Even if you decide on standards for recording the Super Guide, if you don't get the map nailed down, you can't record anything. For games like Mario in particular, the game is more fun the more you fiddle with the maps, so there must have been a struggle between the clear desire to improve the levels and the need to record the demos.
That's right. We were always going back and forth about that.
I bet people were always saying, "You said you wouldn't mess with this, so I finally recorded it!"
Right. There were things like that all the time.
Up until the very end, almost every day, every course, everyone on the staff had to re-record their demos.
Almost every day, every course?!
That's right. For example, if we changed the program - even a little - for the movement of Mario, enemies, or tricks, when we played the guide data, it wouldn't quite match, so we had to re-record it. But towards the end, everyone was getting pretty good. When I asked them to re-record something, they were like, "Okay, sure thing!"
They'd all suffered through it so many times that they had passed beyond it.
I suppose so. But some of the courses were real killers, so I felt really sorry for the staff in charge of those levels.
I can understand that. And in addition to the Super Guide, you can watch the Super Skills movies by the Mario Club8 debuggers, too. That such super playing is possible must have been surprising even for you who made the game. 8 Mario Club Co., Ltd.: Test plays and debugs software being developed by Nintendo.
I thought, "Whoa! You can do that?!" (laughs)
I thought, "I'm glad I didn't have to do that!" (laughs)
At first, the staff itself was going to record the Super Skills movies. Several staff members were confident about it, and we had them do it, but in the end it proved impossible.
They begged to be let off the hook?
I wanted people who had mastered Mario to watch the Super Skills movies and say, "Whoa, that's amazing!" I wanted to set the bar really high.
You wanted even good players to realise that greater heights were possible.
Yes. When I first asked the Mario Club, they made about 100 movies, but none of them were good enough. The level of playing was too low.
So you had to light a fire under them? (laughs)
Yes. (laughs) The ones they recorded were all pretty good, but I said to them, "I didn't think they would amaze a good player who saw them."
They were merely good.
So I gave them some concrete advice, like "Jump on the Koopa Troopas one after the other here," and "If you shake the Wii Remote at this moment, you can jump all the way over there in one shot."
Was there any opposition?
Yeah. At first they would say, "I can't do that!" But the people in Mario Club have a lot of pride, and one hour later they would be saying, "I did it!" (laughs)
In just one hour?!
I only put in a couple of requests, but when they said, "Here, I did it," and handed me the movies, they had about five extra jaw-dropping moves in it.
They went all out. (laughs)
When I saw that, I was surprised. I thought if they could do that, maybe they could do even more.
If they could do all that in one hour, then what could they do with even more time?
Exactly! (laughs) Then, not sure how much to expect, I tried to spur them on, saying, "Do you think you could do this a little more like so?" and they were able to record something even more spectacular. I thought that was enough and gave my OK, but they wouldn't stop. (laughs)
Ah ha ha! (laughs) So while the fire didn't leap up right at the start, it eventually blazed high in the Mario Club.
That's right. They'd say, "I made a better one, so replace the old one." Then before I knew it, we had all kinds of amazing movies. At first, I thought about 30 or 40 Super Skills movies would be enough, but we had so many good ones that in the end we put in 65.
I saw that. Each and every one of them is absolutely astounding. (laughs)
Yeah. You can watch them in Princess Peach's Castle, so when you're playing and you feel like you need a little break, I hope you'll take a detour and go see them.
Let's talk about the Coin Battles . After all, we just decided to hold the Japan Championship9. How did the Coin Battles come about? 9 New Super Mario Bros. Wii Coin Battle Japan Championship: A Coin Battle finals tournament held on March 27, 2010 in Tokyo for participants who have advanced from preliminary events in seven areas. Currently there are no plans to bring this tournament outside of Japan.
Even if they're just playing cooperatively as usual, when good players get together, they want to compete. They're like, "I'm gonna reach the goal first!" or "I'm gonna get all the Star Coins first." A competitive spirit emerges. So we thought it would be fun if such people could compete on a special course with special rules just for that.
How many special Coin Battle courses did you make?
At first, we thought two would be fine. But when the Coin Battle Selection Screen opened up, there were ten icons lined up and only two were special courses. Some were of the opinion that at least the top row should be all special courses.
Who said that?
Miyamoto-san and Tezuka-san.
I expected as much. (laughs)
Apparently they wanted to make courses good for Coin Battles as well as a course resembling the original Mario Bros. So we made the five on the top row special courses for Coin Battles, and the bottom five recommended courses taken from the main game.
How many weeks beforehand did we decide that?
Two weeks before what?
Before completion of the game.
So on short notice we made five special courses, with one designer assigned to a single course.
With just two weeks to go? (laughs)
I can only shake my head and laugh… (laughs)
That was about the time we were making the Super Guide plays, too.
So two weeks before you had to be done, some guys were recording the Super Guide, while other guys were making special courses. Didn't anyone tell you that was impossible?
Yeah, they did.
Yep. Or, in my case, I was saying it myself! (laughs)
But if during that time we'd had to make a demo for each new course, it would have been too much, so Miyamoto-san convinced us that demos weren't necessary for the special Coin Battle courses.
But if you hadn't worked so hard right up to the very end, who knows what would have become of the Japan Championship?
I know. There probably wouldn't have been a Japan Championship. So all our frantic effort paid off.
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