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Metroid: Other M

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I'm surprised that a lot of people cant tell the voice is deliberately monotone. Look at the freaking facial expressions that go along with it and the general vibe of what's happening (the whole silently remorseful over an alien baby that saved her thing. Obviously she's feeling pretty strange). They clearly want to portray Samus this way, whether people like the choice or not.


The only real problem is that the dialogue is awkwardly written.

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You mean to tell me that the guy who said something like "Lets go next door," said it deliberately that poorly and monotone? Or are you just saying that Samus's voice is meant to show few emotions?

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Humanizing Samus Aran


We sat down with Nintendo of America's localization producer Nate Bihldorff to learn more about this more realistic Samus, why they wouldn't give the same treatment to Link or Mario, and whether we'll see our star in a wii bikini. (You do know who's developing this game, don't you?)


Bitmob: Why Samus? Relatively few Nintendo characters are made to be "real." You don't hear Link talking about Ganondorf or Mario wondering what Bowser is up to...yet you hear Samus talking about the Mother Brain, Ridley....


Nate Bihldorff: I don't think it's a matter of the folks at NCL [Nintendo Co., Ltd., the Japanese headquarters] going into a room, looking at a dartboard of all their major properties and saying, "That one! That's the one we're going to grow!"


It's more that there's always been in [super Metroid director Yoshio] Sakamoto-san's head a big story and a big background for Samus. You can take a look at some of the manga, which isn't necessarily related to the games, but there's clearly more story to Samus than has ever been shown in the games.


I think it's very appropriate in this case. I think Samus, more than anyone else, is someone whose story we've always wondered about, whereas, for various reasons, you don't really wonder about Mario's past all that much. And with Link, there have been so many Links over the years, you can get lost looking at all those.


Samus has been the same for years -- and sort of the same behind the wall for all those years. You haven't really gotten a chance to get a glimpse of what her backstory is. Everyone knows she was orphaned as a child, but we don't really know all that much about her other than her parents were killed by space pirates.


There's clearly a lot of motivation to her character that's been the same throughout the series. But it's never been something that's been explored in-depth because it wasn't something that really advanced the gameplay. And now that it can actually be explored, it's great -- it's nice to get that view into her world. It doesn't seem disjointed at all. I like hearing her talk.


Bitmob: How is the team going about building Samus' background and relationships with all these other characters?


NB: The beauty of it is, most of it has been laid out long before this game, especially in Sakamoto-san's head. Clearly the foundation here bridges all the games that came before it -- the story of the big Metroid hatching in Metroid 2, and that continued into the story in Super Metroid where it gives its life to Samus....


This game starts with a flashback to that scene, which is clearly a really important moment in Samus' life. The fact that this baby died for her and she'll never see it again -- from the opening cinematic, you see that this weighs heavy on her heart.


You also saw that, with these soldiers, she has a history with all of them from her time in the Galactic Federation, under the command of [Commanding Officer Adam] Malkovich -- who, if you remember from Metroid Fusion, is the guy who was uploaded into the computer.


The backstory between her and Adam was probably written -- or at least roughed out in Sakamoto-san's head -- around when Fusion came out. That game only touched on their history, but you actually got a lot of meaty story out of those cutscenes. You only got hints, but you got the sense that, a.) They were close and had a unique relationship, and b.) Something dramatic happened and there was some fiction there.


There clearly was a lot of backstory there that was laid out in the creator's head that was only touched upon in Fusion. A lot of those things are really being drawn together for Other M.


And of course with the medium of storytelling that we can do with the Wii, being able to delve into it with full voice acting and cinemas, I think we're just finally seeing all the threads come together for the first cinematic Metroid.


Bitmob: Why don't you take this humanizing of Samus even further? From what we've played so far, she's still pretty stoic and introverted. It's not like players can really make a connection with her. Is this intentional? Maybe just baby steps in terms of developing her character?


NB: Well, I would hold off judgment on that until you've played the whole game because it's an interesting mix. You have the monologue sections and then the real-time sections where she's actually interacting with people, like with the [Federation] soldiers on the ship.


I think the monologue sections show the Samus that we all know, which is this sort of very reserved, totally cool, not-ruffled-by-anything Samus. This comes through in her voice, which is very matter of fact, "here's what happened"...not necessarily emotion.


Once you get into the meat of the game and see some of the scenes play out, you'll see that type of monologue is only part of the story.


Bitmob: Do you think players will have that connection with Samus by the end of the game?


NB: Oh, absolutely. The developers have done a great job with this story, and there are a lot of things that will come at you unexpectedly. You will see Samus like you've never seen her before, and it will show a lot of depth to her character.


Bitmob: Was it difficult figuring out who should voice Samus?


NB: It was tough, certainly...but no tougher than with any of our other properties. We went through the same casting procedures like we usually do. We had a ton of auditions....


Bitmob: I mean, is there more pressure on you guys because this is a traditionally mute character?


NB: I think so. The beauty of it is, we listened to the auditions then sent them over to Sakamoto-san, who's "daddy" [laughs]. He's the father of the character. We let him listen to the voices and let him sync it up with what whatever voice he was hearing in his head for Samus.


Bitmob: Does he hear the original Samus in English in his head, then?


NB: For him it's more about the timbre in the voice and the way it sounds. Of course, we can say, "OK, this inflection sounds great" -- stuff that's more particular to the English voice that he may not pick up on. But what he's really listening for is something else. It's the quality of the voice...the method of delivery that matches what he hears when he's in Samus' head.


Having him run that process lets us sleep easy at night. We want to bring his vision to life, you know? Localizing the game is all about that -- all about bringing their vision over here and making sure it's true to how he sees it. Hopefully we've accomplished that.


Bitmob: Who is the voice actress? Someone we should know?


NB: I don't think she's worked in video games before. Her name is Jessica Martin. She's done a lot of dramatic work...a lot of stage work. She's a local actress up in Seattle. She did an amazing job and was great in the studio.


After the game launches, we may make her available to you [media], but I don't think we're allowing any contact before that, just because we don't want her dropping plot points....


Bitmob: So I gotta ask: You have Team Ninja [Dead or Alive] developing the game. And we've seen Samus in a bikini or her underwear before. And those guys love their girls in bikinis. Did that ever come up in any meetings or discussions? That they're going to have to put Samus in a bikini for Other M?


NB: [Laughs] You'll have to get that answer from Team Ninja and Mr. Sakamoto, because that was all happening in the clouds above our heads. By the time the localization work started, all those decisions have been made. It wasn't exactly something I put in my first email to the team: "Hey, are you guys doing anything with bikinis?" [Laughs]


Without giving anything away, you're not going to see beach volleyball in the middle of this Metroid game. I don't that'd be a surprise to anyone. But nothing that we've seen has raised any alarm bells for us. We trust that Team Ninja and Mr. Sakamoto will find a happy medium between classic Metroid gameplay and a little sexiness.


Jessica Martin




Toyota Daughter Loaded Pictures

Link Light Rail College Student Superfad


Representative Stage Roles

Christmas Carol Christmas Past ACT- A Contemporary Theatre

Rock and Roll Young Esme/Alice ACT- A Contemporary Theatre

Somebody/Nobody Loli Arizona Theater Company

Kingdom of Dust Clara Icicle Creek Theater Festival

Charm Anna/Sparkler Icicle Creek Theater Festival

Hamlet Ophelia Indiana Repertory Theater

Lady Grey Lady Grey UW Cabaret

Arcadia Thomasina UW School of Drama

Anton in Show Business Lisabette UW School of Drama

Juliet Juliet UW Studio 218

Mad Forest Angel/Rodica UW School of Drama

The Terminus Ensemble On The Boards

Language of Angels Celie UW School of Drama

Edited by Dante

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I liked the voicework from what I've heard so far to be honest. Suits the mood and I don't see how it's bad by any means.

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I liked the voicework from what I've heard so far to be honest. Suits the mood and I don't see how it's bad by any means.


The interview said that she does monologue sections (speaking in her head) and then the real-time sections.

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The interview said that she does monologue sections (speaking in her head) and then the real-time sections.


It did indeed.


I was just agreeing with it in that the monotone voice suits the atmosphere of a Metroid game. I mean what were people expecting her to sound like?

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[..] I mean what were people expecting her to sound like?

Read this post, than scroll up to glance at Dante's Bayonetta avatar.. "Hmm" is all I say ;).


Don't mind the voice, but too bad they didn't bring back Jennifer Hale. Not that she had much to say in the previous titles (Metroid isn't even mentioned on her site), but that's more reason to bring her back!

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I don't mind the voice at all. Seems to suit the game quite well.



...Boy I'm pumped for this game. PUMPED YOU HEAR.

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Read this post, than scroll up to glance at Dante's Bayonetta avatar.. "Hmm" is all I say ;).


Don't mind the voice, but too bad they didn't bring back Jennifer Hale. Not that she had much to say in the previous titles (Metroid isn't even mentioned on her site), but that's more reason to bring her back!


When has she ever been involved in a Metroid game? She would be a great fit for samus though.

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When has she ever been involved in a Metroid game? She would be a great fit for samus though.


Jennifer Hale? She was in all the Prime games I believe, doing the grunts for jumping/landing getting hit etc.

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Jennifer Hale? She was in all the Prime games I believe, doing the grunts for jumping/landing getting hit etc.


And the epic 'Ayyyyaaaaaaaaaah!' death scream featured from Prime 2 onwards I presume.

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And the epic 'Ayyyyaaaaaaaaaah!' death scream featured from Prime 2 onwards I presume.

I hated them. Whenever I got hurt I was like "Oh god, Samus, I'm so sorry."

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IGN: GDC 10: Sakamoto's Technique


At the Game Developer Conference in San Francisco this morning, Nintendo Group Manager Yoshio Sakamoto held a panel to discuss his "unique" design style -- or rather, what Nintendo president Satoru Iwata thinks is a "unique" way of designing.


See, Sakamoto champions two franchises that are on polar opposites: Metroid and WarioWare. One, gritty and serious. The other, humorous and wacky. Both games are very successful for Nintendo, and Iwata convinced Sakamoto to stand up in front of GDC attendees and talk about his techniques and inspirations. In fact, Iwata finds it surprising that Sakamoto has a "serious" touch.


Sakamoto, however, never really though about his design methods prior to this presentation -- he never really thought about what makes his style "different." He does dig for inspiration in films -- he pulls heavily from Italian film maker Dario Argento and his Deep Red movie. He notes that Argento focused on elements like mood, timing, foreshadowing and contrast to draw in the viewer, and used that style for game design.


He observed that it's an approach that works both for serious games as well as humorous games, and even though the styles are polar opposites, that style applies in all the games he works on, from Metroid to WarioWare, even the Tamodachi Collection that's gone onto sell nearly three million copies since its release last year.


Speaking of the Tamodachi Collection, the roots of that year old release could be traced to more than nine years ago, and Sakamoto credits the friend collection idea as inspiration for the final version of the Mii Channel for Wii. When the engineer put to the task of creating the Mii avatars showed the software to Sakamoto, he noted that it was near impossible to create his "unique" face. "Why can't I move the eyes around or make them bigger?" At the time it wasn't possible to do much but change the parts of the face, but Sakamoto noted that far more was possible if the position and size of the parts could change.


Towards the tail end of the panel Sakamoto discussed the Metroid: Other M project and the formation of the Project M team. Once Sakamoto nailed down the situation -- placed between Super Metroid and Metroid Fusion -- he searched out the best developer to bring the idea to life.


Team Ninja stepped in to work on the project and was selected because the team played off the Nintendo-based team extremely well, bouncing ideas back and forth throughout the development. Sakamoto used a specific instance as an example: he insisted that the game would be an on-rails side-scrolling adventure that used the Wii remote exclusively like an NES/Famicom controller. But Team Ninja really wanted to make it a nunchuk-analog controlling game for 3D foreground/background exploration. Sakamoto stood firm on the Wii remote exclusivity. When the Team Ninja came up with an idea that could incorporate Sakamoto's Wii remote focus into a non-on-rails design, he was skeptical -- but when he finally saw what they came up with, he thought the solution was perfect. They called it "Famicom Game Plus."


He also noted that there's a little bit of foreshadowing in place for Metroid: Other M: Adam Malkovich is a character that was introduced in Metroid Fusion, and Sakamoto wanted to flesh out the relationship with that character in the "prequel."


Project M also consists of CG teams D-Rockets and Taiyo Kikaku, with animation director Ryuzi Kitaura handling the cutscenes during the story direction. Kuniaki Haishim is the musician on the project, with Jessica Martin cast as Samus, who -- according to Sakamoto, is perfect for the role because "she has a voice that speaks from the heart."


Other tidbits: one of the first games Sakamoto worked on for Nintendo was Balloon Fight, and the programmer of that game was none other than Satoru Iwata himself.


Also Kotaku doesn't know what on-rails side-scrolling adventure means so they remove the words "side-scrolling".

Edited by Dante

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Sakamoto's GDC Keynote Transcript

Yoshio Sakamoto Talk

[This text is more or less similar to what Yoshio Sakamoto said in his talk. It is missing statements in places where my translator failed and where I was unable to keep up with his pace of talking. So these are not entirely direct quotes.]


I was virtually uninvolved in the games in the Prime series so nobody outside knows [much about me].


I also work on subtle games [that are not major titles; that are niche titles.] In Japan, Metroid titles are known as niche titles as well, so I am known as making games with small appeal. I think this upsets the company, but I really like being in this kind of position.


I will be speaking about what Mr. Iwata finds puzzling about my game style.

[iwata wanted to know more about Sakamoto’s puzzling game style - mainly, that he creates both very serious games and also very silly ones.


First, he introduces us to Metroid, beginning with Other M. In the previous Metroids (except 2, which he was not involved in), Sakamoto has been a director. But for Other M, he is the producer.


Sakamoto is “hoping to make it the best Metroid ever.”


He then followed up with a trailer for the game.


Then he goes into detail behind the history of the Metroid series.


First, he is credited as a designer for the NES Metroid. “This was the danw of videogames, so I hadn’t had experience in design [at this point]”


Metroid II was the game that determined what the rest of the series would be - particularly the scene where the baby appears. “If this story had not been created, the series would have taken a different path.”


“Having been inspired [by the sequence], I took charge of Super Metroid.”

He also chose to temporarily take control away from the player during certain cutscenes. “In doing this, the team was challenged.” This scene was recreated for Other M.


“With Metroid Fusion for the GBA, I took the story and drama elements even further and lifted the ban of story development without words [i had placed on myself] with Super Metroid.”


He then points out that MOM appears chronologically between SM and Fusion.


For MZM, he added a new scenario, in essence a new story. Sakamoto served as directors on both MF and MZM.


Next, Sakamoto went into detail on the Wario Ware series. The series did not originate with his own creativity though, but was the product of collaboration with other designers on the team.


“Let me introduce four titles I have worked on for the WW series.”


“Ware Ware Twisted came to be because one of my engineers was asked to test the tilt sensor and so created a minigame.” Because it worked so well, it was given to Mr. Iwata. Iwata placed it on a twisty chair, which was spun like a record. Iwata thought it was so stupid and so Sakamoto knew it was a success. Twisted was the first WarioWare title he was a producer on.


He took a new direction for Wario Ware touched. In the beginning, he felt that understanding the WarioWare tone and what made it funny were not unified. “I worked with the new director in selecting new ideas and controlling the direction of the game.”



WarioWare Smooth Moves was built as the flagship title for the Wiimote Controller and was released when it was launched. Like the DS version, it used motion.


There were problems iwth how the players can respond immediately to game commands, so the team implemented graphic forms to indicate how players can play the game without taking them out [of the gameplay] for a moment. Because of this, WarioWare was a console game in which it was as much fun to watch other people as to play it yourself.


The latest game in the set is WarioWare DIY. In this game, the player creates their own WarioWare Microgames. It came to be as a result of individuality of the designers who created it from the beginning. it challenges the player to be as goofy as they can be. Because players can share it with others, these creations can be polished and refined. If you want to hone the games you made.


He then demonstrates his own DIY game - which apparently “is supposed to be introduced in the US in some time in the future to maybe get people interested in the new Metroid.


I have a few images of the minigame. These don’t include all images. The Metroids are frozen and then they fall down/shatter. If they are hit, Samus appears in the armor. If you do it twice, ZSS appears. (didn’t get a pic of that one)


Then he talked about Tomodachi Collection - Tomokore, which is about making gameplay a more subtle experience. It is a little like playing house. It uses Wii characters and mii characters. “Think of it as players having fun through make believe.” The game was a surprise hit and has already hit the 3 million sales mark in Japan.


Sakamoto also wanted to talk about some unique games he had worked on, particularly the Famicom Tantei Club. This game “defined my approach and style of game development from this point of my career forward.” Famicom Tantei Club is a command-style text-based adventure, a horror-suspense game. “These were very important titles for me so I decided to in the end include them. There were many other titles I was involved in, but I don’t want to take up time in introductions, so I will introduce one last tile I made shortly after I started working on videogames.”


This game is Balloon Fight, which he was a designer on. None other than Mr. Satoru Iwata programmed the game.


“Where am I today? Why is it that someone like me is standing here [talking to you about games]? What is it that Mr. Iwata is wondering about? He was curious about my game development methods and this lead to the theme of my speech.


Mr. Iwata was interested in why one person could work on a game with an intense story like Metroid Other M and then a funny game like WarioWare DIY. ‘What is your strategy for creating games that are complete polar opposites?’”


Someone who has created such a dynamic range of titles should be important to listen to. So why don’t you talk about that?’


After hearing Mr. Iwata’s suggestion, I felt highly perplexed: I hadn’t thought about it [before].


The styles are different - people have said that many times. What was my approach as producer on these titles and what does it mean in the first place? Having thought about this, I found it was hard to answer. For applying logic to intuitive actions, I decided to apply my own ideas to game creation.


Sakamoto has given names to each type of game. “I will call Metroid games serious and Wario games comical.”


Mr. Iwata finds it puzzling that I work on both. He finds it puzzling that I can create something with a serious touch as well. Mr. Iwata only thinks of me as someone with a comical touch.”


Sakamoto gains his inspiration of game design from film that he came across in his youth.


Particularly Dario Argento, the Italian filmmaker who directed Surpirai and Deep Red.


“Without a doubt, Deep Red has had the greatest impression on my design.” It is a combination of suspense and horror.


Usually, there is something missing in suspense and horror films. [don’t quite remember what this was, but I think this is suspense?] Then I came across Argento’s films. The style I had been looking for all along was there. Without a doubt, I wanted to create things in the same manner as Argento did.


This is how I understood components of his technique:”


Mood, Timing, Foreshadowing


Mood includes music. Argento’s progressive rock sound gives a feeling of terror to his films. Argento effectively stopped the music in different scenes and used SFX to change the mood. He is ‘meticulous in using tricks to fear’ his audiences. He contrasts storylines and scenes to increase the sense of tension.


“Having my youth influence so much by [Argento]” Sakamoto designed Famicom Tantei Club. The student in the rear of the cover art is in homage to Argento’s work. “This experience allowed me to gain confidence in my ability to produce a game.”


“My latest project, Metroid Other M, is no exception. This technique of controlling mood, timing, foreshadowing, and contrast I have relied on in my career as a game designer from early on, and this is no different.”


Metroid: Other M shows “how deep my desire was to convey fear and how this lead me to find my own creative stile. I was reminded of this fact in writing this speech. Having found my own sensibility and creative style, I want to pass that on to someone else.


After seeing Argento’s films, I started watching a lot of movies. I was looking for a variety of ways to control mood, timing, foreshadowing, and contrast. I watched many kinds of films. And I discovered lot of these elements are found in cult movies.


My ability to daydream became stronger. I had dreams with .” I wasn’t drawn to big productions. This feeling is even stronger now.




Maybe my affinity for niche games [is linked with my affinity for film.]


I also found expression in Francis Lupessaunt

Besson’s film, Leon: The Professional

John Woo, currently active in Hollywood. His Films for a Better Tomorrow series had a particular effect on me. He has painful images coming from the Hong Kong movie scene.

Brian de Palma for the intense last scene in Carrie.


I haven’t seen all the movies they made. I don’t see everything they make. I don’t have a complex about it or strive to become one [of these filmmakers]. I was inspired by their films and that’s how I was inspired to create games. They help bring that out in me.


If I start talking [about them], I won’t stop. This might be presumption, but the influence [from the films] is in the games.


Comedy - this influences me now. I love things that are funny and make me laugh. Is there a laugh here? Can I find something funny in this? I spend most of my day thinking about this. I ask if I can laugh, but I just want to make other people laugh myself. I’m not a comedian, so can’t make a crowd of people go into an uproar. I just want to spice the lives of my coworkers and the people around me.


I’m actually quite meticulous about it. I constantly work to hone my senses. When I find material I can use, I make sure to tuck it away for later. I take as much as possible to fit a wide range of audiences. I make it fit the style. I take the best material in my head and find the best situation to use it in. I want to control audience reaction and engineer a laugh.


In addition, ultimately, the techniques used here are mood, timing, foreshadowing, and contrast. I take a read on what is normally there. That lull in the conversation [in a room packed with people] if you miss it, it’s gone forever. I steer the conversation to set up the perfect one-liner. It’s important to set a contrast.


Sakamoto’s appreciation for comedy and the influence of movies has benefitted his work on serious touch and comical touch.


But these are polar opposites - do you have a stance when dealing with these two types?


Whether serious or comical, I respond to things that stimulate my interest. I store this material away and wait for the opportune moment to bring it out. The methods and strategies which I employ are the same: I use control, mood, tense, foreshadowing, and contrast. The experience of thinking something is funny, cool, or scary is about having feelings moved. The method is the same and the process is the same regardless of the feeling. [i.e. comedy and horror are identical in that they are both about moving emotions]


I must think about how those emotions are moved and how to set them. I must experience a wide range of moves within their own context. Experiencing this in the day to day life will naturally bring in a wide range of material to pull from.


I think I just happen to be passionate about the serious and comical and two opposing types. I just happen to be fortunate to [be good at doing both].


To summarize: what is the difference in stance and approach when creating games that are polar opposite types?


There is no difference. It’s more about technique.


As long as someone is open to the possibility of new experiences, you can use techniques that move people’s hearts to move people in a great many ways.


So in review, I’d like to talk about a game with a comic touch as well as the epic serious touch. Both games I produced, Tomodachi Collection and Metroid: Other M.


Tomodachi Collection is impossible to explain in words, so I’ll just show a video.


[shows a video of Tomodachi Collection, which shows clips of Mii’s with Sakamoto, Iwata, and Reggie doing various things. Sakamoto tries to woo Samus by saying he put jewelry on her new helmet, and she dumps him. Pretty hilarious stuff.]


On the development of the Mii’s: The characters function a lot like Mii characters, but you can only put out the Mii parts. Sakamoto disliked that he couldn’t create a character that looked like himself. He wanted to know why he couldn’t change the face parts. “I wanted to make something that looked more like I did.” So he had the team changed it. Mr. Iwata was very happy; the proto-Mii tool was a winner. In a few days, Iwata wanted to borrow the characters for the Wii. He also wanted to borrow the team that created them.


So Sakamoto built the Mii’s and sent them to Miyamoto upon Iwata’s request. After the Mii editor was completed and the Mii characters were spreading around the world. The team came back, and based on what they knew, their experience, they developed Tomodachi Collection.


Tomodachi Collection faced many challenges in production. There had never been a game like it before, so they didn’t know where they were supposed to land. Sakamoto was also busy on Other M, so the director ‘must have been worried’.


Sakamoto’s role in Tomodachi Collection was producer - “working with the director to stay true to the friend collecting image, making choices to stay true to the image of the game. I was very happy to have a wide variety of unusual and rare material from the archives to work with.


So in this title, what examples can we find in mood, timing, and contrast?


In Tomokore, the story is driven by the player. Maybe some of you have already noticed, but the movie I showed earlier and the fact this is a common genre in the first place, Tomokore is a game where not only does the player have fun, but the player’s friends have fun as well to show off the producer and comedy. With regard to this title, there are many more episodes I’d like to share with you, but I don’t have time for them all.


A piece of advice he shares, he tells the director, “You need to take off your underwear.” This means don’t hold back, let yourself out. It has many different meanings.


Why am I bringing this hard to explain idea now? It’s because Mr. Iwata was very amused by it. It came up in the second Iwata Asks interview. “So the record for Tomodachi Collection is two wins and one tie.”


Metroid Other M is the synthesis of all the know-how I’ve acquired and synthesized in a serious title. In this game, I acted as producer. However, this participation has been a bit different from a normal producer’s role.


The story takes place between Super and Metroid Fusion. It also reintroduces Adam Malkovich, who had appeared in Fusion in a certain form. It is the story of Samus as a young girl and reveals her relationship with Adam - but this is just a portion of what Other M is about. I am using the know-how of Famicom Tantei Club to give it a suspenseful feel. This human drama is an important part - explore the story from this perspective. I can closely control the mood, timing, and foreshadowing and contrast even when setting a scenario.


Sakamoto created a storyline for the “beautifully acted sequences.” It was an outline of the game design that laid the foundation of it. The next step was to find the “ultimate partner to cooperate” with, someone with the same ideas and concerns.


I was able to bounce ideas off him despite the differences. This lead to the creation of a new type of Metroid through collaboration. They worked together as equals without limitations.


The definitive movement came in developing the control scheme of Other M. When planning this game, there was one thing I was unwilling to budge on, and that was making it possible to move using only the Wii remote. Samus would move along an invisible rail. As long as the camera angle was controlled effectively, it might be possible to give ti a good look.


Team Ninja suggested the nunchuck. Sakamoto firmly objected and explained why he wanted just the Wii Remote. “They understood my reasoning immediately. They also proposed a system with a full 3D map where Samsu could move freely using the control pad. I had no objections if it was possible, but was dubious.” Sakamoto thought, “If it was so simple, why had no one done it before?”


However, he had confidence in Hayashi-san. And the system was perfect. It was smooth. Samus’s quick movements and perfect positioning worked perfectly with the Metroid map. The 2D movement combined with pointer FPS gameplay.


“Hayashi-san called it “Famicom Game+ - the latest technology. I think it fit perfectly.”


For the Other M game design, it was possible to make the transition from cinematics to gameplay to cutscenes timeless. Mood, timing, foreshadowing and contrast are all used. The transitions are clean as well.


They also developed a movie spec sheet. A video spec sheet for how the cutscenes would look. “Of course we included music and sound effects.” Sakamoto used his skills he was building from editing his son’s film clips. But they also hired CG experts from D-Rockets and Taiyo Kikaku - Tiayou Planning.


Mr. Kitaura’s storyboard led to the production of the game. [sakamoto shows clips of the storyboard].


Mr. Sakamoto and Kitaura are from the same generation. This allowed them to compare notes with what was in their mental archives. The collaboration with Kitaura “has made it beautiful and cool” for mood, timing, foreshadowing, and contrast.


Taiyo Planning has the top CG artists in Japan. The strong bond between the companies has made Project M possible.


Kuniaki Haishima is composing the music. The music is fully orchestrated with timing with the visuals. Haishima’s score will “move your hearts.


Sakamoto hired expert voice actors and found one who matched his imagination of what the characters would sound like. For Samus, Sakamoto wanted a voice that was “ephemeral” - “as if she speaks from the heart.” Jessica’s voice worked perfectly.


There are more people involved in Project M than he can say. Regardless of the company name or industry type, the way we all came together with a common goal of creating an ideal production [allowed them to work together to achieve perfection.]


These are the things Sakamoto keeps in mind with each game he develops:


I think developing games is about giving shape to images. Throughout the course of my life, I’ve come across many things. Moments from movies or music, things created by people, human beings, objects, living things, etc. My spirit has been moved by these interactions, such as when I have experienced joy, fear, or sadness. I think these experiences created individual experiences that stick with us. From the perspective of someone who makes games, I feel it is our job to make these emotions into forms, shapes that can be conveyed to other people.”


When I sat down for the first time as an employee of Nintendo, the Famicom had not been released yet. I was tasked with making games by finding my own way. I don’t know if it just suited my personality, but I’ve since become very passionate about what I do. I think it’s how a child with a new toy becomes engrossed in it. I felt that same emotion when working on the first Metroid.


[sakamoto received a package in the mail shortly after the game had shipped. It contained a letter and hand-made chocolates from a woman who had been deeply moved by his game. Women traditionally give chocolates to people they are romantically interested in. The woman liked the game so much she gave him them.


“What we create touches the hearts and spirits of people and moves them. That was the first time I’d recognized that simple fact - my responsibility as a professional. This is the impetus to influence people who helped create the game.


Sakamoto imagines the faces of his wife, his family, friends, and even complete strangers, trying to “make the best possible reflection on the faces of my audience.”


“I think most of you gathered here are involved in some way in game development. I hope you will continue to convey the feeling and heart of the things you love in the games. I think if we can do so, we will create games [that will move people].

Edited by Dante

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I'm a bit saddened they changed composer.


Kenji Yamamoto has worked on Super Metroid and Zero Mission (both with Minako Hamano) and also composed the score for all 3 Prime games.


He wasn't involved in Metroid 1, 2, Fusion or Hunters, so it's not like the Metroid series has always had an exclusive composer, but he is the guy most closely associated with Metroid music and I did want to hear what he'd come up with for a Japanese developed 3D title.

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Meh, honestly this doesn't really phase me. The music in Metroid games, whilst atmospheric, never wowed me.

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Meh, honestly this doesn't really phase me. The music in Metroid games, whilst atmospheric, never wowed me.





also, interesting new interview here: http://www.joystiq.com/2010/03/12/interview-metroid-other-m-producer-yoshio-sakamoto/


Speaking of the core Metroid development team that last worked on the GBA games: There have been rumors of a game known as 'Metroid Dread' -- purportedly a 2D Metroid game for DS. Was 'Dread' a real project?


It seems we get a lot of questions about Metroid Dread, especially at interviews following E3 for example. But nothing's ever been announced about this game; it's all just been rumors so far, so we never know exactly how to respond to questions like this.


Then where does 2D Metroid development stand on DS?


While there actually was a point where some teams were meeting to discuss if it was possible to create a 2D Metroid for DS using a relatively small team size, it's not something that we ever really announced or thought of as "Metroid Dread." But whenever people bring out that idea, we recognize that the basic concept is something that we can't say never existed. But at the same time, we can't of course make any official comment about a Metroid Dread–like project coming out.


Our main goal here is to, as I said earlier, first raise knowledge about the Metroid universe, and the Samus character, before we start to introduce different elements like online, or even going back to another handheld game for the next in the series. So there's nothing coming immediately. We want to think about these new challenges first.


But, of course, we never say never.

Edited by or else you will DIE

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Meh, honestly this doesn't really phase me. The music in Metroid games, whilst atmospheric, never wowed me.


Maybe not in a way where everyone would think "Oh I want to go listen to this" but you're missing the point. The atmosphere is a HUGE part of Metroid. The soundtrack is a huge part of creating that.


Anyone not wowed though really needs to get some Metroid Metal down them

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The soundtrack is a huge part of creating that.

Yeah, I understand that. Maybe it's just me, but some of the music in Metroid Prime 3 really started drilling into my brain after awhile. But yeah, the atmosphere is great.

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Yeah, I don't remember very much of Prime 3 or 2's soundtrack, apart from the bit in Torvus Bog that was a remix of a track from Super Metroid. Prime 1 certainly has more memorable (and hummable!) music.

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You know, I was thinking today as I was playing Metroid Prime 3, and I realised how great the music is. Screw it not being the worlds best listening music, it's stupidly atmospheric and really fits with the mood of the title.


My favourite example of this is in Metroid Prime 1. After you step out of the dark, gloomy, fiery caverns, you reach the beautiful Phendrana Drifts, and that stunning music begins. Jaw Drop moment.

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I very much recall the tune when you fought Gandrayda


and of course the opening theme to Corruption. I like that VERY much! (too short though:( )

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