Did you settle on the title Super Mario Collection (the title of Super Mario All-Stars in Japan) right away?
No, there were quite a few alternative proposals and we had trouble deciding. One alternative was Mario Extravaganza.
Huh? Mario...Extravaganza?! (laughs)
Yeah. (laughs) We started calling it that when development began.
Yeah, we called it Mario Extravaganza the whole time.
That’s a bit shocking. (laughs)
It was only temporary of course, but, you know, it included Super Mario 1, 2, 3 and The Lost Levels.
We also included a battle game in Super Mario 38. You can play Mario Bros.9 8 Super Mario Bros. 3: An action game released in Japan for the Famicom system in October 1988. It was released in Europe for the NES in August 1991. 9 Mario Bros.: An action game that in Japan appeared in arcades in 1983 and was released later the same year in September for the Famicom system. It was released in Europe for the NES in 1986.
We made it so players could choose Mario Bros. from the menu and play it as much as they wanted.
Oh, right! I played that a lot during development when I needed to take a break! (laughs)
It was a single game cartridge packed full of the first ten years of Nintendo’s rich history.
So we wanted players to enjoy an extravaganza of Mario games! (laughs) But we went around and around with regard to the title and couldn’t decide.
I would think so. It’s difficult to name products like this. Do you remember who suggested the title Super Mario Collection?
Was it Miyamoto-san who eventually suggested that?
Hmm, I don’t remember. I just remember seeing you make the title screen and thinking, “Oh, so it’s going to be called Super Mario Collection.”
Mario Extravaganza became Super Mario Collection. (laughs)
I was a little disappointed. (laughs)
You liked Mario Extravaganza better? By the way, what was your first impression when you heard that Super Mario All-Stars, which came out 17 years ago, was going to be released for the Wii console in conjunction with the twenty-fifth anniversary of Super Mario?
To tell the truth, I was surprised. (laughs)
What do you think Wii players will make of Super Mario All-Stars?
Maybe it will strike those who don’t know these games at all as something new and refreshing.
I suppose young people who grew up without ever knowing about Super Mario All-Stars will find it new and refreshing, and I think people who had really gotten into the very first Super Mario Bros. game but had stopped playing video games by the time Super Mario All-Stars came out - are also playing with Wii today. I hope all kinds of people will play it.
Yes, I do too.
Now I’d like to ask one final question before we finish up. Why do you think it is that so many people today still enjoy Super Mario, a creation that is 25 years old? Alright, who would like to answer first?
I’ll go first. I think it’s been popular all these years because the depth of the games’ operability doesn’t allow players to grow tired of it.
Hey, I was gonna say that! (laughs)
Did you realise that when you pulled your Super Famicom out of the closet after so long?
Yeah. I totally got into it. (laughs)
Sugiyama-san already said it, but I also think it’s the operability. When I was doing the graphics for Super Mario Bros. 2, I played the software over and over as it was under development, and I strongly felt there was something viscerally satisfying about the way you could pull certain things up.
That surprised me about Mario 2. I thought, “Can we make this a game?” But you combine it so you pull and throw . You don’t just pull things up from the ground, but you can stand on opponents and pull them up, too. I remember thinking that being able to play with all these great ideas multiplied how much fun you can have with it.
And it’s characteristic of a Mario game that as you’re doing it, even such actions as pulling things up start to feel good.
That’s right. I felt while I was making Super Mario Bros. 2 that a reaction happens when you press a button, the button pressing itself becomes fun, the pulling itself becomes fun. I think one reason the Mario series has been loved and supported for so long is because whichever game you look at in the series, it has that visceral pleasure in operating it.
Thank you. Super Mario All-Stars, soon to come out for Wii, contains the early 2D Super Mario games, so you can see the progression of 2D action games for yourself. I feel like the deep-rooted enjoyment to be found in 2D action games was largely discovered and invented back then, and are embedded into video games the way we know it today. And today, 25 years after the birth of Super Mario, I can say, without reservation, that the Super Mario series is fortunately alive. How much of that is due to chance, or luck, and how much is the result of hard work is something no one can know, but something I can say with certainty is that your teams hit upon something vital back then.
I suppose so.
Amusements must fight against boredom, so they get old quickly. But even though that’s true, there’s a deep-rooted enjoyment to be found in doing something and seeing a result, like jumping over something at just the right timing. Sugiyama-san, there’s something there that makes it possible for you to pull your cartridge out of the closet after 17 years and enjoy it right off the bat.
That’s right. (laughs)
Oh, by the way, Sugiyama-san, did you get in that photo of human letters?
The new Super Mario All-Stars comes with a “Super Mario History 1985-2010” booklet and a soundtrack CD. Didn’t everyone gather for a photo to include in the booklet?
Oh, yeah, that’s right. The photo taken from the roof of all the Super Mario staff members on the tennis court. I’m in there, too.
Unfortunately, we couldn’t get everyone from the Super Mario staff, but everyone in the photo looks so expressive and lively. I think it’s really great. I hope as many people as possible will enjoy the 2D Super Mario games, including the booklet and CD. Thank you for coming here on such short notice today.
I remembered a lot today. It was fun.
No, thank you!
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