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Filed under: Industry People, Masahiro Sakurai, Shigeru Miyamoto, Super Smash Bros. Brawl, Super Smash Bros. Series

“Lost” Brawl Interviews


The Internet is an amazing invention. With the world’s information at everyone’s fingertips, there’s no limit to how much you can learn. However, there are instances where information can actually disappear from the Internet. Sites go down, backups get deleted.

Luckily, there are services like the Wayback Machine, which saves versions of websites and hosts them. These kinds of services are invaluable in providing materials for research, and something that the Source Gaming team has used extensively. Today, we are republishing two Brawl interviews that are not readily available. These two interviews are from when Brawl was first shown off (actually shown off), in E3 2006. We found these interviews after I talked with James Montagna about Indie Representation in Smash. James and I were talking casually about the history of Smash, and James mentioned reading something stating that Fawful was requested by people in the audience, but couldn’t find the information anymore. After some serious digging, we found two interviews that were not easily accessible relating to the event. By republishing these interviews, we hope to make them searchable in the normal web again.

If you are aware of something that hasn’t been sourced properly, or should be preserved, please let us know in the comments below!

The first Interview is from Nintendo of America’s website, and was written by NOA_Andy. (Wayback Machine link) It’s similar to a translation that we did from a Famitsu interview. Based on the pictures and the amount of content that is overlapped, it’s safe to say it’s the same coverage of the same event.

As I reported here, Nintendo dropped a bomb last night by unveiling new characters and an awesome trailer for Super Smash Bros. Brawl. The unveiling was followed by a Q&A session with Mario creator Shigeru Miyamoto and Smash Bros. guru Masahiro Sakurai.

Note: This interview has been edited for clarity and length.

Now that Wii is a reality, are you thinking about reviving any older franchises?

Mr. Miyamoto: I think it opens up a lot of different possibilities. Obviously one of those is Kid Icarus, and you’ve seen that we’ve created Pit in full 3D. Even taking a past game like Star Fox and updating the control system with the Wii Controller opens up a lot of new possibilities. Unfortunately, right now, I have so many brand new ideas that I hardly even have time to work on those. And of course, now that we have the Wii Controller and the Virtual Console, it’s possible that we could go back and change the feel of some games in exciting new ways.

What are some of your ideas for Wii games that you haven’t shared?

Mr. Miyamoto: Well there aren’t any new ideas that I’m prepared to talk about today, but one thing I can speak about is Super Mario Galaxy. One thing I always wanted to do with Mario for many years is to allow one player to play as Mario while allowing other players to join in on the action. One thing we’re looking at doing for Super Mario Galaxy is to experiment with a multiplayer mode where one player controls Mario while the other players use the Wii Remote to help him out, or perhaps get in his way.

How will Super Smash Bros. for Wii take advantage of the controller?

Mr. Sakurai: We’ve actually been working with some different ideas, and we’ve found that trying to implement too much of the motion sensor could actually get in the way of the game. We’re looking at trying to keep the controls simple, as they have been in past games. Of course, you all know that the Wii hardware has ports for the GameCube controller as well. So, I’ll just say now that you may not want to throw away your GameCube controllers just yet!

Mr. Miyamoto and Nintendo have encouraged developers to really take advantage of the Wii Controller and find innovative ways to implement it into their games. So in that sense, I’m going in a different direction, and trying to offer something that has more of the standard control features that all of you have come to expect.

Will Wario have a fart move?

Mr. Sakurai: Yes!

Will the game’s roster be expanded to include more Nintendo characters in addition to what we’ve seen?

Mr. Sakurai: There are plenty of other characters we’re thinking about, none of which I can speak about today. Actually I also want to ask everyone here what characters they’d like to see.

[At this point, the audience began to shout out characters, including: Sonic, Ridley, Captain Olimar, Waluigi, “Anyone from Pro Wrestling,” Fawful, Mega Man, Lolo, Reggie, and Mr. Miyamoto]

Will the game take advantage of Nintendo Wi-Fi Connection?

Mr. Sakurai: One of the primary reasons that this game was even created was because Nintendo staff said that when taking the console online, probably the best title to do so would be Super Smash Bros. Because of that, we’re going to try very hard to do that. But, at the same time, I think it would be a lot of work for us to allow four players to play simultaneously and try to find out who’s number one. So, we’re mainly focusing on bringing multiple people together to play simultaneously in perhaps new and different ways.

What is your favorite Wii game so far and why?

Mr. Miyamoto: Actually, right now we’re having a lot of fun with tennis and I really like it a lot. Whenever anyone picks the controller up, they immediately know what they’re doing, and they’re playing at the same level. The gameplay is actually surprisingly deep in terms of what you’re able to do with your swing.

Mr. Sakurai: Actually, I just played Zelda and the Mario game for the very first time. I also really like the plane demo. I thought that was really fun.

How different is the experience of playing Twilight Princess on Wii versus the GameCube?

Mr. Miyamoto: In terms of the experience itself, obviously the interface is different so that is going to result in a very different experience in the two games. I’ve actually become very used to the Wii Controller for Zelda. Because of that, I’m incapable of going back to the GameCube version.

Is Mario a launch title?

Mr. Miyamoto: It is progressing quite well, but as some of you may have heard it’s often said that when I work on projects I like to “upend the tea table.” So rather than promise everyone that it will be a launch title right now and then have to break that promise later, I’ll just say that for now it is not a launch title. It will definitely be there within the first six months.

Will the single-player mode in Smash Bros. be the same as in the GameCube version?

Mr. Sakurai: No, we’re going to change it. I think we’re going to make a single player mode that people can enjoy a little bit more than in past versions.

Mr. Miyamoto: This is actually something that Mr. Sakurai and I have had a difference of opinion on since the very first Smash Bros. game. Mr. Sakurai always wanted to have a very deep single-player game. On the N64 version, I said, “We have plenty of very deep single-player games. Why don’t we just hurry up and finish the multiplayer, and not worry about the single-player mode?” Mr. Sakurai said, “No, I want to have some kind of single-player mode in there.” So, I came back and said, “Just make it short and focus on multiplayer so we can get the game done.” This time around, we have a lot of time to focus on Smash Bros. so you can expect a very robust single-player game.

Did Nintendo approach Konami about putting Snake in Super Smash Bros., or was it the other way around?

Mr. Sakurai: Actually what really brought about the Snake character goes back to a conversation I had back when I was developing Smash Bros. for GameCube, when Hideo Kojima contacted me and practically begged me to put Snake in the game. But at that time we were already deep in development and I was thinking that we weren’t going to be able to get him in there. I told him that it was too bad he hadn’t brought it up earlier, and that was the end of the story.

When this project came up, because I had been in contact with him back then, we re-initiated talks and decided to put Snake into the game.

Mr. Miyamoto: Mr. Sakurai’s discussions were really more on a personal level with Mr. Kojima than on a corporate level. But obviously a lot of people have been interested in getting other characters in the game. A big part of it is having someone that you can trust to take care of your character and make sure that it turns out well. There are possibilities for other characters to appear in the game as well, and it’s possible that there are corporate discussions going on now about what other characters may appear. But, maybe we’ll be talking about that another day!

Click here to learn more about Super Smash Bros. Brawl at the Super Smash Bros. Dojo website.

The second article comes from IGN, but was reposted on NeoGaf:

May 18, 2006 – Masahiro Sakurai revealed first details on Super Smash Bros. Brawl months ago in his weekly column in Japan’s Famitsu publication. While Smash Bros. content went quiet for a while, the latest entry, the first one following Nintendo’s E3 debut, offers a few interesting comments on the game.

This weeks column was apparently written immediately after Nintendo’s Super Smash Bros. Brawl unveiling conference, which Sakurai, the game’s director, referred to as “the secret announcement meeting.” He started off his discussion of the new title with the basics. “Dairantou Smash Bros. X is in development for the Wii. The game has yet to take basic form, but we were somehow able to make the announcement.”
As you’ve probably guessed from Sakurai’s comments, the game’s Japanese name is Dairantou Smash Bros. X, with the “X” being used in place of our “Brawl.” The “Dairantou” part of the title is in all the Japanese Smash Bros. games in place of our “Super,” and means something to the effect of “Great Fight.”

Sakurai wanted to make sure and give the new game a final name prior to its announcement, for marketing/promotional purposes. “From many different directions,” he explained, “We settled on Smash Bros. X. The X gives the meaning of ‘Cross,’ or intersection.” This idea, according to Sakurai, reflects the nature of the game, be it via the impossible character crossovers, the battle on a common battlefield, or facing off against an unknown person via Online play.

Smash Bros. is one of the few Wii games to maintain a standard control scheme. “I was given the task of creating Smash Bros.,” explained Sakurai. “Of course, the topic becomes, how should we use the special remote controller? During the planning stages, we gave a lot of thought to this.” In the end, Sakurai and his staff decided to not go too far with the controller, in particular avoiding being new just for the sake of being new, which Sakurai worried would make the game difficult to play.

Sakurai also made a few comments about what online play will bring to the title, and some of the problems of developing an online game. “To be honest, there are some annoying areas. While it’s definite that the switch to online raises the possibilities for a game, there are lots of considerations, like manners, and level differences.” He seems to have an overall favorable impression of online play, though, noting that, “It increases the opportunity to interact with players who are playing the same game.”

Despite the title’s use of a standard control scheme, Sakurai’s journal offers kind words for the Wii. “I believe Wii is truly an appealing game machine. It begins to demonstrate solutions to many of the problems that face today’s game industry.”

Finally, we have some pictures of Sakurai’s GDC Talk, “Risk and Return” (2008) [You can watch the talk here]. Special thanks to James Montagna for providing these pictures!

  1. Wow!

    jedisquidward on February 6 |
  2. Cool findings!

    cedrickterrick on February 7 |
  3. Interesting things. Reminds me, when you guys get the chance can you translate the article where Sakurai didn’t know Mother 3 was only being released in Japan?

    Rosalinatehplumber on April 19 |