Missing in Action; Five Mario Characters who disappeared without a trace!

Over the life of the Mario franchise, a lot of characters come and go.  For some it’s after just one appearance, like with Wart and every RPG villain in existance bar Fawful.  But for a great many others it’s regular characters that seem to vanish without a trace, actually important ones that were once important to the franchise as a whole.  What happened to them?  Why did they stop showing up?

This, is a list of Mario characters who vanished without a trace for no reason whatsoever.

However, there are a few rules I’m going to point out that apply to this list, otherwise it’d be at least ten times as long and almost completely irrelevant.  First of all, I’m generally counting regular characters.  There are hordes of one offs littering the RPGs and platformers that never get a repeat appearance, but to list of all these would take at least a fifty page article due to how many they are.  And it’s kind of expected that most fictional characters will only appear once or twice in history, it’s what happens in all forms of media.

Secondly, these are generally ‘currrently’ missing characters.  Yes the Koopalings vanished for god knows how many years, but they’re back now.  Same with Kamek.

Finally, these are characters with few if any new appearances in ANY video games, spinoffs included.  Yes we haven’t seen the Big Bob-omb in a platformer for god knows how many years, but he’s been in about half the Mario Party games in recent history.  Same with many other important boss characters.  So let the list begin!

5. Professor E Gadd

Yes he’s going to be in Luigi’s Mansion Dark Moon, but do you know that he’s technically been missing from the Mario series for the last few years?

Seriously.  Somewhere between Mario and Luigi Partners in Time and Mario and Luigi Bowser’s Inside Story, everyone’s favourite mad professor seemingly vanished without a trace never to be seen again.  Mario Wiki even says he was absent SIX YEARS.

It’s funny really, the way he missed the whole Wii generation makes me suspect Nintendo decided to shoo out all the Gamecube era Nintendo characters in embarassment or something. Think about it, E Gadd went from massively popular to non existant, Petey Piranha went from being in every other Mario game to being replaced by stand ins and generally phased out and Bowser Jr’s being slowly removed from the Mario franchise in general.

Are Nintendo trying to bury the era as their dork age?  Maybe, but thankfully Professor E Gadd seems to be returning in some way, unlike some others on the list.

4. Kammy Koopa

Yes, she’s an RPG character, but she’s also one of the few Paper Mario characters to get repeat appearances in the series and of importance both times. In Paper Mario 1, she was Bowser’s assistant.  In Paper Mario 2, she was still Bowser’s assistant.

In Super Paper Mario?  Gone completely.

Some might say Kamek replaced her again, but even he’s not been in the Paper Mario series in any important role.  Guess Nintendo decided Bowser shouldn’t have any assist characters or second in commands in the RPGs any more.  Probably because he’s often playable now.

3. Toadsworth

Another ‘relic’ of the Gamecube era, he at least ‘survived’ until Bowser’s Inside Story.  If you’re keeping count of ‘now removed Mario Sunshine era characters’, here’s the list depicting when they disappeared:

  1. Professor E Gadd, Mario and Luigi Partners in Time
  2. Petey Piranha, Mario Basketball 3 on 3 (would have been Mario Kart Wii if not cut)
  3. Toadsworth, Mario and Luigi Bowser’s Inside Story
  4. Bowser Jr, New Super Mario Bros Wii (main appearances)

Looks like Nintendo’s been having a Gamecube era character cull, they even did the same with other franchises by cutting Gamecube era Zelda characters as well (like Tingle).   And Toadsworth was lost to this too, he’s not been seen in three years now and looks to be never returning.

Maybe he quite literally died.

2. Funky Kong

I get it, he’s not a Mario character but a Donkey Kong Country one.  But none the less, he shot to prominence again in the Mario spinoffs and has seemingly vanished from both franchises for reasons unknown.

For example, it seems for a short while, he was shaping up to be a playable character in the Mario sports games, with appearances in Mario Super Sluggers and Mario Kart Wii.  Not any more, he’s not been playable in those kinds of games for at least four years now.

His luck in the DK franchise isn’t much better.  Initially making a long string of playable appearances in King of Swing, Konga 3, Jungle Climber and Barrel Blast, he’s been outright absent in the last few years and didn’t even get more than a one line reference in Donkey Kong Country Returns:

So you have to get to the top of the island. Wish you knew someone who owned a plane.

Above is the poor guy’s only mention in the entirety of Returns. Ouch.

Guess Funky Kong’s days in the limelight are long over now…

1. Bowser Jr

Okay, he appeared in Mario Party 9 and some sports games, but he seemed to vanish outright from the platformers recently.  He was surprisingly not present at all in Super Mario 3D Land (quite an interesting change from how he was thrown into all the 3D Mario games prior), and hasn’t been seen yet in either New Super Mario Bros 2 or New Super Mario Bros U.

Have Nintendo decided he wasn’t worth including in the main series again, possibly due to his hatedom?  Seems increasingly likely.  We may even be back to the once thought impossible days when the Koopalings were Bowser’s regular minions again, like in Super Mario Bros 3 and World!

But in regards to the topic of the article, what the hell happened to these guys? Most of them seem to have either dropped significantly in importance/use or disappeared entirely for multiple years despite being a major part of the series they were involved in.  Will any of them ever return?  Or are they all pretty much gone for good?

Monster Hunter 4; New Trailer!

Yeah, Capcom have released a new trailer for the fourth Monster Hunter game, which can be viewed below (video is hosted on their official Youtube channel).


The game looks fantastic from what I can see in the video, is this really a 3DS title?  I mean, it’s noticeably a little worse looking than Monster Hunter Tri for the Wii, but for a handheld game this looks really, really impressive.  Makes me think about what the next Legend of Zelda game could look like on the console.

What do you think of Monster Hunter 4 from the trailer?  Does the game look fantastic to anyone else?

More Shantae games coming in future?

As you may recall, Shantae is a fairly obscure platformer released back in the Game Boy Color days, with a more recent sequel made available on DSiWare fairly recently.  The games have become cult classics of sorts and quite a few people want a sequel for obvious reasons. Stands to reason that more games would be coming, right?

Well it turns out that’s the case.  Why WayForward’s CEO didn’t outright state a game title or any detailed information, a recent interview with him on the fan site Nintendojo has him say that the studio is most definitely working on a new Shantae game.  Here’s the direct quote:

Um, I mean, I wish I could say something specific, but we are working on it. Like I would expect to see it on, you know, Wii U, uh, it’s just, I don’t want to commit to a time because it always gets– even though we have been working on it, you know, like I said it gets pushed to the back burner, so um, originally we were hoping to have something for launch, but that’s clearly not going to happen. But yeah, Shantae is definitely in the works, and the last one, Risky’s Revenge, kind of left off on, like, a down note, so we have to address that, right? So yeah, definitely more Shantae, for sure.

That sounds pretty much like confirmation that a sequel’s in development to me.

So with that said, would you want a Shantae sequel on 3DS?  Did you buy/like Risky’s Revenge on Nintendo’s DSiWare service, and does the game deserve a sequel?



Screenshots of New Super Mario Bros 2 reveal new info!

As IGN has already pointed out in the source link below, Nintendo’s official 3DS XL website has put up some interesting screens of New Super Mario Bros 2 which kind of reveal some interesting minor details.

For example, this screen confirms without a doubt that the Mega Mushroom is an item in New Super Mario Bros 2 and works exactly like in the DS original.  Not that this should be surprisingly, this official art popped up a few weeks ago:

None the less, this is the first screenshot showing the Mega Mushroom item actually in use.  Also, I think the graphics used in that picture are just a little different from those in New Super Mario Bros DS and Wii, the background doesn’t seem to have the same design.  Seems more open than the circular design found in those games cave levels.

There are also new screenshots that don’t show much new, like this new one of Gold Mario in a familiar level that was shown in the trailer at Nintendo Direct:

As well as these additional ones showing the first level of the game:

However, the interesting things shown that seem to be new are on the bottom screen.  From what we can see, it seems like:

In co-op, both Mario and Luigi share a life counter and when it runs out,  both lose.

Worlds/levels are still known by boring names such as 1-1, 2-1 and 1-2.  The former is the one with the multi coloured hills, stacks of Goombas and blocks, the second one the desert area and the third one the level which introduces Mega Mario, so presumably the first two world themes are still grass and desert.

There’s also a progress meter like the one in New Super Mario Bros.

Items can still be stored in the inventory on the bottom screen and tapped to make them fall into the level proper.

In levels with co-op, a strange blue circular icon moves to where the Star Coins are usually displayed and displaces them a bit to the right.  Is this something to do with wifi?

There are still three star coins in every level.

Score is still counted

The bottom left number is current coins, the right one is record number collected in the current level.

Also of interest, note the number of star coins collected vs where the player is in the level.  In 2-1, it seems they’ve collected all three by the midway point.  But in the one with the Mega Mushroom, they haven’t apparently seen ANY by the midway point.  Are the star coins placed about the level somewhat more unevenly now?  Do some levels really just shove all the coins in the last half the level?  Or are they just really well hidden in the cave levels and the person playing wasn’t good enough to find them?

So yes, that’s some interesting new info about and screenshots of New Super Mario Bros 2, including the first ever look at the view shown on the touch screen.  What do you think? Does any of this make you want to buy New Super Mario Bros 2?




Project X Zone Box Art Revealed!

And I have to say, it looks really good.   Simple perhaps, but it shows many of the important characters playable in the game on the front along with perfectly clear info about what companies are involved, the game’s title and general information.  Here’s the box art (Japanese):

Ideally, they’ll keep roughly the same design and merely translate the title if the game gets localised and released outside Japan, right?