Super Mario Revival went through many changes before it was finalized. The most notable change was the character designs.
Mario Travelers / Mario Battle Party (2007 - 2009)
Mario Travelers was the earliest incarnation of the series. It was later named Mario Battle Party. It was going to be crossover series featuring many different game series, such as The Legend of Zelda, Sonic, Earthbound, and even TV show characters such as SpongeBob Squarepants, Dora the Explorer, and other series. The creator wanted to incorporate many different series.
In Mario Battle Party, Mario and his friends had to fight against an evil king named V-Ton, a strange being who wore a mask. Character such as Link, Zelda, Ness, SpongeBob, and Dora helped Mario in his quest. Most of the storyline had many plot holes and made little to no sense, as the creator was very young at the time. One very random aspect of the series was that the characters would transform in order to fight, much like in the anime Sailor Moon.
Mario Battle Party was not an animated series; it was hand-drawn in the form of little comics.
Mario Battle Nebula (2010 to 2013)
Mario Battle Nebula was the series that came after Mario Battle Party. It was also very different. Unlike Mario Battle Party, Mario Battle Nebula did not feature many characters from other series like Zelda or Dora. However, the only other series to appear were SpongeBob SquarePants series characters.
Mario Battle Nebula was actually animated, unlike Mario Battle Party. The storyline made a lot more sense, and there were less plot holes, but it was still a bit complicated.
The villains were going to be humanoid aliens from space, hence the 'nebula' part of the title. However, the alien idea was scrapped. The creator wanted to feature actual Mario series species instead.
Super Mario and the Mii Dimension (2014)
Super Mario and the Mii Dimension was a very brief change to the series. Instead of villains, the main antagonists became Miis.
This idea was quickly scrapped.
Super Mario Dream (2014)
Super Mario Dream was another proposed for the anime. In Super Mario Dream, the villains are Mario series species instead of Miis. In this series, the villains revive Mario's old enemies and bosses from previous games in order to fight him, unlike Mario Battle Nebula, in which the villains summoned aliens to fight Mario.
Super Mario Revival (2015)
Super Mario Revival is the final name for the anime. This name is in reference to the fact that many of Mario's old villains have come back again. The name is also in reference to the fact that Mario and his friends must give up their peaceful and relaxing times and jump back into a new battle, and so, in a sense, they are "revived".
Unlike previous name eras for the series, Super Mario Revival actually has four seasons instead of one big one.
Many of the original villains were once aliens. This concept was changed because the alien designs, according to the creator, didn't seem to fit in with the Mario series. Thus, they were all changed to different Mario series species.
Emeri was originally named Marblin, but the name was changed to better represent her emerald motif. Originally she was designed to be an alien. Then, she was designed to be a Cobrat. In her final design, she is a Pianta.
Pearlin, like the other villains, was first designed to be an alien. She went through many changes. There was an idea of her being a Chain Chomp, and then a Mii, and then was finally designed to be a Wiggler.
Feldi was not originally a Toad. He was an alien like all other villains. In all of his designs and ideas, he changed drastically, much to the point where each beta design seems like a different character yet is actually the same. Each design retained the feminine personality, however Cyclo did not keep them.
Quartza was originally named Crystalin. She was first planned to be an alien.
There was originally going to be a villain named Sashi, who was a stealthy yet serious ninja with an outfit clearly based on sushi. His name came from the word 'sashimi'.
Sashi wasn't much of a bully type of character and he didn't have a mean personality, but he was quite daring and rebellious as Hoolio is.
As every other villain got redesigned or replaced, Sashi was replaced by Hoolio. They are technically not the same character, but they have the same base personality- aloof, "badass", thinks he's cooler than the rest, etc.
Villains Scrapped from the First Season
These villains were originally planned to appear in the first season, but were removed.
A. Xin (or Ayjin)
A. Xin was a villain who was originally going to appear in Super Mario Battle Nebula. She was an alien and resembled a Japanese woman. She was scrapped in the final production.
However, the creator is planning to add A. Xin into the second season Super Mario Ultra. She will not be part of King Polarite's army, like she was originally planned to be part of in season 1, and instead, will be the member of a new clan of villains.
Reltuba was scrapped villain, and a member of King Polarite's army. He was an elderly man with white hair, a white mustache, and light purple skin. Additionally, he also wore a purple sweater vest, and purple shoes, too. His name comes from the word 'butler'. His name backwards is literally "abutleR". However, although his name comes from the word 'butler', he is mostly based on a waiter.
He was intended to be the waiter of the dining hall in King Polarite's headquarters, and was good friends with A. Xin. He hated Mario and his friends, but most of all, his rivals were Luigi and Squidward.
Reltuba's method of attacking was first using a harp, and then the creator decided to give him a wine bottle that could blast a never-ending stream of grape soda to better suit his waiter persona.
It has been decided that Reltuba will appear in the second season Super Mario Ultra. He will not be part of King Polarite's army, like he was originally planned to be part of in season 1, and instead, will be the member of a new clan of villains.
A fourth member of the mineral trio (Emeri, Quartza, Pearlin) had always been in the mind of the creator of Super Mario Revival. Her name was first "Ragnis" and then much later "Rubian". Her theme was ruby.
Rubian was scrapped because the creator felt that three members of the mineral-themed villains were enough, and because they all had a very similar personality- very vain, obsessed with beauty and looking good, interested in fashion, etc. It was seen as unnecessary to include such a character if she were to act similarly. However, Rubian 'was going to be the most serious, feared, and most leader-like of the group.
Although Rubian was scrapped from season 1, there are plans of Rubian to be appearing in Super Mario Ultra, the second season, along with A. Xin. Because this new season has more humanoid villains, Rubian will be appearing in her original alien design. She will not be part of King Polarite's army, like she was originally planned to be part of in season 1, and instead, will be the member of a new clan of villains. She has no relation to the trio of mineral women from season 1 (Emeri, Quartza, and Pearlin), and is completely separate from them.
Rather than reviving Mario's old enemies and bosses, in Mario Battle Nebula, the villains summoned their own troops and soldiers to fight Mario. Their soldiers, like themselves, were humanoid aliens. They were heavily inspired by the humanoid monsters from Sailor Moon. They were also very unique and strange. The creator scrapped them from the series because he thought they did not fit well with the Mario series.
SpongeBob SquarePants Characters
SpongeBob Squarepants, along with Patrick Star, Squiward Tentacles, and Sandy Cheeks, were originally going to appear in the anime Super Mario and the Mii Dimension. SpongeBob was to be given water-based powers, Patrick was to be given super strength, Squiward was to be given sound and music-related powers, and Sandy was going to have extreme Karate skill.
However, the idea of including SpongeBob Squarepants series characters was scrapped and was left out of the final production.
Weapons and Items
Previously there were no gems in place of the buttons on the Golden Baton, and there were simply just normal buttons on it.
Art Style Changes
For a long time, Super Mario Revival was going to use a more anime-esque art style, with very thin lines and artwork similar to that in an actual anime. However, this art style was not only too time-consuming to create, but a bit difficult as well. Many of the various artworks were inconsistent, showing just how not-so easy the drawing style was. And so, a more simple art style was created for the series.
The new art art style consists of thicker outlines with colors to match the corresponding character, and also unique patterns colored into the characters. Luigi, for example, has a thunder pattern on him, Birdo has a pattern featuring little bows on her, Toad has polka dots, and Mario himself has various little power-ups all over him.
Some examples of the old art style are show below.