Coming from an IGN interview with Tantalus CEO, Tom Crago...
“Nintendo approached us. We had worked with them before on Top Gear Rally on GBA, and had remained in close contact in the intervening period. I guess they were impressed by the work we’d done on Mass Effect 3, which was a launch title on Wii U. It’s not every day someone from Nintendo asks you if you’d be interested in making a Zelda game, so definitely it was happy moment. By that stage Tantalus had shipped around thirty games on Nintendo platforms, and so certainly it felt like a natural fit. A huge thrill, but a natural fit.
We worked with Nintendo very closely. A dedicated team in Kyoto worked with us throughout the duration of the project, and senior members of our team made several trips to Japan."
Nintendo and Tantalus have no doubt built a stronger relationship over the years, culminating in Twilight Princess HD. Can we expect to see Tantalus bringing some content to NX? Mr. Crago played coy when asked, but did say that he's "very excited" about the platform.
Coming from a Game Informer interview with Stephen Radosh, executive producer on Hotel Mario...
On Nintendo approval
“They could have kept saying no, and then it would have never hit the market. I was expecting nothing but combative, and I got the exact opposite. I still had to get approval from Nintendo on everything, because these were their trademark characters. And anyone who owns trademark characters will tell you, you don’t want Link having sex with Zelda on the ramparts of the castle.”
On Miyamoto seeing the games
“I’m pretty sure he would have – everything was still under their control ultimately. The meetings were short, amicable, fun, lots of laughs.”
On the three Zelda games
“We went through a little bit of issues with the look of characters for Link and Zelda. Because animation at that time was really expensive here, we opted for this hand-drawn look for those games. We would up with Russian animators. We’d send them vague storyboards and gameplay, and then [Russia] would say, ‘What do you think of this for a visual concept?’ We would go back and forth, and one or two of the original concepts were negated by Nintendo.”
On the cancelled second Mario game
“It never even got to the point of real playability, because when they decided to pull the [CD-i], they also killed all development. We had a couple of direct ports of other games from other systems where it was just a matter of translating the code, and they were going to keep those going so there were at least a couple of products in the pipeline for the last year of its existence. But, it was at that point where I sat at my desk for about a month and it was like, ‘No, I can’t do this.'
I brought a little bit of my television to game design at Philips in that, if you’re hired as a writer, you’re handed a [knowledge] bible. This is this character, this is where she was born, this is what she likes, this is what she doesn’t like, this is what she does for amusement – that kind of thing. We created a lot of that for the Link and Zeldas, and even a little bit for Mario. By giving all the dos and don’ts – some of which were supplied by Nintendo, by the way – we never hit a dead end. We never asked a character to do something that a character couldn’t do or shouldn’t do, so the game would progress very smoothly. We had really nice development curves on those games.”
On reviews of the games and sales
“The internet was around, there were bulletin boards – we got really positive responses. The games sold really well, especially Hotel Mario. Hotel Mario sold for years after the company went out of business. I’m assuming [Nintendo Japan] saw it. They continued to be non-problematic, which to me was the indication that they really did like them. Because if they didn’t like them, they had every opportunity to throw up as many roadblocks along the way as they wanted to.”
A portion of Source Gaming interview with Brawl announcer, Pat Cashman...
SG: How’d you get the job to be Brawl’s announcer? Was there an audition process?
PC: To be honest, I don’t remember. I think I was just hired and called in without a real audition. I also have to admit that I had no real idea what I was doing…how the game worked…who’d be using it, etc…
It looked nice on my resumé to say that I was the announcer on what was one of the most popular video games on the planet—but had never actually seen it myself. For awhile I would get requests from gamers to do customized versions of the announcer for birthday greetings, etc…But I had to stop doing that because I was getting too many requests…And also I wasn’t sure I really had the right to be doing the character that fundamentally didn’t belong to me, but Nintendo.
Coming from an EDGE interview with executive producer Steve Lycett and Design director Gareth Wilson...
“We could definitely do another one. For this one we’d just got into our stride in the last couple of months of production. We really knew exactly what the game was; we’d got all the tracks and all the tools.” – Wilson
“If we ever do another one, we should have a fighting game where the characters are inside mechs of themselves, so you’ve got Sonic pulling Eggman’s arm off and beating him to death with it.” – Lycett
“Yeah, that way you could do damage without damaging the character. Genius.” – Wilson
A portion of a Nintendo Life interview with Joe Zieja, voice actor for Fox McCloud...
NL: When did the opportunity first come up to play the role of Fox McCloud in The Battle Begins?
JZ: It's actually not that dramatic. I auditioned for a code-named project and had absolutely no idea what it was. I didn't even know it was anything big. The specs just described what they were looking for and asked that only talent in the LA area audition, so I did. I didn't hear about it for weeks (and I do so many auditions a day that my mental health demands I fire-and-forget). Then one Saturday I get an NDA from Nintendo, and I think "oh, cool. I probably got Shopkeeper #5 in something or other." Then the next email came with Fox's picture on it and I lost my mind.
A portion of an alistdaily interview with Reggie Fils-Aime, which was conducted at E3 2016...
A: How are you seeing things evolving in the console space with Sony and Microsoft launching new consoles this year and Nintendo NX coming out in 2017?
RFA: Nintendo has a quite appropriate reputation of doing its own thing, so whatever Microsoft and Sony decide to do, that’s for them to manage. From a Nintendo perspective, we are focused first on making sure that the consumer understands [The Legend of Zelda] Breath of the Wild and some of the other games that we’ve highlight here at the show, Pokémon Sun and Moon, Pokémon GO, Ever Oasis and Mario Party Star Rush. There was a lot of content that we wanted to showcase at E3. We’ve done that. Now, we’re going to start moving forward communicating more and more about NX as appropriate. For us, it’s all about the right communication at the right time. We believe we’ve got some games that are going to continue to drive our momentum this holiday, and we believe we’ve got a strong concept for NX that we’ll unveil in the future.
A: Many thought Nintendo was in dire straits after GameCube failed to find an audience, and then Wii exploded. Are there lessons learned from Wii U that are being applied to NX?
RFA: Every time we launch a new platform, every time we launch a critical new game, we always learn. We always do our breakdown of what worked, what didn’t, and certainly we’ve done that with Wii U, and we continue to believe that the innovation of the second screen was a worthwhile concept. The games that we’ve launched on the Wii U are hugely compelling: Splatoon, Super Mario Maker, Smash Bros., Bayonetta 2, the Super Mario game, The Legend of Zelda. Arguably, if you line up all of the single platform games for Wii U and the other two platforms, we have by far the most unique games that are highly rated by consumers and highly rated by the media. So those things worked.
One of the things that we have to do better when we launch the NX—we have to do a better job communicating the positioning for the product. We have to do a better job helping people to understand its uniqueness and what that means for the game playing experience. And we have to do a better job from a software planning standpoint to have that continuous beat of great new games that are motivating more and more people to pick up the hardware and more and more people to pick up the software. Those are the critical lessons. And as I verbalize them, they’re really traditional lessons within the industry. You have to make sure people understand the concept, you have to make sure you’ve got a great library of games, and when you do that, you tend to do well.
A: We’re starting to see a difference in the way theme park people create attractions because they know now everyone comes in with smartphones. What does that open up for Nintendo, now that you have mobile games and apps?
RFA: You hit the nail on the head. These theme park designers are considering that so many of their patrons have a smart device. They’re thinking about what that means to the overall experience. I’m not going to share anything in this interview, but certainly the Universal team is aware of it. Certainly it is something that they are considering as they work with us to create this theme park experience.
Satoshi Ishida from HAL Laboratory has once again conducted an interview with Kirby: Planet Robobot director Shinya Kumazaki to answer some Miiverse questions. This is part 2 of the interview, and it seems a third part will be opened up in the near future. Today's segment focuses in on storyline aspects of the game.
A portion of a Nintendon interview with dev Peter W. Meldahl...
N: What about the gameplay and the characters? How will we be able to use them?
PM: Every character has different abilities, and dedicated levels. At a certain point they will all meet, and from that point on it will be possible to choose which character to use, and it will be possible for the player to clear every level with every character, using their different abilities. Playing as a character you will meet the others as NPCs, and their plot will continue.