News Article

Miyamoto Borking Super Mario Galaxy 2's Story

Posted by Jon Wahlgren

Doesn't want it to weigh down the game's fun feeling.

Traditionally, the core Mario games have never been heavy on story. The Princess gets herself into Bowser's clutches somehow, collect stars, yada yada yada. It's a classic formula, and one that series creator Shigeru Miyamoto finds to be good enough to get the game going. During E3, Wired caught up with Miyamoto about whether Super Mario Galaxy 2 will continue its predecessors story elements.

In short, not really.

I just feel that the Mario games are something that should be a much more bright and active experience. With the Mario games, you don’t need to have such a complicated setting where you have these particular characters with complicated backstories that can weigh down the bright and fun feel of the game.

He's got a point; too much story can sometimes turn traditionally simple games into burning disasters. Yoshiaki Koizumi, director of the Galaxy games, doesn't particularly agree with Miyamoto's story minimalism. Coming from a film and drama education, Koizumi loves him a well-spun yarn.

Mr. Koizumi is the type of person who, whenever we’re working on a new Mario game, he always wants to bring more story elements into it, as he did with Super Mario Galaxy. But in talking with him this time, he agrees and feels that with Galaxy 2, there won’t be a need for as deep of a story.

Koizumi could just be saying that, of course, because he's continually tried to sneak story elements into Mario and Zelda games, and who's to say he'll actually stop? He's responsible for the dream-plot of Link's Awakening, the original Galaxy's storybook hub and the little nuggets of story you can gleam from talking to people in Ocarina of Time and Majora's Mask.

“Well, I put a stop to that at the beginning, this time,” Miyamoto said, and for emphasis punched the air with his fist.

Score one for gaming's premiere banjo player! Miyamoto has also had a few battles with the team behind New Super Mario Bros. Wii regarding story.

They always want to have these dramatic scenes where Princess Peach gets kidnapped, but I always tell them, no, it’s fine — Princess Peach likes cake, so you can just have them use cake as bait to kidnap Princess Peach, and that’s enough. [...] I was thinking they could have these big ships come in, and they’ve got these big chains all over them, and they drop a plate down with cake on it.

It's official: Princess Peach is the single dumbest and most gluttonous gaming character ever created, end of story. Do you want more plot in your core Mario games, or are you perfectly satisfied with saving Peach again and again? Let us know!


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User Comments (66)



Corbs said:

But our princess is in another castle! (The story of my gaming life!)

I also remember reading a developer's inside story one time in which the developer stated that if you had to insert a lot of cutscenes and intermissions, that you weren't doing a very good job of carrying the story within the actual game itself. I'm not sure if I want every game to not have any cutscenes and intermissions, though. Especially RPGs.



warioswoods said:

"Princess Peach likes cake, so you can just have them use cake as bait to kidnap Princess Peach."

I thought she just liked baking them, since when you can lure her with a cake? That's how she has to lure Mario to the castle, as he's apparently more receptive to her cooking skills than her feminine wiles.

Miyamoto, what are you talkin' about?? Why would she love cake? She clearly doesn't eat much of it... is it aesthetic? Does she appreciate the skills of fellow bakers?



Rapadash6 said:

I always felt the same way about the story in games like this. Mario has never been about story and that's the way it should always be. Perhaps if Sonic kept things simpler, he would be in better shape than he is today, no? Can't wait for BOTH these Mario games btw.



Knux said:

Miyamoto is the man!
I think Mario platform games DO NOT need a deep storyline. A deep storyline might ruin those games. Let the deep storyline instead stay in the Mario RPG games. I think the only platform game that required a deep storyline was Super Paper Mario, but that was more of a spin-off and not a PURE Mario platform game.



warioswoods said:

Normally I'd be all in favor of cutting needless story bits in a platformer, but I actually enjoyed the slowly-revealed backstory of Rosalina, so I'm not sure how I feel about this.

If, however, he can compensate by featuring banjos on the soundtrack, it will be well worth it.



Will said:

Anybody else HATE the galaxy hub? And the stupid terrible Rosealie (?) character? Agree with the Sonic comment Rapadash6, Miyamoto needs to develop the next Sonic, theres not supposed to BE a story to the flippin game!!! ARRGGGHHH!!!!



Philip_J_Reed said:

If the story is reallllllly good (Majora's Mask) then by all means, load me up on story.

But if the story is just basic boilerplate stuff (Princess is kidnapped, again), whatever cutscenes or story-telling moments there are become an obstacle on the second play through.

The first time, it's fine. You don't mind it. The second time you already know the story isn't impressive, and you just want to play the game. You don't want to keep visiting Rosalina in the effing library to hear her read to lumas.

So, I don't know. It's nice when a game makes a gesture toward storytelling, in theory...but in practice, let the game do what it does best. If it's innovative platforming, a la Galaxy, just give us that.

A great game doesn't need a story; it's the experience of playing it that matters. A story can slow a great game down. It'd be like riding on an awesome roller coaster only for it to come to a dead stop every few seconds so that somebody in the front car can stand up and read to you from a book of children's folk tales. Dammit, let's just enjoy the coaster.



Noire said:

Miyamoto is exactly right in this instance. Most of the games he makes have no need of a complex story. They're all about enjoying the ride.

Of course, a small amount of story would be nice; I really enjoyed Rosalina's storybook in SMG. Princess Peach being lured away by cake is just kinda pathetic, not to mention incredibly stupid (on Peach's part).



Rum_Rapture said:

The Rosalina subplot in Galaxy was nice, though... Good accompaniment to the main story. It's not exactly like Galaxy was story driven, but rather complemented by the addition of one. And it's not like it bogged the game down in dialogue or anything. But it's the gameplay that matters, so assuming it'll be just as awesome as the first one, it's fine!



thewiirocks said:

Maybe I'm alone in this, but I liked the story elements in Mario Galaxy. They were a simple reward that encouraged me to continue playing. In fact, the hardest time for me in a game is whenever I hit that long stretch of repetitiveness where the game stops rewarding me for my actions. Which is about where I got in SMG.

(My kids have beat it though. Must be nice to have too much time on their hands. )

I will say that story is a balancing act. A little bit of story can be a reward system for playing the game. Too much story and you start creating paradoxes. i.e. How do I work this character into this situation while being internally consistent with everything that's happened before?

Miyamoto's take has always been, "it doesn't matter". Save the princess. That's all you need to know. All these dragons, walking mushrooms, odd tortoises, and squishy two-footers don't need to be explained. Just. Save. The. Princess. Good 'nuff.



Kizzi said:

I love stories! If they could add a good story like in the Paper Mario series that would make me really happy!



MarkyVigoroth said:

Heh, I think Mario games are best left simple. (After all, was not the Prince's favourite raamen "Just Raamen"?)



metakirbyknight said:

I like storys. I enjoyed Rosalina. I like the Lumas. I like the cutscenes. I li- Ahh! * holds up tomato-sheild*



warioswoods said:

I believe the "Hottest female..." thread already came up with the ideal cover for Galaxy 2.

Now they just need to write the story around that image. It will certainly involve Peach's cake fixation.



Link79 said:

As long as it's not overly complicated with multiple plot twists a little story in a Mario game is okay. It's not an RPG. It's about having fun.
If the game didn't have any cutscenes or any kind of tale to tell I'd be a little dissapointed. Btw as someone else asked. What the heck is borking?



Mayhem said:

Sorry Mario, but our cake is in another princess. After the Portal gag, had to get another one in... sorry!



Stevie said:

As long as you are not required to watch the cut scenes to understand what's happening in the game, and aslong as you can skip them then they can do as they please.



Kid_A said:

I agree with him. Mario games are about gameplay. I've never understood the people who wanted Mario to have some deep story. I mean think about it--he's an italian plumber who fights dragons and walking mushrooms to save a princess. In space. Riding a dinosaur. Kind of hard to make a cohesive story for that, you know?



theblackdragon said:

awesome. if I wanted to play an RPG, i'd play an RPG; i don't need any kind of deep story for an adventure game. the story behind Super Mario Galaxy felt so tacked-on and forced... knowing i won't have to sit through more lame cut-scenes that don't even need to be there for me to fully enjoy the game? it's a good feeling.

you the man, Miyamoto.



Linkuini said:

Good enough for me. Rosalina's storybook was cute and all, but it didn't really add much to the game. Plus, remember that ending cutscene? You know, the one where a hundred lumas fly into a black hole, a giant Rosalina tries to teach us a nonsensical lesson in astrophysics and Mario, Bowser and Peach somehow end up back on their own planet along with every other character that appeared in the game? What an incomprehensible load of space corn! It's like playing Kingdom Hearts, but not as extreme.



lockelocke said:

It's not like Mario reeeaaally has a story anyway. Princess nabbed by fat dinosaurish dude, nuff said.



Lady_Gryphon said:

Hey, what does borking mean? I thought it was some U.K. slang but then I saw Outrunner didn't know either.



Lady_Gryphon said:

Never mind. is my friend Apparently it's an "Americanism". * sigh * and I thought I had a good vocabulary.



ToneDeath said:

One of the best examples of videogame storytelling I can think of is Sonic 3 & Knuckles. Robotniks' manipulation of Knuckles, and the various appearences of the Death Egg; It's about as minimal as storytelling gets, yet it helps to engage you in the gameplay for the duration. If you've played it (especially with S3 & S&K combined) you'll know what I mean.



Twilight_Crow said:

I liked the little Rosalina's story on SMG too, it is OK to have a nice, simple and yet intelligent plot to follow on in this kind of games, of course there must be a balance, you don't want the story to slow down the accion on platformers and you don't want to have to play through half of an RPG before you get a piece of the story; but, the princess lured by a cake, c'mon the plot doesn't need to be a Shakespeare's drama but I'm sure even a child could make up something better than that, maybe lured by a free baking class.



Rum_Rapture said:

People are talking as if the Rosalina story in Mario Galaxy was a major thing. It was just an aside that was meant as a backstory for her, not as an integral part of the game or anything. You didn't need to know anything about the story to understand the ending...



odd69 said:

hmm why make mario rpg's then?why shouldn't the "triple A" mario titles get the same treatment as paper mario? Super Paper Mario is the best mario game just because of the story. after all these years i've always wanted to get to know those characters wouldn't you agree?if nintendo decided to make a big story in galaxy 2 i wouldnt complain at all.



theblackdragon said:

@Rum Rapture: i would agree with you if the ending of the game had not been the way it was. It was just really weird with all the 'mama' stuff and the lumas being reborn... if i'm playing a Mario game, i want to save Peach and kick Bowser's butt. Rosalina was a distraction at best, and I didn't need to know anything about any lumas, just that they're cute and they live on a giant comet-spaceship-thing.

@odd69: Super Mario RPG and Paper Mario/Super Paper Mario are RPGs (adventure RPGs if you want to get picky about it). Super Mario Galaxy is more of a successor to Mario 64, which was not an RPG. If they'd like to come up with a good, solid story and work it into SMG2, that would be one thing, but don't tack on some lame little story to what should be just a fun adventure game just because, 'cuz there's no reason for that at all.



Rum_Rapture said:

@theblackdragon: But given that they were introducing her as a brand new character it didn't hurt to tell us a little bit about her, cos otherwise she'd be this totally unknown character with no real meaning. It wouldn't really matter if they didn't do the same thing in the sequel, because she's an established character now. And it did explain why the Lumas followed Rosalina as well. So the story did have its uses!



theblackdragon said:

@Rum Rapture: but she wasn't necessary at all. she was like a fifth wheel to the character lineup, completely forgettable. i would have been happy had she not been in SMG, and I'll be happy not to see her in the next game, to be completely honest.



Rum_Rapture said:

@theblackdragon: Well, Mario did use her observatory to get to all the galaxies, and she did find him when he failed to stop Bowser kidnapping Peach in the first place, so I think she's going to have to be in the next game unless he does it by other means. Even so, I don't think she was ever intended to be essential. I mean, really, Princess Daisy doesn't do anything of import, but she turns up all the time unnecessarily



theblackdragon said:

@Rum Rapture: it could also easily have been just the Lumas' observatory and Mario was helping them get back their stars so that they could help him get to the center of the universe, though.

Princess Daisy, at least, is the princess of Sarasaland in the Super Mario Land series, and doesn't she end up paired with Luigi in Mario Tennis or something? Rosalina is a random outsider who they decided to give an unnecessarily deep backstory to, though, and thus she doesn't feel like an integral part of the Mario universe at all.



Rum_Rapture said:

@theblackdragon: It could have. But it doesn't make a difference. She is a space princess who acts as a mother to cuddly adorable stars and has an observatory that she lets Mario use on his quest. It's suitably nonsensical for the nonsensical Mario canon!



theblackdragon said:

@Rum Rapture: you're right, it makes no difference, but that doesn't change the fact that I feel Rosalina was a tacked-on character that hurt Super Mario Galaxy more than she helped it, and I hope she doesn't feature as prominently (if at all) in the sequel. it also doesn't change the fact that I'm glad Miyamoto is apparently going to take it easy on unnecessary story elements in the sequel.



Stuffgamer1 said:

Mario games do need at least SOME story. I really liked Galaxy's story, but felt that the story in New Super Mario Bros. was WAAAAAY too basic. Every Mario game should at LEAST have one really cool cutscene like at the start of Mario Power Tennis. Now imagine that scene, but in the context of a platformer in which Peach gets kidnapped (naturally meaning it doesn't end with Mario's victory, or at least that half comes at the end of the game). With production values like that, it would be AWESOME! SO much better than Bowser Junior running up and snatching Peach outta nowhere.



Kidpit said:

I don't mind a little story in my games. It's okay if it's not as deep as a Metal Gear Solid game but I would like to me a tad more complex then the bad guy waving his wand and saying that he capture what/whoever your trying to save/collect (like in Spyro: Enter The Dragonfly).



Kim_Jong-Il said:

If you want a great story play TWEWY, if you want to jump on goombas play Mario. Personally, I play both.



minimario_man said:

every platformer that has atempted to put story before gameplay had failed. Platformers are not about plot, their about gameplay. However a hiden backstory, like Rosalina's past was an effective system with the library. I just think mario games shouldn't be story heavy.



minimario_man said:

Rosalina wasn't tacked on, she could have been if they didn't include her backstory. I also enjoyed her as a character as she was more surreal than peach or daisy. Sonic games tack on characters, just who the hell were team chaotix anyway?!?



Chunky_Droid said:

Meh, all Mario games have done fine, I do like the backstories in Zelda games however, and to an extent Metroid.

I'm happy with Mario as is



MrPanic said:

Yeah, Rosalina had a nice backstory, which luckily was optional. She was a bit out of place cause she's like a princess just like Peach, Mario could be lured into cheating on Peach if this game would be a bit more realistic. Off course it isn't so it doesn't matter. I'm pretty sure Rosalina will be back in the sequel with more story, she must be. The story in Galaxy was a nice distraction if you wanted one, and skipable if you don't want it, the way it should be.

Yeah, the beginning and end of Galaxy was a bit over the top for a Mario game, a bit out of place maybe, but it doesn't matter ones you're collecting stars so whatever.



JimLad said:

"They always want to have these dramatic scenes where Princess Peach gets kidnapped, but I always tell them, no, it’s fine — Princess Peach likes cake, so you can just have them use cake as bait to kidnap Princess Peach, and that’s enough. [...] I was thinking they could have these big ships come in, and they’ve got these big chains all over them, and they drop a plate down with cake on it."

I would love to be in these brainstorming sessions.
But yeah, screw the story and new characters, you don't want it to turn out like Sonic - "It's the new ultimate genetically engineered life form: Angst The Hedgehog



FantasiaWHT said:

Put me into the "really enjoyed the background plot" of SMG. You could completely ignore it if you wanted to, but it was a nice addition for those of us who actually like to read once in a while.



Philip_J_Reed said:

"Likes to read once in a while" does not necessarily equal "likes to trundle through page upon page of rechristened storybook cliche."

For the record.



Adam said:

I wonder if there'll be a Princess Peach cameo in Fat Princess since she likes cake so much.



Objection said:

Miyamoto's quote at the end...made me cry. I know Mario is not Xenosaga, Final Fantasy, etc. but really? Just let her get kidnapped (again) by CAKE?! The cake is a lie!!



Rum_Rapture said:

@Chicken Brutus: A chapter takes about a minute to read, or you can flip through the pages in a matter of seconds, or you can just not go to the library at all. It's hardly trundling through a mass of text!



geekspert said:

I hate to break this to everyone and ruin the family friendly image of Nintendo, but "Cake" is actually an illegal drug. It was first reported on British TV on Channel 4's brilliant documentary series, Brass Eye, about 10 years ago. Just enough time for it to spread to the Mushroom Kingdom. Let's just hope that Peach doesn't develop "Czech Neck"

Check the clip here:



J-Man said:

Miyamoto made an excellent choice. If they reveal too much story, the Mario games wouldn't be too much to look at. Look at what happened to some of Sonic's sequels. I think SonicCD hit its peak.



grenworthshero said:

borking is an "americanism"? Where have I been all my life? I think if it's an "Americanism", it probably went "way of the dodo" around the same time as the dodo



lovesnaruto512 said:

LOL! it was pretty funny how miyamoto said to give princess peach some cake XD!! having said that, that means that peach will become the "fat princess". If I had a PS3, i would so buy that game!

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