How did you adjust the difficulty of the Challenge Mode? Everyone on the team is good at video games, right?
Um, Iwamoto-san just looked as if to say no. (laughs)
Well, this is hard to say, but Iwamoto-san isn’t very good at Mario games.
But even though he isn’t very good, he can clear them.
Yeah, I can do that. I personally don’t think I’m that bad…
There were a few people on the team at Iwamoto-san’s level, and a few who can’t clear a Super Mario game. They worked with us in making adjustments from low difficulty upwards.
Iwamoto-san was a kind of litmus test. (laughs)
Yeah. For the low end. (laughs)
Top people in Mario Club9 were the litmus test for good players. It turned out so that even those people said it was a little challenging.9. Mario Club Co., Ltd.: A team that conducts debugging and testing on Nintendo software during development.
But for the Mario Club members, it was just “a little” challenging. (laughs)
No, this time it was more like “a lot.”
When you heard that, didn’t you feel a sense of accomplishment? Usually, it’s hard to make a game that difficult.
Yeah. But it’s no good if no one can clear it, so we tried not to make it too difficult.
But the testers at Nintendo of America did say, “We can’t clear this!” (laughs)
Oh, the line-up of master testers in America waved the white flag?
Yeah. We got an email saying, “Can this really be cleared?”
They thought it was a mistake in game design.
Yeah. So I sent a video to America proving that it can be cleared.
Then the next day we got a reply saying, “Sorry. We did it.” (laughs)
Oh, so it wasn’t a skill problem.
No. In order to get a gold medal it’s a matter of having to do it a certain way.
A Super Mario action game is also like a puzzle game.
Yes. If you clear a challenge in Challenge Mode, you can record a replay movie and save it. When you watch a good player’s movie, you’ll see places you thought you couldn’t get to.
You see that you actually can get there.
Yeah, you learn that. Then if you try the same thing, you’ll be able to do it.
So watching videos by good players is a shortcut to improvement.
Yes. The development staff included videos of themselves playing for inclusion in New Super Mario Bros. Wii as the Super Guide. This time, we want to do something for viewing in a different form.
In other words, “Please, look forward to it!”
Yeah! (laughs) Getting back to the Challenge Mode, there are two-player Boost Mode challenges this time. It’s a task that uses a buddy for something you can’t do alone.
(Editor’s note: In the Japanese version this mode is called “Buddy Mode challenges.”)
In other words, it requires two people. And it has to be two people who get along.
That’s right. At first, when you mess up, you might get into a spat, saying, “That was your fault!”
But when you do well, you suddenly get along really well! (laughs)
When good people play together, the buddy on the GamePad will think, “I bet he wants me to put one here,” and then he’ll put a block there. And the Mario player will be able to guess the other’s thoughts, like, “He’ll put one here.”
When you sync up, it really feels good to play. And when a player and the friend on the GamePad alternate and watch each other’s playing, they quickly improve. When two advanced players are together, you can enjoy some incredible playing.
But a problem for the Boost Mode challenges was that you couldn’t play it without two people. We didn’t want to make anything that a single player couldn’t complete if he or she wanted to.
Then we saw a certain programmer who just happened to be tapping away at Boost Mode challenges all alone.
What’s that like?
You hold the Wii Remote with both hands and…
And you touch with your right middle finger…
(tapping the table with his middle finger) Like this.
Oh, you hold the Wii Remote in both hands, and then touch the screen of the Wii U GamePad with the fingertip of your right middle finger. (laughs)
We call it “No Buddy Play.”
That programmer got all the Boost Mode challenge gold medals all by himself.
He could put blocks wherever he wanted because he was playing by himself.
He proved that you can play it on your own.
Yeah. Thanks to him, our unease disappeared.
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