One of the minor but neat features of Super Mario Maker is the display of a cursor on the TV screen that shows where the stylus is being pressed on the GamePad. The cursor can be set as various hands, but it can also be a cat or dog paw. As it turns out, the paws actually belong to the pets of Nintendo employees, although they were recolored. In an interview with Nintendo Dream, producer Takashi Tezuka, senior director Yoshikazu Yamashita, and director Yosuke Oshino shared the story behind the cursors.

The cat paw, for example, is actually none other than one of Tezuka’s apparently numerous cats, recolored to look more like an American Shorthair.

Nintendo Dream: It was discussed in an earlier interview how the hand that appears on screen belongs to a Nintendo employee, but in the final product you can also change that to a cat or dog paw. Certainly that cat paw belongs to a cat of Mr. Tezuka, right?

Tezuka: Yes. Any cat paw would have been alright, but I just happen to have many cats at home.

Yamashita: Ten of them, if I remember correctly?

Tezuka: That’s right, ten cats.

ND: That’s amazing!

Tezuka: To tell you the truth, one of them was edited to look like the color of an American Shorthair. The actual color is light brown.

The dog paw was also a recolored photo of a Nintendo employee’s pet – in this case, a Shiba belonging to Yamashita.

Tezuka: By the way, the dog was Yamashita’s.

ND: Is that so?

Yamashita: That’s right. He/she is Shiba [a Japanese breed]. The color is actually white, but it was changed.

In addition to the animal paws, the group discussed the idea behind the alternate cursors and shared some of the more outlandish concepts that didn’t make it into the game, including, of all things, a mackerel pie.

ND: Why did you introduce cats and dogs in the first place?

Tezuka: We wanted to have more hands than just one, like left-hander. So we discussed with the designers that if we are going to add more hands, we would also like to add more varied things.

Yamashita: We thought that if we are going to do it anyway, it would be interesting to also add strange things. Although we tested various things, not many of them were fitting.

ND: What kinds of things did you try?

Yamashita: Things like onions and mackerel pike.

You can check out the full excerpt from the interview at the source, and let us know your preferred Mario Maker cursor in the comments below.

Source: Nintendo Dream (via Nintendo Everything)

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Gabriel McBride
I'm a guy who likes video games, which you probably gathered given that this is my user profile on a video game news site. I started gaming with Pokemon Gold on the Game Boy Color, then moved on to Ruby on the GBA, which eventually led me to the Legend of Zelda: The Minish Cap. It was there that I fell in love with the Zelda series, and to this day Minish Cap holds a special place in my heart. As I became increasingly obsessed with the Zelda series, I eventually discovered Zelda Informer and have stuck around ever since, though I have spent more time commenting on Gamnesia ever since it emerged from ZI's forehead fully formed. I love all things Nintendo, and some of my favorite (non-Zelda) games include Chrono Trigger, Okami, the Mother trilogy, the Paper Mario series (but especially Thousand Year Door), Xenoblade Chronicles, and various Fire Emblem titles. Outside of video gaming, I'm also fond of reading, watching anime, and occasionally playing board games.

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