You probably aren’t familiar with the name Chihiro Fujioka, which is a real shame — he’s had a three-decade career in the game industry spanning myriad roles, from co-founding Mario & Luigi developer Alphadream (and working in various design roles throughout the series), to being a member of Nobuo Uematsu’s EarthBound Papas prog rock VGM band, to directing the obscure yet beloved JP-only Tomato Adventure. But the role he’s best known for is directing Super Mario RPG: Legend of the Seven Stars, a game he’s quite eager to make a followup to.
As part of a larger interview with MinnMax, Fujioka discussed his career, stating “…in my career I’ve been involved with a lot of games, and I would really like my final one to be another Mario RPG game if possible.” While he thinks Mario & Luigi is “cool” he’d really like to make another game where Mario is a solo protagonist. When asked if he had any narrative ideas for the game, he was coy and stated “that’s a secret.”
There were originally plans for a Super Mario RPG 2, but that turned into Paper Mario. Both that series and Mario & Luigi have struggled in the past decade, the former trying to figure out its relation to its own RPG-ness and the latter’s developer shutting down entirely. So now would actually be a perfect time for the plumber’s RPG spinoffs to return to their roots. Let’s see if it ever happens.
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