Posted by: seanmalstrom | October 31, 2011

Iwata Asks: Super Mario 3d Land

Quote time. I’m responding as I read this.

I’m Hayashida from the Tokyo Software Development Department. I was the director, and the one who brought up this project. Playing video games in 3D has been a dream of mine since I was a child, so I wanted to make a 3D Mario no matter what.

Sick, sick 3d obsession. It’s not hyperbole, the sick 3d obsession is real.

Another task that arose because of Super Mario Galaxy 2 was the divide between fans of 2D Super Mario and fans of 3D Super Mario.

Oh, here it comes reader! Here it comes!

IWATA: Yes, there are people who say, “I play 2D Super Mario, but not 3D Super Mario. The reason I suggested including the instructional DVD called Super Mario Galaxy 2 for Beginners3 with Super Mario Galaxy 2 was because the distance was growing between people who were familiar with 3D Super Mario and those who weren’t, and many were saying “I can’t play those!” before they had even played a 3D Super Mario game. That’s really too bad for people like you who have worked so earnestly on Super Mario in 3D.

WHO CARES!? What’s ‘too bad’ are the MILLIONS of Mario fans who were not allowed to purchase a 2d Mario game because some retard in Nintendo refused to make it. It is the market’s desires that matter, not the developer’s desires.

And the tragedy is that this didn’t occur with one or two 3d Mario games. We’ve gone over a decade and still the 2d Mario people won’t accept it. At this point, these 3d Mario games are just an insult. We don’t want to play Mario this way. If Hayashida doesn’t like that, he needs to get a job somewhere else. You’re supposed to make games to sell, not to make games for yourself.

We strongly feel that 3D Super Mario is fun and want more people to experience that. (laughs)


I’m not laughing. This pisses me off. How many 3d Mario games have you made already? None of them have come close to 2d Mario numbers. Yet, you keep making them.

And you want ME to buy YOUR game console? Never again. Not with this crappy attitude these man child developers at Nintendo have.

So this time, even more so than with Super Mario Galaxy 2, we decided that we wanted to make a 3D Super Mario game so it can be an entranceway, as an introduction to all the 3D Super Mario games we made before.

When you do A, B, and C, and it fails, why will D, E, and F suddenly succeed? Is D any different than C? Is A any different than E?

It won’t matter how many tanooki suits you stuff in the game or how many Super Mario Brothers 3 homages, the market will push back. It’s not disinterest. It’s actual pushback. We’ve been doing it to Nintendo ever since the N64. You can see it occurring today with the 3DS.

The real question is why does Nintendo keep fighting the market on this? Why is this sick, sick 3d obsession at Nintendo allowed to continue in any shape, matter, or form? Who is running this company?

I think there is a missing link4 between 2D and 3D Super Mario. To go back in the history of Super Mario, I feel like there is a chasm between Super Mario World5 and Super Mario 64.6 I wanted to make something that would bridge that gulf, and what did that was the goal pole.

So 2d Mario fans will suddenly play 3d Mario because of the goal pole!? Are these people just trolling us or are they actually that stupid?

That’s the fun of a 3D Super Mario game, it has been that element of searching. The appeal was wandering around a broad game field and looking for the goal. But this time, we put that aside and decided to make a game that returns to the original idea of reaching a goal pole at the end of the course.

I don’t believe it! These fools actually believe this is the ‘key’!

IWATA: Wandering all around provides a lot of freedom but carries with it the problem of not knowing where to go and getting lost. In a 2D Super Mario game, you just keep going toward the right and the goal pole is sure to be there. You don’t have to worry about whether you should keep heading in a certain direction.

In other words, 2d Mario fans are a bunch of idiots who only know how to move to the right of the screen.

What we were careful about this time was making courses that would clearly guide the player. We basically designed the courses this time so you head to the right or advance deeper in to definitely reach a goal. We also put in arrows to guide you and made fences on the course. We devised various ways for you to reach the goal.

And you thought the Galaxy games were ‘linear’ or ‘dumbed down’. Assuming 2d Mario fans are idiots is not how you will make them enjoy a Mario game.

Not one of these Nintendo developers seem to understand why people love 2d Mario.

We’ve prepared something called a Star Medal this time. They’re like the items in New Super Mario Bros.9 called Star Coins.10 The reason we changed the name is that the Star Medals have the same function as the Stars in 3D Super Mario games up till now.


IWATA: Hmm, I can really sense in this your ambition to slowly but surely change players of 2D Mario into players of 3D Mario. (laughs)

EVERYONE: (laughs)

MALSTROM: (doesn’t laugh)

Through the course of this website, there have been numerous times when I’ve said something and people go, “Oh, that can’t be true.” This is the biggest one. People did not believe that Nintendo wants to kill Super Mario Brothers and ram this abomination called ‘3d Mario’ down our throats despite the market pushback. But there you hear it from the horse’s mouth in the Iwata Asks feature.

The entire reason to make Super Mario 3d Land is to REPLACE and REMOVE 2d Mario from existence!

Fuck you, Nintendo!

IWATA: You’ve designed the beginning of this game so that it is okay for people who insist on only playing Super Mario in 2D, but the next thing they know, they’re captivated by the enjoyment of 3D Super Mario.

That’s what you said for Super Mario Galaxy and Super Mario Galaxy 2.

FLASHBACK: Super Mario Galaxy 1


IWATA: In Jungle Beat, you were able to change the way it looked, but that didn’t eliminate the problem that remained. Super Mario 64, which Koizumi-san was a part of the development team, was a game that was praised highly. But at the same time, it created a group of players that felt 3D games were too difficult for them. So the problem that was created then was left to be dealt with later?


It was like turning away from the real problem. So for Super Mario Galaxy, I wanted to take on this difficult problem, that was present within 3D action games, upfront. This is why I felt it was necessary to listen to as many of the play testers’ opinions as possible.Super Mario Galaxy was designed from the bottom up to get people to like 3d Mario.SHIMIZU: Yes, so I stuck to my role as the sensor. When Miyamoto-san came along and said “you need to make the camera angles more extravagant”, I replied “but if you do, then I get nausea”. However, the problem is that he rarely listens to what I say. Of course, when he hears one of the play testers saying, “I get sick, here”, then he’ll say, “Ok, let’s fix it!” (laughs)

Miyamoto does not listen to other Nintendo employees. Watch for that line to be edited out.

IWATA: Aside from people who get motion sickness, with 3D action games, there are quite a few people who get lost within the playing field because they can’t figure out which way to go next. And there are also a good number of people who feel like 3D games aren’t made for them. In releasing this 3D Mario game, what did you do to try to cater to these people?

More confirmation that Super Mario Galaxy was designed to get the 2d Mario people.

In a 3D action game, the most basic action you do is run. While you are running, the easiest way to attack is not by jumping, but by spinning. So in Super Mario Galaxy, running and spinning are the basic actions.

So spinning was the way to make the game ‘fun’ for people not interested in 3d Mario.

FLASHBACK: Iwata Asks for Super Mario Galaxy 2


It seems a lot of people are saying things like “Unlike 2D Mario, I get lost in 3D Mario” and “3D Mario is more difficult than 2D Mario, so I can’t do it,” and I had a feeling that you were determined to do something about that sometime.MIYAMOTO: Yes, but I think that we had solved a lot of the problems inherent in 3D Mario games with the first Mario Galaxy. You play on spheres, so if you run around them, you will always return to where you started.So why didn’t the 2d Mario people like Mario Galaxy 1?

Right. And we noticed something while making Super Mario Galaxy 2. We often talk about 3D Mario games, but actually you’re just playing in a world made in 3D. What’s fun is the gameplay itself is often still 2D.

What do you mean by that?

Well, even if the field itself is 3D, there are objects in it, and Mario. When you look at it from above, it’s actually flat.

Right. But while 2D Mario games only have scenes viewed from the side, 3D games are a refreshing change because they’re flat, but also have depth.

Was your desire to create a flat style of play stronger this time than it was before?

Yes. It was clearer this time. When we looked back over the previous game, we decided there were lots of elements like chasing around opponents and being chased by them that would be more fun on a flat surface.

And still, 2d Mario people refused to buy Super Mario Galaxy 2. There was even an instructional video included.

Above: Insulting video is insulting.

Nintendo even put in Yoshi in Galaxy 2 since Yoshi was a favorite with 2d Mario fans. That failed to endear 2d Mario fans to Galaxy 2 just as the Tanooki suit will fail to endear 2d Mario fans to Super Mario 3d Land.

Back to Present Interview

Now that we have established Nintendo made Mario Galaxy 1 and 2 for the mission to get 2d Mario people to buy it, why are they wasting millions of dollars and years of development time making the same exact mistake a third time?

That’s right. This time, we adopted that structure for the special stages. It’s sort of like we prepared different scenarios for the same stages as gameplay for after the ending of the normal stages. So there’s 3D Super Mario gameplay after the normal ending.

And why would 2d Mario fans want to buy this game? Even when Nintendo sets out to make a game to get 2d Mario people, they can’t do it. Their sick, sick 3d obsession asserts itself and they have to make 3d Mario ‘gameplay’ (which I assert isn’t gameplay at all).

HAYASHIDA:That’s right. Miyamoto-san said that Tanooki Mario is inextricably linked with Super Mario Bros. 3, and the hardware this time is the Nintendo 3DS system, so it the title would be something like Super Mario 3DS, we were like, “It’s a perfect fit!”
IWATA:Huh? Is that a play on the number three?!
(laughs)These puns are retarded. Can someone at Nintendo please keep the moron named ‘Miyamoto’ from branding games with these crappy puns? They are extremely annoying and confusing.


This is the first 3D Super Mario Bros. game. I wanted the transformations to carry over to the next stage. That meant that every stage had to respond to Statue Mario.

What alternate dimension does Nintendo live in? There has been many 3d Mario games in the past. How can they say this is the first 3d Mario game? Every 3d Mario game has used gameplay mechanics from the 2d Mario series.


Yes. Until now in 3D Super Mario games, if I stepped on a Goomba, for example, and a coin came out, I would go back and get each one. Tezuka-san said that making the player go back was ungenerous. In the 2D Super Mario games that Tezuka-san made, when you stepped on a Goomba, a coin wouldn’t come out, but your score would go up, so you just bomp along crushing them.

Now Hayashida says there have been 3d Mario games. Is time and space being bent in the interview room?

Tezuka-san cautioned you against anything that would stress out or disappoint the players, so it turned out to be a game that players used to 2D Super Mario can play more naturally.

Yes, because 2d Mario never had curveball jumps or tricky enemies! Who ARE these idiots!?

Just as they look at 2d Mario fans as ‘idiots’, the 2d Mario people are looking right back at Nintendo and saying they are idiots. Who wins? The one paying. And that would be the 2d Mario fans. They’re the ones paying. You do it their way, not your way.

IWATA:By putting in the Long Jump and Roll, you were able to put in plenty of elements that fans of 3D Super Mario games can enjoy.Nintendo doesn’t understand what animates the 3d Mario fans either. It certainly isn’t ‘Long Jump and Roll’.

IWATA: The same people made the original 2D and the original 3D Super Mario games, so it’s not like their roots are different.

It’s not about the people, idiot. It’s about the game. The games totally have different roots even if they are made by the same exact individuals. Just because Sid Meir makes a new Civilization game, it doesn’t mean it has the same roots as the first Civilization game.


Stereoscopic 3D came along and you were able to create a bridge between 2D Super Mario and 3D Super Mario. I can’t wait to see with my own eyes how this game decreases people’s resistance to 3D Super Mario and creates a bridge.

Why is there any need for a bridge in the first place? Why not just make 2d Mario and make people happy? When Nintendo makes 2d Mario, their sales go up. When Nintendo makes 3d Mario, their sales go down. It is as simple as that.

We will burn this “bridge”. Do you know why? Look at where the bridge leads: to the destruction of 2d Mario forever. Fuck you, Nintendo. And fuck you, Miyamoto. Remember when Miyamoto said Nintendo would treat 2d Mario and 3d Mario equally and make games for both? Isn’t happening. 3d Mario gets these gorgeous orchestras while 2d Mario gets ‘wah wah’ for its sound track. 3d Mario gets all the cool power-ups while 2d Mario gets stupid stuff like propeller suits. And then there is the Miis. Notice how they don’t have any Miis in 3d Mario. Why not? Yet, it is the identy of the next 2d Mario game.

Shigeru Miyamoto’s reputation comes from 2d Mario. The reason why he probably wasn’t present at the interview because Nintendo PR knows their ‘resident genius’ looks like a gigantic idiot when he spews the same opinion and view point as Hayashida.

Miyamoto was not built up by slick Nintendo PR but by fans of 2d Mario. Therefore, the 2d Mario fans possess the power to destroy Miyamoto’s reputation as a game designer. With Nintendo’s sick 3d obsession and Miyamoto’s insane push for MORE 3d Mario, does Nintendo realize the gravity of what is happening?


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