Marionette (lost build of cancelled GameCube game; 2001)

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Mario Puppet.jpg

An image of a Mario puppet commonly associated with the game

Status: Lost

Marionette refers to a mysterious cancelled game for the GameCube that was shown in an E3 press release in 2001.


At E3 2001, Nintendo accidentally showed a press release that showed three mysterious upcoming titles, Super Mario Sunshine, Super Mario 128, and Marionette. The list was pulled shortly after but gamers had their curiosity piqued.[1]

In August 2001, during an interview with IGN, Shigeru Miyamoto talked about the title from the press release, quote:

“And as for Marionette, it is still under development. It is not a Mario game, but an actual Marionette game utilizing a puppet. I am hoping to make something both complicated and simple at the same time [with this game], which is kind of a contradiction. But already we are experimenting. And once again, sometime in the future we may be able to show you something on it.”[1][2][3]

In another IGN article which also reveals other mysterious titles like Cabbage, Miyamoto talks about how Marionette was toyed around in concept stages for the N64 and GameCube but never really gotten developed into a full form[1], quote:

“Marionette is probably more suited for something like the Wii,” said Miyamoto. “However, that type of game is difficult. Just looking at it, it seems to be fun, but then you get the feeling of, ‘Well, what do I do now?’.” Miyamoto feels that in order to make such a game last, you have to give it, among other things, a strong story.

Nintendo Dream noted that the title would be perfect for the Wii, as manipulating a marionette would be enjoyable with the Wii remote. The magazine also pointed out that the Japanese spelling of the name breaks down perfectly to “Mario” and “Net,” suggesting network features. Still, Miyamoto had some partially disappointing news. “We’re not working on it anymore. However, we’d like to release something like it with the right timing, so we’re preserving it in the form of its story elements. When Marionette was being planned, we were trying to use the N64 controller in interesting ways. However, if we now use the Wii remote controller, it seems that those types of interesting elements would appear more naturally.”[4]


As of December 2023, no photos from the game have been released and it is unknown what the game was gonna be about.


LSuperSonicQ’s video on the subject.