Old Miyamoto interview resurfaces, reveals his love for Bluegrass Music and that Nintendo Staff loved Donkey Kong Jr. Math
It all adds up
Due to the recent opening of Super Nintendo World in Universal Studios Hollywood many Interviews from Miyamoto have been popping up, but today we bring you some tidbits from potentially the oldest Interview with Miyamoto ever.
This interview comes from the February 1986 issue of Fanimaga magazine and was recently translated by Shmuplations, a repository of old translated Japanese developer interviews.
Masanobu Endo of ‘Xevious’ and ‘The Tower of Druaga’ fame is also in this interview and Miyamoto comments that he’s a big fan of his work.
We’ll leave a link to the full interview at the bottom of the page and we highly suggest you read it as we won’t be covering every interesting thing in this article.
The first interesting detail revealed from the Interview is that apparently Nintendo staff loved to play ‘Donkey Kong Jr. Math’ together.
Endo: It’s kind of old now, but I love Donkey Kong JR Math. I always want to play that.
Miyamoto: It’s a simple game, but it turns into a real rip-roaring good time when you play it with 2 players. It’s super popular among the staff at Nintendo, too.
The thought of Miyamoto saying “rip-roaring good time” makes me very happy. Also, as someone who has watched multiplayer ‘Donkey Kong Jr. Math’ I can definitely see what he’s talking about.
This next bit comes from both dev’s explaining that good game designers should have a wide variety of interests, a sentiment that was echoed by Masahiro Sakurai on his YouTube Channel.
This leads into Miyamoto going on a tangent that reveals he loves Bluegrass Music.
Miyamoto: When we were young, everyone admired TV directors, and you used to see questions like “What should I study to be a director?” published all the time in magazines. The answer was always, “Try a variety of things. It doesn’t matter what, just join a TV studio, and if the chance is there things will happen.” I feel like those words apply perfectly to aspiring game designers too.
Endo: I think the people suited for game development are people who are versatile, who can do anything. That and being curious.
Miyamoto: In the past, when I had free time, I’d go to pachinko or play live music. I love this genre called bluegrass, it’s like American Enka or something.
Lastly, with all the recent excitement around Super Nintendo World and the Super Mario Bros. Movie, we would like to share one last bit of the interview that made us smile.
Endo: Also Wrecking Crew, that game feels great. The graphics are so pretty. And who knew Mario was so strong. I love Mario.
Miyamoto: When we made Donkey Kong, I dubbed Mario “Mister Video”, and I told everyone how I want him to be used in Nintendo games for many, many years to come. You know, I struggled a bit with his design. In order to show his nose better I gave him a mustache, and to make his running animation easier to understand, I gave him those overalls…
Endo: I see, that makes sense.
Miyamoto: That’s why when Super Mario Bros. came out, I felt like my original wish, that Mario would keep getting used in Nintendo games, had been granted.
If only you knew Miyamoto…
A recently graduated creative writer hoping to work his way into the greater gaming sphere.
In September 2003, there was a concert called “Mario and Zelda Big Band Live.” The songs were performed in various musical styles - some big band, some samba, etc. And at some points, Miyamoto comes out on stage and plays the banjo. Video of this concert is available on YouTube. It’s pretty darn amazing!