Weekly Famitsu – January 31, 1997
This is a dialogue showcased in a section featured once every few months in Weekly Famitsu. One of the editors, Yasuhiro Nagata, conducted several interviews with Itoi during his time with the magazine. Nagata later went into freelancing for a few years before eventually working for Itoi’s company, where he is now.
This dialogue is different from other interviews in that it has a very casual tone to it and is less focused on the nitty gritty. It feels more like you’re eavesdropping on three Japanese men at the bar who just happen to be talking about Nintendo 64 games. The bolding of the text is preserved from that in the magazine article.
Before the dialogue segment comes a plethora of screenshots and character showcases. The article was one of the first to feature so much visual information on the game, so click to enlarge the screenshots and feast your eyes on the glory that never-be!
Pero-kun’s Report: We still don’t know the details of MOTHER 3, but we did get some new pics! Series creator Itoi tells us that the new game will betray all expectations of the fans–in a good way! I’m so dog-gone excited!
We got a hold of brand-new screenshots for Nintendo 64’s highly-anticipated RPG masterpiece, MOTHER 3! First check out the picture above. This must be the characters that appear in MOTHER 3. A little to the right of the center is a boy that looks exactly like Ness from MOTHER 2. There are also a few people in the crowd that resemble actual celebrities. Either way, it looks like this game means business!
A merchant wagon stops by in the middle of this crossroad. The mountain in the far distance that looks like a castle is a naturally-formed rock mountain called Great Rock. It was said to be a bustling quarry in the past.
[click to enlarge]
In addition to new screenshots for MOTHER 3, we also got our hands on in-game characters! In the first picture we have three different types: supporting character, enemy, and main character. Some of the names are already decided, others are not. All the characters seem like strange personalities you’d have to keep an eye on. And right when we thought we’d see Ness as the main character again, looks like that’s not the case. On top of that, are the main characters all guys (and a monkey)?! The characters alone show us how distinct the new game is from the rest of the series.
Nagata What, you think you can have some dog or kid handle the interview with Itoi?! No! Which is why I took the 7 AM bullet train to Kyoto, and here I am. Good moooorniiing!
Itoi, Iwata Good morning~
Nagata I guess we’ve only got 40 minutes for our interview so let’s get rolling. Starting with the usual question. Is the game really coming out this year?!
Itoi (laughs) Here we go again. Today we have the on-site supervisor here with us, though. Tell him how it is!
Iwata We would like to release it sometime this year.
Nagata That again!?
Itoi We truly hope for its release!
Nagata I dunno, man.
Itoi But we’ve got Iwata! Iwata! Once he joined MOTHER 2, the thing spontaneously finished, after all.
Nagata Ah, that’s reassuring!
Itoi Right? So now the readers are going to wonder. “What, so Iwata made that game?” (roaring laughter)
Nagata So, the names of the characters have been announced.
Itoi I named them.
Nagata One would assume.
Itoi They’re good, right? The person from this village is… huh? Who is this?!
Nagata (roaring laughter) Hey, now!
Itoi I’ve never seen this before!!
Iwata Yes you have. I showed you before, but it’s been a little more processed since then.
Itoi Oh! I get it. But… hey! What kind of business are you running!?
Nagata Is it all right to assume this boy is the main character?
Iwata This time around there are twice as many characters as previous games; that’s because MOTHER 3 is arranged into chapters. It’s not an omnibus, but it’s split into chapters and the main character changes depending on the chapter.
Itoi Ahh you finally said it. Now I can relax. I’ve been holding that in this whole time. (laughs)
Nagata So eight people?
Iwata Over eight.
Itoi But it’s more fun to be in the dark.
Nagata Yeah, it really is!! In a way, it’s tough to cover games that I love.
Nagata To be honest, I just wanna ask when it’ll come out and then go home.
Iwata Now that would make people angry.
Nagata And the show goes on. How’s the 64DD been treating you?
Itoi Damn. You’re good.
Iwata It’s all about the ability to overwrite. I want to use the creation of MOTHER 3 to put an end to everyone making the same kind of adventures in all the same ways all over Japan.
Nagata So you’re not simply making it a multi-scenario?
Itoi Not a chance!! I hate that! Multi-scenarios are the worst. That’s just abandoning the rights and duties of the writer.
Iwata Yeah. We’d rather make a game that leaves everything in the world exactly as you left it. We’re always throwing things out or leaving them around, right? We scratch things up. That all stays.
Itoi If you go on a trip when your place is messy, it’s going to be just as messy when you get back.
Iwata Yeah, that’s what I mean. So the writable hardware of the DD is perfect.
Nagata I see. Moving on, what’s the deal with the battles that Itoi’s always raving about like a madman?
Itoi How rude! (laughs) I’d like to talk about what it is, but I can’t yet.
Iwata It’s still in the testing stages. For example, MOTHER 2 had the monsters visibly walking around the field map. And when you touched a monster, you entered the battle. So first and foremost we want to expand on that. In short, we’d like to allow strategies against the monsters right on the field. Not so battles become obligations, but so it becomes more fun.
Itoi Something that makes you happily squeal, “Is there another battle for me?!” (laughs)
Iwata We’re experimenting with all kinds of things.
Nagata Like what? Like what??
Itoi You’re a persistent one.
Nagata It’s because I wake up at six in the morning.
Itoi So do I. Well, today my alarm didn’t go off, so…
Nagata Wait, um…
Iwata So? What time did you wake up?
Nagata Morning habits aside, let’s get back to the battles…
Itoi And my Shinkansen seat was 17A.
Nagata Uh-huh, uh-huh… But, look, we’ve only got 15 minutes left…
Itoi And I was torn whether to buy a lunch box, but I ended up settling for a sandwich.
Hongo (Nintendo PR employee) Oh! You ate a sandwich?
Nagata Hongo, don’t encourage him.
Hongo No, it’s just that we’ve prepared lunch boxes already, so…
Itoi Hey, have you heard Hongo sing Tsuyoshi Nagabuchi?
Nagata Ohhhh dammit all!
Iwata I will say this. We’re thinking of incorporating sound into the battles.
Nagata Iwata-san, you’re too kind.
Itoi Well, if I were to blurt it out it’s all quite simple. So when you press a button on the controller, there’s a sound, right? A little blip or something. And if you make it so you can create all kinds of sounds, the controller becomes a pretty solid instrument. So we’re going to include that instrument in MOTHER 3.
Itoi And if you get good at playing that instrument, you’ll fight battles more efficiently.
Nagata That sounds really fun! Maybe I was wrong about you!
Itoi Well, things might change. We’re still in testing, after all. I tend to play and putz with it at the very last minute.
Iwata Oh, but, once it reaches a certain level of playability, Itoi really steps up to the plate.
Nagata So in other words, before it’s where you can play it, he’s bumming around the bench. (laughs)
Iwata Right. Even if you hand him specifications—nothing. (roaring laughter) Is that going too far?
Nagata Dangit, we’re outta time. Alright, can we at least get a special Famitsu-exclusive scoop before we finish?
Itoi Ahh, I see, so Famitsu uses the same tricks as Shonen-Jump?
Nagata Ohhhh dammit all!!! (laughs)
Itoi …Alright, I’ll tell you! When this alligator gets mad, he stands up!
Nagata That’s written in the article already.
(All roaring laugh)
Nagata Ok we’re seriously out of time! Uhh, uhh, closing statement!
Itoi Hiiii everybody! Did you have a good new yeeears?
Nagata That’s not closing anything!!!