Last week we wrote about the fantastic concept art pieces that Nintendo has begun revealing via their various Twitter accounts (@SuperMario_UK, @mario_odysseyJP, @NintendoAmerica, @NintendoEurope). The first few images that Nintendo released really highlighted the awesome Mexican-inspired Tostarena in the Sand Kingdom. If you haven’t yet checked it out be sure to visit the page here. Today, however, we bring you art that focuses on Mario himself as well as two new main characters you’ll be encountering in the game.
Move over boring old plumber’s truck. Who needs a simple go-kart? Mario now travels in style. The Odyssey is the vessel that Mario uses to traverse the world, but also figuratively carries the story along its fun and interesting journey. Soon it becomes a character all on its own; Not only reflecting the natures of Mario and Cappy, but, with collectables from various kingdoms eventually adorning its exterior, the Odyssey becomes like that proud piece of well-travelled luggage you never take a long trip without. I particularly appreciate the unique shape of the ship. Yes, it clearly is modelled after a Top-Hat, however, even a brief look at the concept art shows that the light fixtures, steam vents and even the main entrance are peppered with hat references. Also, early on we can see from the design the relative sizes of Mario and Cappy in relation to the Odyssey.
So let’s talk about Mario’s new partner, Cappy: a hat-like being (from Bonneton in the Cap Kingdom obviously), Cappy is seemingly just a floating white Top-Hat. However, fling him at almost anything passing by and quickly he can endow the wearer with the many abilities of the creatures you capture. From frogs to New York-style cabs or the occasional dinosaur with some serious gliding skills or even just piece of meat (yes, a huge slab of red meat), Cappy provides Mario with fantastic new ways of experiencing the world. Along with the image of Cappy’s final design above, Nintendo included the following:
When he laughs, his eyes kinda look like the M on Mario’s cap!
Just more proof of the creativity in design within Nintendo’s design team.
What about Mario himself? Do the new images reveal anything we may have missed? According to the Switch’s built-in Nintendo News app – the sketches above depict a variety of Mario’s moves while performing the fun new Cap Throw mechanic. Notice how the sketches show a series of hat-less Mario poses? Yes, in previous games Mario hardly ever had his hat off. So the artists had to pay some attention to Mario’s actual hairdo. Pretty pleased to see that despite nearly 50 years after climbing some girders and hopping a seemingly endless supply of rolling barrels, he is still sporting a pretty full head of hair.
Once again, concept art pieces like these show the time, effort and planning that goes into designing beautiful games. We really do get an interesting glimpse into the creative side of the video game producing world. So next time you hurriedly throw Cappy at an unsuspecting Goomba, while double jumping onto the Odyssey with the wind in your hair, be sure to take a second to look around at the beautiful setting you find yourself in and the artistry behind every pleasing pixel.