In 1989, Nintendo legend Shigeru Miyamoto sat down with Dragon Quest creator Yuji Horii for an interview. The two spoke about practically everything, from game design to their latest titles (like Link to the Past) to the future, but what I found most interesting was the pair’s ideas on making games about teaching.
Both had similar concepts; Miyamoto wanted to make a game about raising a child, while Horii wanted to make a game about instructing a robot.
Then things get weird.
Miyamoto: I wanted to do a game that revolved around raising a child. I might be ripping something off by saying this, but your kid would start off not knowing anything and not being able to speak and you’d teach them everything. If you taught them something contradictory, it would cause a disruption and you’d get to see their reaction. They’d keep getting smarter. Just as I was thinking this, though, a game called Puppy Love came out in the States.
Horii: A long time ago, before I made Okhotsk, I had the idea for a game where your partner was a robot that gradually gained new memories. You’d raise him RPG-style. I imagined it would be interesting to have a game that was two-sided. If you gave it an order it didn’t understand, it would ask you what you meant, and you’d tell it what you wanted it to do. Then, next time you gave the command, it would do it, growing smarter and smarter.
Miyamoto: How about a game where you get to be a mother-in-law who bully’s your son’s young wife? It’d be like in Star of the Giants where the wife wouldn’t submit to you and you’d have to compete with her by trying to throw her out of the house within a certain number of months.
Horii: That’s one kind of RPG, alright. You play a certain role. I think it would be neat to have a really tragic RPG as well. Because it isn’t real life, everything you do goes wrong, and you get to marvel at how bad the situation becomes.
Miyamoto: It would be fun to see just how far you could go with it.
Horii: “My wife walked out on me! Where did she go?! What should I do?” Talk about funny.
Miyamoto: I think people would accuse us game designers of being cruel if we were to do that.
The exchange comes from a translation of the old interview over on GlitterBerri. The whole thing is as entertaining as this passage, so you should definitely go check it out.
Discussion Between Miyamoto & Horii [GlitterBerri]
[Top pic by Frank Lin]