Earlier this week, our friends over at Shinesparkers discovered concept art of two reportedly cancelled Retro Studios projects.
One was an axed Legend of Zelda game starring Sheik, and the other was a Super Mario title about the mischievous ghost, Boo. The artwork itself was done by former Retro Studios pre-production artist, Sammy Hall, and was featured on his ArtStation page.
Hall has now explained to IGN how both projects were in pre-production at the time, and that he doubts many people at Nintendo saw them before they were both canned:
I doubt many at Nintendo proper saw much of any of this stuff. I was mostly put into a room like Milton from Office Space and tasked to brainstorm between other projects.
He goes onto explain how the ideas for these games came from the ex-Retro leads Mark Pacini, Todd Keller, and Kynan Pearson, and "the week they went to create their other studios" the projects were cancelled.
It's believed Retro either decided or was asked to explore new ideas with Nintendo's existing IP, following the success of the Metroid Prime series. If you would like to see the concept art for both of these projects, take a look at our previous post.
That's a shame, the concept art looked fantastic. I would have loved a game focused on Boos.
I think they just did this on a whim. If they were planning to leave retro anyway then at the very beginning the projects were a shot in the dark. I'm guessing the inception of ideas to eventually planning to set up their own studious wasn't that far apart.
The Sheik version of Zelda appeared 22 years ago in just a few scenes of Ocarina of Time. She was not playable. All of her appearances in Smash and in Hyrule Warriors have been non canon.
At this point Waluigi has more chance of appearing in a canon story game than Sheik.
@MrGawain That's a fair point, BUT, counter argument: Tingle got his own game. If there's room enough in this universe for something so abjectly horrifying as that, I have to believe a Sheik based game isn't completely impossible. Perhaps one day the scales of justice will tip in my favour...
You would hope so, but Tingle has actually been in 9 Zelda games and 3 games of his own. And he was playable in Hyrule Warriors.
Even when you think of all the appearances of Boo/King Boo in Mario Kart/Party/Tennis/Golf/Strikers and 3 times the main antagonist in Luigi’s Mansion, it shows you Sheik is more valued by the fans than by the developers.
Maybe in BOTW2?
I would watch a documentary on what retro have been up to since dk tropical freeze shipped on Wii u , it would be fascinating x x x
@MrGawain This game was supposed to have starred multiple members of the Sheikah tribe.
Members of the Sheikah tribe, such as Impa and others, or their symbolism/technology, have appeared in every mainline Zelda game since OOT, both console and handheld, if I'm not mistaken.
(Haven't played the Link's Awakening remake yet, but that's a remake of a game that pre-dates OOT, regardless)
Sheik and Boo are too niche as characters to base an entire spin-off on.
Lots of concept art is pitched to up holders before games begin production. Lots and lots of could be games.
@Dragonslacker1 2014 - 2019, that’s 5 years and no output (except tropical freeze switch version), I would love to know what they were up to in that time and how did they pay the bills!
I think both ideas sound very lame.
! ! !
Though I would like Retros take on a traditional/new 3D/non-BoTW Zelda.
Is it just me that sees the faint resemblance of the Boo artwork in Luigi’s mansion?
I can't get excited about a game on a few sketches and story over view. I wanna know what it's gameplay is about.
On the flip side, the Boo artwork was fun. @Cairib no I thought it too.
@NintoRich They're fully owned by Nintendo, so they probably had a regular salary. (Not to mention the Tropical Freeze Switch port)
Either they spent all that time pitching games, consulting on other games and tech for Nintendo, working on cancelled projects, or all of the above.
Unfortunately, I doubt we'll see another game from Retro before Metroid Prime 4.
One thing's for certain: Nintendo was making relatively poor use of a greatly talented studio.
@westman98 I personally don't think they are too niche. Every Zelda and Mario fan knows those characters and that player base would be the majority of people getting it day 1. I think Nintendo needs to experiment a bit and would be healthy for their ecosystem to have spin-off games like these. Not every game needs to sell millions of copies either
@Impaler-D Yeah, there have been reports on how Nintendo keeps Retro under strict supervision, with many pitches turned down every time. But they're great developers, so it can't be all bad, can it? Would love it if Ninty just gave them a big budget and told them to do whatever and prove themselves. I'd love to see what they can do if they have free rein.
And I really would like to know what they've been working on ever since Tropical Freeze.
@MrGawain Walugi has NEVER appeared in a mainline game, also the Art wasnt for Sheik it was for a male Sheika.
@drewber2635 In fairness, Cadence of Hyrule represents a fairly experimental spin-off, albeit by an external studio. That said, I agree with you.
(In case anyone at NCL or NOA is reading this - when is that title going to be released physically? My purchase has been waiting on this...)
Last time I actively wished for a game based on Sheik, we got a Hyrule Warriors trailer the next day, unveiling -well, sort of- Sheik as a playable character.
I did enjoy dressing up as a Sheika ninja (either with just a ninja mask or with the full Sheik headgear) in Breath of the Wild.
But neither scratched that itch.
@COVIDberry Same for the purchase of Cadence of Hyrule, in Europe that is. Physical release equals instant buy.
There are plenty of more popular Zelda and Mario characters Nintendo would base a spin-off on rather than Sheik or Boo.
Heck, Nintendo has yet to approve of a Zelda spin-off starring Zelda or Ganon(dorf) as the main characters. What makes you think they'd approve of one starring Sheik?
Even Mario spin-offs have mostly focused on Mario, with the exception of Luigi's Mansion and Warioware (which hasn't gotten a brand new entry in a while).
Well, the Sheikah are an interesting tribe so I'd be happy to dive deeper into their lore.
Also, Nintendo doesn't have its own stealth franchise, and the Sheikah would be a perfect match! Love me some sneaking around.
These games would have gotten in the 80's on metacritic, I can't see higher or lower. Not that that is a bad thing, in fact it would be a breath of fresh air for the Zelda series to have a game made by Retro Studios. Plus it looks dark as f**k. I would love a spin off based on the Sheikah.
I am not interested in this, I prefer that Retro makes more DKC
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