- Aug 25, 2020
The developers of Paper Mario have revealed that they are no longer allowed to make characters "that touch on the Mario universe," or modify existing Mario characters. In an interview with VGC, Nintendo veteran Kensuke Tanabe was asked about the process behind designing new villains for a franchise full of iconic antagonists like Bowser and Kamek. In response, Tanabe noted that "since Paper Mario: Sticker Star, it's no longer possible to modify Mario characters or to create original characters that touch on the Mario Universe." This means that the team behind Paper Mario: Origami King had to come up with new characters from outside of the existing Mario Universe for the game, as they couldn't riff off of established Mushroom Kingdom villains. New characters seemingly can't even resemble Mario characters: "We need to create original characters with designs that don’t involve the Mario universe at all, like we’ve done with Olly and the stationery bosses." [ignvideo url="https://www.ign.com/videos/2020/06/12/paper-mario-the-origami-king-a-closer-look-trailer"] This resulted in the game's main villain King Olly and his younger sister Olivia, who serves as a helpful sidekick during Mario's journey. It seems like other developers dealing with the Mario property will have had to follow similar rules, as Nintendo wants to retain the current cast of Mario characters as-is for the foreseeable future. "Whether a character becomes an all-time hit or not isn’t up to us on the development side; I think it’s more the case that characters that fans truly accept naturally end up that way," Tanabe added, suggesting that fan demand will decide whether we see Origami King's new characters in another game. "I hope that the origami siblings in Paper Mario: The Origami King will stay in players’ memories, even if they do only end up appearing in this title." We reviewed Paper Mario: Origami King, giving the game a 7/10 and praising it for its personality and visual design. [poilib element="accentDivider"] Jordan Oloman is a freelance writer for IGN. Follow him on Twitter.