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Nintendo is continuing to support the Wii U exclusive, Super Mario Maker. The game recently received a new update that features three of the starter Pokemon from the early Gameboy games as playable skins. This includes Squirtle, Charmander and Bulbasaur.
Shacknews did a write-up on the news, explaining how the update is free and available to download for Super Mario Maker owners.
The characters can be unlocked by simply playing the new event level that contains all three of the starting Pokemon from Pokemon Red, Pokemon Green, and Pokemon Blue.
Going through the level you can see how each of the characters are unlocked. It starts with Mario running through the level and one of the boxes early on turns him into Bulbasaur. Shortly thereafter another box opens up a mystery mushroom that turns Bulbasaur into Squirtle. Later on in the level Squirtle turns into Charmander.
I was waiting to see if Charmander had fire resistance to the flames, but it didn't look like that was the case. In any case, I'm sure a lot of fans are just happy that the classic Pokemon have made their debut into Super Mario Maker. This certainly opens the door for more characters from the popular series to hop into the game at some point in the future as well, and given that Nintendo is spending the year celebrating the 20th anniversary of the series I wouldn't put it past them to eventually roll a few more familiar Pokemon into the game.
Super Mario Maker actually turned out to be a much bigger hit than I anticipated. The game has sold more than a million copies in the U.S., and more than 3.34 million copies globally according to Games Industry. It seemed like a small project from Nintendo at the time – a sort of experimental outing for the Wii U. However, it turned out that the new project is a pretty big seller for the Wii U along with Nintendo's new IP Splatoon, which launched last year during the spring. Splatoon also managed to make a pretty penny, selling more than 4 million copies.
This definitely shows that sometimes, even without an aggressive marketing campaign, it's still very possible to make waves in the industry and completely catch everyone off guard with a sleeper hit. Nintendo has also been consistent in updating both Super Mario Maker and Splatoon, which is evident with this most recent update right now for the creation tool featuring the starting Pokemon from Nintendo's other big franchise.
I'm kind of curious what other characters they might include in the game and who else players might be able to don as a skin running around in custom levels in the side-scrolling level maker? You can grab the update and event level right now that unlocks Charmander, Squirtle and Bulbasaur right now.