Back in 1990, Nintendo fan Jason Venter had an idea. He loved Super Mario Bros. 3 and the excellence of that game inspired him to create a planning document for a sequel.
That document was packed with the kind of ideas that could only come from the active imagination of an 11-year-old gaming addict - but the amazing thing is that Nintendo didn't ignore the pitch or throw it in the bin as many other companies might have done, but instead took the time to reply to Venter, encouraging him to keep working on his gaming ideas.
You can view the reply below:
Here's what Venter has to say about the letter today:
I've been a fan of Nintendo and its games for a long while, and this letter (partly) shows why. When I sent an unsolicited idea, the company didn't have to send a careful response, and didn't need to return my documents. Sending them through the paper shredder probably would have worked just as well.Instead, though, the company complimented me on my creativity and returned my plans so that I wouldn't have to feel my work was wasted. I still have the plans somewhere, too, but they're very juvenile and rough and I don't feel like digging them up and scanning them. Still, I appreciate that Nintendo took me seriously and was so encouraging, even though what I received was likely just a form letter prepared in advance for just such an occasion.
Venter may have not wanted to show off the doc to begin with, but the guys and gals over at Polygon clearly convinced him it was worth doing, as they have published snaps with his blessing - which you can view below.
Of course, Super Mario 4 would be released in the form of Super Mario World on the Super Nintendo, and while Venter's idea sadly fell by the wayside, it's clear that he was deeply touched by Nintendo response.
Thanks to tipster expert Ryan Millar for the heads up!
That's Nintendo! One of a kind!
I love you Nintendo! You make me happy and I love you for that!
Nintendo has and always will be a great company like that. I remember as a kid, sending them various pictures that I drew...they'd send them back with a paper just like this thanking me for the artwork. Some artwork they kept. That was back in the days that when your system needed worked on, you had that fun little 'DR. MARIO' brochure that showed you where to call!!! Sorry to say, I loved the 80's and the no cell phone, no internet days!!!! Nintendo is and always will be a great family company!!!!
It's pretty similar to what they do today on the contact part of their website. I've sent them emails and they always send a positive and friendly reply.
@Artwark Totally agree. 😊😊😊
"I've been a fan of Nintendo and its games for a long while, and this letter (partly) shows why. "
That's right, they could have been complete [email protected]#$%^&s about it, but at the cost of a stamp and an hour of someone's time they (probably) secured a life long customer and made a kid feel special while they were at it.
Other companies would have thrown the letter to the trash can saying "Another annoying kid writting nonsense".
But, Nintendo is that cool.
Bowser had a long-lost brother!?
Cool story, my 8 year old has some ideas. He likes to develop games in his head like "Mario's Ninja Adventure". Maybe I should help him write a letter to Nintendo.
Nice. I used to design imaginary Nintendo games and consoles too when I was younger.Sadly I couldnt send them in, but it was worth it.
When I was younger, I sent some ideas to Nintendo Australia, the centrepiece being an all-in-one game player in the shape of a Koopa Troopa, which could fold into a shell that would open up, revealing a screen and buttons for an N64 game player; the Main Menu was a hall filled with paintings, and you could move Mario around and jump into them, with each painting leading to a different game. I was very pleased with my ideas and sent them immediately.
Some time later I received a package from Nintendo Australia containing a letter much like the one above, my ideas and some neat Nintendo goodies (I can't remember everything I got, but I do remember receiving some plastic Pokémon Snap cards, which I assume were useable at some kind of print kiosk). Even though I was disappointed that my idea was rejected for being "unsolicited", I was happy that they took the time to read it. And my ideas have ended up taking shape, albeit in different forms (Nintendo DS and Virtual Console), so I guess great minds think alike.
Nintendo doesn't do this anymore do they?
My brothers and I used to make our own Mario boardgames back when we were kids. The series really does inspire imagination and creativity in children.
Take your political issues out of here. Maybe move to another planet because Earth is home to some really bad people. And by your logic you should stop supporting Nintendo. Stop visiting Nintendo-related sites too because in a way you are indirectly supporting them. Why don't you dedicate your time to directly confront those metal companies and do something about the slavery you are taking about instead of posting here?
Jeez... Some people just feels the need to turn a cool or positive news into something else. Same as people who find something to complain about.
Well that's rather nice.
"Bowser had an unknown brother […]."
Nintendo should pick that up.
One time I wrote to The Beano asking about Dennis the menace's first appearance and they sent me an A3 copy of the front cover of 1st issue and Dennis's first strip in a later issue.
That tops Nintendo's formal response though at least they were encouraging
I remember that when I was a kid, my brother and I designed a tonne of different Pokemon and sent them off to Nintendo. They probably binned them all but we received a similar letter and were told that our designs had been filed away for if the creators of Pokemon ever ran out of ideas. We even got sent a very early issue of Official Nintendo Magazine! Very cute! If you ever see a fire-type Cheetah Pokemon, that's one of mine! Haha!
That is awesome. I sometimes go back and read some of the letters in old game magazines... but this just wins it all. IMO.
@Savino Stop ruining this article, keep your opinions to yourself.
@Savino wow... I actually stopped and read that article. Seriously? WTF did that have to do with this article?! Because a bunch of tree huggers are whining about slavery, this persons personal experience (unlike your story, which has absolutely NOTHING to do with personal experience, Much less video games) is invalid? C'mon, there are PLENTY of tree hugging/Political sites with forums for angry or negative posts... This site is for lively conversation of games (and maybe a movie or TV show every once in a while)
Funny, but I pitched an idea for a sequel to Super Mario 64 years later as a kid and got an almost verbatim reply. It's less cute when you realize it's a stock response that they used for over a decade.
@Savino This is a Nintendo fan site; of course we like the company. We're not trying to pick apart Nintendo's moral code, and we haven't once compared them to Apple or Sony. Right now, we're focusing on how Nintendo treats it's young customers. Stop bringing controversial issues into this.
That is why I love Nintendo. I remember I got a letter back from them once as well. I have no idea where it is or if i still have it though...too young at the time to realize how cool it was. I've been meaning to write them a letter thanking them for putting on the Zelda symphony series. I think I'll get on that.
To the person annoyed that we are touched by the actions of the company, why is that such a bad thing? No company really has to do anything at all for their customers as we are all just stats in the end. Yet sometimes companies go the extra mile to prove that they are made up of people just like the rest of us. Is acknowledging that such a bad thing? What sort of world do we live in that being positive is considered zealotry? So many people walk in a fog of negativity all over the world; take your positives where you can get them. Extend positive ki everyone!
I think this was a nice response. Other companies do the same all the time, so it's not a secret that Nintendo isn't unique in this case. It read to me like a canned response, but to a kid, any kind of kind response means more than being ignored.
@Savino Ehh, tumblr might be interested in your exaggerated white-knighting.
But just to note: nobody said Nintendo is nice to everyone, you hero. But they're definitely more consumer-friendly than most other companies in this world - and last time I checked, Congo had more pressing issues than wanting to get attention from Nintendo, so try and look for a better scapegoat, will ya?
alot of the stuff in that book looked like zelda stuff.
Back in high school, I once sent Capcom a letter with some Street Fighter ideas. Their reply was pretty similar to Nintendo's letter.
I remember sending Nintendo ideas for their Super Power Supplies Catalog. To which, I got the same reply as Jason, but it was okay.
I love how he cut it to size to represent a real NES manual ^_^
When I was 14 during the N64 game drought (1997 or so) I wrote a letter to Nintendo urging them to bring back Kid Icarus. In the letter, I pitched ideas on how it should be done. They responded in a letter saying, basically, 'that's a neat idea but that's not exactly how it works'. Then, 15 years later, Kid Icarus: Uprising is released. Your welcome.
So don't give Sakurai all the credit. J/k
This is why I love Nintendo
...Well Mario Maker will be out soon, so...yeah. lol
^ Thank you for Kid Icarus: Uprising
Nintendo in the past is a hell of a lot better than the Nintendo of today. In terms of fan appreciation at least.
This is one reason why I loved Nintendo (of America) when I was growing up (and still do). I actually mailed them letters quite frequently (this must have been early 90s), asking questions, giving game suggestions, and never did their replies feel like 'cut-and-paste' generic answers. They actually addressed my points, and that made me feel great, like I was making my own small contribution to how Nintendo operated, if that makes sense.
I actually have all their reply letters in a binder at home; I'll have to dig it up and ponder over it and perhaps share
I had a similar experience to this, only it wasn't a game idea.
Back in the day when Nintendo Power had a section solely devoted to Pokemon, I had always wanted to have my artwork shown in the magazine. So one day I got very creative and drew up a bunch of Pokemon all over an envelope and mailed it in.
A couple of weeks later, I received a letter from the staff complimenting my art work. However, because I had sent in the envelope stamped and everything they couldn't use it in the magazine. They had once again complimented what I had done and told me to keep it up.
Yeah, they could have just not used my art and moved on, but the fact that they took the time to respond was cool.
I got a simillar response when I proposed Mario Football about ten years ago.
@Savino The three words that best describe you are as follows, and I quote: Stink. Stank. Stunk.
This story is adorable.
@Savino Thats really cool, thats just another reason to like BOTH Nintendo and Lego. You dont have to like only one, and remember this website is nintendolife, so of course most people are gonna be partial to nintendo.
@donkeykong64 In a way they eventually made mario football, with super mario strikers lol
@MagicEmperor I wouldn't touch him with a twenty-foot pole!
I like the story idea of Bowser having a brother that no one knows about.
@SuprisedStar You're a cool one, SurprisedStar.
I must've sent them half a dozen letters like that when I was a kid. My most elaborate was for a dual-cartidge design for the N64 so they could make bigger games.
That's a nice story
That's an awesome letter!
@MagicEmperor Granted, he posts something unacceptable, but I don't support ganging up. He's a mean one.
@Savino I see what you mean but they are creative and different in terms of business.
I was really hoping it would say
at the end.
Truly a Nintendo story. Mr. Yamauchi knew that if you treat the customer well, they will come back. We can debate the quality and appeal of Nintendo's products all day long, but we can never question their commitment to excellent customer service.
Truly, it takes some nerve to find any negative in this story. But some of you have somehow managed...
I received a very similar letter from Cartoon network back in the early 00's after I sent them a letter asking if they were going to be airing Pokemon after I had seem them air one episode for some reason. I was sent a letter with an at-the-time 'No, but look forward to our upcoming shows' letter, along with a cool ed edd and eddy colored poster and I believe some stickers. I lost all that stuff over the years, but I still remember thinking how cool it was they even responded.
Funny how not long after Pokemon moved to Cartoon Network, no doubt because of my letter XD
I don't have cool, "a company responded to my letter" stories like the rest of you! The closest thing I have to that is when my class wrote letters to deployed soldiers (this was in like 1997 so I have no idea WHERE they were deployed) and I was the only one who got a response. I got a card and a patch! Very cool. I remember everyone was surprised because my soldier was a woman.
Anyway, this was super adorable. Plus seeing the drawings really brings back memories. I recently unearthed a whole slew of scribbles for Nintendo ideas (mostly Pokemon, but there were some original ideas in there too) done by my best friend's brother and me. So this really made me smile.
The Lego thing was sweet, too.
@Savino "Ask the slave-children that mine some metals and nintendo buys it if they think that it is a friendly company!"
To be more specific, those metals include coltan ore (which is refined into tantalum, of which is then used to fabricate computer capacitors and gun parts), tin ore (refined into tin, which can be fabricated into either gun part ingredients or solder for circuit boards, especially now that lead is being taken out of solder due to being carcinogenic), and tungsten ore (Guess what it's used for? That's right! More computer and gun parts).
"I like Nintendo, I play their games, and I want them to stop the support of companies that uses slave work!"
To be fair, there is no truly reliable method on the entire planet of tracking exact origins of all materials, and guaranteeing good ethics of the entire technological supply chain. Whether you're speaking of collapsing gold mines in Peru, of chemical filled fabrication plants in Ireland or the Phillipines, or of the unidentified industrial waste being waved along without a care by the US EPA into rivers and streams through Silicon Valley, tracking every material for every step of the way is nearly impossible to accurately catalog using our Industrial Era methods. Nintendo is not unique in this regard, the whole system was never intended to impart fair trade for the working class, nor was observance of ecological economics ever a consideration of the Industrial Era.
Indeed, this will be one of the greatest challenges in the future- transitioning from an Industrial Era where we humans know not what we do, into an Information Era where we know all we need to know, and more than we know what to do with. That's definitely not an overnight transition.
"Just stop thinking that Nintendo is diferent from Sony or Apple in any degree of business!"
That's sort of the point of companies like Nintendo- if we, the people, exhibit proper care of our products, that is the first step to reversing our negative karma in this twisted process. Gaming is a different beast from something like the 100,000 COUGHAPPLECOUGH cell phones tossed into the trash in America alone everyday, and the hundreds of tons of COUGHSONYCOUGH computer equipment discarded without recycling in America alone everyday. We're not going to toss our artform away so easily. I've already helped rescue a couple PS2's, a Mega Drive, and I've lost count of how many computers in my recycling work.
I'll give you an insider tip/hint: Gold is now more economically viable to procure from municipal trash sites than from the Earth. How's that for a lesson in playing real life Terraria?
Nice story! Very polite from Nintendo to respond. And in a kind manner to.
The funny thing is though is that those plans would make a better game than Sonic Boom could ever hope to be.
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