Mario Takes America [CDI – Cancelled]

Mario Takes America [CDI – Cancelled]

mario takes america CDI cancelled

Mario Takes America is a cancelled action platformer game that was in development from 1992 to 1994 at the Toronto-based Cigam Entertainment for the ill-fated Philips CD-I console. This was intended to be the third Mario game planned for the CDI, following Hotel Mario and the unreleased Mario Wacky Worlds. It would have formed a trilogy of Nintendo-licensed Mario games published by Philips, just like the infamous Zelda CDI trilogy: Zelda’s Adventure (by Viridis), Zelda: The Wand of Gamelon and Link: The Faces of Evil (by Animation Magic).

Mysteriously, while even the unfinished Wacky Worlds gained some exposure from savvy prototype hunters online, Mario Takes America was since forgotten by the wider world, fading into obscurity, and until recently, next to zero information has been available on it. However, thanks to an anonymous contributor, research by Interactive Dreams, LiamR and a former Cigam employee on the AssemblerGames Forum, we are able to preserve some more memories about this unreleased Mario project. 

Super Mario Strikers 2 [Beta / Concept – Wii]

Super Mario Strikers Charged (also known as Mario Strikers Charged Football in European and Australian territories) was released on the Nintendo Wii in 2007 and created by Next Level Games in partnership with Nintendo. It is the sequel to Super Mario Strikers on the Gamecube.

Before it gained the subtitle ‘Charged’ later in development (a reference to the game’s ‘skillshot’ charging mechanic), the game was initially going under the simple title of ‘Super Mario Strikers 2‘. The original title was scrapped before its first public showing at the “Wii Prove Our Promise” keynote in August 2006.

Super Mario Strikers 2 Beta

The original name and logo, before it became Mario Strikers Charged.

More art from early on in development on the game has been found by Unseen64, which offers insight into some of the smaller concepts played around with towards the start of the project.

At one stage, ‘ball launchers‘ were considered as an aesthetic addition to levels. These were machines that would have propelled multiple balls up towards characters during mega strikes. In the final game, these were dropped and only one ball model is shown when a player is able to activate one. Any additional balls earned during the attack’s initiation aren’t shown to the player (up to 6 can be gained at a time); this is a process which happens off screen. These small mechanisms weren’t implemented into the game, as they were viewed as an unnecessary detail that would have needlessly extended the animation sequence.

One of the concepts for the proposed 'ball launcher'.

One of the concepts for the proposed ‘ball launcher’.

Another visual idea that the artists at Next Level experimented with towards the start of development were mechs and other vehicles, which would have decorated the perimeter of certain stages during gameplay. In most of the concept art, these are commonly seen operated by Toads. They would have been dotted around the sides of pitches, acting as security guards and performing other miscellaneous tasks. One concept, for instance, sees one of the Toads operating a crane-like contraption and another in a large digger. 

Croc was born as a prototype for a new 3D Mario game with Yoshi as the protagonist

Croc was born as a prototype for a new 3D Mario game with Yoshi as the protagonist:

“The end came when we pitched to do a 3D platform game, the likes of which had never been done before. We mocked up a prototype using Yoshi. It was essentially the world’s first 3D platform game and was obviously a big risk – Nintendo had never let an outside company use their characters before, and weren’t about to, either. This is the moment the deal fell apart. We later made that game into Croc: Legend of the Gobbos for the PlayStation, Saturn and PC, which became our biggest ever game in terms of sales and also in royalties, since we owned the IP.”

Taken from Eurogamer’s article about Argonaut Software 

Marionette [GameCube – Cancelled]

Marionette is a mysterious cancelled project that was in development for the Gamecube. At E3 2001, Nintendo accidentaly announced on its online release list three mysterious titles: Super Mario Sunshine, Mario 128, and Marionette. This list was pulled shortly after it was published, but the curiosity of gamers piqued.

Later, during an interview with IGN, Shigeru Miyamoto spoke out on these games in a roundtable (August, 2001)

“And as for Marionette, it is still under development. It is not a Mario game, but an actual Marionette game utilizing a puppet. I am hoping to make something both complicated and simple at the same time [with this game], which is kind of a contradiction. But already we are experimenting. And once again, sometime in the future we may be able to show you something on it.”

The game was toyed around with in concept stages (on both N64 and GameCube), but it was never actually developed in full form. As we can read in another IGN article:

“Marionette is probably more suited for something like the Wii,” said Miyamoto. “However, that type of game is difficult. Just looking at it, it seems to be fun, but then you get the feeling of, ‘Well, what do I do now?’.” Miyamoto feels that in order to make such a game last, you have to give it, among other things, a strong story.

Nintendo Dream noted that the title would be perfect for the Wii, as manipulating a marionette would be enjoyable with the Wii remote. The magazine also pointed out that the Japanese spelling of the name breaks down perfectly to “Mario” and “Net,” suggesting network features. Still, Miyamoto had some partially disappointing news. “We’re not working on it any more. However, we’d like to release something like it with the right timing, so we’re preserving it in the form of its story elements. When Marionette was being planned, we were trying to use the N64 controller in interesting ways. However, if we now use the Wii remote controller, it seems that those types of interesting elements would appear more naturally.”

Sadly, Nintendo never released any images or other media from this cancelled project.

Thanks to Mr. Game for the contribution! 

Super Mario 64 2 [N64 – Cancelled]

As we can read on Super Mario Wiki, Super Mario 64 2 is a cancelled sequel to Mario 64 for the Nintendo 64, that was planned for the 64 DD expansion by Nintendo but never finished. The game was talked many times in interviews with Miyamoto but it seems that only a early prototype (with a multiplayer mode starring Luigi) was created before they decided to stop the development and just start a new Mario for the GameCube.

It is possible that some concepts of this game were later included in Super Mario 64 DS, Super Mario Sunshine or Super Mario Galaxy. Nintendo never shown any screens from the Mario 64 2 prototype, but we can still hope that they could release some images in one of the “Iwata Talks” articles in the future.

Some old interviews with Miyamoto that talks about Mario 64 2:

We’re in the middle of preparing Mario 64-2 for release on the 64DD. I’d like to take advantage of the 64DD’s ability to store information. As of now, Luigi’s also a full part of the game, but we haven’t started thinking about 2-player gameplay with Mario and Luigi yet. We’ll tackle that once we’ve got the system ironed out—we’ve figured out the processing power issues, so we could do it if we tried. How many Luigi fans do you suppose there are? (Editing department replies: “Quite a lot.”) If Luigi’s really that popular, maybe I’ll made a green box for Mario 64-2. (laughs)

Thanks to Parker for the contribution!


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