Super Mario RPG character designer reveals Valentina's bird head was a reference to Donkey Kong Country and other tidbits
A lot to say about Valentina!
Ever since the Super Mario RPG remake trailer was announced in the recent Nintendo Direct fans have poured over the footage to try and uncover new details. We reported on a reference to Famicom mascot Diskun that was made more clear due to the game’s cleaned up graphics but we have another reference that was cleared up thanks to one of the original game’s character designers!
As you can see in the Tweet above, Super Mario RPG Character Designer Kurashima Kazuhiro was asked on Twitter by fan @Retro64_ to clear up a reference in the design of the boss Valentina.
Valentina’s odd parrot…hair? hat? has caused some confusion among Mario RPG fans, not just due to the bizarre anatomy but also the bird’s coloration baring a striking resemblance to animal buddy Squawks from the Donkey Kong Country Series.
Kazuhiro made it very clear that yes, this was an intended reference to DK’s feathered friend which shouldn’t be that surprising considering the existence of the Chained Kong enemies.
Kurashima Kazuhiro still has more tidbits about Valentina. Fans have noticed a change to her design in the remake and Kazuhiro has commented on it, and no, we’re not just talking about the reduction of…“physics” in her taking damage animation.
roughly translated the above Tweet from Kazuhiro reads “Margarita I didn’t study enough. . We apologize for the inconvenience. .”
This might seem like a random thing to say but he is actually referring to the Japanese name of Valentina, which is Margarita, and a mistake in the original that is fixed in the remake.
As you can see in the above Tweet from Supper Mario Broth despite being named after the alcoholic beverage of the same name in Japanese, Valentina does not hold a Margarita in her original artwork.
Kazuhiro’s comments seems to imply he was not aware that margaritas are typically served with lime wedges rather than cherries so her design was updated to have the name make more sense for Japanese audiences.
Who knows what other secrets from the original game will come to light now that the remake is on the way.
A recently graduated creative writer hoping to work his way into the greater gaming sphere.