Shigeru Miyamoto recalls his friendship with the late Satoru Iwata, talks about a tradition they shared, and reveals how Iwata lives on at Nintendo

Kind words from a true friend

In recent weeks, we've been talking a lot about Iwata-san, a book published by Earthbound creator Shigesato Itoi that looks back on the life and work of Satoru Iwata. One portion of the book includes a new interview with Shigeru Miyamoto, who looks back on his lost friend. IGN has translated the feature, which you can find below.

“To me, he was a friend more than anything. It never felt like he was my boss or that I was working under him. He never got angry; we never fought about anything. Normally, if someone younger than yourself with fewer years of experience becomes president, it might be difficult to get along with each other, but it was never like that. It had always been obvious that he was more suited for the position (than me), so it never became a problem. I think it allowed us to naturally become true friends.”

Miyamoto took a moment to look back on one of the first meals he shared with Iwata, who was still at HAL Lab at the time. The two went out for a bowl of ramen together after work. That one night out lead to a life-long tradition.

“Nintendo doesn’t pay for social expenses, so we had to go Dutch on the bill. That became a tradition that lasted even after he became company president and I became an executive.”

Finally, Miyamoto shared some words on how Iwata lives on in Nintendo to this day, as well as how he misses having Iwata around.

“Since he passed away, Nintendo has been doing just fine. He left many words and structures that live on in the work of our younger employees today. The only problem is that, if there is some good-for-nothing idea I come up with over the weekend, I have no one to share it with the next Monday. That I can no longer hear him say ‘Oh, about that thing…’ is a bit of a problem for me. It makes me sad.”

Nintendo on challenging themselves to create new IP, working with partners, and why creating 'adventure games' today is tough

A mix of old and new

Coming from Nintendo's 79th Annual General Meeting of Shareholders...

Aonuma reveals how his Zelda workload has changed over the years, and shares his excitement in working alongside Miyamoto

We don't deserve Aonuma

Game Informer had an interview with Eiji Aonuma about his work on upcoming Zelda titles, but they took a moment to chat about how Aonuma's workload has changed over the years. Aonuma has been creating Zelda games for 2 decades now, and it seems all that hard work he's put in has paid off.

"One thing that definitely has changed is that in the beginning, I had to create a bunch of things on my own, but now I have a great team with great people with different skills to help me create things together."

It's very clear that Shigeru Miyamoto very much trusts what Aonuma cooks up for the Zelda franchise, even if Miyamoto still has to pass off on the suggested ideas. It's a unique collaboration that Aonuma still gets giddy about.

"It's very interesting that you bring up Mr. Miyamoto. I've never thought of it as collaborating with him! Now that you've phrased it that way, I think, 'Oh, working with Mr. Miyamoto is a collaboration.' That's kind of exciting!"

Miyamoto and Tezuka play 'Spin the Wheel: Super Mario Maker 2 Edition' at E3 2019

Can I buy a vowel?

Nintendo has been a bit light on their traditionally goofy E3 videos this year, but I'm glad to see they were just holding out for day 2 of the big show. In the feature above, Mr. Miyamoto and Mr. Tezuka sit down to play a game of Spin the Wheel, where all the wheel's actions pertain to Super Mario Maker 2. Check out the silly segment above.

Dylan Cuthbert looks back on the all-nighters programming StarFox, and Miyamoto's fondness for a certain treat

Miyamoto loves his sweets

Dylan Cuthbert, a developer who worked on the original StarFox, shared some insight into working with Nintendo/Miyamoto over the weekend. Mr. Cuthbert also took to Twitter to talk about some of the long hours the team pulled working on StarFox, as well as a team trip out to get some late-night snacks. Check out Mr. Cuthbert's anecdote below.

Reflections of a Heisei programmer: During Star Fox we only did a few late nighters, and when I say late night, I mean working until the wee hours of the morning preparing a build for the lot check at Uji or something like that. I enjoyed them thoroughly as that kind of thing works as a catalyst to bond the team and the game was exciting to work on, I don’t recommend them often but every once in a while they can be fun like staying out past your bedtime when you were a kid.

Anyway.. on one of those nights Miyamoto was also there with us tuning last minute stuff and playing through the game and we all decided we needed some snacks and sustenance so at about 3am we all trudged out into the wintry night: Eguchi, Miyamoto, Yamada, Imamura, Watanabe and all, to trek to the nearest convenience store which I think was a Lawson’s, and on the way Miyamoto was chatting about his student days and how he used to do all nighters to cram before tests and student exhibitions. Then his eyes suddenly lit up.

”I used to love McVities chocolate biscuits during those all nighters” he said, “those are British aren’t they?”, to which I nodded, quite surprised he knew of them. I asked him how he had got hold of them and he told me that most convenience store in Japan had them. I had just never noticed! We arrived at the Lawson’s and lo and behold right there on the shelf were mcvities chocolate biscuits!.

So we bought four boxes (they came in boxes and not the wrapped cylinder type presentation usual in the UK) on that cold December night and the whole team munched them happily together while we solved the last few bugs on StarFox. The sad part of this story is that stores in japan no longer sell mcvities chocolate biscuits so if you ever have the chance to visit Miyamoto from the Uk, you should bring him a pack as a present :) (and some for me too!)

Dylan Cuthbert talks about his past with Nintendo, says Miyamoto asked him not to work with Sony, and mentions an unreleased Miyamoto project

What could have been...

Dylan Cuthbert worked with Nintendo on multiple projects, but he never officially became part of their team. Cuthbert would eventually end up working with Sony for a number of years as well, much to the chagrin of Miyamoto. Cuthbert opens up about all this, including a secret Miyamoto project, via the blurb below.

When StarFox 2 was canceled we went for a big sayonara meal and Miyamoto explained to me that they didn’t want to be perceived as inferior to the newly released PlayStation and Saturn consoles. But because the contract between Argonaut and Nintendo was over I had to go back to the Uk, and Miyamoto lamented that he couldn’t take me on as an employee because Argonaut had instigated an anti-poach after @giles had left Argonaut to join Nintendo a few months earlier after getting married to a local lass, but he explained that to circumvent that he could get me a job at Hal with Iwata, but Hal was in the middle of nowhere near Mt. Fuji and I loved living in Kyoto so I explained that I would find my own way back to Kyoto and had already put feelers out to other games companies with Japanese links, to which he said sharply ‘just don’t work for a company that ”begins with the letter ‘S’”, to which I just had to smile wryly because of course I was already talking to someone at PlayStation in Foster City. At the time I didn’t realize quite the level of political shit that had gone down between Sony and Nintendo over the SNES CD drive! Six months later I started working in Foster City for PlayStation :-)

I do feel a pang of sadness that I couldn’t join Nintendo back then as that is probably where I would still be today if I had, but then again I wouldn’t give up those years at Sony for anything as they were some of the best years of my life and I made many many friends - and of course I got myself back to Kyoto on my own terms by 2001 to start Q-Games and haven’t looked back since! I reconnected with Nintendo and made many more games with them Digidrive, StarFox Command, Reflect Missile, X-Returns, Starship Command, StarFox 64 3D, and one secret Miyamoto pet project that didn’t see the light of day because of market timing, and a bunch more fun prototypes! One day I’d like to work with them again! Never say never.

Thanks to Dondom95 for the heads up!

Miyamoto and Aonuma were key in making Cadence of Hyrule happen

Both big fans of Crypt of the Necrodancer

One of the biggest surprises in Nintendo's recent Switch Nindies Showcase was the reveal of Cadence of Hyrule, a Legend of Zelda x Crypt of the Necrodancer mash-up that has Nintendo collaborating with indie developer Brace Yourself. Many are still wondering about how this collab came together. Turns out it all started with two of Nintendo's biggest names.

Believe it or not Shigeru Miyamoto and Eiji Aonuma were big fans of Crypt of the Necrodancer on Switch. Apparently the two played the game constantly, and considered themselves to be quite the fans. After becoming so enthralled with the game, both wanted to learn more about the team that put it together. That desire to learn more about the team is what paved the way for the collaboration!

Will Wright shares his thoughts on Dr. Wright being part of Smash Bros., praises Miyamoto's work

Dr. Wright of SimCity fame has been a part of Smash Bros. since the Melee days. Sure, he might not be playable, but he's still a recognizable face in the series! In an interview with Game Informer, SimCity creator Will Wright talked about the character's inclusion in Smash Bros. over the years.

“I mean, it’s an honor. I first started working on Nintendo way back on the early NES for the very first SimCity and Miyamoto-san asked me if I would mind if they named the guy with the green hair Dr. Wright – the guy who kind of gives you the help. And I was honored back then because Miyamoto is actually gotta be the best game designer ever, and also a good friend.”

Wright parlayed this discussion into some praise for Nintendo's Shigeru Miyamoto as well.

“I think Miyamoto never lost his childhood. It’s not like he remembers his childhood – it’s like he kept it with him. A good bit of him is still a six-year-old boy playing in the garden and you see that when you talk to him, just the way he approaches the world. And I think that’s his most valuable asset.”

Illumination founder says Miyamoto is 'front and center' for the upcoming Super Mario Bros. animated film

Illumination founder Chris Meledandri seems quite excited to be working with Nintendo on a Super Mario Bros. animated feature film. Meledandri knows that there's a lot of pressure to make a great movie, especially following after the disastrous live-action adaptation years ago. In an interview with Variety, Meledandri says he's up for the challenge, and he's keeping Miyamoto close by to make sure all goes well.

“I like that this was not done well the first time. I think that’s more exciting or more worthy than simply making another version of a film that was done incredibly well to begin with.”

We are keeping him (Shigeru Miyamoto) front and center in the creation of this film. I’ve rarely seen that happen with any adaptation where the original creative voice is being embraced like we’re embracing Miyamoto. There’s a history in Hollywood of people believing that they know better than the people responsible for a property. I’ve made that mistake before.

It’s an ambitious task. The challenge is taking things that are so thin in their original form and finding depth that doesn’t compromise what generations of fans love about Mario, but also feels organic to the iconography and can support a three-act structure.”


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