Not all the good ideas that arise at Nintendo always come to fruition, and the one I am going to present to you today is one of the most obvious cases. Do you remember the minigame that incorporates Super Mario 3D World, the one that puts you in control of Toad to solve puzzles in small miniature worlds? And do you also remember that a whole game was later made on the basis of said mini-games? Well, here comes the script twist, because the original idea was that Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker was actually a game starring Link in the Zelda universe.
It turns out that at Nintendo, back in 2012, they were looking for new development ideas for Wii U. They had just worked at the company. Super Mario 3D Land, so they were just at that moment when you start a new project and you have an infinite illusion to try to surprise the users. Well, that surprise came with the idea of creating some tiny miniature worlds (dioramas), in which relevant members of the Japanese company were involved. However, as explained in this video from DidYouKnowGamingnothing went as originally expected.
Captain Toad with Link and the Zelda universe
One of the top managers of the project was Koichi Hayashidaan illustrious programmer, director and producer of the games of the super mario series and also one of the creators of the famous Toad minigames in Super Mario 3D World. The Japanese says that when they started working on the title and these special phases, the protagonist was not clear at all, so they decided do tests with the character of Mario. However, there was a major problem.
We realized that if the character could jump, then the levels would become too big. For this reason we thought of creating a game with a character that could not jump.
It was then that shinya hiratake, another important worker at Nintendo, suggested using Link… so that he could have his own game! Here the idea of making a Captain Toad in the Zelda universe was born. Imagine taking advantage of settings and characters from the franchise to create a puzzle game based on the use of perspective. The truth is that it made a lot of sense.
Hiratake summoned his courage and patience to create a papier-mâché model depicting Zelda’s environments and characters.
Hiratake mustered his courage and patience to create a model with papier-mâché in which Zelda settings and characters were depicted. During the presentation of the project, the Japanese, enthusiastic about his approach, imitated the rotation of the camera, putting the attendees in a situation. One of them was Shigeru Miyamoto, but the guru did not share his enthusiasm. Rather, he didn’t quite understand what he intended. He even asked him if he wanted to make a Lego set or something similar. He, too, was not seduced by the idea of using the legendary license for these purposes.
Total, that Hiratake crashed into a wall, and quite frustrated after the presentation, it is said that he ended up burning that model. In an interview, his partner Hayashida states that maybe an exhibition was not made properly, because the idea was great and had potential. In fact, Link was a more popular character than Toad, and probably would have done better in commercial terms: Captain Toad sold just over a million copies in its first version for Wii U.
Although there is no harm that does not come for good, because Miyamoto allowed the dioramas to become the minigames of Super Mario 3D World, finally starring a Toad dressed in a heavy backpack (to explain his inability to jump and thus solve the problem). design problem posed). In addition, the papier-mâché model of Zelda may have lived beyond the flames, and it is that the remake of Zelda: Link’s Awakening wielded precisely the miniature world concept that was so persecuted.
Inspiration or mere coincidence? What is clear is that Nintendo never stops ruling out an idea. It may be now or in a few years, but all projects have their moment or end up transformed into something else. This is the reason why we cannot stop dreaming of a Captain Link. Who knows? Stranger things have happened.