How Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker nearly became a Zelda game

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Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker’s diorama-based puzzles had initially been intended to challenge The Legend of Zelda’s Link, according to the Wii U exclusive’s director Shinya Hiratake.

Early concepts had been born from the belief that if the jumping mechanic was removed from a platform game, the levels that players normally ran through could be shrunken down. With the Mushroom Kingdom’s characters all being known to readily jump at whim, Hiratake felt that it would be Link that could be placed in such game.

Hiratake diligently worked with a small development team to create a technical demonstration presenting how it would work, before presenting it to Nintendo’s executives.

“We must have done too good of a job with our demo, because during our presentation, Mr. Miyamoto asked us how we were planning on bringing these dioramas into production. He thought we were pitching him an actual physical product design,” Hiratake shared with Game Informer.

While Link’s involvement in such a game were dismissed, Miyamoto admitted that the idea had plenty of potential and allowed Hiratake’s team to include it in Super Mario 3D World as a mini-game. They needed a new star, and Hiratake remembered that in Super Mario Galaxy a toad had been lumbered with a backpack – reasoning that if it was weighed down by it then it would be unable to jump. And a new hero was created.

After Super Mario 3D World was launched, Miyamoto apparently encouraged the team to take their mini-game creation and begin expanding it into a full release – which will now shortly be upon us!

“We like to think that Mr. Miyamoto finally realised the vision we had for a diorama those many years ago,” Hiratake closed.

Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker will release exclusively for Wii U in North America on December 5th, Europe on January 2nd and in Australia on January 3rd.

Written by
After starting out with a Yellow Game Boy and a copy of Donkey Kong Land, Alex once hid in his room to play The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time one Christmas. Now he shares his thoughts on Nintendo Insider, keeping track of everything to do with Nintendo.

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