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Tips for Buying EarthBound

July 19th, 2011 | EarthBound, Interviews, Itoi

Shigesato Itoi’s main job nowadays is mostly just chatting with and interviewing all kinds of people, and today I stumbled across a recent multi-part discussion he had with an illustrator and book designer (Ayumi Ohashi), and at one point he briefly brings up some MOTHER stuff.

(context: Ohashi is talking about working with different types of people and how different people will act differently toward design ideas she would propose to them)

Itoi: Yes, I know exactly what you mean. Working with other people in a team is always that way.


Itoi: That’s how it always is. When we were working on games called “MOTHER”, I decided who I wanted to team up with because one person had said, “Programmers aren’t allowed to say ‘no’.” Basically, that programmers can’t say, “We can’t do that,” to any ideas we would come up with.

After hearing this from one of the programmers – who happens to be the president of Nintendo now – I said, “Oh?! I can just tell you to do whatever I want?” To which he responded, “Of course. That IS your job, after all, Mr. Itoi.”


Itoi: He told me, “Only at the very end, as a last resort, should one say, ‘We can’t do that.'” Having him say that made everything so much easier on me.

He’s of course talking about Satoru Iwata, who had been brought in to save MOTHER 2 from cancellation with his programming skills. Now that I think about it, Iwata also helped get MOTHER 3 released on the GBA too after the N64 game’s cancellation. He’s like the series’ savior I guess 😛


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10 Comments to Itoi and the Programmers

KingDarian said on Jul. 19, 2011

Itoi and the Programmers sound like an 80s new wave band.

MG said on Jul. 19, 2011


Kafei2006 said on Jul. 19, 2011

What KingDarian said :P.

lostaname said on Jul. 19, 2011

I’m looking forward to hearing the actual music.

LakituAl said on Jul. 19, 2011

I guess Wolf won’t be a programmer. Ever.

Also, I support that notion about the music band. I can’t wait for them to make a cover of The Knit Cap Man.

Nightshade said on Jul. 19, 2011

It’s true that Iwata-san had given a great contribution to the Mother series. I’m pretty sure that it wouldn’t have fare as well if he didn’t come along to help.

SamWibatt said on Jul. 19, 2011

Having worked as a game programmer, I can vouch for the truth of that principle: whatever feature the designers ask for, you have to make it work.

Unless the person who’s asking for the feature is an idiot but still your boss, in which case you tactfully decline or deflect. But with Itoi that would never have been an issue, of course.

Rafael R120 said on Jul. 20, 2011

Woah, he looks awesome on that hat!

Michael A.K.A Bluflap said on Jul. 21, 2011

Does this mean more EARTHBOUND?


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