Let's be honest here — there's not much love for Tingle in the west. This plump, comedic character started his life as part of the Zelda series, but has since starred in his own games: Freshly-Picked Tingle's Rosy Rupeeland and Tingle's Balloon Fight DS. Even so, his reputation among players is pretty dire — he's been described in the past as "Zelda's JarJar", which speaks volumes for the hatred many feel towards him.
Turning Tingle into a fan-favourite is going to be quite a challenge, then — and it's this challenge which has captured the imagination of Nintendo's Kensuke Tanabe.
Speaking to VentureBeat, Tanabe said:
There’s no definitive plan or anything. It’s just me off the top of my head. I know how hated the character of Tingle is in the U.S. I know that people cannot stand Tingle. But to me that challenge is: Could I take this character that is so reviled in the West and just [do] a complete turnaround and make him a beloved, fun character? The idea of that really just gets me going. I know we have made a Tingle game in the past, but maybe at some point down the road.
It’s like love. It’s like romance: You meet someone and you’re like, ‘Oh god, I can’t stand that person.’ And then three weeks later, you’re madly in love — it’s that turn, that quick whip, that motivates [me] a little bit. If we we ever get a really successful Tingle game, maybe we will have like a big Tingle statue out there [points to Nintendo's E3 booth outside the room's walls].
Tanabe was keen to stress that he was really thinking out loud, and that a Tingle reboot isn't currently part of Nintendo's plans. But who knows — a Tingle FPS could be just what the Wii U needs to turn its fortunes around.
(That was a joke, just in case you were wondering.)