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Producer of Paper Mario series has explained recent focus on existing Super Mario characters

In a recent interview with VGC Nintendo’s Kensuke Tanabe has explained that since the disappointing Paper Mario: Sticker Star on the Nintendo 3DS it is “no longer possible” to modify Mario characters, or to create original characters that are from the Super Mario universe. Here’s what Mr. Tanabe told the publication:

Mario is famous for its iconic cast of villains. Can you talk about the new villain in this game and how you design a character to stand alongside all-time greats like Bowser and Kamek?

Tanabe: Since Paper Mario: Sticker Star, it’s no longer possible to modify Mario characters or to create original characters that touch on the Mario universe. That means that if we aren’t using Mario characters for bosses, we need to create original characters with designs that don’t involve the Mario universe at all, like we’ve done with Olly and the stationery bosses.

Whether a character becomes an all-time hit or not isn’t up to us on the development side; I think it’s more the case that characters that fans truly accept naturally end up that way. I hope that the origami siblings in Paper Mario: The Origami King will stay in players’ memories, even if they do only end up appearing in this title.


18 thoughts on “Producer of Paper Mario series has explained recent focus on existing Super Mario characters”

  1. Why is it “no longer possible” nintendo? Original characters was one of paper mario’s defining traits :/

    Oh well, it’s not like origmai king won’t sell well anyways, giving the wrong message to nintendo. Gamer boycotts always fail anyways.

  2. Basically, we knew about this since Sticker Star. Miyamoto is basically saying “OG characters do not steal” not letting anyone alter his precious characters and not letting any creative freedom for any mario game (see how there weren’t any original bosses in New super mario bros wii, 2, WiiU) most of the new bosses are reused from other games like sunshine, smash, etc.
    So, Miyamoto is hurting the creativity, rpg elements aside. He should retire like the Gamefreak director is doing

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    1. He was introduced in a mainline Mario game. Those appear to be the exception.

      Though that raises the question as to why they don’t use characters like the Pinatas in the modern Paper Mario games.

    2. Captain Toad’s design isn’t even that unique to begin with. He’s just a regular Toad with distinct clothing. I’d say that’s pretty much on par with what we’re getting in Paper Mario games nowadays: Regular Toads who, occasionally, wear some distinct clothes (like shades or lab coats or whatever).

      The first two Paper Mario games were very different from this. The Toads in there not only had unique clothing, but also unique body shapes, colors and facial features. It seems to be this kind of liberty that’s no longer allowed in Paper Mario games, whatever the reason may be.

  6. I think I get it now. Nintendo saw all the Sonic OC’s and then the Paper Mario OC’s and realized they were heading in dangerous territory.

    The lesson here is that furries ruin good things.

  7. ok….but the game was crap. like ….fun in terms of exploring the world. but the gameplay is such junk. too bad it will just sell anyways. such a shame, everything on the switch has truly been the next level of each franchise….this was garbage like the last 2 games before it (super paper mario was good in its own way, but sticker start and color splash were not)
    its like they just want to kill the series but people keep buying the games so they just have to keep making them worse. so glad i didnt buy the copy i played

    1. I wouldn’t say every game.
      The way I see every new 1st-2nd party switch game falls into one of four categories. The first being basically what you described, next level, groundbreaking, just really freaking good.
      Examples here include Mario Odyssey, Breath of the Wild, Three Houses, Smash Bros. Ultimate, Luigi’s Mansion 3, Splatoon 2 (with DLC considered)
      Next are good games that could just fall shy of being in the first category because of stupid Nintendo or modern gaming decisions.
      This would be Animal Crossing New Horizons, Mario Tennis Aces, ARMS. I’m also gonna put Xenoblade 2 and Astral Chain here, they don’t do anything inherently terrible, they just aren’t as good as the games in the first category (XC2 especially is just inferior to the first XC)
      Next we have games that are about on par with series standards, making no effort or very minimal effort to grow.
      This segment belongs to Kirby Star Allies, Super Mario Party, Yoshi’s Crafted World, and I suppose this where Origami King would slot in but I don’t plan on playing it so you can be the judge of that.
      The last category is regression, where the new game is by all means inferior to games in the past… This is basically the Pokemon section.

  8. I’m worried about Metroid Prime 4 with Tanabe overseeing it. I have to wonder just how much input this guy had on the Metroid Prime games in the past cuz his recent endeavors tell me they took his input as “That’s a cute idea, Tanabe, but Sakamoto has a better idea. Now here. Go play with this Play-Doh.” Then some Yahoo had the “brilliant” idea to give him more control. That or he’s gone senile.

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