Miyamoto On Breath Of The Wild, Nostalgia, And If Yoshi And A T-Rex Can Co-Exist
During E3 we were able to speak with the legendary Nintendo developer, Shigeru Miyamoto. After thanking him for the announcement of the remake of Metroid II, we moved onto The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, the strange fiction of Super Mario Odyssey, his thoughts on the magic of nostalgia, and more.
This interview was conducted by Ben Hanson and Kyle Hilliard.
Game Informer: What is the relationship between Super Mario Odyssey and The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild? Has the success of Breath of the Wild impacted the development of Odyssey?
Miyamoto: I think starting with myself, there is an underlying philosophy that goes across Nintendo. For example, the Mario team and the Zelda team are in two different places – one is in Kyoto, one is in Tokyo – so they don’t have direct communication. But the people who are leading that and organizing that have this underlying philosophy that they have a pretty direct connection with myself.
In terms of Breath of the Wild and Odyssey, honestly if we were to have waited until the success of Breath of the Wild to make Odyssey it would have been too late. So it’s not that they influenced each other. I think what I did with both teams was when I touched any of the prototypes or tests that they would bring me, I would try to make sure that it feels good, and that it feels good being in that world, and that’s what I did for both teams. That was my role.
It's strange to see a realistic T-rex in a Mario game especially when considering the existence of Yoshi. Is Mario going to recognize Yoshi as a dinosaur versus the T-rex that is in the game?
That’s a tough question [laughs]. In the past, I’ve seen Hollywood movies where a dinosaur looks like Yoshi and I thought, “That’s not a dinosaur. It’s more like a lizard.” But I do think Mario recognizes the difference in the dinosaur and Yoshi [laughs]. And he can possess the T-rex and I guess he sort of rides Yoshi, so it kind of works out.
Can Mario possess a T-rex, and then can the T-rex ride Yoshi?
It’s too much stress on Yoshi. Please don’t do that [laughs].
How much do you consider Mario fiction? Is it important that there is some consistency? Or is it important that it is so malleable between games?
I think it’s okay and it’s great for Mario to keep evolving. Even with this title, the idea of New Donk City? The idea of being in a realistic city with people of normal height hanging out, and Mario’s hanging out and he’s like half their size, we were definitely worried and we were worried that people might not understand it or be able to accept it. But it seems like it has been pretty accepted and received pretty naturally. With Mario jumping up and down on a taxi or walking at the edge of a building? It seems like people are accepting it naturally. I just want to make sure little kids don’t go copying him and do that.
Are you nostalgic over 2D Mario or 8-bit Mario? Are you Nostalgic about any video games?
I definitely do have nostalgic feelings for games. I’m part of a generation that grew up with games like Pac-Man. But I think it’s important that this generation don’t see those types of games as old games.
And how do you do that?
I think we’re getting to a point, especially in my generation, where the grandfather knows this, the father knows this, and the child knows this. And having this common thread that connects all of them together and having this commonality, I hope will eventually lead to the Mario franchise overall being supported by children.
Are you nostalgic over older Nintendo games as well? Or do you just remember the passion behind the development?
It’s both. I definitely feel both. We actually found, internally, found a working arcade machine for Mario Bros. and the winner for the t-shirt design contest? I actually had the opportunity to play with them, and against them in Mario Bros. and it brought back a lot of memories and was very nostalgic, but at the same time it was still fun to play with that old game.
Did you win?
Yes. With ease [laughs].
To hear from Super Mario Odyssey's producer and director about Miyamoto's influence, head here. For our impressions of Super Mario Odyssey, check out the podcast segment below.