The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild changed things, not just for Nintendo, but across the industry. Nintendo’s willingness to reinvent a major franchise resounded with fans, with a 3D open-world structure helping provide newfound depth to the Zelda experience. It’s no surprise that fans of Nintendo, and other game studios, are quick to request similar reinventions for other franchises. One Nintendo fan recently took the initiative and created their own mockup of an open-world Mario game that’s been well-received by other fans.
The mockup comes from Redditor cestialAnonymous, an artist who said that they combined a screenshot from Super Mario Odyssey with an open-world background image from Unity for their concept. The result stood out to fans from the Mario subreddit, who upvoted it to the top of the community recently. These Mario fans made it no secret that they’d love for the next 3D Super Mario Bros. game from Nintendo to take on this style of open-world gameplay.
The concept art from cestialAnonymous is very standard. It shows Mario walking down a dirt path in a lightly-wooded area. There’s grass and flowers around him, a cliff to the left and boulders poking out of the ground to the right. A forested area to the front of Mario beckons, hiding what’s behind it. In the bottom left corner is a mini-map, showing paths branching off to the left and right for Mario to explore as he progresses. There are also nearly 10 markers on the map teasing important locations out in the world.
It just goes to show that the popularity of The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild is built on very basic ideas that translate to most any other franchise. It’s the idea of a wider world to explore that captures gamers’ imagination and excitement. The mockup doesn’t even have anything to do with Mario games, but that doesn’t really matter.
Odds are, Nintendo isn’t going to take its Super Mario franchise in the same direction as it’s taking The Legend of Zelda. Nintendo fans will get what they want from The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild 2, after all. Fans of Super Mario seem content with the direction of the franchise as it is, after all. The popularity of Super Mario Odyssey is undeniable.
At this point, however, it’s hard to argue that “rebooting” a franchise with an open-world style wouldn’t be popular regardless of its previous genre. If Nintendo dropped 3D open-world versions of Mario, Metroid, Kirby, and even F-Zero, Nintendo fans would likely love them all and ask for more.
Super Mario Odyssey is available now on Nintendo Switch.