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Long Mario never lived: Super Mario 3D Land director was totally joking

Koichi Hayashida opened his hilarious, energetic GDC speech with a look at some content that was considered for inclusion in Super Mario 3D Land, but didn't make it into the final game -- ideas like "Huge Mario," "Long Mario" (who is "sort of scary!") and a shell-riding "Pro Skater Mario."

But were these ideas that really almost made it into the game? "No, not at all," Hayashida told me with a laugh during a subsequent interview. Hayashida then went on to explain his use of weird jokes and general high-energy style.

"Just for this presentation," he said (quietly), "I decided to turn my hilarity meter up to maximum for an American audience. If I was addressing a Japanese audience, of course, I would be much more subdued." In fact, "I think if I tried to give that same presentation for a Japanese audience, they might not even be able to follow it." Hayashida expressed surprise that the GDC crowd offered spontaneous applause for the corny, out-of-place "D. Mario" option that appeared in every multiple-choice question he offered on stage. "I was really surprised, because that's the sort of thing that Japanese audiences might have just sat there not clapping for."