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!