Every new Mario game brings fresh power-ups with it, and Super Mario Bros. Wonder is no different. Nintendo showcased one of those new power-ups in the debut trailer for Super Mario Bros. Wonder, and it has pretty much set the tone for the game ever since.

Elephant Mario has been a big part of the advertising for Super Mario Bros. Wonder so far, as it has the online discussion as well. The power-up is definitely one of the wackier transformations Mario has seen in his career, but undeniably fun as well. That said, fans have been wondering just how and why Nintendo came up with this idea, and we now have our answer.

In an interview with Game Informer, director Shiro Mouri broke down the complete story of how and why Elephant Mario came to be, and you can read his complete thoughts below.

“When we’re talking about creating power-up items or power-up transformations, the first thing we start with is the gameplay experience: What kind of gameplay experience do we want to provide the player with? The first thing we wanted to do was make Mario’s body bigger. The reason we wanted his body bigger was so that it makes it easier when you’re hitting blocks, it makes it easier to stomp enemies, and it makes it easier to grab coins. We thought that changing the fundamental mechanics of Mario could be a refreshing gameplay experience. Another example, but not as flashy, is that when you have a narrower platform when you have a bigger body, it’s just easier to land on. If you’re small, it’s easy to miss that.

The second point we wanted to do was be able to hit blocks from the side. If you’re able to hit blocks from the side, it provides you with areas where you can only access through that transformation. And the third thing we wanted to do was spray water. The reason we wanted to do that was, for example, let’s say there’s a withered flower. By watering it and having it bloom, something mysterious might happen. […] To come up with a transformation that really fits with these three ideas of making the body big, being able to hit blocks on the side, and then spraying water, after a lot of consideration, really, the only answer was an elephant.”

[director Shiro Mouri]

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8M ago

Really dislike this. He's Mario... just give him a mushroom like the mega mushroom but then something in between. Or make the default big Mario that size. Also water could have been FLUDD. Would have been amazing. Elephant is so random and ugly.