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Chris Kerr, News Editor

March 22, 2024

1 Min Read
A talking flower from Super Mario Bros. Wonder
Image via Nintendo

The talking flowers in Super Mario Bros. Wonder are a unique addition in that they're the only in-game characters that are fully voiced.

That's because Nintendo designed them to serve a very specific purpose. As explained by Super Mario Bros. Wonder producer Takashi Tezuka during a recent GDC 2024 talk, the flowers were included to ensure players didn't become dismayed or lose motivation during their playthrough.

He explained that, in previous Super Mario Bros. titles, a clapping sound effect would trigger when players had collected all the coins in a specific area.

"Adding a fanfare that sounds when players reach a goal was implemented because we knew players wanted to be praised for gameplay," he said. "But I thought players would feel even more immersed in games if that praise came more often, even for smaller accomplishments."

The talking flowers in Super Mario Bros. Wonder, which hurl out incredulous comments in response to player behaviour, were the result of those musings. Tezuka explained the character's number one goal is to hand out "praise or sympathy to increase player motivation and make play more rewarding."

"In other words, they were created to aid in gameplay like other effects. I believe that the talking flowers helped contribute to increasing player motivation and making the player feel more real," he added.

Keen to learn more about the development of Super Mario Bros. Wonder? Then you'll want to hear game director Shiro Mouri break down how the Japanese idea of "Mottainai" influenced production.

After what, why not check out our full slate of GDC 2024 coverage, including in-depth interviews and talk write-ups, by clicking right here.

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About the Author(s)

Chris Kerr

News Editor, GameDeveloper.com

Game Developer news editor Chris Kerr is an award-winning journalist and reporter with over a decade of experience in the game industry. His byline has appeared in notable print and digital publications including Edge, Stuff, Wireframe, International Business Times, and PocketGamer.biz. Throughout his career, Chris has covered major industry events including GDC, PAX Australia, Gamescom, Paris Games Week, and Develop Brighton. He has featured on the judging panel at The Develop Star Awards on multiple occasions and appeared on BBC Radio 5 Live to discuss breaking news.

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