This month's major Nintendo Direct video presentation included a reveal of another New Super Mario Bros. game—a Switch port of its last Wii U installment—with one curious twist. It includes a few new playable characters, and one of those, Toadette, can don a crown power-up and turn into a Toadette-Peach hybrid dubbed Peachette.
Fans didn't take long to imagine what might happen if other Mario series characters put that same crown on and transformed into Princess Peach hybrids, particularly Bowser. Thus, Bowsette was born in a wild flurry of detailed fan art (and we thank NintendoLife for this SFW gallery of examples). But as Nintendo itself revealed on Friday, fans' creation wasn't all that original… as Nintendo had already toyed with the idea itself.
A new official book from Nintendo, titled The Art of Super Mario Odyssey, premiered in Japan this week and offers a deep dive into concept art for the colorful 2017 game. On Friday, one of the book's buyers noticed a comic-styled storyboard within the book and posted the discovery on Twitter, as shown above. This hints at an idea that didn't make it into the final game: that Odyssey's primary gimmick, which allows Mario to become other creatures by hitting them with his "Cappy" hat, would also be used by Bowser.
This storyboard sequence implies that Bowser would only wield it once, to embody Princess Peach and make her look like a Peach-Bowser hybrid.
While Princess Peach (formerly Princess Toadstool in the West) has appeared in a variety of Mario games as a playable character, her access to Mario-like power-ups and transformations has generally been limited, with the exception of Super Mario 3D Land and World letting her throw fireballs and don a cat suit. Peach was famously limited to a series of "emotion" powers in the 2006 DS game Super Princess Peach—which allowed her to cry or explode in anger as a "power-up."
The character's longtime status as either a sideline character or an "emotional" one arguably drove Bowsette fever this month, with fan art focusing on Bowser's more muscular, less svelte figure. In essence, the approach lets Peach look a little less Barbie-proportioned. Perhaps this official look at one Nintendo experiment is a sign that the big N itself is interested in a twist on typical Princess Peach assumptions. (Consider this our vote for those experiments landing in an eventual Mario game.)
The rest of the Super Mario Odyssey art book appears to contain an incredible variety of hand-drawn designs and concepts for what did (and didn't) make it into the Switch game's final version. Nintendo's own official images of the book's art can be seen above. We're keeping our fingers crossed for an official book launch in the West.
Listing image by Sakusuru