According to Game Informer, Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker director, Shinya Hiratake, dreamt of creating a game which were made up of small diorama-like levels, where that main character couldn’t jump. The player would, instead, have to move the camera around the level to help guide your character to the goal. This dream eventually lead itself to become Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker however, this dream actually started off staring Link, the main protagonist from The Legend of Zelda franchise.
Find out more about the origins of Captain Toad after the break!
Before the Captain Toad mini-games in Super Mario 3D World, Shinya Hiratake wanted to create smaller levels and thought this could be achieved if he could remove the jumping mechanic. He didn’t quite feel this idea fit in the Mario universe as all the playable characters could jump, when looking back on the IPs from Nintendo, he felt the idea fit The Legend of Zelda franchise most appropriately. This is because Link couldn’t jump… or at least he couldn’t at the press of a button.
Hiratake and a small team then set off to create a small tech demo of his idea with Link being the playable character. Hiritake went on to say how Miyamoto must have thought that they were presenting him with a proper retail game.
We must have done too good of a job with our demo, because during our presentation, Mr. Miyamoto asked us how we were planning on bringing these dioramas into production. He thought we were pitching him an actual physical product design.
Unfortunately, the idea of including Link as the star was shot down, though the concept was still very well received. Hiratake thought back to Super Mario Galaxy, specifically the Captain Toad character. Captain Toad always wore a backpack, so Hiratake figured that the backpack would weigh Toad down, therefore making it difficult for him to jump.
The team were then given permission to use this concept in the Wii U title, Super Mario 3D World. Miyamoto encouraged them to bring this concept to a full blown Wii U title, and thus Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker was born!
We like to think that Mr. Miyamoto finally realized the vision we had for a diorama those many years ago.
Personally, I think this is a great little story about the origins of Treasure Tracker, and I think it is awesome how a small concept, thought up several years ago, made the jump from a concept, to a mini-game and then to a full blown retail game. However, I think it would be interesting to see what the game would look like if they decided to keep Link as the main star. Would it still become a full retail game? Or would it have been a scrapped project?
Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker is out now in Japan and releases on the 5th December 2014 in North America and the 2nd and 3rd January in Europe and Australia respectively!