even if the relation is to the undesirable qualities.