Mario is just too self centered, gosh it’s “Mario this…” and “Mario that…” which causes the lives of every other member from the Mushroom Kingdom to be an untold ballad. Sure, Luigi was dedicated one measly year after the over 25 years existence of the Mario franchise, we managed to see life in Luigi’s eyes as he was given a chance to be the protagonist character again in Luigi’s Mansion 2, appear in several DLC’s such as New Super Luigi Bros U and more! Yoshi, Donkey Kong and even now “Captain Toad” are given their own franchises to debut their significance in the Mushroom Kingdom; heck even Princess “Help me Mario” Peach was featured in her own platformer game on the DS! So why, considering that the over-worlds and underworlds are populated by them, hasn’t there been any official video game with a focus on Koopa’s?
We managed to play as Bowser, so now I WANT A KOOPA!
To anyone who’s immediate reaction with my article was “Hold on, Koopa’s are the minions of the villain, they’re meant to be unplayable to be portrayed as evil”, I have three words; Bowser’s Inside Story. We managed to play as the main antagonist, the great and mighty King Koopa Troopa. Surely then, a Koopa character could easily also become a playable character in a game! Also the Koopa’s are never necessarily evil, in fact some could argue that it’s Mario himself who’s the ruthless killer:
Therefore Koopa is clearly validated that he could be a possible playable character. So why should he?
1) He has a bad-ass weapon!
A Koopa Troopa is practically equipped with a unique feature that would allow completely different playing styles to the traditional Mario universe. Super Mario 3D Land focused on the Tanooki Suit, 3D World focused on the Cat Suit, but a Koopa focused game could focus on just the character himself and his handy utility of a shell.
I imagine the level layouts in this hypothetical game to be similar to how 3D World was, just imagine playing the game as a Koopa, using your shell to go downhill slopes quickly, breaking blocks, perhaps a lock-on target system such as a Sonic game (but keeping it in a entertaining way). I’d imagine it would introduce brand new gameplay techniques, there’d be more fluid control when exploring large landscapes, the shell could act as a scuba-diving suit for Koopa and would allow more in-depth underwater levels.
Speaking about the shell acting as a scuba-diving suit, it could replace the whole power-up suits which Mario usually takes and instead could focus on shell upgrades! The Koopa could power-up into a Para-Troopa, or earn spikes making the character heavier and bulkier to control, but more invincibility against enemies, or the shell could go to absurd levels of somehow growing a Fludd attachment and soaking the Mushroom Kingdom!
2) His trusty side-kick will aid him!
What will most likely hands-down always remain my favorite of the 3D Mario games will be the GameCube classic, Super Mario Sunshine; hence my dream game would always revolve around a similar game-style of a more in depth storyline then just the Princess is kidnapped, bigger exploration points and interesting NPC’s. But admittedly, the use of multiplayer co-op which has recently been implemented in New Super Mario Bros or Super Mario 3D World has definitely been one of the most interesting and successful things Nintendo have achieved recently to the franchise. I’d be a fool to decline any kind of multiplayer in this hypothetical game!
My immediate reaction was to have a Goomba as another character. Goomba’s perhaps are featured more often than Koopa’s themselves, and I can only imagine the two of the creatures having close relations considering that they’re in close proximity in almost every level.
What would a Goomba do exactly? I’d imagine they’d run around faster than a Koopa would (well, it isn’t carrying the extra weight from a shell, so it’s only logical). In terms of attacking enemies, a great call-back to Super Paper Mario (and a few later games) would be the ‘Headbonk’ features. Another feature I’d like to see return, would be the “carry” feature which causes these multiplayer Mario games to become hectic! Of course, it would seem highly illogical for a character without any arms to carry a Koopa, so how about the Goomba instead is given the ability to saddle on the Koopa as though he was a Yoshi? The Goomba could then be launched and used to access higher grounds, making the multiplayer in the game more co-operative and much more of a necessity!
3) How about the other characters?
What other characters? Yes, I said that the multiplayer was a great feature in latest Mario games, but let’s imagine this game being narrowed to just two players and the possibilities with it!
Player 1 would use the GamePad and play as Koopa. Even if there isn’t a second player with you to join in, the second player would be a CPU and would play the Goomba. If there’s only one person playing, the screen will of course appear on the television screen (unless you use off-tv play), but if there’s a second player then Player 1 looks at the GamePad screen to play, and Player 2 looks at the television screen to play! This would allow a more in-depth map from what games such as 3D World offered, allowing more exploration considering that each camera for each screen focuses on a specific character.
In my previous point, I discussed the idea of a Goomba being thrown to higher leveled areas whilst the Koopa explores the lower grounds, imagine how perfectly that would play out with just two characters and this control scheme! Separation in levels would be key, and you could either co-operate with each other to get past each separate obstacles (e.g: if Koopa on a lower ground broke a block, an area would clear for the Goomba at the upper ground to enter and aiding each other) or to compete against each other in races and such!
4) The storyline has a promising aspect!
I’ve said it before and I’ll repeat it until my last breath, I absolutely adored Super Mario Sunshine. Isle Delfino, the gameplay, the characters and even the cutscenes all built up to make one of my favorite Mario games ever; which is why this ideal game I want, would have to also have a different plot-line with cutscenes and storylines similar to how Mario Sunshine handled it.
We’re not going to play as the bad guy, that’s pretty clear. There’s no way Nintendo would want to make Mario be the final boss fight in the game. It’s been clear in expansive games such as Paper Mario and other Mario RPG’s, not all Koopa’s and not all Goombas are bad people. But how about a reformation story?
Koopa could have been one of the top Koopa Troopa’s in the Mushroom Kingdom, when all of a sudden he wounds up lost in a forest. There he seeks help from a friendly Goomba whom ends up becoming best friends. The Goomba at first promises to help Koopa get back to Bowser so he can get back to work, but eventually Koopa will end up caught by Princess Peach and Mario, which would be the catalyst for Koopa to become the “good guy” who ends up wanting to stop Bowser and his current evil plot, whatever that may be. Yes it’s currently a little vague, but that’s the point of ‘Talking Point’ articles, to see what you readers imagine in your head in the comments below!
UPDATE: Just to be clear, I wanted to add to the article to say that this game doesn’t have to be plot heavy, but just featuring enough cutscenes and text-dialogue just as Mario Sunshine did to show some progression in the game!
So what do you think? Would a Koopa-centric game be worth buying in your eyes? Leave a comment below and share your thoughts!