Super Mario RPG game director Chihiro Fujioka wants to make a sequel – and then retire.
During an interview with MinnMax, Fujioka said that he wants to return to Super Mario RPG as his final game.
“So, in my career I’ve been involved in a lot of games and you know, I would really like my final one to be another Mario RPG game, if possible,” he said. “I think Mario & Luigi is cool but I would like to go back and create a Mario RPG where you’re only controlling Mario.”
Asked whether he has any story ideas, he replied: “That is a secret.”
Fujioka is perhaps best known for Super Mario RPG on the SNES but he also joined AlphaDream, working on the Mario & Luigi series starting with its first installment, Mario & Luigi: Superstar Saga.
It seems that the original concept was a lot more like early Final Fantasy games. “Super Mario RPG was supposed to be similar to the Final Fantasy games – you were supposed to be looking at the world from above,” he explained. “The final product, of course, you were looking at it from a specific angle. But initially, we wanted the game to look a lot like the earlier Final Fantasy games.”
Super Mario RPG was released in 1996 and saw Nintendo’s iconic plumber step away from the side-scrolling platform action we had come to expect.
But while Super Mario RPG added a Mario twist to some classic RPG elements, the original plan was to use more traditional RPG weapons and systems. In fact, he was originally going to ride a horse.
“Initially I was thinking of having Mario use magic attacks and use a sword as well,” said Fujioka. “But we realized that it doesn’t make sense for a character like Mario to be using weapons like that. So, we figured having Mario use jump attacks made more sense. That’s how the idea slowly changed.”
Might we eventually see Fujioka’s Super Mario RPG 2? That remains to be seen, but if the game does make it into production, perhaps we’ll see Fujioka work in some of these more fantastical elements.