Super Mario Odyssey’s New Donk City Was Almost Too Odd
IGN’s Andrew Goldfarb was able to sit down during E3 2017 with industry icon, Shigeru Miyamoto, for an interview that covered Mario’s legacy and even some of his worry over Super Mario Odyssey too. For Miyamoto, there’s a certain line that shouldn’t be crossed when it comes to experimenting with Mario, “When it’s internal teams, they really understand it, although they try to push that line a little bit further. But when it’s an external partner, I make sure that line is very clear,” he told Goldfarb. “I have times where I’m actually strangely open and it’s the team that’s worrying too much. But then other times, I’m really strict in certain other points.” With Nintendo open to letting other developers like Ubisoft work with the Mario IP, it’s interesting to see Miyamoto’s stance on interpretations of the Mario universe. Of course, it’s still slightly vague as we don’t fully know where that line is drawn.
For Miyamoto, Super Mario Odyssey’s New Donk City with its realistic humans and environments may have been a jump too far into oddness initially. “I was worried about how players would react to being in a world where Mario is this tall and normal people are a little bit taller. Or the fact that people don’t get mad at Mario when he’s jumping up and down all over the place,” he said with a laugh. “But with all that said, I think I realized that the character Pauline has already existed, and the idea of this game taking place in the city worked out really well. And so we ran with it.”
Besides that, Miyamoto goes on talk about how he’d rather see old characters placed in new situations or using new mechanics. Indeed, Mario has such a strong legacy as a video game polymorph because we’ve been conditioned for three decades that Mario can fit any situation whether it’s refereeing a boxing match in Punch Out!!!, curing viruses, partaking in athletic competitions, or even now, standing next to a realistic in-game human on the streets of New Donk City.