While Super Smash Bros. has been a household name for more than 20 years now, the concept of a fighting game featuring Nintendo characters seemed a bit odd, back in the day. After all, industry icons like Mario and Yoshi weren't particularly known for being violent, and the controversy surrounding Mortal Kombat wasn't that far in the past. In a recent issue of Famitsu (translated by Nintendo Everything), legendary creator Shigeru Miyamoto revealed that Nintendo had some reservations about allowing Mario to appear in the game, and he had to step in to reassure them that it was okay for the mustachioed plumber to appear in the game.
"When we were making 'Smash Bros.,' there were some people who were worried; they asked me, 'Is it really okay to have Mario punch and kick?' I actually had to plead with them by explaining that he already pulls turtles out of their shells. (Laughs)"
Miyamoto's comments are amusing to say the least. While the Mario series has always been considered extremely family friendly, the character does beat up a fair number of bad guys throughout. Sometimes, it's easy to forget that, though Miyamoto's phrasing creates a much more disturbing picture of Mario's treatment of the Koopa Troopas than depicted in the games!
It's hard to imagine Super Smash Bros. without Mario front-and-center. The game's other seven stars are all unquestionable icons, but Mario's presence truly sold the idea of Smash Bros. being about the biggest icons in gaming. Had Miyamoto not convinced Nintendo to keep Mario in the game, the series could have gone in a very different direction. If Mario had been successfully nixed, would Nintendo have found reasons to eliminate other characters, as well? Or would they have dropped the concept of using the company's mascots altogether? It certainly seems possible, in retrospect.
Of course, Nintendo did end up siding with Miyamoto, and Super Smash Bros. has gone on to become one of the company's biggest franchises, over the years. It's hard to imagine what might have happened had they not listened, but the company has clearly learned that Shigeru Miyamoto typically knows best!
Are you a fan of the Super Smash Bros. franchise? What do you think would have happened if Mario hadn't been allowed in the game? Let us know in the comments or share your thoughts directly on Twitter at @Marcdachamp to talk all things gaming!