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Mario: a pumpkin head

What did you think this was all about? Pumpkins!?
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I said I'm not against it, only that Thousand-Year Door is a step, but not a standard. I just want to see Nintendo push this more. But I also see Thousand-Year Door being praised for its design when Origami King's Toad costumes are nearly on par with Thousand-Year Door.



The only difference is the lack of a hairdo which is not really all that groundbreaking (though I give it to you that feminine and masculine hairstyles are a plus for Toads especially feminine ones since people have a tendency to default to "he" rather than "they"). Thousand-Year Door, the original Paper Mario, and Super Mario RPG, barring that big Toad, doesn't stray anywhere far from the mold from the Toad, not as far as people seem to think, so which is why I advocate going more with the Show or the original Mario Party if they want to make Toads look varied and not part of a costume part.

Sure, they make up for the blandish Toads with other friendly NPCs, but their designs are generally hit and miss. Bub-ulbs? Fine. Whacka? All right. But Rip Cheato? Chet Rippo? The confusing mammalian Doogan thing? Ishnail??? Eh. Lumpy? Cute, but doesn't even look like it belongs in the same universe? I think I'll pass. Besides, the original meme took a potshot at Toads and Toads only, so it's irrelevant to bring up the other species.

Sure, Origami King doesn't have as many named NPCs so there's not as many kinds of Toad outfits, but in the end, Thousand-Year Door's Toads are just Origami King's named Toads, but more of them. That image of Toads walking in isn't quite accurate.

Besides, the first two Paper Marios also relied on generic Toads and friendly NPCs to fill in the spaces.



And Origami King did introduce costume variety in the friendly NPCs too. Some of these costumes wouldn't look out of place in Thousand-Year Door. I can see that Goomba somewhat being a partner.



Anyhow from these pictures, I have no idea where people are getting that Origami King is "devoid of charm" because the set pieces look really charming to me.



Anyway some Toad designs that don't exactly fit with the standard Toad (and can go more!) but there's precedent in the series and I like to see that explored more. Maybe some people don't like the noses on them, but I do see how it's an extra customization feature for them to help Toads stand apart from each other.









OR if Nintendo wants an extra grimdark justification for the homogenous appearance of Toads, something that would make Super Paper Mario nod in grim approval, they can say that Peach and Toad did eugenics and mass-killing all of the "imperfect" Toads and this is why these Toads don't exist any more.

Checks out, thats 90% of PM's characters. Just take a main series thing and slap an outfit, hair or token clothing thing on it.
I wouldn't go as far to as 90% of characters. There's Punies, there's Chet Farto, there's Charlieton (??? what's with the first two games' obsession with random swindlers) there's the rat thing, there's the brown dog thing, there's the flying saucer thing, there's Whacka, there's the green Twilight things that look like bean people a bit, there is the beard alien dude people, there's the mosquito things, there's the magician people, the Smorgs, the weird pig dude. It's still majority Mario characters, but a substantial amount of species and individuals are new and exclusive to the first three Paper Mario. Ratio is a lot narrower after this, with practically zero new species (I don't count origami variants as new species) beyond the partners Mario has (Olivia, Huey, Kersti).
 
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I knew about the Super Show Toads, but the fact that Mario Party continued giving them offbeat body proportions took me by surprise.

Anyway, I too hold that, while TTYD may not be a paragon of character design (look at Dry Bones and
whatever this thing is), it did take certain steps towards providing NPCs with a healthy dose of individualism. This is something I like to see regardless of how the quality of these designs stacks up to that of the established, template models—it enriches Mario’s world, inherently generating new flavours, and prevents it from feeling too much like other installments of the same series. And, honestly, it’s not rare when the game pulls it off nicely, where we have characters such as Toodles, communicating glamour not just through clothing but also expression and body shape. The game certainly has some visually memorable Toads in it, if only because they manage to stand out amongst their kin.

I will only partially agree that TOK follows the same principles. Indeed, its Toads are already quite eclectic, but I’d argue the game still has issues with its character design. The picture you provided showing the Goombas and Troopas in a Far Eastern setting is not too convincing of its design strengths: no significant effort has been made to develop a visual distinction in these characters, and the little clothing they don doesn’t cut it as it looks tacked on like a Halloween costume. In particular, that Goomba’s grim facial expression clashes with his geisha wig big time and it looks ridiculous. Note the criticism extends to wherever that situation applies in the older games as well, like the green TTYD Buzzy Beetle with a wrench just sticking out of it.

All’s I’m saying is that I agree with the sentiment that good character design goes beyond the DeviantArt OC practice of just changing someone’s hairdo and clothing, and in that regard Paper Mario as a whole has areas where it succeeds and areas where it succeeds less. I too wish the games would take it up a notch.
 
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Mario: a pumpkin head

What did you think this was all about? Pumpkins!?
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I agree that changing up how they look is a good idea to help make Mario's world feel more organic and less.... generated. It's that same sort of factory-feeling you get out of New Donkers where they're all the same young woman and man type. Anyhow I think resources are too limited for Nintendo to really focus on giving all Toads traits, but my great idea is why not make some algorithm of outfits and such and just generate friendly NPC Toads that way; GTA V and Sims do have procedurally generated combos of people that spawn around as well as generated voices. I'm not saying Paper Mario should go with procedurally generated friendly NPCs (but wouldn't it be great if every playthrough of Paper Mario had, like, different looking Toad NPCs each time lol) but it can save up on time individually designing each character.

I also agree Thousand-Year Door and Paper Mario 64's strengths are at least having a better female presentation. I just like having old granny Toads, gardener Toads, girl group Toads, etc. ALL the Toads you see in Origami King are practically male (I mean their voice mirrors Toad and Toad is male) even though they were initially supposed to be ambiguous. Why aren't there feminine presented Toads? Why not just use Toadette's voice? Or why not just have some Toads wear dresses without any other hair to indicate this?

As for the Far Eastern setting, I think the sparing use of costumes is in better done than having everyone wear the same garb. I really think everyone besides those that work there and hold the festival should actually look pretty similar to the Toads in Mushroom Kingdom; you don't go to a foreign country like Japan and then you see everyone wearing the traditional gear like women wearing kimonos and the men wearing samurai gear. No they generally wear those in special occasions while most is in T-shirts, jeans, typical clothes we wear. As for Goomba in Geisha, yeah maybe they (she? funny you call that a "he" and I circle back to my point of how people default to "he" to indeterminate Toads possibly EVEN if they're wearing feminine clothing) can use makeup but I'm not sure what else they can really use to stand out. Goomba is just really limited by design and I don't know what traits that invoke "traditional Japanese" can be applied to Goomba besides an eye change (which is.... I'm not comfortable) and white paint.

What I want games to do is to use other species and other Mario characters. The environment is actually pretty good, way better than the cookie cutter Mario environments (and Nintendo somehow keeps managing to give us really good Japan-themed environments from Bowser Kingdom to the, uh, Autumn Land). But the species could use Piantas, Tostareans, Mousers, Bandits, Blarghs, Cluckboom, BUMPTY, and, while more difficult to integrate, why not have Paper Rosalina, Pauline, Waluigi, Wario, Daisy, Donkey Kong, BABY MARIO!!!!!, Baby Luigi, etc?
 

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Honestly, white paint and blushing cheeks could have gone a long way to make that Goomba look, at the very least, amusingly apropos of geisha. The wig alone isn’t really telling of much.

Taking a closer gander at the original character designs across Paper Mario, I realised that they can be quite hit or miss, as you said. In light of this, I like what you say that Intelligent System should use more of what the EPD division designed. And, yeah, where the fuck is Paper Dong. An actual paper DK, not the cameo he got as a mask alongside Samus’s helmet.
 

zelen !!

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GTA V and Sims do have procedurally generated combos of people that spawn around as well as generated voices. I'm not saying Paper Mario should go with procedurally generated friendly NPCs (but wouldn't it be great if every playthrough of Paper Mario had, like, different looking Toad NPCs each time lol) but it can save up on time individually designing each character.
isnt that the sort of stuff youd expect out of games which already have player customization, and thuss can reuse it for the npcs ? love the idea though
also let toads have actually differing skin colors wheres poc toads
 

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Some concept artwork for Donkey Kong Tropical Freeze, by Toph Gorham. Felt like sharing these images here in particular since, unlike other pieces of concept art, they didn’t make it into the game as unlockable extras.




I’m not able to discern what specifically was incorporated into the final product from the first picture (it could depict some Autumn Heights setpiece IMO), but the second picture is evidently a concept for Wing Ding.
 

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I was the one who put the first image on the Wing Ding wiki page in the first place, but I’m removing it since its environment is a little too generic for us to trace any concrete parallels to Wing Ding specifically. The concept could have indeed been incorporated into the level’s bell tower portion given the sunset color palette, but I think that’s still too much of a stretch…

Either way…

Look at this concept art for the game’s goats!



They only appear in the background of one level, Windmill Hills. They’re such underdogs that I think I’m gonna make them into my new theme. Unless someone else wants to.
 

Mcmadness

The idiot who puts things in the wrong board.
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i’m not sure why you guys are so against that but a’ight, different strokes and all
Not against, just indifferent.

Plus some peeps be all like THE RPGS ARE WAY MORE CREATIVE THAN THE MAIN GAMES and I just don't see it.
 

Kontrast

Cons and Knees Don't Go Together
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you'd love being wario. don't hide it.

i don't know anyone who doesn't wish to be at least half as handsome.
Contrary to popular belief, I don't like to take control of myself just to say no when a Star is offered.
 

Yokune Ruko

白米より麦飯だろコノヤロー!
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P&D Red Koopa Paratroopa

Only the power of the dragon balls can stop me!
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Despite all of her parents warnings, Mona befriends her uncle Wario.
Either that or, she met her idols Luigi & Daisy and got a picture with them.. although I suppose that wouldn't explain the baby picture
 
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