Yoshida-san, do you have anything particular to share in addition to your story about sneaking into your brother’s room?
In the television commercial for Super Mario 64, Mario grabs Bowser’s tail and swings him around in circles . When I saw that, I thought, “I’ve got to buy a Nintendo 64!”
One of the catchphrases was “Change the System.” Why did that make you think you wanted to buy a Nintendo 64?
In special effects monster movies, Ultraman, for example, will grab a monster by the tail, swing it around and send it flying. I wanted to do that myself.
Ah, I see! (laughs)
I saved up money, bought Super Mario 64, and continued playing long after I had beaten it. After I had joined Nintendo and I was assigned to program Bowser for New Super Mario Bros. Wii, I could hardly believe it.
You never imagined that you, who had always wanted to swing Bowser around by the tail, would be programming him.
Yeah. I was ecstatic and threw myself into the programming.
Matsuura-san, your parents wouldn’t buy you a Super Famicom because you already had a Famicom, but do you have stories to share?
I played nothing but the Famicom until I was in junior high. The game I played the most was Super Mario Bros. 3. I played together with my older sister, and I loved to warp.
Through the pipes?
Yes, but with the Warp Whistle, too.
Oh, right! You could also warp with the whistles!
An older boy in my neighbourhood told me where the whistles were hidden.
An older boy in your neighbourhood? Literally an older boy actually living in your neighbourhood? (laughs)
Yeah. (firmly) That older boy in my neighbourhood really knew everything.
He told me everything about Super Mario Bros. 3, like where secret coin stashes and 1-Ups were hidden.
As a kid, you really look up to someone like that.
Oh yeah, I absolutely revered him. He told me where the whistles were hidden and I played the game just like he told me, and to this day I’ve never played it without warping.
Oh, really? (laughs)
In World 1, you can get two whistles. If you use both, one right after the other, you can go straight from World 1 to World 8 . But I hadn’t been through Worlds 2 through 7, so I couldn’t clear World 8 at all!
I’m not sure how wise that is (laughs), but the neighbourhood boy sure did teach you an amazing way to play the game!
I feel like it’s a waste if I don’t warp. On World 8, something like a battleship shows up right away, and it’s really difficult.
Of course, Worlds 7 and 8 are for people who have sharpened their skills by practicing on Worlds 2, 3, 4 and 5.
I would start playing in the morning on Sundays and play over and over again until I thought I’d finally reach 8-2, but then my mum would say, “It’s time for lunch so put away the game!” That happened just about every week.
So while Amano-san could say, “Leave World 1 to me,” (laughs) your area of expertise is World 8-1 in Super Mario Bros. 3.
Yeah. (laughs) When it comes to the first half of World 8... just leave it to me!
I couldn’t beat Super Mario Bros. 3 on the Famicom, but when Super Mario All-Stars8 came out, I played it at my cousin’s, and played to the end for the very first time. That was because you could save on the Super Famicom. 8Super Mario All-Stars: Released for the Super Famicom system in July 1993 in Japan. It includes four games: Super Mario Bros., Super Mario Bros. 2, Super Mario Bros. 3 and Super Mario Bros.: The Lost Levels.
Oh, I see. You couldn’t save when Super Mario Bros. 3 first came out, so the logistics of play were somewhat different.
I think that’s another reason I used warps. I could only spend a limited amount of time playing. No matter how passionately I explained to my mother how hard it had been for me to reach that point, she would never listen.
(laughs) So just when you were almost there, you had to shut it off, and then you lost everything you’d gained! (laughs)
Yeah! When she told me to shut it off, I would do so practically in tears. Later, Super Mario 64 came out and I was in junior high, so I played it for all it was worth. I even played a lot after collecting all 120 stars. It was fun just moving Mario around. For example, I would just bounce around the garden at Princess Peach’s Castle for an hour!
I did that, too! (laughs)
I would see how many long jumps I could do in a row and try out special tricks listed in gaming magazines - like climbing Princess Peach’s Castle without any stars.
I tried that, too. Once you collected 120 stars, a cannon would appear in the garden and shoot you up to the roof, where you could meet Yoshi, but there was a way without any stars to jump up the castle. No matter how many times I tried, I couldn’t do it.
Oh, so that’s how you do it...
But it’s really hard. I tried for about two hours before I got it.
But you did it. That’s amazing!
Even if you did all that and got up the castle, though, Yoshi wouldn’t be there. There’d only be three 1-Up mushrooms!
You could even say that I wouldn’t be here if it weren’t for Super Mario 64. That’s how much I was into it.
I see. That was quite an in-depth conversation! (laughs) How about you, Fujii-san? You can speak from your viewpoint as a member of the viewing gallery if you want.
I was a really bad player and couldn’t do anything amazing like Matsuura-san could, so most of the time I watched other people play. When I played with neighbourhood friends, there would always be someone who was really good at video games.
That person is everyone’s hero.
Right. That person had lots of games, including all of the Super Mario Bros. games up to that point. I went to that person’s house a lot, watched some amazing playing, and munched on snacks the whole time.
That’s the way I was, so I ran up against a wall partway through the original Super Mario Bros. and couldn’t beat it. But when Super Mario 64 came out, I worked hard at it with my brother and beat the final Bowser. The only game in the Super Mario Bros. series that I beat was Super Mario 64.
Were you thrilled when you cleared it?
As someone unaccustomed to reaching the end, you must have been absolutely overjoyed. I imagine you were ten times happier than someone who always reaches the end. (laughs)
Yeah. I remember it clearly! (laughs) When Super Mario 64 came out, I played it after I had grown up a bit, and I remember playing it to the fullest. Earlier, Matsuura-san mentioned bouncing around the garden of Princess Peach’s Castle, and I was the same way. I didn’t necessarily do anything particular. I had lots of fun just running around.
Lots of people say they had a lot of fun with Super Mario 64 apart from the objective of beating the game.
I think so. You felt like you were really in that game world just by running around in it, so I would play the same world over and over and just walk around.
Did you play “Slip Slidin' Away ” over and over?
Yeah. No matter how many times I tried, I would fall off partway through. (laughs)
Then you must remember that song on the Super Mario History Soundtrack CD .
Oh, of course! I heard that countless times! (laughs)
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