TOKYO—Promising that the blockbuster release’s depiction of the legendary would be completely respectful, Mario Golf producer Toshiharu Izuno defended Monday Nintendo’s choice to use a CGI likeness of Luigi in the game after the star’s death last year. “We have been in contact with Luigi’s estate and received full permission to use his image utilizing composite shots from his previous appearances, and we think it will honor his legacy,” said Izuno, who rejected concerns that he was exploiting Luigi’s tragic passing to generate buzz around the upcoming game. “Luigi was an integral part of this series, and we don’t think any other character would be able to capture his spirit, so rather than scrap the game we came up with this solution. We even worked with Luigi’s son Marcello to fill in some of the vocals so that his family could have some creative influence. We think this is a beautiful tribute to a man who impacted so many people, and using this computer technology to give folks one last chance to enjoy him is something most fans will love.” Izuno also dismissed accusations of fan service leveled at the game over the decision to retcon Mario and Luigi as Bowser’s children.