Pure skill will get you far in Mario Kart but as anyone who’s spent their fair share of time in first place can attest, taking the lead can be a dangerous thing when items like the Blue Shell exist. The controversial item — which automatically hits and hinders the player sitting in first place — has been a point of contention among some Mario Kart fans for years, whose calls for Nintendo to remove it have fallen on deaf ears. As it turns out, Nintendo has actually considered removing the Blue Shell in the past.
In a new interview with Eurogamer, Mario Kart 7 and 8 director Kosuke Yabuki reveals that his team tested their games without the Blue Shell, but ultimately decided that the game just didn’t feel right without it.
“We have tried – or we are trying – to see what the game’s like without the blue shell. When we’ve experimented without the blue shell, actually it feels like something’s missing. Like there’s something not quite enough in the game. So for now we’ve kept it in.”
Yabuki also touches on the issue of fairness that comes up whenever the Blue Shell is discussed, arguing that players will always have different opinions over what is fair and what isn’t.
“Something I personally really consider is the human emotion element of the play experience,” Yabuki states “So for example playing Mario Kart – if you have something that feels unfair or makes you feel frustrated or makes you angry… Everyone is different in that respect. What you will feel is unfair might be different to someone else. As far as possible we want to avoid those feelings of frustration.”
Yabuki then finished with a real truth bomb: “You know, sometimes life isn’t fair. Sometimes in life you have something where you feel that’s not right, and that’s frustrating.” In other words, the Blue Shell isn’t going anywhere.
Mario Kart 8 Deluxe, the most recent entry in the franchise, came out earlier this year on the Nintendo Switch and we loved it, Blue Shells and all.