Iwata Laughs: Mario Kart 8

A recently discovered journal found at Nintendo’s headquarters is home to a variety of never-before-seen Iwata Asks transcripts. As a journalist, I feel that it is my duty to inform the public about these revelations and explore the mind of Iwata in order to gain a deep insight into the workings of Nintendo. These undisclosed transcripts range from recent years all the way back to the \’90s, with Iwata laughing in every single one of them.

Today’s entry is discussion about the upcoming Mario Kart 8. Iwata interviews the development team and they all give an insight into the development.

“Where We\’re Going, We Don\’t Need Gravity.”

Iwata: Good evening, gentlemen. Today, I\’d like to speak to you about the upcoming Mario Kart 8*, which will be releasing for Nintendo Wii U at the end of this month. If you could please, introduce yourselves.

*The latest title in the Mario Kart series, known in Japan as \”The Wii U’s Saviour.\”

Miyamoto: Hello, I\’m Shigeru Miyamoto, Senior Managing Director of Nintendo Co., Ltd as well as the General Manager of EAD Division.

Konno: Hello, I\’m Hideki Konno and I\’m part of the Software Development Department which is also part of the EAD Division.

Ashida: Hello, I\’m Kenichiro Ashida, I\’m part of Product Development Department in the Integrated Research and Development Division.

Iwata: Thank you for making time to join me and discuss Mario Kart. Let’s get the first question out there: the name. Obviously, we\’re following a pattern here after the release of Mario Kart 7*. You\’ve now opted to call the latest game Mario Kart 8. It’s not exactly the pinnacle of creativity, is it, gentlemen?

*Do you really need an annotation to tell you what Mario Kart 7 is?

Konno: Well, we thought long and hard about the name and there are only so many adjectives you can put in front or after Mario Kart to make it sound different from the last. Super-Duper Mario Kart, The Amazing Mario Kart, and Mario Kart: The Newest One Please Come Out And Buy It don\’t really roll off the tongue too well. Mario Kart 8 is what it says on the tin, the eighth game in the series, excluding arcade* games.

*Developed by Namco Bandai Games, the two arcade games should NOT be taken as canon.

Iwata: In this eighth iteration, what gimmicks have you introduced this time to differentiate the game from other versions?

Miyamoto: Well, the biggest addition is, of course, the anti-gravity sections of the courses. Players will now have the ability to race sideways, upside down, and generally defy the laws of gravity. The sky is no longer the limit; instead, it’s space.

Iwata: Well, that’s certainly different, but I can\’t help thinking we had a racing franchise that used to break the laws of physics at high octane speeds.

Miyamoto: Ahh yes, F-Zero*. I won\’t lie to you, Mr. Iwata: I\’ve thought long and hard on F-Zero and whether it should have returned. Unfortunately, we just don\’t see F-Zero selling particularly well, but maybe we can make Captain Falcon a racer via DLC.

*Gone but not forgotten.

Iwata: A shame. What other new additions have you made to the series?

Ashida: Well, the power of the Wii U and its ability to produce high definition graphics means we can also add many more characters to the roster.

Iwata: Characters like Bowser Jr. and Professor E. Gadd?

Ashida: Err, no. Characters like Baby Rosalina, seven Koopalings, and a character that can only be processed due to the impressive power of Wii U: Pink Gold Peach.

Iwata: Pink … Gold Peach? Why, Ashida-san?

Ashida: Well, if I\’m honest, Miyamoto-san has a strange fetish for metallic characters and he wouldn\’t stop bugging me to inc—

Miyamoto: [Interrupting] You can also play as your Mii, which means users can create themselves or celebrities in Mii Maker and then play as them in Mario Kart 8.

Iwata: [Laughs] What sort of celebrities have you played as, if I may ask?

Miyamoto: Lady Gaga. I\’m not very good at creating realistic-looking Mii characters, but I find that if you select the \”random\” option, the Mii will resemble Lady Gaga. Every. Single. Time.

Iwata: [Laughs] Very good. Konno-san, if there’s one course that is synonymous with Mario Kart, it must be Rainbow Road. Now, Rainbow Road is already very difficult for most players. How does that difficulty change when you add anti-gravity aspects to it?

Konno: It’s impossible. Literally. We\’ve designed it so that, even if you fall off, you\’ll float back to another part of the stage in a never-ending mobius strip. Rainbow Road is where you go to die — the Dark Souls of Mario Kart courses. Remember those star bits you collected in Super Mario Galaxy and Super Mario Galaxy 2? They\’re actually what’s left of players when they finally break free of the track’s force field and fall back to Earth. Shooting stars are players falling off Rainbow Road.

Iwata: That’s both funny and extremely creepy at the same time. [Laughs] So tell me, what other features does Mario Kart 8 have? Online voice chat?

Miyamoto: Yes, but only with friends.

Iwata: Just friends? Why not with everyone?

Miyamoto: Well, we found while conducting an in-house experiment that lots of other employees would curse and insult other players. Something about explicit actions with my mother.

Iwata: [Laughs] Ah, yes, sorry about that. Please continue.

Miyamoto: You can also create your own tournaments, much like Mario Kart 7, so you choose the specifications. Also, for the first time, we\’re allowing players to upload their gameplay clips to YouTube.

Iwata: Ahh, yes, I\’ve been in talks with Google about this. To supplement the poor sales of Wii U, we\’ll instead be taking a cut of the revenue made from these videos — after all, it’s our IP YouTube users are uploading, so it’s only fair that we get a cut of what they make, right? [Laughs] What has the GamePad been used for this time? I assume it’s deeply intergrated into the gameplay mechanics of the game.

Konno: You can use it as a horn.

Iwata: A horn.

Konno: Yes, a horn. [Looks nervously]

Iwata: Anything else?

Konno: No, just a horn. [Sweat drips from forehead]

Iwata: …  haha, Konno-san, you\’re such a joker. What about local multiplayer? Seeing as the Wii U GamePad has another screen, five players can play at the same time, right?

Miyamoto: Erm, no. Sorry. We didn\’t think of that.

Iwata: Maybe next time. Anyway, 1080p at 60FPS?

Miyamoto: Erm, 720p native and someone actually found out it was 59FPS?

Iwata: 59? [Laughs] Pre-order cancelled. [Walks out]

[End Transcript]

This is just one of many unpublished interviews, so stay tuned for more revelations in the coming months. Thank you for reading.

(Yes, this was satire.)

Daniel Switzer