Nintendo director Shinya Hiratake has revealed that Link from The Legend of Zelda was going to be the star of Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker. Before Captain Toad made his debut in Super Mario 3D World, Hiratake wanted to create a game consisting of diorama-like levels where jumping wasn’t allowed. Since characters in the Mario universe are typically known for their jumping skills, a small team of designers developed a tech demo in which Link was the main protagonist and presented it to the legendary Shigeru Miyamoto.
“We must have done too good of a job with our demo,” said Hiratake, “because during our presentation, Mr. Miyamoto asked us how we were planning on bringing these dioramas into production. He thought we were pitching him an actual physical product design.”
“We like to think that Mr. Miyamoto finally realized the vision we had for a diorama those many years ago.”