The website Shmupulations has recently uploaded translations for two Japanese interviews with the development staff of Super Mario Sunshine that are dated 2002. And looking at these conversations there are a lot of interesting details about how the FLUDD mechanic came about.
In the first interview, translated from a conversation for Nintendo Dream with Shigeru Miyamoto, Takashi Tezuka, and the director Yoshiaki Koizumi, the three expand on how the mechanic came about, with Koizumi saying:
"When I first grasped the GameCube controller, I immediately started thinking about what we could do with the rear analogue L/R buttons. Pressing them in, the sensation I was most reminded of was the water pistols I used to play with as a kid."
According to Miyamoto, Nintendo wasn't necessarily sold on having FLUDD in the game, however, with some within the company questioning whether Mario should be able to use tools.
"There was a very serious debate at Nintendo about the FLUDD water tank. Was it really appropriate to make Mario use tools and items like that? I mean, it was ok for Luigi, so… (laughs)"
Another concern was its appearance, with Tezuka claiming Nintendo went to lengths to prevent it from looking like a gun, leading to its backpack-like design:
"We were very conscious to not make it look like a gun. We didn't want people to associate Mario with a pistol or handgun, so we tried this weird backpack thing."
The second interview, translated from an interview taken from the GSLA archive, meanwhile, reveals a bit more about the design of the nozzles in the game, with Koizumi revealing that there were actually 10 variations at one point before they were cut for making the game feel too Zelda-like. He says:
"Mario Sunshine has the hover, rocket, and turbo nozzles, but originally there were 10 different types. We just kept adding them whenever we thought of a different situation they could be used in. In the end we whittled it down to just those three though. The reason why, is we felt that the whole playstyle of finding many different items and using them in the right situation was more befitting of a Zelda game."
On the website TCRF, we get a glimpse of some potential candidates for these unused nozzles. These include a more powerful sniper nozzle, a dummy nozzle, and a Yoshi nozzle. There's also a reference elsewhere on the site to a firework and sprinkler nozzle. This piece of info can be sourced to an interview Koizumi gave to Nintendo.co.jp in Japanese.
If you want to find out more about Super Mario Sunshine's development, we recommend checking out the rest of the two interviews over on Shmupulation's site.
What do you think of the Fludd mechanic? Would you like to see it make a return? Let us know in the comments!