Can you believe that the plumber’s first original 2D outing is almost thirty-five years old? It seems like every five years Nintendo is going to be ready to show something new yet completely nostalgic for Mario’s significant numbered anniversaries. As we slowly approach the summer months that generally see the year’s biggest gaming announcements, the barrage of rumors for what new titles might be coming is already starting to circulate across the internet. Recently, sources are coming forward claiming that Nintendo’s mustached mascot may have a bigger year ahead of him then we could have ever expected. There are currently tons of indicators pointing to a Mario paraded back-half 2020 and we have all the information and evidence rounded up here to convince you as to why these to good to be true rumors might actually be real.
For Nintendo fans somehow unaware of what I am writing about, let’s get you up to speed on what is important. On March 30th gaming news outlet VGC’s Andy Robinson published an article claiming that multiple inside sources had reported to him that Nintendo is preparing a massive celebration for the not-so-distant Super Mario Bros. 35th anniversary, but their plans had been tampered due to the current COVID-19 pandemic as several of the supposed following announcements were to be featured around the time of the Electronic Entertainment Expo [E3]. The celebration’s announcements included more details around several known partnerships Nintendo secured with Lego, Illumination Pictures, and Universal Studios, alongside a few new video game releases including an original Paper Mario title, an enhanced version of Super Mario 3D World in the same vein of New Super Mario Bros. U Deluxe, and a 35th-anniversary compilation package similar to that of Super Mario All-Stars except focusing on the immensely influential 3D titles. VentureBeat’s reputable staff writer Jeff Grubb later chimed in on the rumors claiming that his own sources provided him with the following information.
“Nintendo is pursuing something like a Super Mario All-Stars 2 for the 3D Mario games. This would include Super Mario 64, Super Mario Sunshine, and then Super Mario Galaxy and Super Mario Galaxy 2. It’s likely that 3D World may get its own, separate Deluxe-style release. While it’s possible the older 3D Mario games could come in a single compilation, it’s also likely that Nintendo will release them individually as it did with its Zelda remasters.”Jeff Grubb, VGC “Nintendo has big plans for Super Mario Bros.’ 35th anniversary”
Following this, Grubb later commented on his statement by updating the original article saying that he was not sure if Super Mario Galaxy 2 would actually be included in the release- or rather potential releases. In just this past month, Grubb claimed that we would be seeing two Nintendo presentations on specific dates prior to their announcements. We did, in fact, see those presentations come into fruition on the dates Grubb provided, those being the Nintendo Direct Mini and the Nindies Showcase that debuted in late March. Grubb and Robinson both have good track records when it comes to investigating and reporting gaming news so saying these rumors are real is certainly not a long shot at all. It is understandable that many would not believe their reports- part of me still feels like a compilation with Super Mario Sunshine alone is impossible due to the lack of analog triggers on Switch- but various pieces of information that have released since those reports due give notable credibility to these rumors.
Since those two reports were published, multiple other media outlets with insider knowledge (including but not limited to IGN, GameSpot, and GameInformer) claim that the compilation package is indeed real along with the supposed new Paper Mario game and a port of Super Mario 3D World. Many outlets have contacted Nintendo regarding the rumors, but as expected their spokespeople have responded in typical Nintendo fashion by saying that the company does not and will not provide any comments on statements not officially made by them regarding their products. As always they closed off by saying they had “nothing to announce at this time.”
The Classics: 64, Sunshine, and Galaxy
Besides a group of journalists supporting the rumors, by far the biggest evidence backing them up might have unveiled itself on the morning of April 6th. Although this may sound completely elaborate and ridiculous, UK clothing company Uniqlo released images of their collaboration with Nintendo on a new line of UT range featuring Mario’s previous outings. Interestingly, this line of clothing is being branded as the “Super Mario 35th Anniversary” UT collection. Prior to this announcement, Nintendo had never once mentioned any plans or name drops regarding the 35th-anniversary tagline. This clothing brand is the first to ever name drop the 35th-anniversary line and as a reminder, all of these clothes are directly licensed by Nintendo.
One shirt in the catalog strikingly has a timeline of multiple renders of Mario from his most significant generational titles including Super Mario 64, Sunshine, Galaxy, and 3D World. If you were to exclude the retro and Super Mario Odyssey character renders, what you are left with are all the Mario titles mentioned in the rumors that are supposedly coming to Switch, while the ones left out are already available. To further credit this, Super Mario Sunshine never receives any involvement in modern merchandise- let alone his water pack companion F.L.U.D.D. This is the first time in a long while that the Sunshine box art render- or just any artwork from the game for that matter- has appeared in a piece of licensed Mario merchandise. The previous two anniversaries (25th and 30th) never featured Sunshine artwork in any of their celebration merchandise.
While on the topic of shirts, another idea that some die-hard fans may have bounced around in the back of their mind probably has to do with an image that seems unorthodox for Nintendo’s marketing standards. Back in August of 2019, Nintendo posted the following image- not promoting anything of significance– of Mario wearing a summer shirt and eating a watermelon across their social media accounts. This Sunshine-like render of Mario has never appeared once in any recent game or line of merchandise. This is the one image’s single appearance; something very un-Nintendo to use considering the way in which they market their characters. Many have argued that it could just be an unused outfit concept for Super Mario Odyssey, but even that seems unlikely as several artbooks dedicated to that game have shown that all the concept art utilized a unique two-dimensional style generally used throughout the franchise’s preproduction. This odd piece of artwork has stumped many fans for almost a year now, but perhaps soon we could see the potential reasoning for its existence.
3D World [Deluxe] and Paper Mario‘s Return to Form?
Even if all of these compilation rumors do end up being false, the odds of Super Mario 3D World receiving the same “Deluxe” treatment as New Super Mario Bros. U, Mario Kart 8, and Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker did is likely. If we do not count the different spin-off Mario sports titles, 3D World is actually the only last generation mainline Mario game currently unavailable on Switch. 3D World was Nintendo’s second-highest selling Wii U game across the globe and the most critically acclaimed Mario title on the console. The fact that this title has not made the generational jump yet is surprising when you put into consideration that Nintendo brought over the other franchise smash hits. As for the rumored Paper Mario title, the only details sources have provided is the fact that this entry would go back to the roots of the franchise. With how successful Switch has been, it is a no-brainer that we are going to see as many Mario series as possible flock to the console in the future.
For those in disbelief or defending these rumors, I think we can all agree in the long-run that Nintendo is going to one hundred percent provide us with more Mario content in the coming months. Besides, this year the big N has a Universal theme park opening up and a big-budget animated movie on the way dedicated to the guy.