Super Mario 3D World’s Strangest Power-Up Was Originally An Accident

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Even by the series’ zany standards, Super Mario 3D World is one of Mario’s most outlandish adventures, brimming with novel concepts and inventive mechanics. The Super Bell (and its attendant cat suit) is probably the game’s signature innovation, continuing the long-standing tradition of dressing Mario and company up in adorable animal costumes. But perhaps its most unusual power-up is the Double Cherry–and it almost wasn’t included in the game.

Unlike other power-ups in the series, the Double Cherry doesn’t grant Mario a new ability or special power; rather, it duplicates him. Nabbing one of these innocuous fruits conjures up a second Mario that moves perfectly in sync with the original. Grab an additional cherry, and you’ll add yet another Mario to your ensemble until you’re commanding a small army of plumbers, all of them scrambling about with hivemind synchronicity.

This power-up marked the first time that players could control multiple Marios simultaneously, but it’s a concept that Mario creator Shigeru Miyamoto had actually been tossing around for quite some time. Until now, however, control hurdles ultimately prevented the Mario team from ever exploring the idea in a proper game. “Before we made [the Double Cherry], we had always had the idea of one player moving multiple Marios, but we never tried it out because we thought it would be too taxing, control-wise, to move multiple characters all at once with one stick,” he told late Nintendo president Satoru Iwata in a 2013 Iwata Asks interview.

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