Super Mario: Color Splash came out back in October for the Wii U, and many fans of the series noted the game’s lack of original characters, considering the majority of the game’s characters were Toads.
Color Splash’s producer Kensuke Tanabe recently spoke with Game Informer, and one of the very first questions asked in the interview was why none of the characters from earlier Paper Mario games had made it into Color Splash.
“Mario is not an IP that I created. From the position of someone borrowing the IP, I think it’s only natural to show respect to the person who created it, and let that feeling of respect guide us. When Miyamoto-san, the father of Mario, asks us, ‘Could you make a game with only characters from the Mario family?’ I think it’s only natural for us to give it our best shot. In other words, we are not currently thinking about returning to old NPCs.
Incidentally, I do think Color Splash may have proven that we can still make a game entertaining, even if our original characters don’t appear as NPCs. And with that belief, we will keep on continuing to do our best.”
Additionally, when asked if sidekick characters with their own abilities would ever return to the series, Tanabe said the following, noting that he would like to feature a new system should they create another Paper Mario game in the future:
“Personally, I don’t give much thought to how we are leaving old methods behind in any series, not just Paper Mario. I always prioritize thinking about how we can build new methods and new elements. Of course, there were some series where we have not made big changes to the systems, but sometimes that’s because we feel as though these systems haven’t been perfected yet, or the gameplay can be expanded even further. We felt both of those things in Color Splash. However, I do feel as though we reached the end of where Color Splash is headed, so if we get the chance to continue the series, I think we’ll want to create a Paper Mario with a different system.”
Paper Mario: Color Splash is available for the Wii U.