In 1996, Nintendojo debuted on the scene. Several months earlier, a role-playing-game starring the face of Nintendo, was released in both Japan and North America. Super Mario RPG: Legend of the Seven Stars for SNES, developed by Squaresoft (Merged to form the company it is today, Square-Enix) was an experience like none before it, especially for Mario and company. In the adventure, Mario joins alliances with his nemesis, Bowser, to take down an unknown enemy from above. As a Nintendo fan since the early ’90s, I can say with pure honesty that a character from this game has stuck with me into my twenties and will not be forgotten. That character is a wooden puppet named Geno.
Geno is a star from Star Road, a location in the game, which possesses a wooden doll. He happens to make a brief cameo seven years later in Mario & Luigi: Superstar Saga on Game Boy Advance. Years after that, Nintendo fans, myself included, were hopeful that Geno would make his triumphant return in Super Smash Bros. Brawl for Wii in 2008. This did not happen, likely because of the rights of the character, which belong to Square-Enix. Why though was he excluded when so much of the internet community rallied behind him, just as they did for Ridley from the Metroid series? Geno was not a playable character, nor was he a trophy or even a sticker. Geno played an important role in Super Mario RPG and for the better part of a decade now, he has been left on the shelf.
An Easter egg from Nintendo and Square-Enix
Jumping back a few months before the launch of Brawl, eagle-eyed Nintendo fans read about a rumor coming out of France’s RPG Magazine, issue number five, which said the following: “Square-Enix is considering bringing back Super Mario RPG by making a sequel on the DS. The sequel would include more characters from the Final Fantasy universe.” Over four years have passed since that rumor was spread and that brings me to the answer to diehard fans’ cries: Wii U. Perhaps a reason why Square-Enix may have considered a sequel on DS and then dropped the idea was because Nintendo had much bigger ideas for the likes of Mario, Mallow (Not to be seen again), Geno, Bowser, and Toadstool (Peach).
With Wii U, the Big N has chosen to grab the attention of the so-called “hardcore” gamers who made Nintendo into what it was. Feeling abandoned due to Wii’s casual aura, some looked to Microsoft and Sony for their gaming needs. Geno is a prime example of what Wii U should be out to revive. Pit, from the Kid Icarus series, got his chance to shine after more than sixteen years when he joined the brawl in 2008 and he now soars higher than ever before in Kid Icarus: Uprising on 3DS. One angel’s 3DS can be a lost puppet’s Wii U. With so many high-profiled Wii U games presumably in the early stages of production, what if Square-Enix has been quietly developing a new Super Mario RPG for Wii U’s launch, later this year? What a shocking surprise that would be. Super Mario RPG 2U…
Geno was created by Square but fit right into Mario’s world in both style and character. Nintendo deemed it important to give him a nod in Superstar Saga, but that was nearly a decade ago. The reason why we care about Geno is fan imagination and our desire to see our favorite characters leap across time and space into new dimensions. Geno can get a nod in one of the next two Super Smash Bros. games but at the end of the day, Nintendo diehards want to see Geno in a new Mario RPG. Some fans may deem Wii U, the Super Wii. What better way to reinforce that hope than by bringing back a star from the Super Nintendo.
The Geno artwork at the top of this article was created by Minaya.