|Born|| November 16, 1952|
Sonobe, Kyoto, Japan
|First game||Color TV Racing 112|
Shigeru Miyamoto is an iconic video game director, producer, artist, designer, and general manager. Born in 1952 on the small town of Sonobe, Japan, he's without a doubt the most prolific, admired, acclaimed, and influential video game developer. Shigeru Miyamoto has created the industry's most lucrative franchises and is credited in a variety of titles that have been lauded by all critics.
He has appeared in Time's Top 100 and was rated the greatest video game designer of all time by IGN. His wide encompassing range of video game series that he created include the likes of Mario, Donkey Kong, The Legend of Zelda, Star Fox, Pikmin, F-Zero, Wave Race, Excitebike, Stunt Race FX, Pilot Wings, Space Firebird, Ice Climbers, and Nintendogs among others.
Shigeru Miyamoto was born on November 16, 1952 in the town of Sonobe, Kyoto of Japan (his family had lived there for five generations). When he was a child he would explore the surrounding areas of his town and many of his childhood experiences would go on to influence his video games. In Kyoto there was a cave that Miyamoto frequently went to but didn't muster the courage to enter. Eventually though with a lantern in hand, he entered the cave and explored all of what was offered within. This single experience would go on to be one of the defining influences for The Legend of Zelda series.
As a child he would partake in various other activities such as drawing, painting, playing baseball and participating in puppet shows. Miyamoto's family didn't have a car or a television. On very few occasions per year, he and his family would venture to the city in Kyoto via train and would enjoy going to movie theaters to watch a film, particularly those made by Walt Disney. Little did Shigeru Miyamoto know that he would eventually be considered the "Walt Disney of video games". At the age of eleven Miyamoto's father eventually purchased a television and brought it home. Soon after that, Miyamoto became a big fan of Japanese animation and in middle school, he started to get into manga, as well as joining a manga club upon entering high school. After awhile, his family moved into Kyoto, which would offer Miyamoto greater opportunities as he grew up.
One thing was very evident to him was that he wanted to become an artist of some sort.
Miyamoto attended Kanazawa Munici College of Industrial Art & Design. According to him, he has said that he wasn't a very good student and wouldn't attend class as he was supposed to but rather enjoyed various unrelated luxuries. He became interested in the banjo, and made a band with some of his fellow classmates and performed in numerous venues in Japan. Some of his musical inspirations included The Beatles, The Nitty Gritty Dirt Band, and Doc Watson.
After five years, Miyamoto finally managed to graduate from college with a Bachelor's Degree in Industrial Art & Design and would thereafter be given a proposal to work at Nintendo in 1977. Hiroshi Yamauchi was the president of Nintendo and Miyamoto's father was a friend of his. Because of Miyamoto's father, he managed to get an interview, and Miyamoto showcased some simple toy ideas of his such as a three-way seesaw, children's clothes hangers with animal designs on them (in the shape of birds and elephants), and a clock designed to be used at an amusement park.
Amazingly, Miyamoto got hired as a Concept Artist for Nintendo and would be required to plan new products for Nintendo to develop. Miyamoto once said that one reason he joined the company was because of the wide range of products they were creating and thought that "they'll let me do what I want to". Hiroshi Yamauchi had just hired a man who would soon become the most important employee at Nintendo.
The first project Miyamoto was involved with at Nintendo was making the housing designs for Color TV Racing 112 and a Blockbuster Color TV Game. Miyamoto knew that he wanted to make a better piece of hardware than what was available in Color TV Game 6 and Color TV Game 15, which he explained as "bad". He included a wheel in the racing game and made the hardware for the bluckbusting title a lot more accessible. Next after this Miyamoto would create the character designs for the arcade game Space Fever, a Space Invaders clone. In Japan Space Invaders had become so popular and the demand was high, so Nintendo felt like they could cash in and create their own version of the game, which was nearly identical. Following this, he'd have a similar role in the games Sheriff in 1979 and Space Firebird in 1980. Then came Radar Scope.
Nintendo had been interested in the video game market for some time. They had created moderate successes and mediocre games, most of which were clones of other titles. Nintendo wanted to expand to North America and thus opened up an American branch that they titled Nintendo of America in New York (years later they would move to the Seattle area in the nearby town of Redmond, Washington). In the beginning there were less than ten employees and it would remain at that number for quite awhile. Nintendo in Japan ordered a division within Nintendo to create a smash hit that would be incredibly successful in North America after a few titles didn't manage to attract customers. The result was Radar Scope, an arcade title. Miyamoto worked on the casing of the arcade unit and the designs that would be sported on the hardware, though unlike some of his other games he wouldn't create the characters.
Back in North America, a shipment of three thousand Radar Scape units finally arrived in the United States after around four months at sea. By the time they got to Nintendo of America, the game was considered outdated, and they only managed to move 1,000 of them. Minoru Arakawa, the president of the American branch, desperately tried to keep NoA afloat, and requested Hiroshi Yamauchi to create a game that could be placed within the Radar Scope units.
Yamauchi was reluctant because everyone who was worthwhile within Nintendo was hard at work on other projects but he agreed nonetheless, knowing that he'd have to dig deeper within Nintendo to find someone who would be able to create a game. Astonishingly, the person he found was Shigeru Miyamoto, who had no prior game design experience whatsoever. Now the question remained on everyone's mind was whether or not he would be able to create a new game. A heavy weight was placed on Miyamoto's shoulders and his design choices would ultimately decide the fate of Nintendo of America. It was time to prove his worth but would need a little help in knowing how to actually create a video game, so Yamauchi turned to a Nintendo veteran.
The veteran was Gunpei Yokoi, a knowledgeable man who was well taught in video game design, creating almost single-handedly the Game & Watch franchise. Yokoi taught Miyamoto everything he knew and would in addition oversee the project, adding his own input. Initially, Yamauchi perhaps even wanted Miyamoto to simply make Radar Scope better, although Miyamoto wasn't very fond of the shooting genre, thinking that it had gotten old after awhile and didn't want to create another shooting, sports, or maze game, despite his utmost admiration for Pac-Man. He wanted to create something entirely new, and he had some ideas up his sleeve before starting development.
One was including a story. He had always wondered why video games had no plot and felt that there was an unexplored potential for engrossing stories. He looked at some of his favorite films as inspiration and desperately wanted to get the license for a Popeyegame. Nintendo was unable to get it, however, so Miyamoto resorted to creating his own characters.
The characters included in his game would be highly similar to those from Popeye and the relationship between them was clearly based off of the love triangle from the series. Olive would be replaced by Lady, who later became known as Pauline, while Donkey Kong takes the place of Bluto, while the character loosely based on Popeye would transform into gaming's biggest superstar: Mario, originally known as Jumpman. Next, Miyamoto would have to create an idea for the game's plot.
In the final version, Donkey Kong would escape his master's clutches, kidnap his girlfriend, and climb to the top of a series of girders at a construction site. Mario would naturally go off to save his girlfriend, though would be bombarded by a series of barrels that Donkey Kong sent down the girders. Mario, using his fantastic jumping powers, would hop over the barrels and use hammers to get rid of them as well. As Mario progressed through the game, new obstacles would stand in Mario's way. After reaching the very top, Mario would cause Donkey Kong's platform to tumble and subsequently save Pauline.
Thus, gaming's first plot was created. Donkey Kong is among the first titles to have multiple stages and featured some elaborate cutscenes in its time. Miyamoto composed the soundtrack and when everything was said and done, Yamauchi knew that what he had was a hit, so he sent it over to America. Upon arrival, the few employees at Nintendo absolutely hated it and had a set thinking that this would be the company's doom. Yamauchi convinced them to release it and they gutted two Radar Scope units and replaced them with the new game.
Two bars in the Seattle region were reluctant to have the arcade unit, but Nintendo convinced them to have it in their venues for just a short period. In a few days, Nintendo found that each unit contained hundreds of dollars worth of quarters. Now it was time to gut the rest of the two thousand Radar Scope units. Every employee at Nintendo, which consisted of over five thousand people, pitched in. Arakawa also enlisted the help of his wife. The word of the game got loose, Nintendo was forced to order thousands of more units from Japan, although the company couldn't keep up with demand. Shigeru Miyamoto's first work as a game designer proved to be one of Nintendo's most successful ventures yet in almost one hundred years.
The game's success clearly warranted a sequel, which Miyamoto was assigned to. He had a few ideas for another game which he couldn't implement in the first due to technical constraints. In the new game he wanted the playable character to be Donkey Kong to sort of balance the relationship between Mario and him, though because of his size he resorted to creating a smaller ape called Donkey Kong Jr., Donkey Kong's son. In this new game, appropriately titled Donkey Kong Jr., DK's son would climb on various vines in order to save his father who was placed in a caged prison by Mario. He eventually managed to do so, and afterwards Donkey Kong kicked Mario away. Miyamoto was once again the person most involved with the game, and later went to work on Donkey Kong 3.
After the series' success, Miyamoto focused more on Mario, thus creating an arcade game titled Mario Bros. which would introduce Mario's twin brother Luigi. An employee at Nintendo of America took note that Mario looked strikingly similar to a plumber, so Miyamoto changed his occupation accordingly and placed the new game in the sewers of Brooklyn. The game was like Donkey Kong and Donkey Kong Jr., a platformer but this was multiplayer enabled. Players would collect coins, thwart different types of enemies. Every player that was playing the multiplayer mode had the common goal of acquiring more coins. Like Donkey Kong, this game achieved instant success and caused Yamauchi to assign Miyamoto to a new position, one where he would control an entire gaming division that would eventually become the most important video game developer in the world. The division was created in order for Nintendo to make games specifically for the recently released Famicom, which came out a year prior. It was time for Miyamoto to prove himself once more but this time an entire team would be at his disposal. A new generation of games had started and Miyamoto was at the forefront.
Nintendo had previously infiltrated the console market with their Color TV Games and, in Japan only, their manufacturing of the Magnavox Odyssey. But, this time they would venture into the realm of interchangeable cartridges and create games that would feature developing characters, exciting worlds and stories, among other innovations. Yamauchi knew that Miyamoto would be the key in developing the best what the console had to offer, thus putting him in command of many titles which Nintendo would release. Miyamoto didn't direct every title and wouldn't even choose to be be involved in some titles. Nevertheless, he apparenty had a looming influence on all the developers who got employed by Nintendo.
The first game that Miyamoto worked on for the Famicom in 1984 was Devil World, a Pac-Man-like game that wasn't released elsewhere due to its' sensitive biblical themes. Following this, he served the role as designer in Excitebike and publisher for Ice Climber. There was one game in particular that would prove to be one of the most successful and important games of all time. In Japan, the gaming industry could be considered strong but the same phenomenon wasn't the case in America. The Atari empire fell and video games were no longer popular. Arcades all across the country shut down and console manufactures quit making hardware. So it was quite a shock when retailers were told that Nintendo was attempting to enter the market once again. They claimed that what they had wasn't just a video game but an entertainment system and said that the inclusion of R.O.B., a robot who would interact with a few games, made it more of a toy than anything.This convinced retailers to purchase what would soon be known in America as the Nintendo Entertainment System (the English name for the Famicom). It wasn't R.O.B. that convinced customers to buy it, however but was rather a game that Miyamoto created called Super Mario Bros. Starring the plumber from Donkey Kong and Mario Bros., this new title was a scrolling platformer that contained over thirty stages which was much more than the four from Donkey Kong, featuring varied enemies and a boss named Bowser who would prove to become one of the best known antagonists in the industry.
Super Mario Bros. became so popular that it managed to get into the homes of 40 million people worldwide, and made Miyamoto a household name to a lot of people who are aware of modern pop culture. Right after Super Mario Bros., Miyamoto directed the sequel, Super Mario Bros. 2, known as Super Mario Bros.: The Lost Levels in Western countries. The game was never released in America or Europe until the release of Super Mario All-Stars years later. However, the outstanding success of Super Mario Bros., Miyamoto would yet again take the world by storm and release a legendary title about a young hero, a princess in distress, and an antagonistic boar.
The game was called The Legend of Zelda, originally for the Famicom Disk System and later ported to the Nintendo Entertainment System when it hit the United States and Europe. The game was inspired by notable events that Miyamoto experienced as a child. For example, Miyamoto has expressed that he found it enjoyable to travel through an unknown city without the use of a map. This way, the person won't know what they'll find at every corner. He also found a maze like structure near his home as a child, which was also an influence for the game. Finding new things, such as the cave mentioned above and a lake when hiking, all brought joy to Miyamoto which would be incorporated into his game. He filled more roles in this game than any other he's ever worked on, including director, producer, and designer. The game would end up being the first standalone game to sell over a million units.
Directly after the success of these two games he was promoted to being a producer on his games. As a producer, he wouldn't have as much of an "on-hands" role but would create the initial concepts and designs of a video game title and often cast his ideas over the entire staff. After being promoted, he along with fellow mentor Gunpei Yokoi, both produced the NES game Kid Icarus. Kid Icarus was developed by R&D1. According to Miyamoto, he greatly appreciated being promoted because he would now have the same role as George Lucas, who had made Miyamoto's favorite movies, specifically Raiders of the Lost Ark.
Miyamoto was later involved with games such as Doki Doki Panic, known as Super Mario Bros. 2 in America, and the award winning game Ice Hockey. In Zelda II: The Adventure of Link he didn't play as big as a role as he did in the original game. He also was a major player in the NES game Mother/Earthbound. He once again played the role as director in the final Super Mario Bros. game for the NES titled Super Mario Bros. 3, which to this day is considered one of the greatest games in the series. Not only that but when it was released, Super Mario Bros. 3 ended up becoming the best selling standalone game of all time. Miyamoto had proved his worth at Nintendo, yet there was a lot more to come. New challenges and new problems to overcome, Miyamoto has said that he has to deal with so much stress that it had caused terrible heart problems for him.
The NES era had finished and in 1989, Nintendo released the Game Boy, though Miyamoto wasn't directly involved and wouldn't produce a game for it until 1992. In 1990, Nintendo released the Super Famicom and enlisted the help of Miyamoto and his team to make nine games that could launch with the console, so with over ninety five people on board, they first worked tirelessly on three games, one of which would be packaged with the console as Super Mario Bros. had been for the NES. Naturally, that game would be the new Mario title, which was called Super Mario World. Super Mario World wasn't directed by Miyamoto as the prevoius Mario games were but rather was done by series veteran Takashi Tezuka who had played a prominent role in development of the series since Super Mario Bros. Miyamoto played the role of producer. Sixteen people worked on Super Mario World and it is perhaps most notable for introducing the character Yoshi, a character Miyamoto wanted to include in a much earlier Mario game but couldn't because of technical limitations. Miyamoto said: "We wanted Mario to ride a dinosaur ever since we finished the original Super Mario Bros. but it was technically impossible at that time. We were finally able to get Yoshi off the drawing boards with the Super NES." The others were F-Zero and Pilotwings. Like Super Mario World, Miyamoto produced both of these games.These game titles proved that Miyamoto could adapt to the new console format, as all of them were critically acclaimed and successful. Miyamoto would truly shine even more when he created the third game in the Zelda franchise, titled The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past. The game, in which Miyamoto served as a producer, went back to the series' roots as a game viewed from a bird's eye perspective. Following this, Miyamoto went to work on Super Mario Kart and Mario Paint, both for the SNES. Following both of these games' successes Shigeru Miyamoto worked on his first handheld title, Wave Race for the Game Boy. After this, he worked on the system again by producing The Legend of Zelda: Link's Awakening.
His next game creation would push the SNES to the limits and be critically acclaimed globally. It was developed in conjunction with a European developer known as Argonaut Software and would be known as Star Fox or Starwing~Lylat Wars in Europe due to copyright issues in that region. The game was renowned for containing polygonal graphics that use the Super FX chip and astonished gamers because of this feature. Perhaps more interestingly (this was something gamers may not have realized at the time), that it was one of the first collaborations between an Eastern and Western developer. The development on the title wasn't so smooth, which should be expected for one of the original pioneering console games with polygons to this degree.
Argonaut's version of the game was shown to Miyamoto and as they described it, his thoughts about the game were clear when he sucked air into his teeth. The team who made it obviously had no game designer but rather only programmers who wanted to make great looking graphics, so with this, the core development team at Nintendo in their Kyoto headquarters were tasked with actually designing the game. When the team from London went to Japan, they created another prototype that yet again Miyamoto was not impressed by. He then requested one of the developers to create a game using the system by himself and he created a rail shooter game that was played through a tunnel. Miyamoto liked the concept of making the game an on-rails shooting title which was easier to comprehend. The development staff liked his prototype the best and went with his idea instead. As a result, they had to start from scratch to model the game after Shigeru Miyamoto's design that was mainly done by him and Katsuya Eguchi.
The team created what the game is today but the lack of interesting characters or a plot made Miyamoto unsatisfied because without a story, it lacked incentives to play beyond flying and shooting. To solve this problem, he got his sketch book and fleshed out a fictional universe but could not decide on a natural hero to convey a sense of an epic space saga. Names under consideration included "Star Wolf", "Star Sheep", "Star Fox", "Star Sparrow", and "Star Hawk". Miyamoto finally settled on having a fox as the main character after visiting Fushimi Inari-taisha in Kyoto, the head shrine of Inari, a Japanese kami associated with foxes. Inari is portrayed as being able to fly and its shrines, particularly the one in Kyoto, are surrounded by red arches (torii), giving Miyamoto the idea of a fox that could fly through arches. Fox's face was modeled after Inari's, and usually wears a "red turtleneck" or "red scarf" around his neck, like the statue with the exception of his design from Star Fox: Assault.
Miyamoto explained that he had always planned to use the English word "fox" instead of the Japanese word "kitsune" (キツネ?). Fox McCloud's personality is heavily based on Shigeru Miyamoto's personality, with the surname 'McCloud' being suggested by Dylan Cuthbert, one of the Argonaut team. Miyamoto stated that he wanted the Star Fox series to star animal characters since he was not interested in making a series with conventional science fiction stories with humans, robots, monsters, and superheroes. The rest of the characters were designed by Takaya Imamura. He used Japanese folklore as inspiration to add a pheasant and a hare as two other protagonists. He also added a toad; the inspiration came from a staff member of Nintendo EAD who used a toad as his personal mascot. Imamura populated the Cornerian army with dogs and the enemy army with monkeys, making Pepper a dog and Andross a monkey, since there is a Japanese expression about fighting like dogs and monkeys.
After that, Miyamoto created several puppets and photographed them to use as artwork for the cover of the Star Fox game; Miyamoto was a fan of English puppet dramas, such as Thunderbirds, so he wanted the game cover to feature puppets. These were the six primary Star Fox characters that both Miyamoto and Imamura created, thus becoming one of the most beloved and enduring of Nintendo characters. Yoichi Yamada, a level designer for many Nintendo games, laid out and edited the Star Fox maps. The music was composed by Hajime Hirasawa. While the game managed to sell over a million copies in the United States alone in a matter of a few days, partially due to Nintendo Power's heavy promotion of the title, it is perhaps even more important, which in Europe, the game was so tremendously successful that it allowed Nintendo to set up a branch there, where they titled it appropriately as Nintendo of Europe.
Following Star Fox, Miyamoto worked on Super Mario All-Stars for the SNES, which featured all four Super Mario Bros. games from the NES with enhanced graphics and sounds. Miyamoto is credited as the director of the game, though it's not entirely clear if the game is referring to his role in the original four games. Next after this he was the producer of Yoshi's Safari for the SNES, a Super Scope enabled game, and then following that Kirby's Adventure, his last NES game ever, and his only credited Kirby title. He'd later go on to publish titles such as Donkey Kong '94 on the Game Boy, and Stunt Race FX and Killer Instinct on the SNES. Miyamoto didn't play a large role in the creation of Donkey Kong Country and is known for not being very fond of the title.
He once stated that Donkey Kong Country proves that gamers will be willing to play a mediocre game if it had good graphics. Because of this, it distressed him when Nintendo informed him that they wanted Super Mario World 2: Yoshi's Island, to have similar graphics. Instead of following orders, Miyamoto instructed his team to create graphics that resembled pastel crayons. When Miyamoto showcased his design, Nintendo approved it and development continued. After this, Miyamoto worked on Mole Mania for the Game Boy and Super Mario RPG: Legend of the Seven Stars for the SNES. With that he ended his career on both systems, and was getting prepared for an much bigger console, the Nintendo 64.
Miyamoto hadn't directed a game since Super Mario Bros. 3 on the NES, and most assumed that this would remain the case since he was promoted to producer. However, with the new console, Miyamoto became the director of the most pivotal game that would be released on the console, the new Mario game. Titled Super Mario 64, Miyamoto had been coming up with concepts for the game in years but didn't get to write specs until just awhile before the game was released. Miyamoto worked on polygons with Star Foxand wanted to do a similar title before the Super Famicom turned obsolete. According to Miyamoto, it took around five to six years total to complete the game from its early conception.
Upon release, the game sold millions upon millions of copies worldwide and to this day is considered one of, if not the most important video game title of all time.
Around the release of Super Mario 64, Miyamoto developed titles such as Pilotwings 64, Mario Kart 64, Wave Race 64, Star Fox 64, and Yoshi's Story. Star Fox 64 was made without the assistance of the European developers for the original but contained a major innovation which was the inclusion of rumble feedback through the Rumble Pak. Rumors circulated that Miyamoto was going to direct the game.
He confirmed that he simply did the basic game design and relied upon his colleagues to direct it. He said there was something missing in the finished product and Miyamoto felt they needed to add more excitement as well as changing some of the rules in the game. Miyamoto has stated that he wasn't 100% satisfied with the title but said that he felt they did a better job of using the Nintendo 64's capabilities than they did with Super Mario 64. It was around this time that he became an inductee in the Academy of Interactive Arts and Sciences' Hall of Fame.
After Star Fox 64, Miyamoto worked on 1080° Snowboarding and F-Zero X. At the end of the year he would release what to this day is considered the greatest game of all time according to Metacritic and Gamerankings. The game was called The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time and it revolutionized video games. Ocarina of Time was originally known as Zelda 64, and was one of the earliest games with a development structure that contained directors for many segments. Miyamoto was the producer of this game. In all, there were around four co-directors, and they each had their own responsibilities. Miyamoto changed various aspects of the game. Some sources say that he was so involved that he was close to being a director or at least the person who kept everyone in order. Miyamoto came up with the idea of the horse, which became the game's most enchanting image. To date, Ocarina of Time remains the series' most successful game and the most critically acclaimed.
The success of Ocarina of Time caused various other titles to be released, including a sequel in 2000 called The Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask which was also for the Nintendo 64. This was the first game in the series completely headed by Eiji Aonuma, who had previously worked as a leader on Ocarina of Time. Other games released during this time were titles like F-Zero X (along with its expansion kit), Mario Artist for the Nintendo 64DD, Mario Party, Super Smash Bros., Paper Mario, and The Legend of Zelda: Oracle of Seasons\Ages. The Nintendo 64 era was close to be finished and a new one was set to begin.
2001-2004Each console since the Nintendo 64 had dropped in sales and proved to be the second worst selling console (second only to the Dreamcast which was the worst) of them all during that time. Nintendo did all they could to make sure that wouldn't happen with the GameCube, originally known as Dolphin. During the same time they were releasing the successor to the Game Boy Color called the Game Boy Advance. To ensure that the GameCube would be successful, Miyamoto was designated by Nintendo to create a new and unique title. He and a team of Nintendo veterans showcased a tech demo titled Mario 128 that would be shown at a press conference. Basically, it was made to showcase the unique features that the GameCube could perform.
The game, which was directed by Yoshiaki Koizumi, had one hundred and twenty eight Marios drop from the sky and the platform was contorted and manipulated. The notions introduced in the tech demo were later integrated into several video games. The first being a launch title for the GameCube that Miyamoto would produce called Pikmin. In it, you'd control Captain Olimar who would command an army of Pikmin, whose number could rise to 100. The gameplay was innovative, inspiring and influential to various future console real time strategy games. Originally Miyamoto came up with an idea of game where it starts with two people, expanding from that and codenamed it Adam and Eve. It evolved into what the game is today. A sequel would eventually be released in 2004 called Pikmin 2.
Other games at this time that Miyamoto produced included Super Mario Advance, Wario Land 4 and Mario Kart: Super Circuit for the Game Boy Advance and for the GameCube he was credited in Luigi's Mansion, Wave Race: Blue Storm, and Super Smash Bros. Melee. The next year he'd be a huge influence over Eternal Darkness: Sanity's Requiem, an American made game in which Miyamoto heavily assisted. In Doshin the Giant, Miyamoto wanted the game to have the players walk around on spheres, an idea he came up with in Mario 128, though the designers eventually abandoned the idea for another time. Miyamoto served as the producer of Metroid Prime and convinced Retro Studios, the developer, to make the game a first person title, whereas they wanted it to be a third person game.
Some were so determined within the Texas based company to make it a third person game that they wanted to quit if it wasn't, though Nintendo eventually made it clear that the game would be a first person title, and in the long run it heavily benefited it. Miyamoto also told Retro that if they were unable to make the transition from regular Samus Aran into her Morph Ball mode seem seamless, then they would not be given the rights to make the game. They followed through, however, and it ended up being one of the most highly praised game of the year. This was the first Metroid game where Miyamoto was mentioned in the credits.
Also released in 2002 was Super Mario Sunshine. Miyamoto played the role as producer for this title whereas in Super Mario 64 he was the director. He would hand the torch over to Yoshiaki Koizumi as he had done with Zelda and Eiji Aonuma. Miyamoto also worked as producer on Yoshi's Island: Super Mario Advance 3 and Star Fox Adventures this year. With Star Fox Adventures, even though he was credited as producer, he has admitted that he wasn't really involved with the game, and didn't have much input since he had faith in Rare. Unfortunately, this would be Rare's last game on a Nintendo console.
In 2003 Nintendo released another juggernaut called The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker for the GameCube. Once again, Eiji Aonuma served as the director while Miyamoto was nevertheless a key component instead of the figurehead he supposedly is for some titles, especially ones where he's credited as supervisor, which he has claimed he's barely involved with at all during a lecture at the Tokyo University. Also released this year was F-Zero GX for the GameCube, important due to the collaboration between Nintendo and former competitor Sega. Mario Golf: Toadstool Tour, Mario Kart: Double Dash‼, Mario & Luigi: Superstar Saga were other titles were he was mentioned in the credits.
GiFTPiA for the GameCube was released this year with Miyamoto's name in the credits, though he felt that the game could be so much more if the director did what he wanted instead of just go with the norm. Another Zelda game called The Legend of Zelda: Four Swords Adventures for the GameCube was also released this year, and was met with terrible sales. The game went on to become the worst selling game in the series, much to the dismay to Miyamoto, Aonuma and the developers behind the game. Throughout the year Miyamoto expressed his disappointment in the reaction to the game. Pac-Man Vs. was also released this year as one of the primary GBA to GameCube connection games. It was revealed during E3 that year. Miyamoto had always said that Pac-Man was his favorite game not made by Nintendo, and finally he was able to create his own version of it. In 2004 Miyamoto worked on The Legend of Zelda: The Minish Cap, Metroid Prime 2: Echoes, Pikmin 2, Paper Mario: The Thousand-Year Door and Donkey Kong: Jungle Beat. But there was something else that bared Miyamoto's name.
The Game Boy franchise's long reign was coming to an end. Nintendo had fully revealed its successor, the Nintendo DS, earlier in the year, and it was revealed to have two screens, the bottom one a touch screen, a microphone and graphics that are more impressive then those of the Nintendo 64's. Miyamoto worked with the hardware developers and served as producer on the primary launch title Super Mario 64 DS. Nintendo made sure that people knew Miyamoto was working on Nintendo DS software, as this could've been the reason that the ill-fated Virtual Boy performed so badly - that Miyamoto didn't support it whatsoever.
This time around, Miyamoto was behind a plethora of titles ranging from the previously mentioned Super Mario 64 DS to Mario Kart DS to the worldwide sensation Nintendogs, which Miyamoto created because of his increasing enjoyment with his dog. Other games on the DS he's worked on include Mario vs. Donkey Kong 2: March of the Minis, New Super Mario Bros. and The Legend of Zelda: Phantom Hourglass, though he didn't work as much as he usually does on the latter two games. Instead, he was gearing up for Nintendo's next console the Wii. If Nintendo could replicate the success they had with the Nintendo DS, then Nintendo would be able to shoot back to the top when they had been at the bottom for so long. It was time for a comeback, and Miyamoto would be at the helm of many of the triple-A titles.The first two games Miyamoto would work on were Wii Sports and The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess. Miyamoto's involvement with Wii Sports was minimal, but with Twilight Princess he was there from the beginning, though Eiji Aonuma retained his position as director. Miyamoto has been said to "upend the tea table" quite a lot, meaning that in the middle of development he may decide that something doesn't fit and he demands that it be changed. In Twilight Princess, some of the game's designers felt like he did while others disagreed. Eiji Aonuma explained that he did so in a "considerate manner", while Miyamoto said that rather than upending the tea table, he just rearranged it.
Miyamoto said that he really didn't overturn anything, as he would think overturning be saying something such as "Actually, Link was a women all along". When Eiji Aonuma went to Miyamoto telling him of his wolf Link idea, Miyamoto, according to Aonuma, gave him a piece of his mind and said that "It's a lot harder to make a four-legged animal than it is to make a two-legged human, you know!" Miyamoto eventually became accustomed to the idea, and finally embraced it, even coming up with the idea of making a character ride on the back of wolf Link, which eventually lead to the creation of Midna. When the game was postponed, Miyamoto was relieved because, while he felt the game was enjoyable, he knew it wasn't ready for release. So, the development team got back to work and created the game that it is today. In the year that it was released, it was welcomed to various game of the year awards.
After Twilight Princess, Miyamoto went on to supervise Super Paper Mario and Mario Strikers Charged. However, Miyamoto has once said that when he is credited as a supervisor, this usually means that he was barely part of the project and didn't have much influence over it. He was also a part of the staff with Metroid Prime 3: Corruption, which he felt was the best of the series. Then came Super Mario Galaxy. With this Wii title developed by Nintendo EAD Tokyo (Donkey Kong Jungle Beat), Yoshiaki Koizumi was the director. Miyamoto came up with the entire game concept of spheres and gravity. He had wanted to use these things for years. In fact, he came up with the idea back with Mario 128. Nintendo president Satoru Iwata didn't understand how spheres would benefit the game, and neither did the director. After they created a prototype, however, it all became clear.
Miyamoto was there to make sure that development went smoothly and would constantly pitch in his ideas. According to Koizumi, Miyamoto was the least bit concerned about altering the Mario formula, and was really excited when some of the team members came up to him with bold new ideas, whereas ironically people who had previously not worked on a Mario game didn't want to mess with the formula that Miyamoto had created. When Super Mario Galaxy was released, it ended up becoming the best rated game of the year and to date is the third highest rated video game of all time.
After Galaxy , Miyamoto worked on games such as Mario & Sonic at the Olympic Games, Link's Crossbow Training, Super Smash Bros. Brawl, Mario Kart Wii and Punch-Out!! for the Wii. He also made two new Wii series games including Wii Fit, which was made due to his daily interest of measuring his weight, and Wii Music. He's pretty much involved with every piece of software Nintendo publishes.
At E3 2014, Miyamoto revealed that he was directly leading the development of Star Fox for Wii U as well as putting together two Wii U tech demos; Project Guard and Project Giant Robot.
List of games
- Color TV Racing 112 - Created the housing design.
- Color TV Block Kusure - Created the housing design.
- Space Fever - Character designer. The characters in the game resembled those of Space Invaders.
- Sheriff - Character designer.
- Space Firebird - Character designer.
- Radar Scope - Cabinet designer. Would go on to direct the game that replaced the cabinets.
- Donkey Kong - Director and designer. One of his most well known video game creations of all time. This was the title that established Miyamoto's reputation and status as one of the greatest minds in the gaming industry.
- Donkey Kong Jr. - Director and designer. The direct sequel to the above game.
- Mario Bros. - Designer. Introduced Luigi.
- Devil World - Designer. This is Miyamoto's first Famicom video game.
- Donkey Kong 3 - Director and designer.
- Excitebike - Designer.
- Ice Climber - Producer. First game where Miyamoto is credited as producer.
- Super Mario Bros. - Director and game designer. Miyamoto nearly created this masterpiece all by himself with the help of a few other employees. One of the most influential games of all time.
- Super Mario Bros.: The Lost Levels - Director. Known as Super Mario Bros. 2 in Japan, this was never released in America or Europe until Super Mario All-Stars was released.
- Super Mario Bros. 3 - Director and designer.
- Super Mario Galaxy - Producer and designer.
- Super Mario Galaxy 2 - Producer and designer.
- The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time - Producer.
- The Legend of Zelda - Director, producer, and game designer. This is the first game that Miyamoto both directed and produced. The Legend of Zelda is the first game in the immensely popular series.
- Star Fox - Designer and Producer. One of his most well known video game creations of all time. He also partially co-directed this masterpiece. Miyamoto's leadership role in developing the title further solidified his reputation and status as one of the greatest minds in the gaming industry.
- Star Fox 64 - Designer and producer. Miyamoto was generally responsible for the basic design of the game.
- Kid Icarus - Producer. Miyamoto produced this game alongside Gunpei Yokoi.
- Doki Doki Panic - Producer. This game would end up becoming Super Mario Bros. 2 in America and Europe.
- Zelda II: The Adventure of Link - Producer.
- New Super Mario Bros. Wii - General producer
- The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword
- Super Mario 3D Land
- Luigi's Mansion: Dark Moon
- Pikmin 3
- Super Mario 3D World
- First person inducted into the Academy of Interactive Arts and Sciences' Hall of Fame (1998)
- Made a knight in French Ordre des Arts et des Lettres (2006)
- Selected to be in Time Magazine's 100 Most Influential People of the Year in 2007 and topped it in 2008 with over 1.5 million votes
- Received the Lifetime Achievement Award at the 2007 Game Development Conference awards
- Recieved The Minister of Economy, Trade and Industry Award in 2008 from the Japanese government
- Placed first in "Top Ten Game Creators" from Gamespot and the "Top 100 Game Creators of All Time" from IGN
- Inductee to the BAFTA (2010)
- First interactive creator to receive Prince of Asturias award, particularly in Communication and Humanities (2012)
- In the game Daikatana, the main character's name (Hiro Miyamoto) is a reference to Shigeru Miyamoto
- In Pokémon Red and Blue, one of the rival's default names is Shigeru as a reference to him being the mentor of Satoshi Tajiri, the series creator. That is also the name of Gary Oak in the Japanese anime.
- Shigeru Miyamoto/gallery - Image gallery.
- N-Sider—Shigeru Miyamoto profile