Shigeru Miyamoto : biography

11-16-1952 -

Donkey Kong was a success, leading Miyamoto to work on sequels Donkey Kong Jr. and Donkey Kong 3. His success earned him work on other Nintendo titles like Excitebike and Devil World. His next game was based on the character from Donkey Kong. He reworked the character Jumpman into Mario, and gave him a brother: Luigi. He named the new game Mario Bros.. Yokoi convinced Miyamoto to give Mario some super human abilities, namely the ability to fall from any height unharmed. Mario's appearance in Donkey Kong – overalls, a hat, and a thick mustache – led Miyamoto to change aspects of the game to make Mario look like a plumber rather than a carpenter. Miyamoto felt that New York City provided the best setting for the game, with its "labyrinthine subterranean network of sewage pipes". The two-player mode and other aspects of gameplay were partially inspired by an earlier video game entitled Joust. To date, Mario Bros. has been released for more than a dozen platforms.


After Mario Bros., Miyamoto worked on several different games, including Ice Climber and Kid Icarus alongside Yokoi. He soon made another Mario game titled Super Mario Bros. and Miyamoto then began work on a new game, The Legend of Zelda. In both the Mario and Zelda series, Miyamoto decided to focus more on gameplay than on high scores, unlike many games of the time. Miyamoto took a new direction with The Legend of Zelda, using nonlinear gameplay that forced the player to think their way through riddles and puzzles. With The Legend of Zelda, Miyamoto sought to make an in-game world that players would identify, a "miniature garden that they can put inside their drawer." He drew his inspiration from his experiences as a boy around Kyoto, where he explored nearby fields, woods, and caves; each Zelda title embodies this sense of exploration. "When I was a child," Miyamoto said, "I went hiking and found a lake. It was quite a surprise for me to stumble upon it. When I traveled around the country without a map, trying to find my way, stumbling on amazing things as I went, I realized how it felt to go on an adventure like this."Sheff (1993), p. 51 He recreated his memories of becoming lost amid the maze of sliding doors in his family home in Zeldas labyrinthine dungeons.Sheff (1993), p. 52 In February 1986, Nintendo released the game as the launch title for the Nintendo Entertainment System's new Disk System peripheral. The Legend of Zelda was joined by a re-release of Super Mario Bros. and Tennis, Baseball, Golf, Soccer, and Mahjong in the introduction. This peripheral had 128 kilobytes of space, a vast increase over the cartridge format's capacity. Due to the still-limited amount of space on the disk, however, the Japanese version of the game was only written in the alphabetic katakana, rather than using any pictographic kanji. Rewritable disks saved the game, rather than using a password system. The Japanese version used the extra sound channel provided by the Disk System for certain sound effects; most notable are the sounds of Link's sword when his health is full, and enemy death sounds. The sound effects used the Nintendo Entertainment System's PCM channel in the cartridge version. It also used the microphone built into the Japanese version of the controller that was not included in the international release of the Nintendo Entertainment System.

Miyamoto worked on the sequel for Super Mario Bros and The Legend of Zelda. Super Mario Bros. 2 (known as Super Mario Bros.: The Lost Levels outside Japan) reuses gameplay elements from Super Mario Bros., though the game is considered much more difficult than its predecessor. Because of the perceived difficulty, the game did not see a North American release until much later. Instead, the game Yume Kōjō: Doki Doki Panic was redone and labeled Super Mario Bros. 2 in this market. Zelda II: The Adventure of Link bears little resemblance to the first game in the series. The Adventure of Link features side-scrolling areas within a larger world map rather than the bird's eye view of the previous title. The game incorporates a strategic combat system and more RPG elements, including an experience points (EXP) system, magic spells, and more interaction with non-player characters (NPCs). Link has extra lives; no other game in the series includes this feature. The Adventure of Link plays out in a two-mode dynamic. The overworld, the area where the majority of the action occurs in other The Legend of Zelda games, is still from a top-down perspective, but it now serves as a hub to the other areas. Whenever Link enters a new area such as a town, the game switches to a side-scrolling view. This mode is where most of the action takes place, and it is the only mode in which Link can take damage and be killed. Link also enters this mode when attacked by wandering monsters. Whenever the player traverses the various environments of Hyrule, enemy silhouettes appear and pursue him. Of the three random creatures that appear, there are three types which correspond to the relative difficulty of the monsters in battle mode: a small, weak blob denoting easy enemies, a large, strong biped denoting harder enemies, and a Fairy, which will put Link on a single screen with a free Fairy to refill his health. This separate method of traveling and entering combat is one of many aspects adapted from the role-playing genre.

Living octopus

Living octopus

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