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Nintendo Will No Longer Allow New Characters To Enter The Mushroom Kingdom

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Well, this is interesting. Kensuke Tanabe, the man at Nintendo who oversees the Paper Mario franchise, revealed a new policy at Nintendo to the website Video Games Chronicle. Apparently developers are no longer allowed to invent new characters specifically tied to the Mario universe, and this has been the case for several years.

“Since Paper Mario: Sticker Star, it’s no longer possible to modify Mario characters or to create original characters that touch on the Mario universe,” he said. “That means that if we aren’t using Mario characters for bosses, we need to create original characters with designs that don’t involve the Mario universe at all, like we’ve done with Olly and the stationery bosses.”

We can only speculate why this would be the case, but the thinking might be that the core cast of characters is as big as it needs to be and Nintendo fears adding anyone else would bloat things too much. This is why we’re getting one-off characters like the Origami King who come from distant lands, cause trouble, and are then never seen again.

Of course, if a character intended to be a one-off becomes popular enough, that character will become part of the permanent Mario universe whether Nintendo wants it to or not. Tanabe admitted as much: “Whether a character becomes an all-time hit or not isn’t up to us on the development side; I think it’s more the case that characters that fans truly accept naturally end up that way. I hope that the origami siblings in Paper Mario: The Origami King will stay in players’ memories, even if they do only end up appearing in this title.”

Though some might consider this policy a bit restrictive, it’s really forcing developers to be creative and come up with new ideas (rather than bringing Petey Piranha back out again for another boss fight). And who knows — people might really latch onto the boss characters in Origami King, like a stapler and a tape dispenser. Stapler 4 Smash!