Talking about cuteness reminded me of how Toad used to look pretty plain, but because he gets cat ears this time he looks cuter overall. Between that and his ability to quickly dash around, I think he turned into an incredibly attractive character.
Yeah. It may be a little rude to his fans to say it like this, but Toad is a surprisingly popular character.
Right. There’s even gameplay this time that features Toad.
Taking a cue from Super Mario Galaxy, there are games called “Captain Toad’s Adventure”, in which Captain Toad appears with his memorable little tune that goes “ta-dada-da-, ta-dada-da-”.
What kind of game is that?
It’s a sort of puzzle game in which you use the Wii U GamePad’s motion controls to control the camera angles and move Captain Toad around to collect five Green Stars in special courses. We put this in hoping people would try it out as a way to experience a game in which you control the camera yourself as you would in a 3D Super Mario game.
You invite the players to enjoy 3D Super Mario.
Yes. And this time Captain Toad has a backpack, making him heavy and unable to jump, so even enemies like Goombas suddenly become formidable enemies.
You can’t stomp on them! (laughs)
Yeah, you have to avoid them. That feels new, so it’s surprisingly fun.
If that had been suggested before it was finished, I might have said, “But then you can’t jump! No!” It’s clearly unusual for Super Mario.
But that was something else I thought would be fine because it’s fun. If we consistently stuck to Super Mario-like designs for all instalments, you might get tired of some things.
But I think that has been welcomed by the world and has spread ever since Super Mario Galaxy.
So this time, courses that are quite different begin filtering in during the latter half of the game.
That’s right. There’s a Japanese-style course and a course in the style of Mario Kart15.
15. Mario Kart: An action-racing series starring Mario characters. The latest instalment in the Mario Kart series is Mario Kart 7, a racing game released for the Nintendo 3DS system in December 2011.
A Japanese-style course?
There are tatami mats and paper-screened sliding doors. If you touch the Wii U GamePad screen, it opens the sliding doors.
We began making that course because the course designer wanted to do that. (laughs)
It’s Japanese in style, but there’s a Chinese gong. It’s sort of dubious, like Japan as mistakenly seen from abroad.
Well, with Japanese people making the game, I suppose it would be too much for the local audience if the team just made it normally. What is the Mario Kart course like?
First, we put in a dashboard, and when we were bringing it together toward the end, we discussed what motif to use, and…
You were like, “Make it Mario Kart!”
Yes. We borrowed it for the sake of resonance! (laughs)
When you play it, you’re like, “Is this Mario Kart?” . Even the background music is the same.
You even borrowed the background music? Well, you are in the same company, but… (laughs)
Yeah! (laughs) That kind of thing is usually something to look forward to after the ending, but this time we put it right out in front.
Then there must be something else to look forward to after the ending, right?
Yes. After the ending this time, Rosalina 16 becomes available as a playable character.16. Rosalina: A character who appears in the Super Mario Galaxy series.
Oh! Rosalina?! Who insisted on that, I wonder?
Um, you probably think it was me! (laughs) But Motokura-san came to me and said he wanted to put her in.
Motokura-san, why Rosalina?
I was thinking about what would be pleasing after the ending and wanted to bring in another female character in addition to Princess Peach. Rosalina has a following among the Super Mario Galaxy fanbase, and she’s appeared in Mario Kart recently, so I thought she was well known.
When Super Mario Galaxy first came out, I was a little hung up on why Rosalina was showing up when Princess Peach was already there. I thought it was fine as long as it was only Super Mario Galaxy, and we made her design so she’s a little bigger. But all of a sudden she was a regular character in Mario Kart as just a regular girl. Even her size normalised.
As they say, time solves all things.
If I think about it now, I’m like, “What was I so hung up on?!” I guess I was still green. (laughs)
This time, Rosalina has a special spin attack , so she can easily plough ahead if you just use her like normal.
You recommend using her for exploration after clearing the game?
Yes. But she loses her spin attack when in cat form.
Huh? She loses an ability when transformed?!
That’s right. But she also becomes an interesting character when transformed into a cat. She becomes a black cat.
Koizumi-san put in that request, saying it had to be black.
I knew it was Koizumi-san!
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