I'm really feeling it!

Redesigning Super Mario Part 2

Hey all, thanks so much for having made the first part of the series a success. Thank you to all of you with the constructive criticism. Half of them hurt to read, the other half is knowledge kept for future use.

One thing I do want to define is the purpose and nature of this series. Some have brought up the notion that the work might be busy, would not work for a game, needs to be made more simple, etc. I am creating these works as a visual exercise, and the series is for illustrative purposes more than designing works to be used for an actual game. These works are theoretical in nature used to explore various concepts that are interesting to me regarding one of my most beloved franchise.


That out of the way, let's take a look at today's feature characters...For this fake story, we've met our main characters, the heroes who needed no introduction...These characters of course need a supporting cast who we shall look at now!

First up, we have Professor E. Gadd...and a Boo with a hat!? Who is that guy? It's a new character I made for this series, who I have named "Bloo"! Isn't he adorable? The story behind Bloo is that he is a Boo who came across Luigi during his time cleaning up dusty ol' mansions for vicious Boos. This is a side gig Luigi has undertaken almost as a way to relax and unwind. Luigi works hard both day and night, and takes on this job for Professor E. Gadd without Mario's knowledge, knowing that his brother would prefer him to actually take rest and what not. Brother's gotta look out for another but Luigi does enjoy his alone time.


Thus, Bloo became a sort of ally and pet to Luigi and E. Gadd. Mario is fond of him as well, although Bloo for some reason hasn't taken to the red brother like he has for the tall green fellow he adores. Bloo accompanies Luigi on his quests and can help him sniff out ghosts and Boos hiding about.

Bloo's design is rather simple and straight forward. How do you redesign a ghost? Perhaps we'll see a generic Boo down the line...But for now, I kept it simple. As a baby, his key features haven't been developed just yet. I gave him glowing green eyes to give a supernatural feel to the character.


Looking at E. Gadd, we see a character who was more recently introduced to the world of Mario. E. Gadd is responsible for several of the brother's equipments and acts as general caretaker for the Mario Brothers belongings, between treasures and "pets". I wanted to make him more endearing and less crazy looking, almost as a paternal figure to the brothers. His backstory here is that he was a friend to the parents of the Mario Brothers, and knew the boys growing up. E. Gadd was in a business cleaning houses with his wife who was a maid, and both he and his wife would team up with Mario and Luigi's parents who worked fields such as plumbing, electric, fencing, roofing, and so on which eventually is taken up by their kids.

Thus, they were well aquainted until one house changed everything. E. Gadd was startled to find ghosts and from there lost interest to work in houses out of pure fear. He turned to science to help him overcome his fear and found an interest creating inventions that would offset such fears. He found himself swamped in his work, moving away from everyone he loved. His wife would soon pass away and lost contact with the brother's parents. It would be only much later on when he came across Luigi and realized who he was when he sought to reconnect with their parents. When he was told they had passed away, E. Gadd was devastated.


It was at this point when he opened up his heart to the brothers and Luigi helped me him overcome his fear of ghosts and the like. The Mario brothers would soon deliver to him all sorts of objects they discovered in the mushroom kingdom for him to explore and experiment on, giving them all sorts of goodies, such as upgrades to the Poltergust, F.L.O.O.D. and R.O.B to name a few. And that's E. Gadd's backstory! I wanted to make him adorable and have his quirks, so I gave him even poofier hair than before and silly socks and sandals combination. I also made him look more older than usual with more wrinkles in his face. He was definitely a lot of fun to work on.


EDIT: I made a few changes to ROB, ones I forgot to implement but had thought of/done so earlier in drafts. I gave him a bowtie to make him a bit more friendlier in appearance. If Mario and Luigi bring in a robot into a customers home, they want him to look approachable, and not deadly killer drone like. I cleaned up the colors to be more brighter to fit the Wii scheme, and added a little name tag for even more personality. Lastly, I added the cord that is featured in his original and Brawl renditions. Overall, these small changes make him a lot more interesting than before.

R.O.B or (ROB from here on out) was created to assist the brothers in both the field in the Mushroom Kingdom and for work use. ROB can be controlled via remote using something called a "Wii U" pad. It is thought to stand for Worldly Interactive Intuitive Universal gamepad, or so Luigi has best assumed since E. Gadd won't really say. ROB has a switch that can turn on his A.I., and can act on its own for quite some time. Its intelligence grows the more it experiences in this mode and has helped out the brothers in some sticky situations.


So obviously you can see I gave ROB a nice facelift. I know that ROB was originally colored famicom colors and its found in Brawl as alternate colors as well. Thus, I thought it would be a nice nod to utilize the modern day consoles to echo the paint job ROB would sport. Incorporating the Wii U pad felt natural and came to me right away with the color set up. Also, anyone pick up the bottom portion has an NES x SNES feel? Its a reference that is very subtle but gives the design a lot more heritage to showcase.

Other than that, it was fairly fun to paint, since it was the first non human character drawn for the series, outside of Bloo. I gave ROB proper hands with fingers opposed to his old clamps or whatever so it has a more wider range of actions it can perform, from doing wiring work to carry Mario's toolbox.

Donkey Kong


DK's here! The self proclaimed king of the jungle is a character I would love to see in an actual Mario game as an ally. Apparently the DK we know today is the grandson of the tyrant ape that steals Paulina and forces Mario to clear barrels like hurdles.

For my story, I'm allowing this DK to be the son of the original, so there's less of an age gap between the two. When Mario found some shady employees abusing the then zoo captive DK, he freed him and helped him return to DK Country. This trip through the Mushroom Kingdom helped strengthen the bonds of the two.


In this story, Donkey Kong is summoned by the brothers in need of some muscle as the baddies really get out of control (who might they be, I wonder?) and crowd control is needed.

When it comes to DK, it was hard to figure out ways I could redesign him. My main ideas were to change up the color scheme, perhaps making him darker than normal or lighter...Both of the attempts looked off. Maybe he looks a bit more saturated in tone, so there's that change. Mostly the change goes to show how buff he's gotten. I wanted to really hulk him out, and really show off his strength in comparison to Mario. I changed up his tie making it a bit more minimalistic in design (getting a tie is one thing, but having your intials embroidered by custom?) so I made it look like something he stole...But then you gotta wonder, who's making ties that long for someone? Maybe it's a scarf then! Who knows...?


Obviously the face was a big feature to get down. I ruffled up his hair and wanted him to look young, rowdy, playful, and carefree. His face is a bit more vertical than before, and his mouth is less of a "beak" than it was before. His eyes are stylized like in real world animals similar to DK as well. The design changes are subtle, but they're there. I also focused on using a texture brush to give strands to the work, as I had tried to paint him ina very clean manner that didn't really look like the creature had fur across its body.

DK is now ready to help out our heroes!



As I mentioned, E. Gadd had became a sort of caretaker for all things Mario brothers, including their "pets". Taking care of Bloo was one thing, and not a problem at all, and also offered up his home for DK when he was in town, but taking care of a Yoshi is another thing!

Yoshi is one of my all time favorite Mario characters, with Yoshi's Island one of my most favorite games of all time. He's also a fan favorite and so I kept that in mind trying to come up with a design that kept his cuteness but also addressed his dinosaur origin.


Thus, I made something a bit more leaner in the head, but also kept the roundness with the jaw. Yoshi was given his shoes, but I had fun with it because really...shoes!? On a a dinosaur? Next thing you know Mario is going to be able to fly on this thing. Speaking of Mario and vehicles, this Yoshi is that who was brought over to the Mushroom Kingdom, also known as "homegrown". There have been cases where due to the diets domesticated Yoshi's bred in this part of the world has been responsible for larger Yoshi's who are large in nature and used for transport. I wonder what they look like...? ;)

Overall, I kept most of Yoshi intact, and made new shapes make up the overall structure of each part of its body. I think its a fun design that echoes the original well while having its own identity.

Whew! There you go, another 4(5 including Bloo) characters introduced for this series. Sorry for posting so late, but at least I got it in for the day! Hopefully I can pick up the pace and finish these pieces sooner. But either way, thank you for viewing and reading! Hope you enjoyed today's work!

See you tomorrow.



Official Website

Share This Story

Get our newsletter