Miyamoto-Super Mario Galaxy 2 Interview
Miyamoto looking quite surprised.
|Born|| November 16, 1952
Sonobe cho, Kyoto, Japan
Recently, Miyamoto announced that a sequel to the hugely succesful Super Mario Galaxy was on its way to our Wii's. He also had an interview in which he talks about Super Mario Galaxy 2 and how it may have a 'deep' storyline to it as the prequel did. He also teases about new characters so scroll down and take a look at the interview.
 The Interview
Super Mario Galaxy, the 2007 game that marked the iconic mascot character’s first adventure on Wii, was notable for the fact that its narrative was much deeper than the series’ usual paper-thin, save-the-princess plot. But Miyamoto, in an interview with Wired.com at E3 2009, says he’s not a fan of putting story into Mario titles, and therefore he’s keeping the plot of Galaxy 2 to a bare minimum.
“I’d like to go with as little story as possible,” he said. “I’ve always felt that the Mario games themselves aren’t particularly suited to having a very heavy story.”
The Legend of Zelda games, he feels, should have deep storylines — but not Mario.
So why does the designer of Donkey Kong — the 1981 game widely credited with introducing storylines to videogames in the first place — shy away from adding a deeper story to his most famous character’s games?
“I just feel that the Mario games are something that should be a much more bright and active experience,” he said. “With the Mario games, you don’t need to have such a complicated setting where you have these particular characters with complicated backstories that can weigh down the bright and fun feel of the game.”
“I feel that even if all that you have is that the villain is just simply a villain and you fight them, and you throw them down, and you find out, well, that wasn’t such a bad villain after all, that’s enough story for ultimately what is just about a very fun experience,” he added.
A villain that’s not actually all bad is a recurring theme in the Mario games. Miyamoto has said before that his first villain, Donkey Kong, was just “misunderstood,” not evil. He reinforced this point in his very next game, Donkey Kong Jr., in which Mario was the villain and Donkey Kong’s son was the protagonist.
Somewhat complicating matters is the fact that the director of the Mario games, Yoshiaki Koizumi, disagrees with Miyamoto’s story-free philosophy.
“Mr. Koizumi is the type of person who, whenever we’re working on a new Mario game, he always wants to bring more story elements into it, as he did with Super Mario Galaxy. But in talking with him this time, he agrees and feels that with Galaxy 2, there won’t be a need for as deep of a story,” Miyamoto said.
But does he really agree with his boss, or has Koizumi just been overruled? In an interview with Wired.com in 2007, Koizumi said that he’s been trying to sneak bits of story into Mario and Zelda games for his entire career at Nintendo, even as Miyamoto has been trying to keep them out.
I told Miyamoto about what Koizumi had said, and he looked slightly taken aback.
“He said that?”
“Well, I put a stop to that at the beginning, this time,” he said, and for emphasis punched the air with his fist.
We all had a good laugh. But it’s actually quite disappointing. In my view, Koizumi had the right idea. Super Mario Galaxy had the requisite, ritualistic kidnapping of Princess Peach, yes. But it also had another cast of characters, a princess from outer space and her family of talking stars, who had a deeper, sadder story that was revealed through elegant picture-book scenes throughout the game.
It’s not just Koizumi who’s pushing back against Miyamoto’s propensity towards minimalism. Miyamoto says he’s also had some “battles” with the team making New Super Mario Bros. Wii over the story.
“They always want to have these dramatic scenes where Princess Peach gets kidnapped, but I always tell them, no, it’s fine — Princess Peach likes cake, so you can just have them use cake as bait to kidnap Princess Peach, and that’s enough,” he laughed.
“Glutton” was the word in Japanese he used to describe Princess Peach.
“I was thinking they could have these big ships come in, and they’ve got these big chains all over them, and they drop a plate down with cake on it,” he said.
For the time being, it seems like the Galaxy 2 team is still trying to get some story in, where Miyamoto will allow it.
“I think you did see a person carved out of a tree stump in the trailer. That person has a bit of a story,” Miyamoto said.
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