Nintendo E3 1998
 

Question and Answer Session with Mr. Miyamoto

The following Q&A session took place at Mr. Miyamoto's press briefing.

Q: How much of your original design is in the game?
A: I'm the Producer of this game so I can't say that 100% is mine. The core game and main system is about 70% mine. The system engineer developed my ideas. However, the scenario and game modes are only about 50% my idea. There are a lot of excellent artists working on this project. At least 50% of the game is created by these artists, though I take full responsibility for the final game content!

Q: How long have you been working on this game?
A: Three years have passed since we started working on it. In the beginning, I only spent about 20% of my time on Zelda, but in the last few months I've spent about 50% of my time. Now I spend about 100% of my time on Zelda. So I have to go home (from E3)! (Laughs.)

Q: Is there anything that you want to add to the game but won't be able to due to technical limitations?
A: I always have some problems with games when they are complete. But with Zelda, I am unusually almost satisfied with the game so far. But what is still lacking is the feeling that makes this game a Zelda game. I'm still thinking about what makes this (Zelda 64) a genuine Zelda game.

Q: Do you think this game will increase sales of the hardware in Japan and other parts of the world.
A: I try not to think about the business side of things, and of competing with other game makers. But I do feel the pressure of making this a success in Japan. I hope more companies will make games for N64. I think Zelda 64 will help sales in Japan. We are also going to release Ogre Battle, Banjo-Kazooie and F-Zero X. Unfortunately, these were supposed to be released last year... All of these titles will contribute to the success of N64 in Japan.

Q: How long will this game take to get through?
A: Frankly, we have the parts but we haven't combined them yet so we can't say. If you follow the story of the game you should have about the same play time as the SNES game. But since you can go anywhere in this game, it has a huge volume of game play. It should take about 40 hours to finish the game, but a good tester could finish it in 5-6 hours if they know where everythign is.

Q: How much voice is in the game?
A: Navi (Link's fairy companion) won't speak a lot. I don't like Navi's voice in the current version. She'll eventually speak less.

Q: Will there be a 64DD sequel?
A: We are working on 64DD Zelda. After finishing everything in the cartridge, you can enter the new world. We are working on it.

Q: How about Game Boy Color?
A: We have been thinking about it. We are working on a GB Color version that is different from the N64 game. Also, we are creating an update of The Legend of Zelda: Link's Awakening for Game Boy Color. There are some people who have never played Zelda so we want them to play on the more popular system, Game Boy.

Q: Are you still working on Jungle Emporer?
A: This probably won't be introduced this year. It might come out Spring or Summer of next year. We're trying to finish it this year, though. Makato Tezuka (Osamu Tezuka's son) is the director of this game. He's not a game designer. He has been having some hardships and trouble, but we're helping him and giving him a lot of advice, both helpful and silly.

Q: What percentage of the objectives in Zelda 64 will be necessary and what percentage will be optional secrets?
A: Roughly speaking, 70% will be necessary, 30% will be exploring, secrets, etc. But it's difficult to say for sure in the current version.

Q: What is your favorite secret that you've ever put into a game?
A: It's difficult to objectively pick my favorite secret. I really liked the things we put in the original Zelda games, where you had to move rocks and burn trees to find hidden things inside. I liked the guys who said "Please don't tell anyone and I will give you something secret."

Q: Have you consiously decided to make things like jumping automatic in Zelda 64?
A: We always try to make a game that simulates reality. However, sometimes it is not good to make things too realistic, or the game will be difficult to play. Golf is a good example. It may be impossible for you to make par in real golf, but in a video game you can usually make par. Many realistic 3D environments are difficult to explore. The more realistic, the more we have to help the player. So, we made the jump in Zelda 64 automatic. In the final verision, I think you will find the actions easier to complete.

Q: What do you think about the AIAS Hall of Fame award?
A: I am glad to be the first to receive this award. I just hope that I can continue to contribute to the video game industry. I want to continue to make the industry larger.

Q: How linear is the dialog in Zelda 64?
A: Until the game is complete, I can't say for sure. I personally don't like scenes where yo9u just sit and watch or read dialog. It's a game, not a movie! I think the dialog scenes in Zelda 64 will last about 30-40 minutes. Altogether, there are about 800 messages in the game (NOTE: Mr. Miyamoto looked at me as he said this-- cringe!) I try to avoice sequences that repeat.

Q: Is Zelda 64 your greatest accomplishment? Will there be another Zelda?
A: I hope this will be my greatest accomplishment, but whenever I'm given a new platform I can think of new tricks. I don't know about the future. I hope someone will take my place someday and make games for me to enjoy!

Q: What about Metroid 64?
A: I'm not working on it. I hope someone from our PR department can answer this. I have no info.

Q: (To Mr. Tezuka) What is Mr. Miyamoto like to work with?
Mr. Tezuka: He's just a normal person. He's not bossy of hard on anyone. He's like working with a friend.
Mr. Miyamoto: That's the kind of atmosphere I try to create. But some of the new guys think I'm terrible (laughs).

Q: Do you ever bring prototype games home for your kids to play?
A: No I try to separate work from home. But I might have to bring home Pokemon Stadium for my kids!

Q: Have you ever spoken with other media creatives (like Spielberg or Cameron) about interactive entertainment?
A: I have met some people from other industries but I've nver interacted on game creative.

Q: What do you think about Rare's progress and development?
A: I think Rare is terrific and wonderful. Banjo-Kazooie is outstanding. We hope the sequel to Super Mario 64 can approach it. I hope I can make a game together with Rare someday.

 

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