Andross inspired Dr. Kawashima’s polygonal face in Brain Age

Dr. Kawashima

In a recently translated interview on Brain Training for Nintendo Switch with producer Kouichi Kawamoto and neuroscientist Dr. Ryuta Kawashima, Nintendo Everything revealed an interesting tidbit on the origins of Dr. Kawashima’s trademark polygonal design. Essentially, during development for the original Brain Age: Train Your Brain in Minutes a Day, the devs initially tried putting a lifelike version of Dr. Kawashima’s face in the game, and it was just unusual to look at. In looking for other design inspirations, they somehow landed on Andross, and, well, Dr. Kawashima loved it. Check out the excerpt below.

Kawamoto: In our initial proposal, we planned to use Dr. Kawashima’s actual likeness, but it felt really strange having his actual face appear in the DS game. So afterward, we put together another idea that had Dr. Kawashima illustrated as a character with a graduation cap on, but our department head at the time, Takahashi, saw it and said, “Nah, this is no good.” He gave us a few suggestions and from there we imagined the final boss from “Star Fox”, and that’s how we decided on this rough, polygonal look.

Interviewer: That was actually the inspiration? Really? (Laughs)

Kawamoto: Yes, but we of course had to make some changes to make him more of an amusing character. Takahashi and the head designer put a lot of love into it, but I was still worried if Dr. Kawashima would give us his approval on the design. Many university professors are quite serious, right? I remember being on my way to the university to talk with him, figuring he was going to hate it.

Kawashima: But I like fun stuff like that, so I gave it the go-ahead. I mean, I didn’t really think it was going to become such a staple like it has, though.

Can you see the resemblance between Dr. Kawashima’s Brain Age design and the SNES incarnation of Star Fox‘s diabolical mad scientist?

Via, source.

Nick Pearson
I'm the Reviews Editor here at Nintendo Enthusiast, and I'm a major fan of all consoles and eras.