Shigeru Miyamoto, the man behind Mario, reflects on the past 25 years of his creation in a new interview with fellow creator Shigesato Itoi, explaining how creating Super Mario Bros and the Mario games that followed was the "easy" way out.
"When there are several possibilities, I choose the easy one," Miyamoto explains to the creator of Mother and Earthbound. "For quite some time, I have viewed Professor Rubik, who created the Rubik's Cube, as a sort of rival. I've always thought it would be cool to create something like a Rubik's Cube."
Miyamoto's told the story of Rubik's creation before, citing it as a major inspiration for him.
"For 20 years, I've always thought that Rubik's Cubes are great and I want to make something like them, but I still haven't tried to," he says. "So I must be taking it easy. Regardless of whether I can or cannot do it, I could at least give it a shot, but I never have."
"Similarly, I've always said that I wanted to become a manga artist," he adds. "One time, I suddenly thought I could still do it if I wanted. So I declared to [Takashi Tezuka]that I would try drawing a simple four-frame comic strip. I drew a rough layout for one and showed it to him, and he said it was good, but I haven't done anything since. (laughs) Really, making Mario games is easier."
Itoi likens Miyamoto's skill at making Mario games, year after year, to that of an athlete.
"The way the cartilage in a baseball pitcher's elbow changes, you have changed as a person while making Mario and other games," Itoi concludes. "So when you and someone else are walking along a path together, you - unlike that other person - are walking along that path as the person who makes Mario games. I mean, even when you're watching a Japanese morning TV drama show, you're stockpiling materials for a Mario game."
The full 10-page interview isn't boiling over with fascinating insights and fun facts about Super Mario Bros, but does read like a nice conversation between two fascinating creatives.