Earlier today, Nintendo streamed a Direct about Super Mario Bros Wonder. In that Direct, they showed things like new characters, locations and powerups, with the latter including the Elephant, Drill and Bubble Forms.
Yet it’s the latter that interests us here today. Why? Because Super Mario World ROM hack players might find it a tad familiar. Perhaps a little much too so.
And that’s because a very similar one was added in a custom powerups patch many years beforehand. Created by LX5, this Bubble Flower also gives Mario a pink and light blue outfit, as well as the ability to defeat enemies by trapping them in bubbles and turning them into harmless coins. It’s almost scary how similar the two are here, and makes you wonder if someone at Nintendo had played a few Mario ROM hacks before working on their big Switch project:
But is this the case? Did Nintendo really rip-off a fan made collection of powerups when working on Super Mario Bros Wonder?
Honestly, it’s hard to know for sure. On the one hand, they’ve definitely taken inspiration in some cases, like that time where they seemingly used the cacti designs from Newer Super Mario Bros Wii in Super Nintendo World rather than those from the original game:
Wow. I actually think Super Nintendo World's designers used art from Newer Super Mario Bros. Wii (a NSMBW mod) as a reference for their cacti. They have a somewhat distinct shape, were made specifically for Newer, and show up when you Google "New Super Mario Bros. Wii cactus". pic.twitter.com/CWrHiXCsj3
— Meatball132 (@meatball_132) February 6, 2021
So, there’s definitely precedent for fan ideas ending up in official products.
But we’re hesitant to say that it’s the case here. For one thing, the Bubble Flower in both games is inspired by the Bubble Yoshi ability in New Super Mario Bros U, which also turns enemies and objects into bubbles.
Hence it’s possible that the powerup was just the logical evolution of that, with Mario’s palette choice being merely meant to differentiate itself from others in the past.
Yet at the same time the palette and mechanics definitely feel a tad too close to the fan-made version. So, it could really go either way here.
Still, what do you think? Did Nintendo really take the idea for the Bubble ability from a Super Mario World patch? Or are the similarities a complete coincidence here?
Leave your thoughts in the comments below, on social media, or on our Discord server today!