When the Paper Mario series began, one of its biggest draws was its diverse and colorful cast of characters. This is an element that has been severely lacking in recent entries, as the role of NPCs is now almost entirely filled by various Toads. Longtime Nintendo developer and Color Splash producer Kensuke Tanabe recently sat down for an interview with Game Informer, and he tackled the topic of why popular NPCs from past iterations have not returned. As it turns out, this was largely a decision made by none other than Shigeru Miyamoto.

"Mario is not an IP that I created. From the position of someone borrowing the IP, I think it's only natural to show respect to the person who created it, and let that feeling of respect guide us. When Miyamoto-san, the father of Mario, asks us, 'Could you make a game with only characters from the Mario family?' I think it's only natural for us to give it our best shot. In other words, we are not currently thinking about returning to old NPCs.

"Incidentally, I do think Color Splash may have proven that we can still make a game entertaining, even if our original characters don't appear as NPCs. And with that belief, we will keep on continuing to do our best." — Kensuke Tanabe

Developers listen when Miyamoto makes suggestions, especially when it involves characters he created. Are you happy with the NPCs in Color Splash, or do you feel Miyamoto's request limited the game's potential? Sound off in the comments!

Source: Game Informer (via Nintendo Everything)

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