Nintendo threw out 6 months of work on Super Mario Bros Wonder "live commentary" including a "tsundere" voice I really need to hear

Super Mario Bros. Wonder
(Image credit: Nintendo)

Super Mario Bros. Wonder is one the most unusual and surreal spins on a 2D Mario game that Nintendo has released in a long time, and so far, fans have embraced the new style and liveliness. One of the game's most interesting stylistic upgrades is expanded voice-over work from characters, and apparently, this was once planned to be much more ambitious.

In a recent Ask the Developer blog post coinciding with the launch of Super Mario Bros. Wonder, game producer Takashi Tezuka and designer Koichi Hayashida spoke about many of the ideas that were worked on yet ended up being tossed into the development trash bin, including a live commentary feature that would praise - or judge - your every move. 

According to game director Shiro Mori, Takashi pitched the idea of having live commentary on the game - just one of the ideas that the developers received via 2,000+ sticky notes. The concept went pretty far into the development, with a full six months of work done. It was used in internal play-tests and even included tsundere-style commentary, a personality that hides genuine tenderness behind a cold exterior and is especially popular in Japanese media .

"Even the team was evenly split between those in favor and those against," said the game director. "The default voice was very generic, like a newscaster, but you could switch it to a tsundere commentary. In fact, according to our playtest records, quite a few people were switching to the tsundere commentary."

A full sports-style commentary feature in a Mario game could have been mighty interesting, especially in the more challenging levels. But while significant work was done on it, the developers decided to cut it due to how much additional work it would have needed to be ready for players. Still, some elements of the commentary remain in the full game, with the talking flowers of the Flower Kingdom offering their thoughts on the wild levels that Mario and crew travel through.

Nintendo's latest has received universal acclaim and already captured the attention of Mario fans. In our Super Mario Bros Wonder review, our own Sam Loveridge says: "Super Mario Bros. Wonder is an excellent 2D Mario game with easily the most impressive world-building we've seen in this style. The trilogy of new power-ups are brilliant fun, and regularly humorous, with Nintendo's finishing touches adding extra personality at every turn. The Wonder Flowers are just magical too, rounding off a truly indelible Mario experience."

The developers also talked about the Dark Souls-style multiplayer, which was ironically designed to help struggling solo players. 

Alessandro Fillari

Alessandro is a freelance writer and editor based in the San Francisco Bay Area who has covered the games, tech, and entertainment industries for more than 13 years. Having previously worked at GameSpot, CNET, and various other outlets writing features and coordinating event coverage, Alessandro enjoys playing games on PC, but also gives plenty of time to his Nintendo Switch. You can find him on various socials at @afillari.