Original Super Mario RPG developer shares early sketches that hint at alternative storylines and character designs, including a "Three Musketeers" theme and a "Slug Kingdom" which were scrapped before the final game's release.

Unique Concepts Revealed for Super Mario RPG

Imagination and creativity are at the core of video game development, as illustrated by the fascinating information shared recently by a developer from the original Super Mario RPG team. This classic Super Nintendo Entertainment System (SNES) game, which merged Nintendo's platforming mascot with the depth of a role-playing game (RPG), could have looked very different if some of the initial ideas had been realized.

Jiro Mifune, who worked on live A Live and was getting ready to start on Chrono Trigger, was brought in to help create Super Mario RPG. Early in the game's development, Mifune sketched a variety of ideas for how Mario would adapt to an RPG setting. Recently, he began revealing these sketches on Twitter, providing a rare glimpse into the creative process behind the game's development.

Among the concepts, there was a 'Three Musketeers' theme, which originated from Mifune’s reluctance to visualize Mario with typical RPG elements like a sword and armor. Another imaginative idea included a group of villains from a so-called "Slug Kingdom." These, along with other concepts, were ultimately not used, and the development team settled on the unique game that fans around the world have come to enjoy.

The sketches shared by Mifune show bold and whimsical character designs, including anthropomorphic snails and sea crustaceans, as well as the 'Weapon Tribe' bosses, "Gordon Axe & Quinn Sonia." As seen in these initial proposals, the developers were considering a range of adversaries for Mario that departed from the usual Koopa and Goomba villains familiar to players from the traditional platform games.

Mifune stated that he decided to publish these pieces online as a way to celebrate what he termed the "miracle remake" of Super Mario RPG on the Nintendo Switch. This modern revitalization of the game enables a new generation of players to experience one of the most celebrated collaborations between Nintendo and Square (now Square Enix). Mifune expressed his gratitude to the team behind the Switch version and seems delighted by the enthusiasm of both long-time fans and newcomers.

The return of Super Mario RPG to the Switch has reignited discussions about Nintendo's foray into the RPG genre with their most iconic character. While the version released is held in high regard, there remains a touch of wonder about what might have been if Mifune's original ideas had been brought to life. Fans are left to imagine a parallel universe where Mario, Luigi, and perhaps Toad, took on the roles of musketeer heroes, brandishing rapiers and engaging in swashbuckling adventures.

These revelations highlight a unique aspect of the game development process: the enormous amount of conceptual work that goes into creating a game. For every idea that makes it to the final product, countless others are discarded or reworked along the way. Mifune’s sketches offer a valuable insight into the playful and exploratory spirit that informed the development of Super Mario RPG, and they showcase the breadth of creativity that developers can bring to even the most established gaming franchises.

While fans may never get to play a version of Super Mario RPG featuring these intriguing concepts, the sketches stand as a testament to the creative minds behind the game. They remind us of the iterative nature of game development and serve as a nod to the ingenuity that has long been a hallmark of Nintendo's and Square's game design. Savoring these glimpses into what could have been, players continue to appreciate the final masterpiece that is Super Mario RPG, now enjoying its second life on the Switch. Whether wielding a sword or a plunger, Mario's adventures in the realm of RPGs remain as enchanting and entertaining as they did upon the game’s original release.

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John Hope

Hey, I'm John Hope! Sneakers aren't just footwear to me, they're a lifestyle. Over the years, I've built a collection that would make any sneakerhead green with envy. But if you ask about my favorite? No competition, it's the Jordan 11. Those beauties are more than just shoes; they're a work of art, a piece of history. From the court to the street, my kicks tell my story. Join me on this sole-ful journey!

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