Nintendo fans are currently angry, but not about graphical downgrades or Pokédex redesigns. No, this time it’s about a character avoided in an upcoming game, and not even an A-lister at that: Princess Daisy isn’t in Mario Strikers: Battle League.
Mario Strikers: Battle Leagueannounced at a showcase in February and slated for release on Switch next month, is Nintendo’s next entry Mario Strikers series of football matches. Of course, football sims are in spades, thanks to a certain decades-old series that recently lost its naming rights. But who cares about things like ‘offsides’ or ‘yellow cards’ when you can turn a soccer ball into a meteor?
fans of Mario Strikers (hi) I’ve been on the moon since battle league, as it heralds the rebirth of a long-dormant, albeit relatively niche, series. The gameplay feels true to its ancestry, filled with all the “Hey, this move isn’t FIFA approved” diversions the series is known for. After the February announcement, some fans expressed concern that Daisy wasn’t shown, though they assumed it was for some innocuous reason – like, say, her character model n was not finalized.
Read more: Daisy is the only Super Mario girl with teeth, apparently
Earlier this month, the Nintendo Europe Twitter account confirmed those concerns with a Tweeter rolling down the “team” of playable characters in a series of 10 (unnecessarily intense, IMO) sketches. Daisy was not included. Over the past week, social media has been abuzz with players lamenting his exclusion or clamoring for his inclusion.
— Nintendo of Europe (@NintendoEurope) May 9, 2022
Returning fans to games that haven’t yet been released is often premature and misguided, but the reaction here makes sense. Daisy, after all, was a mainstay in the previous two releases, Super Mario Strikers for the GameCube and Mario Strikers loaded for the Wii. Also, as a representative of the We Are Daisy (WAD) fan wiki said Kotakuthe Strikers series “is where Daisy’s personality shines best.” (Yes, Daisy is so popular she has her own fan wiki.) Not to mention how she’s become a fixture in other Nintendo sports games, including Mario Tennis and Mario Golf: Super Rush. Leaving her out battle league is erasure.
Before the fire could go out, Nintendo poured gasoline on it by releasing a gameplay preview video for Mario Strikers: Battle League. Along with showing around five minutes of instant action, the clip offered a glimpse of battle league‘s list. Among other mainstays of Mushroom Kingdom, the game stars Mario, his infinitely more suave brother Luigi, their tax cheat friend Yoshi, and the terminally neglected Waluigi. Even Rosalina, a newcomer to Nintendo’s royal class, having been introduced in 2007 super mario galaxy, is part of the crowd. But Daisy – which, for the record, has been around since the 80s – is still nowhere to be found.
The reactions so far range from, and I’m paraphrasing, “wtffff” to “WTFFFFFFF!!!!!!!” The most docile have taken create fan art. (This steampunk inspired sketch by Canadian comic artist Yves Bourgelas is my favorite.) On the other end you have people saying it’s “really awful” and “a disappointment” and “bullshit” and other fine words choose. Some to have same said they no longer plan to resume play.
“For Nintendo to not include it… would essentially be shooting themselves in the foot,” the WAD rep said.
Of course, as some observers to have sharp Outside, there are plenty of other reasons why fans should keep Nintendo’s feet on fire. Last month, Nintendo of America workers filed a report with the National Labor Relations Board alleging surveillance, retaliation and other unfair labor practices. Talk to KotakuEmployees at a Joy-Con repair center shared details of working conditions that left them overworked and understaffed.
It is unknown if Daisy will be added to Mario Strikers: battle league in a post-release update, whether it’s a free update (a la Mario Golf Super Rush) or via paid DLC (à la…essentially all the rest of Nintendo’s work). Nintendo has not publicly detailed post-release plans for Mario Strikers: Battle League. But the WAD rep pointed out that, yes, it’s a good bet that most Daisy stans would pony up for Daisy DLC, although of course that would be a messy situation of a developer neglecting to include content that has been in previous games only to sell it at a premium for a buzzing sequel.
Nintendo did not respond to a request for comment for this story.
“Not only should Daisy be included in [Battle League], but there are a few people who think Daisy should also be included in more mainline Mario games,” the WAD rep said. “Some are even pushing for her to have her own game, but that’s another topic.”