Thursday, September 24, 2015

Yoshi Kong Adventure: The game that never existed.

There is a game that never existed, but only in my, and my older brother's, minds. This game was called Yoshi Kong Adventure. It brought together two Nintendo characters that must have been separated at birth, considering how much their worlds have in common. Or so our pre-teen minds thought.

We imagined a rich high seas sailing quest with multiple continents to explore. We even drew the cover art for what would have been a GameCube game. But alas, Nintendo didn't think our idea had sea legs. And so here lies an idea that never left concept.

but it sure is fun to think about!

When I was a kid, Donkey Kong Country was my favorite game. It was visually stunning, fun, challenging, but not too challenging, and I played the crap out of it. When Smash Bros. launched for the N64, guess who my character of choice was? DK. And I lost... A lot...

My big brother liked to play as Yoshi in Mario Kart 64, and so the love of our respective characters began. But it wasn't until the GameCube era that we would begin to turn our love of Nintendo characters into a game concept. My brother was 4 years older than me, so I'm sure for him it was more of a fun thing to think about than something real. But I was convinced that if we came up with a cool enough concept, Nintendo would create it, and maybe even hire us as game designers!!!

I was 15, and didn't really know how games were made.

The first thing we decided was that this game was going to be a huge sprawling adventure on an open ocean! ... Sound familiar? Well at the time we had no idea that Windwaker was in development. So you could say that  we were on the same wavelength as Nintendo!

We thought an ocean theme worked well because both of our protagonists games take place on islands. It was perfect! Somehow DK hijacked King K. Rool's ship and crash landed on Yoshi's Island! But how far were these islands? And how big was the ocean? and does the mushroom kingdom factor into any of this?

Someone had to draw a map.

I wish I had the pages I drew way back when, but I don't. You'll have to settle for my explanation.

Now how would the game play? what mechanics would be involved and how would you progress? At the time I was really into Starcraft, so the idea of having some kind of real time battle system was appealing. Oh! and what if you went to different islands getting jobs and recruiting different Nintendo characters to be on your ship! Then, depending on who was on your crew, you'd acquire weapons and upgrades!

This sounded awesome, and I could hardly wait to get my hands on my fancy new game! I wanted to pilot a pirate ship as DK and sail around a vast sea fighting Krocs and Shy Guys. Then there was the ship building mechanic.

Oh boy.

You thought collecting Nintendo junk in Animal Crossing was fun, wait until you dig up burried treasure and it's a fireflower, and now your cannons shoot fireballs, or boomerangs, or red shells. Or what if you caught a big sea monster, and it's NESSIE! Then she  becomes you ally, helping you destroy enemy ships!

What if you could sail to Wind Fish Island and find the sword from Link's Awakening!

the ideas flowed, and we thought we were on to something. We thought we had found the game that could put Nintendo back on top!

But alas, it was merely the dreams of teenagers that never saw the light of day. Much of what we wanted could be found in games like Pikmin, Mario Sunshine, Windwaker etc...

We had thought about sending our ideas to Nintendo, but like most ideas when your a kid, it was fleeting. I have no idea where that notebook is today. There's something about being a kid and just dreaming. No limits, no pretense, just pure imagination.

I miss that.

Someone from Nintendo, if you're listening, you should make Yoshi Kong Adventure. I still have no idea how games are made, but I think this one is a game worth investing in.

Did you used to design games when you were young? Tell me about you best idea in the comments below!

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