Nintendo is Hiring a Level Designer for the Legend of Zelda Series

Have you ever wanted to create dungeons for the Legend of Zelda series? Model an overworld of the sort found in titles like Breath of the Wild?

Come up with interesting puzzle box setups based on Mark Brown’s Boss Keys videos?

Oh of course you have. Everyone’s looked at the Zelda series at some point and wanted to work on it. Heck, it’s a dream role for thousands of people in the series, with composer Grant Kirkhope being only one example.
And now, it could be a possibility for you as well. Why? Because Nintendo’s just put up a job posting for a level designer for the Legend of Zelda franchise. Here’s the listing page if you haven’t seen it already:

As you can tell (via a quick Google translation), they’re asking for someone to create game events, dungeons and overworld areas, with enemy placements specifically mentioned as part of the job description. They also mention that said person should be a fluent Japanese speaker (due to the need to collaborate with others), have experience producing games in some manner and will be trialled for 3 months before potentially getting promoted to a permanent member of staff. In other words, it’s exactly what you’d expect from a role like this.

So, check it out, and give it a shot if you have the skills required. After all, Corey Bunnell did back in 2014 or so, and that got him a job working on Zelda Breath of the Wild.

If you take advantage of the right opportunities, the sky’s the limit here!


The Legend of Zelda Level Designer Listing (Official Nintendo Jobs Site)

Pikachu Once Had a Second Evolution Called Gorochu?

As you likely know, Pikachu only has one evolution in the Pokemon series. Oh sure, it has a pre-evolution in the form of Pichu and an Alolan variant for its evolution, but the evolutionary line stops at Raichu, regardless of what some clueless scientist on Cinnabar Island might say in the original games.

Raichu went and evolved

However, did you know it didn’t used to be that way?

Yeah, you heard us right. At one point in Pokémon’s development, Pikachu was actually the first stage of a three-part evolutionary line, with Raichu having an evolution of its own.

This is confirmed by a recent interview in Yomiuri where Pokemon series artist Atsuko Nishida mentions a scrapped second evolution for the iconic electric mouse. This second evolution would have it become an unknown Pokemon called Gorochu, described as a fiercer looking creature with fangs and a pair of horns. Here’s the quote about it straight from the original article:

In the game Pikachu only evolves to Raichu, but I hear that at first there was three stages. Why did it end up being only two stages? (Or one evolution)

Nishida: Yes. It was “Pika(chu),” “Rai(chu),” and “Goro(chu).” The Pokémon known as Gorochu bared fangs and even had a pair of horns.

It’s certainly an interesting thing to think about, isn’t it?

After all, the horns and fangs suggest a more menacing final form than Raichu turned out to be, with elements of a demonic motif potentially being present there.

Fake Pikachu Evo

Above: Though maybe it could have looked more like this hoax from back in 2013…

And that’s not all. Oh no, remember that as a rule, elemental stone evolutions tend not to evolve again afterwards in the main Pokemon series. There may be the odd exception in future, but in general, the elemental stone tends to activate a Pokémon’s last evolutionary form.

However, Raichu was only the second form in this shortened line. This raises the question of whether it was originally going to evolve some other way, or whether the rule of elemental stone evolutions not evolving afterwards wasn’t decided then.

Which in turn leads to questions about the anime or Pokemon Yellow could have worked as well. Okay, they weren’t really things anyone was thinking about at this point, but… picture it for a second. If Pikachu didn’t require a Thunder Stone, that would completely change the mechanics for both of these adaptations, and likely mean they’d go in totally different directions from what we actually got.

So, in that sense, cutting Gorochu may have been instrumental to the direction of almost every part of the Pokemon franchise. For want of a nail indeed!

However, as interesting as that thought experiment aspect may be, it’s not the only intriguing thing brought to light in the interview.

Oh no, quite a few other details about Pikachu’s design and character development were mentioned there too. For instance, Pikachu wasn’t actually a mouse in the game’s early development either.

Nope, back then it was actually meant to be a squirrel. In fact, the red cheeks Pikachu is partially known for are a holdover from this, with the idea of it having cheek pouches for electricity coming from how squirrels store food in their cheeks:

Nishida: Since it was an electric-type, I thought it would be nice to have it store electricity in its cheek pouches. At the time I was really into squirrels, and since squirrels store food in their cheeks I thought about giving it cheek pouches. Also, squirrel tails are cute so I gave it a tail as well. However, I did want to give it some kind of “lightning” part to it, so I gave it the lightning-shaped tail.

And that’s still not all. Nope, before it was even meant to be a squirrel, Pikachu was actually envisioned as a daifuku. As in, it was originally based on a certain type of Japanese cake with ears, with the name ‘Pikachu’ being part of why it was eventually turned into a mouse.

Add to this how its original concept was created as a way to add ‘cute’ Pokemon to a series that didn’t yet feature them or how its rarity in game was driven in part by its creators wanting to keep it to themselves, and it becomes clear that every element of the electric mouse’s creation stemmed from pure serendipity. Kind of like many other Nintendo characters and their origins when you think about it…

So yeah, go and read the full translation from Silicon Era if you want to know more. There’s quite a lot of interesting stuff there, and you’ll get quite the glimpse of Pokémon’s development process while you’re at it.

As for now? Well, give us your thoughts on the scrapped Pikachu evolution or its design in the comments below! Would you have wanted to see Raichu evolve into a more powerful Pokemon, or Pikachu with a squirrel inspired design?


Pikachu Originally Had A Second Evolution Called ‘Gorochu’ With Large Fangs And Two Horns (Silicon Era)

Super Mario Odyssey’s Snowline Circuit Has Been Ported to Mario Kart 8

As you likely know, the final mission in Super Mario Odyssey’s Snow Kingdom is known as the Bound Bowl Grand Prix. This is a racing mini game where players have to bound around an icy track in order to win a Multi-Moon, with extra prices being available for harder variants. It’s an interesting challenge, and a moderately fun mini game whose high scores can also be shared online.

However, as it turns out, that mini game isn’t all the track can used for!

Oh no, thanks to the work of a modder called WexosMK on YouTube, it can now also be used for Mario Kart races too! That’s because as the video below clearly shows, the track has now been ported over to Mario Kart 8 on Wii U, complete with everything present in the Mario Odyssey original:

And what’s more, it works really well too. Oh sure, it doesn’t have the most complex layout (that’d probably be the Iceburn Circuit) and it’s not super gimmicky (like say, Mount Wario), but it’s a nice solid track design that’s plenty wide enough for karts and works really well in Mario Kart 8’s physics engine.

Which then makes us wonder:

What else from Super Mario Odyssey could work as a Mario Kart track?

New Donk City? Tostarena Town? Steam Gardens?

Maybe even a new version of Bowser’s Castle based on the one from Odyssey?

All of those would be fantastic ideas, and all could become likely now models are being ripped from Super Mario Odyssey and imported into games like Mario Kart 8. The possibilities really are endless, and the list of cool custom tracks still to come will likely just grow and grow.

So yeah, check out the track if you’re interested, and download it from the Mario Kart 8 custom track wiki too.

It’s well worth it!


Snowline Circuit (Mario Kart 8 Custom Track Wiki)

New Dream Friend Details Datamined from Kirby Star Allies!

Well, it seems like Super Mario Odyssey wasn’t the only game to get datamined today! Nope, as the title suggests, Kirby Star Allies has been torn apart too, with plenty of new Dream Friend details being found in the ROM.

And as predicted, these include pretty much every popular Kirby character you can imagine. From Magolor to Susie and even this game’s Jambastion Mages, every fan favourite seems to be in this list in some form or another! So, here’s the list in question (as sorted by DLC wave):

Wave 2

  • Adeleine
  • Daroach
  • Dark Meta Knight


Above: Daroach, a familiar face added as a Dream Friend in Kirby Star Allies

Wave 3

  • Magolor
  • Taranza
  • Susie
  • Jambastion Mages


Above: Magolor, a familiar villain being added as a Dream Friend in Kirby Star Allies.

Plus, some nice links to find out more details about the datamine. It’s one that’s going to make Kirby fans very happy indeed!


LuigiBlood’s Datamine Findings (Twitter)

New Super Mario Odyssey Costumes Images Datamined from the Game!

A while back, you may recall an article about some outfit descriptions found within Super Mario Odyssey’s code. These descriptions talked about unreleased costumes for the game, such as a zombie one, a composer one and various Broodal themed ones, and ended up giving away Nintendo’s future DLC plans in the process.

However, what they did come with were pictures. Indeed, despite the descriptions being easy to obtain, actual models or pictures for the outfits weren’t present at all. So actually, finding out how they’d look in game wasn’t possible at the time.

Until now! Because thanks to the recent update (and a bit more datamining), we now actually have pictures of the unused costumes from Super Mario Odyssey! So, without further ado, here they are:

Racing Helmet/Outfit

Racing Outfit

Zombie Headwear/Outfit

Zombie Outfit

Conductor Wig/Outfit

Conductor Outfit

Santa/Father Christmas Hat/Outfit

Santa Outfit

Hariet Hat/Outfit

Hariet Outfit

Rango Hat/Outfit

Rango Outfit

Spewart Hat/Outfit

Spewart Outfit

As you can see, they’ve got pretty cool designs all around, and fit the descriptions perfectly. And well, given how the outfits from the datamine were added in the last few weeks (like the Satellaview one and Topper’s one), it’s quite clear these won’t be too long coming either.

So yeah, what do you think about them? Are you impressed by the designs for these outfits in Super Mario Odyssey?

Or do you feel the scrapped Link outfit may have worked even better?

Have your say in the comments below or over on social media today!

Super Mario Odyssey Update Datamines (eCumber on Twitter)