Nintendo added antagonistic thief Nabbit as a multiplayer character in New Super Mario Bros. U add-on content, New Super Luigi U, to solve a number of issues surrounding the game mode, according to the latest Iwata Asks feature.
According to New Super Luigi U director Masataka Takemoto and producer Takashi Tezuka, Nabbit was initially added a playable character choice for multiplayer because they thought it would be too confusing to have Luigi and three Toads on screen at once — and they wanted to avoid adding Mario.
"When we decided on Luigi as the main character, I talked with Tezuka-san about how I was absolutely against having Mario make an appearance," said Takemoto. "The idea came up of using three Toads, but when three Toads show up, the screen gets confusing, so I hounded Tezuka-san about seizing this chance to use a new character."
With Princess Peach already kidnapped, Takemoto said the only logical choice was to add Nabbit. In New Super Mario Bros. U, players chase Nabbit to snag rewards. In New Super Luigi U's multiplayer mode, Nabbit can still use his stealth abilities to maneuver past enemies, making him an excellent character choice for beginning players unfamiliar with the game's mechanics.
Tezuka also noted Nabbit can be used in the game's single-player mode by inputing a certain command upon entering a level. He declined to share what commands activate the hidden feature, and encouraged players to discover it on their own.
Both the developers and Iwata noted Nabbit's addition follows an old philosophy of designer Shigeru Miyamoto: "An idea is a single solution that solves multiple issues at once."
Check out the full interview with Tezuka and Takemoto here.