- Waluigi and Wario almost had a Princess Peach of their own according to Mario Tennis director.
- Shugo Takahashi said that he started drawing this idea but Mario creator Shigeru Miyamoto vetoed it.
- He thought it was too similar to Doronjo from the Yatterman anime and thus didn't like it.
Gaming nowadays has countless franchises that are popular worldwide and have left their mark on other mediums of entertainment. But this wasn’t the case back in the 80s when games were just fun 2D arcade titles.
What really started this trend of humongous video game franchises was the 1985s Super Mario Bros. from Nintendo.
Since that time, Mario has become a staple of pop culture along with other characters from the game series like Luigi, Wario, and Waluigi. One thing everyone knows is you can’t have a successful franchise without a strong female character like Princess Peach in Mario.
As it turns out, Waluigi almost had his own Peach counterpart before the creator Shigeru Miyamoto rejected the idea. Nintendo Dream Web interviewed Shugo Takahashi last year (thanks GSK), and in this interview, the director of Mario Tennis, which was the first appearance of Waluigi, gave out interesting info.
buoyed by the OK & the knowledge that Nintendo was open to good ideas, they tried to pitch "Walupeach" for their next game, but apparently Miyamoto vetoed it before they could even show him their design, on the lines that "I know it's gonna be just like Doronjo, so don't bother"
— GSK | https://cohost.org/gosokkyu (@gosokkyu) January 17, 2023
According to the interview, the vice president of Camelot Software came up with a captivating idea for Mario Tennis. While working on the game, Nintendo and series creator Shigeru Miyamoto was open to different ideas. The director’s idea was to give Waluigi and Wario their own Princess Peach, called “Warpeach.”
We aren’t sure if this name would have stuck or if “Walupeach” would have been chosen. But, the idea did not see the light of day as Mario creator Miyamoto instantly said no to it. Takahashi said this while talking about it in the interview.
I knew that if I made something good, Nintendo would approve it, so I wanted to use a new character in my next work. I started another project with the graphic leader, saying, ‘Let’s try making Warpeach next.'”
In this phase of throwing ideas at the board, Shugo Takahashi thought his design would get accepted. Nintendo wanted a new and fresh take on the Super Mario franchise, and this was one. But, Miyamoto did not see it this way and gave a unique reason for this.
He rejected the idea before Takahashi could even draw it and start working on the traits. Miyamoto said that Warpeach would be like “Doronjo” anyway, and he didn’t want to see it. Talking about this encounter with the Super Mario creator, Shugo Takahashi said:
Tried drawing it for the time being, but Mr. (Shigeru) Miyamoto thought, ‘Even if you don’t see it, it’s just like Doronjo anyway.’ It seemed like it was over before I could show it (laughs).”
If you are wondering who Doronjo is, she is a character in the Yatterman anime series. She is the main antagonist of the titular Yatterman gang and is their archnemesis. Hence, Shigeru Miyamoto probably thought the character of Warpeach was too similar to Doronjo.
Takahashi doesn’t think his creation would turn into Doronjo. However, Miyamoto feared it wasn’t original enough, and that was curtains for Wario and Waluigi’s Peach. If we are lucky, maybe one day we will see the sketch Takahashi made on the internet.
He also gave us some other interesting info about Waluigi and how the design of his cap changed. Originally it wasn’t going to be an inverted L, but Yoichi Kotabe made it so. Still, the most interesting info from this is the temporary existence of Warpeach.
It seems like Warpeach will be a lost item in Super Mario history. Even though Shugo Takahashi insists his design wasn’t similar to Doronjo, we have no proof to back this up. Hopefully, we will one day see this character design somewhere.
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