Why Mario isn’t playable in the Mario + Rabbids Sparks of Hope Rayman DLC
Mario was obviously a big part of the main experience of Mario + Rabbids Sparks of Hope, but he actually wasn’t playable in the big Rayman DLC. Instead it was Rabbid Mario and Rabbid Peach that rounded out the lineup.
Speaking with Nintendo Everything, creative director Davide Soliani explained how the playable characters were decided. Soliani noted that that the Rabbids and Rayman compliment each other well in terms of comedy. Additionally, “Rayman was only a guest because otherwise it would have been like two IPs packed together, an existing one.”
Soliani shared the following with us when asked why Mario himself wasn’t in the new Rayman DLC for Mario + Rabbids Sparks of Hope:
“Basically, the trio (Rabbid Mario, Rabbid Peach, and Rayman) was the perfect comical triforce, in our opinion, to get along with the Phantom. There’s a lot of bickering between the Rabbids and Rayman since the dawn of time and we wanted to stay true to this kind of approach where Rayman and the Rabbids initially aren’t really into each other, they are kind of suspecting each other and it’s very cool because it’s giving us the possibility to create fireworks between them in terms of comical situations. But then of course, there is a narrative arc and we also loved the idea of them slowly becoming a real trio of heroes because of their synergy in combat, and at the end, really cooperating together against a common enemy.
To directly answer your question, I think that Mario and Rabbids are an IP that is created by those two iconic IPs – Rabbids and Mario characters, and Rayman was only a guest because otherwise it would have been like two IPs packed together, an existing one. So we treated it in the same way we did Donkey Kong [in Mario + Rabbids Kingdom Battle]. So, Donkey Kong was the lead character of a trio that was formed by Cranky and Rabbid Peach and with Rabbid Kong as an antagonist, at least initially. And then we did the same here, like working on the narrative feature of the bickering between Rayman and the Rabbids and having this trio of characters that could shine because of their synergy in combat.”