Paper Mario: Color Splash devs on the color theme, Koopalings, music, and more
In a recent issue of Nintendo Dream, Nintendo and main developer Intelligent Systems spoke in-depth about Paper Mario: Color Splash. Representatives from both companies were asked about the color theme, why the Koopalings appeared, the music, and more.
We’ve prepared a translation of the noteworthy comments from both Nintendo and Intelligent Systems. If you’re interested in reading up about the game for additional insight, continue on below.
Why did color become the theme of the game?
Nintendo: In the beginning when we were starting development, we had a theme of using the Wii U GamePad for card battles. However, another theme was necessary in order to make exploring the field interesting, and we received a suggestion of using colors as a theme from Intelligent Systems. It looked like it could be fun after seeing a few experimental programs, so we accepted the idea.
Intelligent Systems: I was thinking daily what I could do with this project. Then I saw a child having fun painting with a coloring set and I had a sudden realization. Even though the child wasn’t skilled in painting, his/her face was beaming with joy, so I told the project members about painting freely and that was the beginning.
Why do the Koopalings make an appearance?
N: The fundamental objective was to put characters from the Mario series together. Intelligent Systems chose characters that suit game mechanics and battles from that selection.
IS: The reason is that there were just the right amount of Koopalings to act as bosses when we had decided on the color theme. Actually, each Koopaling is protecting a Big Paint Star that matches with the color of their staff.
Why did you add a white outline to characters?
IS: A white outline was added to make characters easier to differentiate from the background and to make the look more paper-ish, like they were cut from a single sheet of paper.
They are extremely realistic and three-dimensional… What are Things in the first place!?
N: Things is an idea that has been used since Paper Mario: Sticker Star (from now on: “previous title”). We had an objective to make the best use of the graphical capabilities of Nintendo 3DS and that has been powered up even more on Wii U. Things are objects that can strike with magic. They differ from existing presentations of magic and are unique and fun. And yet, we can make the presentation flashy and the out of place feeling of realistic Things gives the game another hook in my opinion.
Please tell me about a specific scene that you’d want everyone to see.
N: Poltergeist phenomenon occur in Dark Bloo Inn, with things like a silent phone call coming in the reception and a book fluttering in midair. These events will get a resolution in time, and they have real presence even within a game. In addition, there are also events like entering the stage of a circus, cooking in a restaurant, and rock-paper-scissors tournament, so I hope that you’ll enjoy all of it. Also, we aimed at making the presentation of Things interesting by having a surreal direction for them. I’d especially recommend maneki-neko [beckoning cat], which belongs to the compilation of Japanese image when viewed from foreign countries.
IS: The restaurant course feels so different from an usual course, with things like a beaten-up chef, cooking mini-game, and a peculiar middle boss battle. There are just so many things to highlight! And there is also the scene for Toad that appears in the opening of the story and has mysterious powers.
Are there elements that you changed on purpose when compared to the previous title?
N: First of all, we made the hints for puzzle solutions more generous. Partner Huey gives effective hints as much as possible along the way of the game and various Toads have been placed as walking dictionaries giving hints. Also, we made inputting the action commands in battles as simple as possible and made the tutorial more generous, too. However, the thing that we recognized above all else was the story. It wasn’t about making a complex story, but rather making the journey of Mario and partner Huey memorable. It is a straightforward story in which you may get a bit emotional in the conclusion, and the seriousness has been spiced up and increased.
There are arrangements of background music from past titles. How were the songs selected?
N: We left much of the selecting of songs to Intelligent Systems, but when it comes arranging, we also had some parts that we requested. For example, in the scene where you return to the Big Paint Star fountain and Toads are dancing, we had requests like “Please make the background music samba!” and “Please raise the volume of samba whistle!”
IS: As a tradition in the Paper Mario series, we put an arrangement of the Mario theme in the first course. Character themes were remade versions from the previous title. This time we used a lot of live recordings, so I hope that you will also enjoy those differences in music. My recommendations are Toad’s house with string quartet, cembalo performance, and brass quintet arrangement of the airship theme. I’d be happy if familiar songs got everyone excited. Of course there are many new songs as well! Please look forward to it.
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