News Article

Wii U Shooter Splatoon Almost Starred Mario As The Main Character

Posted by Damien McFerran

"There were heated debates over who the main player character should be"

Splatoon was one of the big surprises of Nintendo's E3 showing this year, and looks set to offer an exciting new take on the tried-and-tested squad-based shooter template. It's also refreshing in that it's an entirely new IP — although according to Shigeru Miyamoto, it very nearly starred one of the company's most famous faces.

Speaking in the latest issue of EDGE magazine, Miyamoto said:

There were heated debates over who the main player character should be. Whether it should be Mario, or a squid. When we talked about the possibility of it being Mario, of course we could think of the advantages: anybody would be willing to touch it as soon as we announced that we had the new Mario game. But at the same time, we had some worries. If it were Mario, we wouldn't be able to create any new IP.

How would you have felt about Mario being the main character? Do you think it would have impacted your impression of the game? Would it have made Splatoon a game with more commercial potential? Sound off in the comments to let us know what you think.

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User Comments (105)



Grumblevolcano said:

I'm glad it wasn't Mario but this situation does make me think Super Mario Sunshine HD will happen.



nomeacuerdo said:

It was a good call to use new characters, there's already Mario 3D, New Mario, Mario Kart, Mario Party, and Mario in almost every IP. Maybe they could release Mario characters as a DLC



rjejr said:

Considering the fairly bad reception FLUDD got, don't think it would have been a good idea.

If they want to make another non-platformer Mario still needs a baseball, hockey, soccer and basketball game on Wii U.

Oh, and it should star DeBlob b/c this looks like multiplayer DeBlob.

Glad it's new IP though, as far as I can tell last good new IP from Nintendo was Pikmin 10 years ago. I just can't count Miis and Fit Trainer as serious videogame characters. The Pikmin need to be over-exposed like Pokemon, they are so cute. Toys, games, movies, the works



Prof_Clayton said:

I don't know how many times I said I wanted Mario Paintball.

This is a waaaay better choice though. But I'd still take some Mario Paintball action on ghe side, of course.



Nintenjoe64 said:

I have been wondering (for about 7 years) when they would make a Mii online-FPS. I even thought paintball would be more their style as it is a good way to avoid the need for graphic violence.

@rjejr last good new IP Pikmin? What about Wii Sports/Fit, Disaster, Battalion Wars, Pandora's Tower, Geist, Baten Kaitos, Xenoblade, Endless Ocean and CAPTAIN RAINBOW!!!! The last one was a joke but all the others are relatively new and I enjoyed them.



BakaKnight said:

Mario was a safe bet, the new IP a risk that could have gone better, but even much worse, if not even pass unnoticed at E3.

Luckily, as news proved so far, those crazy squids won that bet with no effort



smileyface97 said:

Now, I've had reservations on this game; specifically the possibility of it having limited single player. The fact that this almost starred Mario makes me think that the games single player could be something like that of 3d Mario games. I think I've said this before, but I'd kill for Splatoon to be a collectathon .



hYdeks said:

I'm happy they didn't because they use Mario WAAAAAAY too much now-a-days. Add him as a dlc later though, that would make people happy ^-^



raith said:

@Nintenjoe64 Hell yeah. All those games were great, some OK at the least. Other than Pandora's Tower and Xenoblade, The Wonderful 101 is my favorite new IP from Nintendo. Can't express enough how awesome that game is! As much as I love the traditional Nintendo games, I always look forward to their new IPs.



Peach64 said:

So happy they did that. Lack of new IP has been one of my biggest issues with Nintendo in the last 10 years. Mario Paintball would have probably sold better, but Splatoon got them praise from the gamer crowd at E3, and I think Nintendo needed that.



Savino said:

This game looks cool, but I really need more information about game progression!!!
Becausa as it is, loks fun, for a couple of hours!



Nik-Davies said:

I'm glad it doesn't, not because I'm sick of Mario, but because I'm sick of the "Oh great, another Mario game /s" comments



xerneas said:

Good that it wasn't Mario. Though a reverse Sunshine would certainly be interesting lol



Rin-go said:

It was mentioned in an interview by the developers, I don't remember exactly when, and it made the rounds then, so it's a little surprising to see that it's handled like new information.

And there are plenty of new IPs, but they don't count, because reasons.



Yurikun said:

I am curious and will be getting Splatoon next year if I have enough cash after everything else.



TrueWiiMaster said:

I'm glad they went with the squid people. It would have been weird playing a game like this, even if they made changes to accommodate, with Mario and co.

What I find funny, though, is how even that slight change is all it would take for people to roll their eyes and say "ANOTHER Mario game?!" It would still be completely new, unlike any game Nintendo's ever made, but because it starred Mario, people would complain that it wasn't a new IP.



erv said:

Nope. New is better.

It looks like a lot of fun through quality gameplay the way it is. I don't care about the ip, that concept just screams nintendo right there...



unrandomsam said:

I bet there is Link and Mario available for it. (Amiibo or DLC or something of that nature).



ZiggyZane said:

I'm glad it isn't another Mario game, Mario doesn't need to be in every game Nintendo!!



Damo said:

@Ryno Miyamoto gave the interview in this month's Edge magazine at E3 months ago? Has he mastered time travel or something?



FragRed said:

This game looks epic and is personally, the best game shown at E3 this year. And I am pleased Nintendo didn't stick Mario in it. Nintendo needs more new IPs like this. Especially if they want to attract the core gamers.



Rafie said:

So glad they made a new IP, and NOT involve Mario. That was a great move. Mario burnout is approaching and I don't want to be. Give some spotlight to others. With an extensive and the most first party franchises, I would gather more characters should have it. Can't wait for this game. First day purchase. A shooter that's FUN and non-violent!



unrandomsam said:

@Nintenjoe64 Those are not the same as a new IP given the same resources as Zelda or 3D World and done by the main part of Nintendo as well as they possibly can.



yuwarite said:

So basically, Edge did an interview with Miyamoto and NL are chopping it up into several articles :/



Leu10antFalcon said:

Creating something new and original... Nintendo have proved everyone that Splatoon is gonna be one fun and creative title for core gamers.



Ryno said:

@Damo: I suppose it is new news if you look at it depending on who is actually saying it at the time. Oh well, maybe people didn't catch this information previously or forgot about it so in that case it's good Miyamoto reiterated it. Puts the game in the spotlight, though briefly, which I guess isn't a bad thing.



Gerbwmu said:

@Prof_Clayton - A FPS Mario Paintball would be a blast.......hitting Mario between the eyes using Bowser seems like poetic justice.......not sure what kind of single player mode they could do with that but still sounds like fun.



DarkLink95 said:

Glad it wasn't mario as this feels more like a new IP with a potential for a franchise rather than another mario spin-off



crimsontadpoles said:

Good decision not to use Mario. New characters will make this game feel much more original than if it was another Mario game.



ShanaUnite said:

Yeah i think the squid thing works better than having it centered around mario. Sadly it might not sell well because of this decision.



Danny429 said:

i think nintendo should add in the amiibo feature into this game. or maybe be able to have your mii character turn into a squid person.



LztheQuack said:

So the choices were Mario...or a squid? I want to sit in on some of these meetings!



mullen said:

I'm glad it's not Mario, but I think the current character should be much more cuter. Btw, it may be a hint of Mario DLC.



NintendoFan64 said:

Huh... interesting. To be honest I would definately go with the squid, because I think it would've been better to have something new to show.



ShadJV said:

I think it would be cool if they added a DLC skin that changed the characters into toads that morph into bloopers! I love bloopers, they need more recognition!



ultraraichu said:

I have a feeling that 2/3 of these type of meetings involve mario being put in a game in some way, main, side, or easter egg.

I still have my suspicions with Olimar. Stubby man with a big nose pulling plant-like creature out the ground to throw at foe. Now if only he can jump.

Just realized, if you take out the L in Olimar and rearrange the letter a bit, you get Mario. The plot thickens.
Edit: Just did a seach on Olimar's name and that was the first fact to pop up. Now I just feel like a slow horse in a glue factory



Captain_Toad said:

@WaLzgi Apparently there were other choices besides the mario and the squid.

................but you REALLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLY don't wanna go there.



Ralizah said:

I like that Nintendo is expanding out into new potential franchises. Its rich library of I.P.s didn't come about by doing nothing but releasing new Mario and Zelda games every few years. Time to add more classics to the stable.



OGGamer said:

I'm glad they just stuck with a new IP . Since Nintendo is already getting their feet wet with DLC I can see them adding a mario sunshine mode where you can use mario to clean up the mess you've made .



Henmii said:

This is old news! I am very happy that they didn't choose Mario though. Far to much Mario.



B3ND3R said:

I still think my Inkling VS Plumber mode idea should happen.. One team as inklings making a mess and the other as plumbers with FLUDDs trying to keep it clean..



TwilightAngel said:

That's great cause if it had Mario,then people won't call it a new IP.They will have to call it super mario splashine.



JaxonH said:

I love Mario. And I'm certainly not sick of him. He's one of the all-time most beloved gaining characters- I'll never get sick of Mario!

With that said, I like new characters too. A squid though... that's just so random lol. I could see them in their think tank debating the main character, "Should we feature Mario, or a squid?" Because, you know, naturally a squid is the obvious second choice



JaxonH said:

@thesilverbrick Actually, Pandora's Tower most certainly was published by Nintendo. Maybe not in your region, but keep in mind there is more than just one region. Japan, Europe and Australia saw a Nintendo-published Pandora's Tower.

Baten Kaitos was developed by Monolith, which Nintendo now owns. They might not have owned them at the time the game released, but they do own them now and it is the same studio that made Xenoblade and is making Xenoblade X, so I guess technically you're right but, at the same time, the only thing stopping it from being an official Nintendo game is the point in time the studio was purchased.



thesilverbrick said:

@JaxonH My point is that Nintendo can't be credited with Baten Kaitos or Pandora's Tower as original IPs. They had no part in the creation or development of those series. Other studios crafted those games.
In the case of the former, Nintendo acquired the studio that made said game and in the case of the latter published the game for the developer in select regions without getting involved in its creation (in fact, in North America, the game is completely third party developed and published).

I was just letting the original poster know that he's giving credit to Nintendo for those series when in reality, the credit is due to other sources...



Retro_on_theGo said:

I'm very glad they went with the squids. This shows just how much some of the older folks at Nintendo do need to take a break. The company needs new blood.



rjejr said:

@Nintenjoe64 - OK, they have made good games, Sports Resort deserves a Wii U sequel - I guess I was thinking along the lines of something like a promotable mascot? Pac Man, Sonic, Mario, the 3 PS2 platformers, LBP's Sackboy, Samus, Link, Kirby, Pokemon, Pit. Something iconic. I really like Pikmin, what can I say? I also really liked elebits but nobody anywhere ever mentions that game. The elebits could have had a sequel, they're like cannon fodder Pikmin.



rjejr said:

@AcesHigh73 - Some day I'm going to buy a 3DSi. Or 3DS U. Or 3DS XXL - well you get the idea - and Dillon is on the list. And those weird Denpamen. And Sayonara Umihara Kawase. But until then I'm home console focused I'm afraid.



FJOJR said:

Mario could be DLC. I mean if Link can be in Mario Kart then anything goes at this point.



2Sang said:

Good choice, mario needs a break. Now we have cool transforming paint shooter characters instead of just another mario title.



Drawdler said:

It feels like I've heard this about nearly every new Nintendo IP. Ayway, I'm glad that they decided to make a new IP, because we have plenty of Mario and this looks awesome.



Kolzig said:

The best decision possible was to not put Mario in the game.

Fresh new original IP without the old pressure of Mario is good for Nintendo. Especially since this game is from the young guard of developers at Nintendo.



Action51 said:

I'm so glad they didn't use Mario as the main character for Splatoon.

Nintendo has been playing it way to close to their comfort zones since the Wii/DS era, and I'm glad to see them listen to fans and stray away a little.

Like with the Miyamoto interview, it's about time we let these creative geniuses do what they do best, and encourage them to make new franchises that will last for 25 years or more.



Ryu_Niiyama said:

I'm very glad they have been pushing for more content that doesn't need mario to prop it up. For instance I think I adore W101 as much as I do because it wasn't Wonderful Smash like the original idea presented. I get why nintendo has been using mario to branch off so much (I consider each mario franchise its own thing which is why I usually don't make a "too much mario" comment) since consumers don't like to take chances. Look at the Wii library; there were a ton of unique niche games but everyone likes to shout "shovelware" every five seconds.

I think that's why many of their other IPs sit around. Nintendo doesn't have time to educate consumers on how fun and creative a new or not often used IP is...they still need high volume sales. Yet its not just nintendo doing this every single game company trots out their show ponies more often than not. The crossovers at least have the potential to mix things up with a dash of the familiar (which is what all the mario lines have been doing for years).

That was my main complaint about AC and the obsession with the naval battles. Ubisoft could have made a pirates game but instead they threw it in a blender with AC and while I'm the minority I feel it created a subpar AC game (but a great pirates game if you liked the naval stuff).



DarkKirby said:

Here's how you decide if Mario should be the main character.

If you're not sure if Mario should be the main character, don't make Mario the main character just because he's Mario.



alLabouTandroiD said:

I can only say what i said about the same topic two months ago.
It simply wouldn't have been as exciting if it were just a new Mario game. Even though i think the use of F.L.U.D.D. in some form or another could make it even more fun.



DarkNinja9 said:

same as everyone else glad it wasnt mario too much mario nothing new but odd enough this kinda proves that a mario sunshine sequel would look nice or a remake >.<



aaronsullivan said:

Very glad it wasn't Mario and I think these characters have potential. I only wish they were a bit more unique. Can't put my finger on it. One or two have to jump out as the spokespeople for the game I think and build some character behind them.

Can't wait to see more of this game. I'm sure we'll be getting many updates as the Holidays approach. I only wish they'd do a free beta test or demo from December through January. Get people psyched up and have another reason to own a Wii U just in time.



rjejr said:

@thesilverbrick - I know elebits aren' tNintndo, and Sony related companies made all those PS2 platformers. I was just pointing out characters in videogames over the past 10 years that I think could be big in the gaming world and Nintendo hasn't really made any since Pikmin, they've been too busy making Wii Music.



joe-hamburg said:

Wii Party sold more copies than Mario Party. Stop using this lame Mario character in every good game. There are so many people who would like to buy great casual and sports games for Wii U but all we get is "Mario blabla 99".



BulbasaurusRex said:

@rjejr Well, if you count second party developers, Xenoblade is a more recent major new IP, but you are right that Nintendo needs something completely fresh every once in a while, even though I would much prefer a direct scoring FPS over this lame territory covering system. Come on, High Voltage, where's our Conduit 3?



Gameday said:

Didnt matter to me still going to be inking so kids regardless. I think Mario is getting over worked and used as of late so im glad they didnt make him the main.



Berk said:

I see so may comments on Mario being the main character in this being a bad idea. But nobody who posted those comments actually see the big picture: what other game starred mario and goop in a 3d roaming environment. I'll give you a minute to think...

Super Mario Sunshine. Splatoon could have been Mario Sunshine 2 or Mario Sunshine HD. Most other games have had or are going to have 3D remakes, HD remakes, or sequels recently, like Ocarina of Time, Majora's Mask, Windwaker, DK Country, StarFox 64, Pokemon Ruby/Sapphire, and even Rayman 2 were all made into remakes for 3DS or Wii U. Majora's Mask 3D was highly wanted by fans. So why not Sunshine HD or Sunshine 2. Heck, I'll even reluctantly take a copy of Galaxy 3 maybe. But what I'm trying to say is Sunshine 2 has been hinted at from the remake pattern I listed, music for the Mario Wood Carving theme for 3DS, cameos and references from Smash 4 and Mario Kart 8, and the biggest ones of all, Nintendo devs saying a sequel or remake to Sunshine would be a great idea, them saying they could be working on it already, and Splatoon possibly having Mario at one point!

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