Super Mario Bros. Wonder almost had sports-like “Tsundere commentary”

Noelle Corbett
A screenshot from Super Mario Bros. Wonder.

The developers of Super Mario Bros. Wonder have revealed they considered adding sports-like live commentary to the game, including a harsher Tsundere option.

Super Mario Bros. Wonder marks the franchise’s first brand-new 2D game in over a decade. After that much time, it’s no wonder the developers would want to create something fresh, especially following this year’s film.

Unsurprisingly, in addition to new features like Elephant forms of Mario and friends and new power-ups, there were a lot of ideas that didn’t make it into the final product.

One such idea the developers considered but ultimately cut was a live commentary track. This would have responded to the player’s actions as they went through Mario Wonder – and could have even had a Tsundere option.

Super Mario Bros. Wonder sales

Mario Wonder devs considered adding sports-like & Tsundere live commentary

In an interview published on Nintendo’s website, Super Mario Bros. Wonder director Shiro Mouri and others discussed the team’s “desire for a new experience.” One idea from producer Takashi Tezuka was live commentary similar to what takes place during sporting events.

“We actually spent about six months seriously developing live commentary,” game designer Koichi Hayashida revealed. “We tried adding voices to match the player’s actions.”

While the feature ultimately “just didn’t feel right,” the developers considered another idea for live commentary: the option to switch to a “Tsundere commentary.”

Anime fans will recognize the Japanese term “Tsundere,” as it’s a popular trope. It refers to characters or personalities that are harsh, but have warmer and more affectionate sides hiding beneath the surface.

The interview doesn’t include any specific examples of Mario Wonder’s Tsundere commentary, but it likely would have consisted of the commentators insulting the player for mistakes – or at the very least, throwing some shade. The devs did say quite a few playtesters used this option when it was available.

Though it didn’t make the cut, Tsundere commentary would have been an incredibly unexpected addition to a Mario game, and it shows the kind of innovations Nintendo was considering while developing Super Mario Bros. Wonder.

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