April 2, 2023

Super Mario Sunshine 1
Image: Nintendo

deformation Translated two interviews from 2002 about the development of the upcoming Super Mario Sunshine, both revealing some rather interesting details about how the game’s FLUDD mechanics and Mario’s short-sleeved appearance came to be (thanks, Prolonged! ).

The first of these interviews took place on Nintendo Dream between Mario creator and producer Shigeru Miyamoto, Sunshine producer Tezuka Tezuka, and game director Yoshiaki Koizumi. The trio discussed the trials and tribulations of putting a unique Mario game on the GameCube, a system that was still relatively new at the time of the game’s development.

Director Koizumi took inspiration from the GameCube’s “L” and “R” buttons – pressing them reminded him of “the water pistols I played with when I was a kid”, which is likely the origin of FLUDD. According to Shigeru Miyamoto, FLUDD caused some concerns for Nintendo:

“Nintendo had a very serious debate about the FLUDD tank. Is it really appropriate to have Mario using tools and items like this? I mean, it’s fine for Luigi, so… (laughs)”

We agree, Miyamoto! If Luigi can use the Poltergust 3000, then Mario can use FLUDD! Another interesting anecdote about Super Mario Sunshine is about Mario’s new look – Miyamoto said the team “tried to give him a vest” which made the character look nothing like Mario! Overall, Tezuka had reservations about changing Mario’s design, but eventually agreed to give him shorter sleeves.

Koizumi hopes FLUDD will pave the way for “more wacky and unusual actions from Mario,” stating in the interview:

“Miyamoto actually said to us that he wanted GameCube Mario to go wild. However, when I showed him this toy that looked like a water pump, I could tell he was worried about what was going to happen. Still, In the end, Mario doing his job, the image of spraying water all over the place – it’s crazy, right?”

FLUDD definitely brings a very different Mario experience to Sunshine, which is often singled out by fans of Italian Plumbers. However, the game holds a special place in the hearts of many.

In the second interview, from GSLA file (and found about halfway down the page), the trio also revealed they tried to give Mario a Hawaiian shirt – which we ended up getting in Super Mario Odyssey.

But in this interview, there are more details about the FLUDD tank, including the fact that the device originally had ten different nozzles! Koizumi revealed that many of them were cut because finding multiple items and using them felt more like Zelda game:

“Mario Sunshine had hover, rocket, and turbo nozzles, but initially there were 10 different types. We kept adding them every time we thought of different situations where we could use them. Eventually we narrowed it down to just these three. .The reason is that we felt the whole playstyle of finding lots of different items and using them in the right situation was more suited to the Zelda game.

The concept of cleaning up in a Mario game might seem a little weird, and the team was concerned that it might not be appealing, which is why “goop” looks “beautiful” – they even likened some of it to “the look of chocolate sauce” .

Despite how unusual FLUDD is, it’s easily the most iconic part of Super Mario Sunshine, even appearing in super smash bros series as part of Mario Attack. It’s still the perfect Mario summer game, and — if you have a Switch — you can at least experience this weird and wonderful adventure with Super Mario 3D All-Stars (if you’re lucky enough to own a copy!).

What do you think of the FLUDD mechanism? Are you a Super Mario Sunshine fan? Fill in the comments with your thoughts!

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