Nintendo’s Shigeru Miyamoto, Reggie Fils-Aime and Bill Trinen were in attendance at The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon this week to offer a glimpse at upcoming mobile title Super Mario Run as well as the first televised hands-on demo of The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild running on the Nintendo Switch. Miyamoto even found time to pick up his guitar and play the Super Mario theme music with Fallon’s house band, The Roots.
While much of the fan reaction to the show has centered around the new Switch footage, some gamers noticed that Miyamoto’s shirt during the appearance seemed to be teasing… well, something. The shirt featured an image of Mario in a Samurai costume and Trinen took to Twitter shortly after the episode aired to make sure everyone noticed.
Has anyone figured out what's up with Miyamoto's Samurai Mario shirt?— Bill Trinen (@trintran) December 9, 2016
@trintran Cause I know what's up.— Bill Trinen (@trintran) December 9, 2016
Polygon reports that Miyamoto wore the shirt a second time during a press event in New York the next day. Miyamoto either likes to travel lightly or wanted to make sure that people took note of his attire. The move is somewhat reminiscent of when Hideo Kojima wore a T-shirt with “D.S.” on it immediately before the world debut of Death Stranding at E3 2016.
So far, two competing fan theories about the shirt have emerged. Some fans think the Samurai costume has something to do with Super Mario Run, which releases December 15. One reader in the comments on Polygon was able to zoom in on a screen cap of Miyamoto wearing the shirt and there appears to be a game logo printed along the bottom that looks similar to the official logo for Super Mario Run, but the shirt is too crinkled to tell for sure.
Others feel that this could be the first hint of the concept behind Mario’s upcoming adventure on Nintendo Switch, which could have Mario traveling to different countries around the world. The Samurai costume would be a nice fit if there’s a section of the game set in Japan. Those who watched the Switch’s announcement trailer will recall that the first brief footage of the game featured Mario running around in an area that had a southwest vibe.
If we had to bet on it though, we’d say Samurai Mario is going to make an appearance in Super Mario Run next week. The release of the Switch game is still months away, and this shirt will likely be forgotten by most members of the general public by the time it gets here. If true, this would seem to imply that Miyamoto and Nintendo have come up with some brand new power-ups for Mario in his first-ever mobile title.
Super Mario Run releases on iOS on December 15.