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Super Mario Odyssey Producer Answers Fans' Questions: Why Mario's First Love Pauline Came Back, amiibo Functionality, And More

14 June 2017, 9:26 pm EDT By Carl Velasco Tech Times
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Nintendo's Mario ditching being a plumber for a cooler life

Just as Breath of the Wild innovated the Legend of Zelda franchise with open-world elements, Super Mario Odyssey stands to bring the Super Mario series in a whole new direction.

According to the new trailer released during Nintendo's E3 Spotlight presentation, Mario now dons a sentient hat, which players can throw to possess enemies. You can throw the hat at a bullet bill and become it — and do the same thing with a taxi, a goomba, and even a dinosaur. It's both odd and kind of genius — the tenets of a good Nintendo game.

The game's producer, Yoshiaki Koizumi, recently held an Ask Me Anything session over at the Nintendo Switch subreddit to talk about the game, sharing details about the hat-throwing mechanic, the challenges of developing a sandbox-style Super Mario title, and much more.

Pauline Is The New Mayor Of New Donk City In 'Super Mario Odyssey'

Pauline, Mario's first true love from Donkey Kong, makes a return to New Donk City, one of the playable kingdoms in Super Mario Odyssey. Pauline now assumes mayoral duties, her presence is a whiff of nostalgia in an otherwise eccentric Super Mario entry. In fact, that's exactly why she's there.

"When we were deciding which Kingdoms to have in the game, we knew we wanted the city environment, and we wanted something that would have resonance with players," Koizumi told a fan who asked about the addition of Pauline. "We knew that players know Pauline so we of course wanted to make her the mayor of New Donk City."

Why New Donk City

Unique and bizarre worlds in Super Mario entries have become one of the series's chief meritable elements, and in Super Mario Odyssey, a seemingly New York City-inspired locale headlines the game's trailers. Koizumi shared a little about the decision to incorporate a modern city in Super Mario Odyssey.

"The city was one of many experiments when we were first making the game, and it was very interesting. Especially with how strange it looks to have Mario exploring the city environment," he said.

HD Rumble And Amiibo Functionality

Koizumi also talked a bit about the game's HD Rumble functionality.

"We're working on lots of different HD Rumble integration, but on the [E3] showfloor players can feel the scooters rumble when you're driving that."

A set of amiibo for the game has also been announced, with all three main characters — Mario, Princess Peach, and Bowser — all dolled up in their individual wedding clothes. As for their functionality, Koizumi has this to say:

"[Every time] you tap an amiibo you'll receive a costume and in-game assistance."

Making 'Super Mario Odyssey'

Of course, what use would an Ask Me Anything session be without delving into the juiciest details, such as the challenges involved in making Super Mario Odyssey, for example? Koizumi said the biggest challenge in creating the game had to do with making a new sandbox-style mechanic — something Nintendo hasn't explored in 15 years for the Super Mario series.

"[I]t felt completely different and new to come up with ideas that would work [in Super Mario Odyssey]. We had a lot of debate to decide if people would accept [the sandbox] kind of playstyle again. That was probably the biggest challenge for us."

On The Case Of Mario Throwing Hats At Enemies

Koizumi said that Mario's hat-throwing abilities in Super Mario Odyssey started out as a prototype, just among the many prototypes created for the game during its early stages.

"[W]e wanted to focus on the actions Mario can do and in previous Mario games he was able to get power-ups and new abilities," he said. "But this time around when we were making many different prototypes and changed our approach that found capturing or 'possessing' enemies worked well so we stuck with that."

The hat-throwing Mario, Pauline, and everything in Super Mario Odyssey comes out on Oct. 27 for the Nintendo Switch.

Thoughts about Super Mario Odyssey or Nintendo's E3 presentation this year? Feel free to sound off in the comments section below!

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