Most Nintendo fans have no doubt heard about the partnership between Universal and Nintendo to create immersive and interactive attractions at Universal Studios in Florida, Hollywood, and Japan. The plans include to themed areas straight out of some of Nintendo’s most popular gaming franchises. Nintendo explains the experience:
You will enter an entire realm filled with iconic Nintendo excitement, gameplay, heroes and villains. And it is coming to three Universal theme parks around the globe.
The creative visionaries behind Nintendo’s legendary worlds and characters are working together with the creative teams behind Universal’s blockbuster theme park attractions. Their goal: to bring the characters, action and adventure of Nintendo video games to life within Universal theme parks. And to do so in new and innovative ways that capture what makes them so special. All of the adventure, fun and whimsy you experience through a screen will now be all around you – in breathtakingly authentic ways.
- Nintendo-themed areas are coming to Universal Studios Japan, Universal Orlando Resort and Universal Studios Hollywood.
- These will be expansive, immersive and interactive. They will be highly themed and authentic environments filled with multiple attractions, shops and restaurants.
- Guests will feel as if they are playing inside their favorite games – this time in real life.
- There will be something for everyone – regardless of their age or gaming experience level.
Planning and creative work on these areas is well underway; they will open separately over the next several years.
Just like Nintendo has to patent its ideas for upcoming hardware, Universal must do the same for attractions at its theme parks. In fact, it’s these recent patent filings that have caught our attention, because two in particular seem like great fits for being a part of Super Nintendo World, or whatever Nintendo and Universal decide to call the new areas of the parks.
The first patent is titled Drift Racers and shows a car-based racing ride that would accommodate two riders, one in the front and one directly behind. Each rider will have control over different aspects of the vehicle. The person sitting in the front would have access to a steering wheel as well as the gas and brake pedals, which would put him or her in direct control of the speed and drifting of the ride. The rear rider would have access to buttons to provide boosts, bounce the car, or even affect the performance of another vehicle on the track. That sounds an awful like some of the gameplay mechanics found in Mario Kart: Double Dash! Players will remember that the GameCube hit game allowed for two players to ride in the same Kart, with the first controlling the vehicle, and the second player taking control of the weapons. This patent for the new ride definitely seems like it could be referring to a ride based on the game.
The other patent listed is called Boom Coaster. The drawing depicts a mine cart-like vehicle on tracks. The idea is that the ride would have a C-Shaped arm connected to it that would go under the mine cart and attach to a hidden set of tracks out of view. This would allow for scenarios in the ride where the riders see that the track is broken up ahead and it would present a sense of danger that the cart would derail. Anyone who has played any of the Donkey Kong Country games will immediately recognize this scenario as being an essential part of the gameplay experience. Jumping over chasms while careening around corners in an out of control mine cart has been a staple of the franchise since 1994, and could make for an amazing ride!
What do you think? Could these patents be referring to the upcoming collaboration with Nintendo? Do you have any creative ideas for Nintendo attractions at Universal? Sound off in the comments below!
[Patent Source: Orlando Business Journal]