Shigeru Miyamoto – We Interview (and Play Nintendo With) Video Game Legend Shigeru Miyamoto – Popular Mechanics

Nintendo mastermind Shigeru Miyamoto has been behind so many classic video games and characters that it’s no understatement to call him the godfather of modern gaming. We sat down with the creator of Mario, Zelda, Donkey Kong, and scores of other Nintendo games to play the New Super Mario Bros. Wii game, and to talk about the birth of Mario, the mythological basis of Zelda, the future of video games and why blowing into your NES cartridges really does work.

By Seth Porges

Published on: October 19, 2009

Shigeru Miyamoto: It’s the next installment in the newer Super Mario Bros. series, which we started on Nintendo DS. The idea behind New Super Mario Bros. was originally that we wanted to create a Mario game that would really be accessible to several different kinds of game players. We wanted it to be something that people who had never played a game before could enjoy. We wanted it to be something for people who used to play games a long time ago but maybe had lapsed and hadn’t played games in years. But we also wanted it to be something that more avid and more active gamers could also pick up and enjoy as well.

So when we brought it to the Wii console we had several different things we had to keep in mind. Because the Wii console is a device that is in the living room, not only is there a chance that an even broader audience than played the game on the DS might come into contact with the game, but as a device that is typically played by multiple people, you may have people with different experience levels playing at the same time. The concept for the Wii version from the outset was to make it a multiplayer game, and one thing that we considered was how do we design the game with a difficulty level that is going to be satisfying and accessible to all of those different skill levels? We found that it was very difficult to do. But instead what we looked at was, with the multiplayer ability, giving players the ability to pick up other players and carry them through the level and give novice players other ways to get through a level.

PM: Mario is obviously your most famous character creation. Who’s the favorite character you ever made?

SM: I probably would have to say Mario is my favorite, but I’m also fond of the Goomba character.

PM: How was Mario created? How did he come about?

SM: The story of creating Mario goes all the way back to the Donkey Kong days. With the technology back then, you had very limited palette in which you were able to draw a character. If you look at the original Mario face, you had just 7 pixels to draw his face. My goal within that limited palette was to create a character that was as distinct as possible. Because of that, he had some of his now-distinct features such as his big nose.

PM: When was it decided that he was a plumber?

SM: When we first created Donkey Kong, I kind of looked at him as your average, everyday foolish guy. The setting of that game was a construction site, so I kind of matched him with the setting of the game, and decided in that game that he was a carpenter. And then when we made the original Mario Bros. game, that was the first game that had pipes in it, and the enemies would come out of the pipes into this dark area and Mario would try to hit them and knock them out. Looking at the setting of that game, it had the feeling of an underground New York sewer system. And so with the pipes and the idea of it being an underground New York sewer system, I thought what kind of guy would be there working on the pipes? A plumber! So rather than saying Mario was a plumber, really it was a matter of what’s his role in the game and what’s the setting of the game and kind of occupation would put him in the setting to be doing what he’s doing.

via Shigeru Miyamoto – We Interview (and Play Nintendo With) Video Game Legend Shigeru Miyamoto – Popular Mechanics.

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