PAPER MARIO Producer Reveals That Team Is "No Longer Able To Graphically Represent Individual Characteristics"

PAPER MARIO Producer Reveals That Team Is "No Longer Able To Graphically Represent Individual Characteristics"

Paper Mario series producer Kensuke Tanabe has recently revealed that the development team is "no longer able to graphically represent individual characteristics" for non-playable characters.

Since Paper Mario: Sticker Star released for the Nintendo 3DS that players have been complaining — and rightfully so, by the way— about the lack of personality given to non-playable characters(NPCs) in the long-running series; a series that in previous entries brimmed with original, and interesting characters that looked pretty unique.

One of the bigger offenders is the fact that the series has also done away with sidekicks/party members because they are "too original", and Nintendo doesn't really want originality when it comes to their games; at least not in regards to new characters.

Paper Mario series producer Kensuke Tanabe previously revealed that the development team at Intelligent Systems simply cannot use original characters in the series, explaining that "it’s no longer possible to modify Mario characters or to create original characters that touch on the Mario universe."

It's become a recurring issue to see hundreds of Toad characters that look exactly the same in the games, especially when the first two games in the Paper Mario series — that Nintendo, for some odd reason, seems to have completely forgotten about — expanded on the Mario universe in a way that no other games had in the past.

In a recent interview with GamesRadar+, Kensuke Tanabe digs deeper into this whole issue, revealing that the team is "no longer able to graphically represent individual characteristics," but they have found ways around this issue; something that has led to even better writing.

"From the production of Paper Mario: Sticker Star onwards, we were no longer able to graphically represent individual characteristics, such as age, gender etc., in the Toad NPCs (non-playable characters), and so it has become that much more important to convey their personalities simply through text," Tanabe revealed.

"Our writer, Mr Taro Kudo, has been grappling with this difficult challenge since Paper Mario: Sticker Star, but has managed to achieve giving all the texts a sense of humour. In this instalment, Paper Mario: The Origami King, we were able to include some Toads wearing an outfit to match their role, and also created original origami characters."

While it is disappointing to see that characters are no longer unique from an appearance standpoint, it is true that their personalities shine once players talk to them, making them even more unique than their outer appearance may suggest. It's definitely a trade-off, but this is the best the team has been able to do, and they've done it remarkably well.

Unfortunately, this also means that the Paper Mario series will likely not see any original characters in the near future, especially since Paper Mario: Sticker Star released in 2012, and eight years later NPCs still look rather generic, even when their personalities are charming and unique. Again, it's a trade-off that fans will seemingly have to get used to.

The kingdom has been ravaged by an origami menace! Join Mario and his new partner, Olivia, as they team up with unlikely allies like Bowser and the Toads to battle evil Folded Soldiers.

Paper Mario: The Origami King is currently available exclusively for the Nintendo Switch.

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