Violent Mario Cameo In New Xbox 360 'Banjo Kazooie' Just An Innocent Joke, Rare Says

Mario In 'Banjo Kazooie: Nuts And Bolts'

There was no malicious intent behind the brief scene Super Mario getting his head blown off in the debut gameplay trailer of "Banjo Kazooie: Nuts And Bolts," a developer working on the game told me yesterday.

Salvatore Fileccia, the lead software engineer behind the upcoming vehicle-based Xbox 360 platformer, said his team has the utmost respect for the Nintendo icon.

He offered a simple explanation for its inclusion.

He told me that the Mario figure that gets blasted apart in the trailer was actually a custom vehicle created by one of the developers on the game using the Lego-like vehicle-building editor. As he demoed the game he had stressed that the developers had managed to create many Star Wars vehicles as well.

The Mario vehicle, which looks like a Mario statue, will not be in the final game -- though I can't imagine someone won't try to create one within hours of the game's official release.

Fileccia told me that he wasn't allowed to say much about what happened, but the impression I got was that Rare snuck it into the trailer and got themselves in some hot water. Either that, or this is an intentional buzz-builder. (You can see the scene online on many sites, including this one.)

Rare developers actually seemed quite eager to stress respect for the "Mario" franchise. When Fileccia began his demo of the game he said that "action platformers have gotten a bit stale" but then added "except for Mario." And when he and I spoke about the bit in the trailer he assured me that even though he hadn't played "Super Mario Galaxy" yet that it would be the first game he plays when he finishes making Banjo.

Rare, of course, used to be partially owned by Nintendo before being purchased by Microsoft in 2002.

(Image capture via NeoGaf)