Posted on October 20 2009 by Nathanial Rumphol-Janc
Go inside to see the text version of what he had to say in regards to Zelda, which included some minor remarks of the next installment of Zelda on the Wii Console.
From the Interview:
PM: A lot of your characters started out as villainous in earlier games, such as Bowser and Donkey Kong and Wario, and in later games they became more sympathetic and almost goofy. Is there a conscience effort to “de-villainize” evil characters in later games?
SM: One thing I’m not really good at is creating truly heroic characters or truly villainous characters, with the one exception being maybe the Zelda series, where I think we did a pretty good job of defining the roles in that series. I think we never really see anything all that serious come about in the Mario series, and then we have games that fall somewhere in between the two.
PM: Speaking of Zelda games, they’re obviously very popular in lots of parts of the world, and they have almost a mythological story, that resembles Greek or any old epic you look at. Was there anything particular from Japanese culture or mythology that was put into the story that might go over the heads of Americans?
SM: I don’t really consciously do things like that or consciously sense those types of differences. Partly it may be because, even in Japan, we see lots of different types of movies from America where they have the types of armor and clothing that you see in a game like that. We also see a lot of Chinese movies, and Chinese armor. Ocarina, I think, maybe the visual style drifts more towards a Western fantasy style and art design, but I don’t intentionally ever try to replicate a particular cultural element from a particular country.
PM: Do you create background stories to the characters that maybe aren’t known to the public or presented in the games?
SM: For the most part we don’t create very in-depth back stories for the characters. I think the Zelda games and Ocarina of Time, in particular, may be somewhat different in that, although I don’t write the relationships myself when we created the game, but when we created Ocarina in particular, we did think heavily about who the characters are, their relationships to one another, and how that plays out in the story. But taking a game like the Super Mario Bros. games in particular, typically when we design a character it’s based on their function within the interactive gameplay world. So for example characters that have spikes are characters you cannot jump on. In that sense it’s not so much designing a character as it is designing their function within the world.
PM: What’s your dream type of game that takes advantage of the Wii-mote?
SM: Right now I’m focusing on creating the next Zelda game.
PM: Can you tell me anything about it?
SM: Not today!
To read the rest of the text version of this interview, head on over to Popular Mechanics.