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Bone Mario And Other Rejected Power-Ups

MarioskeletonEveryone has their own ideas for ways that Nintendo's famous Mario should power-up into new forms, but for every Bee Mario and Tanooki Mario there are all kinds of rejected ideas.  For instance, there was an idea for a skeletal power-up that would transform everyone's favorite plumber into Bone Mario.  Kotaku has comments from Nintendo developer Koichi Hayashida regarding the process by which new ideas are pitched to Mario creator Shigeru Miyamoto and which concepts failed to make the cut.  Where do all of these ideas come from?  Here's Yoshiaki Koizumi, producer of Super Mario 3D Land, discussing the origin of the Bee Suit:

"We start thinking about power-ups in terms of functionality, and then we add the visual attributes. We introduced the Bee Suit and Boo Suit to add some variation to the feel and tempo of ordinary play so that players wouldn't get bored. In both cases, we wanted to add the ability to temporarily escape from the law of gravity through floatation. Since the power-ups were unique, we wanted to make the visuals also have a lasting impression. Mr. Miyamoto had an inscrutable expression when we showed him the designs; he isn't a big fan of making Mario cute."

There have been other rejected power-ups, of course.  One dumped idea from the Super Mario Bros. 3 days was for a centaur power-up.  As explained in the January/February 1990 issue of Nintendo Power:

In each of the previous SMB games, Mario gained new power-ups.  So in SMB 3, Mr. Miyamoto and the other designers wanted to invent yet another new, interesting way for Mario to power-up.  Their initial ideas tended toward having Mario turn into some sort of creature.  A concept that was rejected was having Mario power-up as a centaur (half man, half horse).  The idea they finally settled on was to give Mario a tail and the ability of flight.  Their first tail concept, that of a raccoon tail, was the one that finally stuck.  "I'm sorry to say there isn't a funny story behind why we chose the raccoon tail," Miyamoto remarked.  "We thought the raccoon tail worked best from a practical point of view and it fit right in with Mario's style.  It also created some great new gameplay possibilities."

Mario as a raccoon or a frog or a ghost makes perfect sense, but as a centaur?  That's completely ridiculous!  Given the chance to decide about making Mario part horse, I'd vote nay.  I wonder what other potential power-ups have been tossed aside over the years...

(image via Game Informer)