Philips CD-i ‘Hotel Mario’ creator talks about getting approval from Nintendo

Image: Philips Royal Electronics

The Philips CD-i is one of the rare consoles that comes with several officially licensed Nintendo games. And not just any old Nintendo licenses, but Zelda as well as Mario. The last of the two only got one game in the system − Hotel Mariowhich is often considered one of the worst Mario games, but the creator of the game shared some thoughts on developing a Mario game for CD-i.

Hotel Mario executive producer and designer Steven Radosh sat down with Game reviews to talk about this oft-mocked part of the Mario universe, famous for its incredible animated cutscenes.

In the interview, Radosh shares some tidbits about how he worked on the game, including how they weren’t originally going to include a jump button for Mario until the engineer’s daughter said that “it felt weird to play a Mario game that didn’t allowed jumping. So his daughter was added to the credits!

Of course, since Mario is Nintendo’s most famous franchise, Big N had to be involved in some way, and Radosh shared that he had to get approval to use a lot of characters and enemies:

I had to get approval from Nintendo for a lot of the things we did. They wanted to make sure the world we created looked like it belonged in a franchise, like everything depicted in Hotel Mario was a reflection of them. Nintendo manager named Cammy [Budd] was our main contact. They were happy, as far as I know. In fact, there were rumors that Nintendo wanted to bring Hotel Mario to their platforms.

Radosh thinks that Nintendo was happy with the final product and even says there was a chance that Hotel Mario would make it to other platforms. But this never happened, despite rumors.

The creator admitted that publicly Nintendo did not share any thoughts about the Mario Hotel, but that the team “loved it”, stating that “CD-I technology is not designed for such interactive games, but we have overcome that obstacle.”

The team behind Hotel Mario was also pleased with the game’s reviews and sales. Although CD-i failed, Hotel Mario is, according to Radosh, “a financial success”.

You can read the full interview with Steven Radosh below. And don’t forget to let us know below what you think of the interview and if you’ve ever played Hotel Mario!

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