Kirby’s Epic Yarn Wasn’t Always A Kirby Game

Kirby’s Epic Yarn Wasn’t Always A Kirby Game

Iwata Asks is quite possibly my favourite thing on the internet, so I was glad when the latest edition, discussing Kirby’s Epic Yarn, was released, along with some interesting new pieces of info about the game.

Iwata Asks does exactly what it says on the tin. Nintendo President Satoru Iwata interviews developers in what is usually a completely frank discussion on the development process of Nintendo’s biggest titles. It’s a rare insider look into a company notorious for its secrecy, and a great source for trivia on all of Nintendo’s greatest franchises.

This time round the developers reveal that Kirby’s Epic wasn’t always destined to be a Kirby game.

Like most of Nintendo’s best games, Kirby’s Epic Yarn was founded around mechanics, not character design.

“The basic idea of this project,” claims producer Etsunobu Ebisu, “was providing players with something enjoyable through a distinctive manner of expression and mechanisms derived from that manner of expression.

“At first we were trying to make a game that would be fun simply having a yarn character walk around and unravel a variety of mechanisms and contrivances.”

It was only relatively late in development, roughly halfway into 2009, that Nintendo suggested they use Kirby as the protagonist for the game.

“The resemblance was there,” explains Ebisu, “but we had thought of it on our own, and as one of the creators I was happy to see it used. So, to be honest, I had mixed feelings when Nintendo suggested using Kirby. But when we tried making Kirby out of yarn, I was surprised by how well it worked.”

If you have the time, it’s well worth heading to Iwata Asks and working through the huge number of great interviews there.

Iwata Asks: Kirby’s Epic Yarn


  • Wow. I’m shocked. Nintendo taking a long in development game and ‘suggesting’ that the team shove a familiar mascot into it. That’s never happened before…..

    • Out of interest, where else has it happened other than with Dinosaur Planet + Star Fox? I feel like there’s an obvious example I’m forgetting and will facepalm when it gets mentioned.

      • What was released as Super Mario Bros 2 in the west was originally released as “Yume Kōjō: Doki Doki Panic” in Japan and didn’t feature Mario.

        After deciding that the Japanese SMB2 wasn’t suitable for release here they needed a replacement, so adapted another game.

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