We could have gotten a very different game
Back when Nintendo and then-Squaresoft announced Super Mario RPG, it was a pretty mind-blowing moment. Nintendo fans weren’t used to seeing Nintendo’s characters in an RPG setting, let alone their biggest and brightest star. While that news was shocking in and of itself, it seems the original concept for Super Mario RPG was even more surprising.
Jiro Mifune, one of the original designers on Super Mario RPG, has let loose with a slew of concept art from way back in the mid-90s. This concept art showcases a very different direction for Super Mario RPG, with Nintendo’s mascot characters taking direct influence from The Three Musketeers.
This idea spawned from the development team going back-and-forth on whether Mario and the gang should have weapons to use in battle. It seems the debate on this topic was quite heated, with one half of the team saying weapons were a big no-no, while the other side came up with all sorts of unique ideas. Case in point, the direction you see in the concept art above.
Pretty crazy to know that a Three Musketeers-inspired option was on the table, even if only for a short while. If Square Enix and Nintendo ever partner again for another Mario RPG, this might be a great option to run with!