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Super Mario 3D Land Director Wanted Cape Mario

Posted by Thomas Whitehead

Fluttering in 3D

Last week's Game Developer's Conference was clearly an ideal opportunity for Nintendo's brightest to talk about the company's main mascot. Koichi Hayashida, a key figure in all things Mario nowadays, revealed that Mario could have had a skateboard, amongst other things, and that he wanted Donkey Kong and Pikmin cameos in Super Mario Galaxy 2. In yet another interview, this time with Modojo, Hayashida revealed that rather than Tanooki Mario, he wanted Super Mario 3D Land to feature Cape Mario from Super Mario World on Super NES.

Almost all of the 3D Mario games have a jump delay mechanic that allows people to slow their fall a little bit so they can look very carefully where they are going to land. You might remember that Mario 64 didn't have anything like that, but Sunshine introduced the FLUDD jetpack that allowed the player to hover and delay their fall a bit.

In Super Mario Galaxy, you have the spin, which you can do midair during a jump, and Super Mario Galaxy 2 had Yoshi, who has a bit of a flutter kick.

We knew that we needed one of these mechanics in Super Mario 3D Land to balance gameplay. Fairly early in development, Mr. Miyamoto suggested the Tanooki Suit. Now, myself being a fan of Super Mario World, I really wanted to go with Cape Mario, but he shot that down.

Hayashida also acknowledged the 'possibility' of a Mario level editor in future, and explained what would prompt Nintendo to produce Super Mario 3D Land 2 for 3DS.

Well, maybe one way for me to respond to that question is to talk about how we developed Super Mario Galaxy 2, the second of two games on the same hardware. We often rely on new hardware innovation to push us to new places when developing Mario games, trying to find a unique match with the hardware's capability with the familiar but fun Mario gameplay experience.

When you're suddenly in the position to make a Super Mario Galaxy 2 on the same hardware, you find yourself in a very different position. It's going to be much more of a struggle to come up with ideas, because this is the exact same way you brainstormed for the first game. Hopefully, you have ideas that didn't make it into that first title, or things you weren't able to do for some other reason.

In the case of Super Mario 3D Land, I felt we got so much of what we wanted to do into the game, that we would start from a difficult position in having to come up with something from the same process.

Having said that, we are always thinking of new possibilities for Mario gameplay experience, whether it's on a portable or console.

Although Hayashida has expressed doubts about a sequel it seems that plenty of ideas were left on the cutting room floor, just waiting to be retrieved and given a second chance.


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User Comments (47)



JayceJa said:

considering cape mario is pretty much the same, but doesnt look as nice IMO, i prefer tanooki over it, however personally i would have preferred raccoon mario as a more subtle change than the full tanooki suit, perhaps tanooki mario as the upgraded version

i do agree the tanooki suit was massively overused in the game though, hopefully if they do do a second game, they vary the powerups both in which ones are in the game and how they are used more




Cape Mario would have been nice to see imo, I will say that. Just don't get why Miyamoto would shoot a choice like that down? :/ All in all, there is another choice people do forget that could have been maybe fun to see. Bunny Mario from Super Mario Land 2: 6 Golden Coins. Imagine how funny it would be to see Mario with the rabbit ears again as he slowly descends down to the ground once again. Pure genius imo.



NintyMan said:

I would've liked to have Cape Mario appear in some way, but I like Tanooki Mario better and wouldn't have wanted the cape to replace the tanooki suit. There's always the next game.



bezerker99 said:

Old Mario games didn't focus/settle on one particular upgrade. I don't know why they couldn't have put all of the oldschool powerups in the game. I would have put them all in there - frog suit, cape mario, etc.



ThrowdownN64 said:

I've wanted the cape in a new mario game since super mario world
Come on Nintendo surprise me in New super Mario Bros 3D!



techwiz97 said:

I agree with Jumbif. I think that they overused the thing, but they would have done the same thing with the cape. However, Super Mario World was my FAVORITE GAME, so I would have enjoyed it more.



Savino said:

Miyamoto shut down a lot of good ideas... Anf the rsult was an ok mario game...

I respect his work a lot, but I dont know if his presence is healthy for the game creation anymore.



Kyloctopus said:

They say that they rely on innovation but SMG2 was just a repeat to Galaxy 1. As for Cape Mario, it's a little to Similar to tanooki Mario, and the propeller block.



metafaniel said:

The Tanooki Suit was great but it lacks the hability to fly as in SMB3. My guess it's that for some reason, they didn't found functional or possible to introduce to gameplay the hability to fly freely and so, the cape wouldn't have fin because of it's fly capability. I don't know why he says it's difficult to start the process of a new game, if himself it's saying they had a lot of ideas! A Mario game with skateboarding and a flamant return of the cape, will be a good game indeed =)



Savino said:


A good day will be the day when nintendo make a game like SMW.
No better mario was ever made since.



retro_player_22 said:

The Cape (power feather) is likely one of the most powerful power-up ever invented in the Super Mario series. In Super Mario World, you could practically beat almost any level if you knew how to master the power of the cape.



FonistofCruxis said:

I can see why they removed the ability to fly in SM3DL as the levels in that game don't really seem suited to a flying ability and since the cape is solely for flying, I think its goof that they went for the Tanooki suite instead.



Marakuto said:

Wow imagine gliding to the flag pole, that would be great with also the spinning attack too.



TrueWiiMaster said:

Personally, I prefer the cape to the tanooki tail, but the cape really doesn't hearken back to the olden days like the tail does. Also, I thought it was pretty cool to have the tanooki tail on enemies, especially Bowser, and I can't see that working with the cape. I mean, a caped Bullet Bill or Goomba would be awesome, but seeing Bowser in a cape would be pretty weird...

Then again, Peta couldn't say anything about a cape... or could they?



ShadJV said:

I loved Cape Mario... but I don't know if it could work well in 3D. I mean, I didn't think the Tanooki suit would work... but then again, it didn't. Perhaps the cape would've been better because if they have to ruin an idea, why'd it have to be the Tanooki? Mistake 1: Putting Tanooki tails on EVERYTHING, their response to us saying we love the Tanooki suit is to SPAM it. Mistake 2: It can't even fly! Granted, it might be cheap then and allow some levels to be flown over... then again, couldn't players sometimes do that before?

I do hope they have Super Mario 3D Land 2... and I would like it longer, with downloadable levels, and a level editor. I would forgive Nintendo for killing my beloved Tanooki then.

@DictatorJumpMad: Frog Mario would've worked great, they could not have ruined that (unless they made it not swim or something), it would be great for 3D.



Capt_N said:

@ShadJV Yes, the tail was over-spammed, it looked like, & I only played a few minutes of the game at Target. I would have much rather preferred basic Raccoon Mario/Luigi, w/ the ability to fully fly. & yes, players could pretty much fly through, or for a better word, over (entire) levels in SMB3, esp. w/ a P-Wing.

I'm just one of those that like SMB3 over World, but I also liked SMAdvance 4, for having basically a Mario everything-fest, in those e-reader cards. Edit: technically, I know that data wasn't in the cards, but accessed by the scanning of the cards; already in the game program/data.



warioswoods said:

I ended up hating the Tanooki tail in SM3DL, mainly because it severely slows down your gameplay and even messes up some crucial speed moves like the roll-jump. It also takes the tension out of the jumps.

After a while, I started intentionally letting myself get hit every time I had the tanooki, so I could lose it and drop back to straight-up platforming bliss. But I did enjoy the fire power and boomerangs just fine. I also found using the propellor blocks to be great fun in 3d.



Punny said:

I like the way this guy thinks. The Cape Feather was a fantastic power-up in Super Mario World and should make a return in a future game.



Moonhillwat said:

Take all the ideas that were shot down for Super Mario Galaxy 2 and Super Mario 3D Land. Skateboarding, Donkey Kong & Pikmin cameos, and the cape...and boom! We got us Super Mario 3D Land 2. Why not?

To me, it sounds like they're just talking pretty, when in reality they want to force a type of rarity on Mario game releases so that if you really want to buy the next installment, you HAVE to get the new hardware it was designed for.

"Each Mario game (since 64) has been designed for the console, which is why we only have one per console" or whatever they said, for me, translates to:

"We know you love Mario, and we know he sells consoles. So we're going to make it so that if you want to play another Mario game, we're going to wait until the next console/handheld comes out so you'll be forced to buy it in order to play more."



ShadJV said:

@Capt_N When I first got the game, I was annoyed Tanooki couldn't fly but decided to be happy to finally have it in 3D. Then I saw a Goomba with the Tanooki tail and shrugged it aside, assuming it was like the Goombas using Kuribo's Boot in SMB3. Then I saw Bullet Bills with Tanooki tails. Then Bob-ombs with Tanooki tails. And by the time I saw Thwomps with Tanooki tails, I wanted to strangle myself with a Tanooki tail. But I digress.



grimbldoo said:

I think that Super Mario 3D Land is a good way to bring back all of the things that we love about Mario. I also liked how this one wasn't that long, it made it more enjoyable than some other Mario Games (New Super Mario Bros for the DS). They can keep making short games and bring back some more old stuff and put new stuff in each game.



RantingThespian said:

If I had to choose between the Cape and the Tanooki suit . . . I'd go with the Tanooki suit. It is my second favorite Mario power-up (first being Kuribo's Shoe).



SamsonCat said:

"Hayashida also acknowledged the 'possibility' of a Mario level editor in future, and explained what would prompt Nintendo to produce Super Mario 3D Land 2 for 3DS."




dizzy_boy said:

well, nintendo had better get working on some other IP`s for the 3DS if they want to warrent that excuse.
there were 4 mario platformers for the NES if you take lost levels into account.
tbh, there really shouldn`t be any problem with making atleast one sequal for the 3DS, even if the game is vastly different from the first.



StarDust4Ever said:

Cape Mario would be difficult to implement in a 3D game. You would have to go from a side mechanic to a forwards mechanic, then it would function more like the Wing Cap in Mario 64, which was itself awesome, and likely directly inspired by the Feather/Cape in Super Mario World.

On the topic of guided jumps, it makes sense now that some of the later levels of M64, Tick Tock Clock and Rainbow Ride, it was so difficult to get the last shines. I remember nearly getting the "Stomp on the Thwomp" Star, and I just had to long jump over to a platform with the star plainly visible, and somehow I fudged the jump, falling to great depths, hitting a ledge hard (taking off 4 health counters), then falling again to the bottom of the clock tower almost in the same spot where I started the level (losing another 4 health wedges, KO'ing Mario), and falling off the ledge once again into the bottomless pit, with zero health (I was already dead anyway from my two falls and a grand total 8 damage wedges, but exiting via the pit at the bottom just adds insult to injury). Maybe if Mario 64 had the option to steer mid-flight (the 2D Marios can all steer mid-flight), I would have recovered, rescued the star, and saved my ego.

And Hayashida, please consider a level editor in future 2D Marios. People have been creating new Mario levels illegally for over a decade, now give the fanboys what they want so they don't have to continue hacking old Mario games.



Emaan said:

I really liked Tanooki Mario, they can always put Cape Mario in another game!



Tasuki said:

I am glad that they did bring back Tanooki Mario rather than the cape but I do agree with some that they did overuse the Tanooki way too much in this game. Like they didnt have to give nearly every enemy in the game the Tanooki tail. IMO that was too much.



TimboBaggins said:

I thought giving the enemies a tanooki tail was really unexpected and changed gameplay in interesting ways (goombas can jump, bowser with a tail, etc.)Also, the cape has MUCH different mechanics than the tail. The cape allowed a player to fly long distances without losing height, sometimes over the entire level. You could also take off to very high platforms from the ground with a running start. With the tanooki tail you could only slow your fall and attack enemies. I personally think to make a cape in 3 dimensions that is faithful to SMW would be very cool but very challenging to implement.



grumblebuzzz said:

I don't get why a lot of people were so bothered by the enemies having tanooki tails. I think it was a cool idea that gives the game an actual story (something a lot of a recent ones have been lacking), and sets its art style apart from the Galaxy games. But I digress...

As far as the cape, I just don't think it would have been implemented in 3D as well as the tanooki suit was. I feel like it's a power up more suitable to the 2D Mario games. That said, I'd love to see it in action again in NSMB3D



Pichuka97 said:

This is what I have wanted for ever!!! A mario level editer. Think about it. Spotpass, awesome levels created by anybody and some even by Nintendo. 3D or 2D, they need to do this. Please make a Mario 3D Land 2.

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