We know that Mario and Sonic have had a long line of crossover Olympic titles throughout recent years, but that isn’t what Yuji Naka, one of Sonic’s creators envisioned for the duo’s cross over.
Recently Yuji Naka spoke with the Japanese website Famitsu about the origins of Mario and Sonic game, which started talks as an action game during the GameCube era when SEGA first went 3rd party. As we know today, this lead nowhere and Mario and Sonic didn’t happen until SEGA acquired the license to make Olympic video games.
Here is Yuji Naka talking about Mario and Sonic co-starring on titles based around the Olympics and the origins of the project:
“Actually, I wanted Mario [and Sonic] to appear together, so one time I went to give Miyamoto-san a presentation on how I want to create an action game which is co-starred by Mario and Sonic. It was in the GameCube days, and I took around four planners with me. It is a pity that the discussion was ‘clearly it isn’t necessary for Mario and Sonic to co-star in an action [game]’ and it didn’t become a reality, but SEGA was able to get the license for the Olympics just at that time, so in order to make the best use of the license, companion characters appeared together. A little later Sonic appeared in Super Smash Bros. Brawl. However, this too came into reality because I requested from Sakurai-san, ‘I want Sonic to appear [in Smash Bros.]’. The Olympics is a bit different from my wish, but I think it’s a good thing that children around the world are happy about them co-starring. But someday I want to realize an action [game] together with Mario. I think I’m going to give another presentation so that Takashi [Iizuka] finds the necessity [of a Mario & Sonic action game] (laughs).” – Yuji Naka
Yuji Naka wasn’t the only original Sonic the Hedgehog creator to chime in on the interview, original Sonic designer Naoto Ohshima said the following:
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