A recent Modojo interview with Nintendo’s Hideki Konno gave some really interesting perspectives on a potential sequel to Ice Hockey as well as why Wart hasn’t shown up much in the Mario franchise since Super Mario Bros. 2.
Here’s a portion of the interview:
You were one of the original designers of the NES game Doki Doki Panic. Did you find it odd that Nintendo eventually replaced those characters in Super Mario Bros. 2, and why haven’t we seen more of Wart?
[Laughs] You know quite a bit. On Doki Doki Panic, I worked with Mr. Tanabe, who you may know from some recent installments of the Metroid series as well. On that project, it was his first time as a director, I believe, and I was the assistant director. As you said, there were no Mario characters in the original game, but through conversations with Mr. Miyamoto, we decided to use Mario characters for the release of this game in the United States. I wouldn’t say I was surprised by that development, but rather, I was involved with the process throughout.
As for why we haven’t seen a lot of Wart lately, I wonder why that is? Do you think maybe he doesn’t have as strong an association with the Mario universe as other characters?
We’re not sure. We haven’t seen him for so long, it’s a difficult question to answer. Older fans would remember him. Perhaps there’s a game where Wart returns to take over the Mushroom Kingdom, but winds up angering Bowser, since it’s his goal to do the exact same thing, so that we have competing villains.
That’s all good stuff. I’m going to have to take notes on this. But if we’re going back to Doki Doki Panic, I would have to say that the character that jumped out of that game was Shy Guy, because he’s been used in so many games since then.
You also worked on Ice Hockey for NES. Does anyone at Nintendo talk about creating a sequel with Mario characters?
Yes, that’s something that absolutely could happen, but I would have to be closely involved with such a project. You may remember that in that game, there are three distinct body types: the big one, the normal one and the skinny one. A lot of the gameplay ideas came out of the different body type characters that you were playing. We would have to take a look and think about how to apply that to a different set of characters, and see what gameplay ideas would come from those differences.
Although this might not suggest any announcements yet, we might be looking at a not-so-distant future where Bowser and Wart could be part of a double-final-boss-fight. Color me excited. Make sure you check out the rest of the interview, its pretty good.