The lights are on
Nintendo’s recurring “Iwata Asks” feature is one of the most interesting game-related segments available online. Each one is centered around a current Nintendo release, but rather than simply go over bullet points and reiterate marketing talking points, Nintendo’s president Satoru Iwata brings company veterans out for freewheeling and often hilarious conversations. And since so many Nintendo designers, producers and programmers have been with the company so long, there are plenty of old tales to tell.In the latest Iwata Asks, Iwata uses the release of the Legend of Zelda: Spirit Tracks to frame a larger conversation about the history of handheld Zelda releases. There are also a few side stories related to Super Mario Bros. Here are some of the highlights:• Have you ever wondered why so many of the Zelda releases incorporate fishing? Thank programmer Kazuaki Morita, a long-time Nintendo programmer. “He’s the kind of guy who makes fishing games without even being asked,” says Toshihiko Nagako president of Systems Research and Development, the Nintendo subsidiary that programs many of the company’s titles.
• Shigeru Miyamoto is crafty. Nagako says that when he first spoke
with Miyamoto about Super Mario Bros., he was shown five of the game’s
worlds. “Miyamoto-san wrote them down on a sheet of A4 paper, and said,
‘This is what I have in mind.’ He’d written down the outlines of five
worlds. I said, ‘All right,’ and then he said, ‘Actually there’s
something else I’d like to talk to you about...’ There was actually
another sheet there. He opened it up, and the other three worlds
• Link’s Awakening was inspired by Twin Peaks? Takahashi Tezuka, who co-developed Super Mario Bros. and the first Zelda game before working more extensively on Link’s Awakening says David Lynch’s ‘90s TV drama was an inspiration. In particular, he liked the small-town setting, filled with “suspicious types.” “After that, in Ocarina of Time and Majora’s Mask, all kinds of suspicious characters appeared. I didn’t tell them to do it that way, but personally, I did find it considerably appealing,” he says.• Nintendo = nerds, Capcom = jocks. After realizing that Capcom’s staff had a reverence for the Legend of Zelda games, Tezuka agreed to let the company work on three handheld games for the series. He found that Capcom’s culture was significantly different from what he was used to at Nintendo.Iwata: What was your impression? Tezuka: They struck me as being real sporty types. (laughs) Not at all like us. Iwata: What type were you Nintendo guys? Tezuka: A circle of like-minded people. Nakago: Yes, that’s right. You’re definitely a circle of like minds. (laughs) Aonuma: Like an afterschool club. (laughs)These are just a few of the highlights from one of the best installments of Iwata Asks yet. Make sure you have some free time before checking out the entire feature, because you’ll probably want to dig through the archives and read the older ones, too.
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Miyamoto's A4 paper there should prove to us all that it doesn't (shouldn't) take much to get started on your own game design. Who knew that the concept of a fat italian plumber who jumps through sewer pipes and kicks turtle shells at dinosaurs would have ever become the legendary series it is now. Get out a sheet of paper and turn your dreams into reality. Very inspirational! Thank you, Miyamoto-san!
^Haha, Joseph. And the bit about Twin Peaks, dear lord. I wish Twin Peaks would go away! Haha, my friends are entirely obsessed with it!
real sporty types haha
I can safely say that I've never even heard of Iwata Asks; I hardly pay attention to Nintendo anymore, sadly. I should definitely check this one out though.
Little known fact: Twin Peaks was filmed in Idaho.
the only reasons i miss my wii are for Mario and Zelda... other then that i don't miss it at all... this was a rather funny article... i enjoyed it :P
I guess the nintendo guys are not big fans of Bully...
cool. i love commentary, and i wish alot of developers would put it in their games somehow.
I didn't know they had that.
Ha Ha. This is kinda funny
i love this,you get to see the personalities of these great people who's art,and hardwork we enjoy daily.thanx for bringing us closer to the action.
I've read a few of these before, I believe one was right after mario kart wii came out. And they unveiled..the golden wheel.
Wow, I had no idea Link's Awakening was inspired by 'Lynchian' IP, that is pretty cool, considering David Lynch is one of my favorite directors. But it makes a lot of sense now that I think about it; Link's Awakening (and more notably OoT and Majora's Mask, as was mentioned in this article), definatly had an enigmatic feel to it, some of the characters were quite shady and mysterious, sometimes even creepy.
Very nice article Jeff, GI ftw!
The thing about Miyamoto does not surprise me at all. He's the greatest.
Dam, this is interesting! Link's Awakening was always my second favorite Zelda, and this discussion just brings back good memories. Maybe all games should have a commentary included? Really want to here a drawn out discussion about oot! MM too. That thing about the characters is my favorite thing in Zelda, its a crying shame its been cut back in recent iterations.
this is cool i guess
Awesome, love Iwata Asks, read a couple of them before but rarely did they make headlines in game news, as in recent news. But still very good and interesting history.