With less than a month until its release, bits of info about Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker's development are starting to come to light. One of the most interesting tidbits is that the game almost didn't star Toad; in fact, it wasn't even set in the Mario universe.
According to Game Informer, the game's director, Shinya Hiratake, came up with the idea for Treasure Tracker's smaller diorama levels when he realized that by removing the jumping element, he could shrink a level's size significantly. Obviously, most Mario characters can jump, so who would be an ideal candidate for this design? That's right—none other than The Legend of Zelda's Link.
Though Link has jumped in some games before (both as a product of a special item or simply in a limited fashion, such as leaping off the edge of a platform), he is a character that is known for not being able to jump freely (especially in his 2D games), thus he was the ideal candidate. However, the idea was shot down by Miyamoto in an early meeting, though he saw potential for the project and gave the go-ahead to include it as special levels in Super Mario 3D World.
Tasked with finding a new protagonist for this design, Hiratake settled on Captain Toad, who was first introduced in Super Mario Galaxy. Hiratake had reasoned that, with Captain Toad carrying a heavy backpack, he'd be so weighed down that he wouldn't be able to jump. And the rest, as they say, is history. After Super Mario 3D World released, Miyamoto approached the team about making a full-blown release for the concept, culminating in what we now know as Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker.
Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker is slated for release on Wii U on December 5 for $39.99.
Source: Game Informer
Are you surprised the game was originally conceived as a Zelda title?