Shmuplations might sound like a website designed solely for hardcore shoot 'em up fans, but it's actually an incredible repository of old, translated interviews with Japanese game designers.
The publication has been raising money on Patreon for a little while now, and we're finally seeing it pay off with a series of insightful and candid interviews from years and years ago.
There I was, just enjoying another lazy Spring afternoon, when the order came down. "R, Rockman? on the Super Famicom? You want me to handle that…?!" Ah, what was I going to do?
You see, in the Capcom Consumer division, the Rockman series was the most dreaded of the three "instant death" series (along with Ghosts and Goblins and any Disney game). If you were assigned it, you could kiss your freedom goodbye. And now it had come to me…
"You can do it!", I tried to tell myself, "and if it goes well, you'll reap all the accolades!" Besides, the company pays for meals when you work overtime!
Ugh… I only had 3000 yen left in my bank account this month — and ten more days to go till payday. I'm not going to lie, it was a struggle (I could only use 300 yen a day for food!!)
Shigeru Miyamoto explaining how Star Wars and Thunderbirds (!!) influenced Star Fox...
The truth is we didn't want to add any characters either, but the backstory had you flying with companion pilots, so we added them to the game with the same coloured ship. Gradually we came to give them names, one by one. As for the world of Star Fox, I wanted something like Star Wars, but set in the puppet-show like setting of Thunderbirds. That is, I didn't really want something realistic like Star Wars, nor a particularly deep story or human drama. Instead I wanted to make a world with ships on puppet strings, flying around going "pyun! pyun!" That was why I didn't make human characters with genders and specific names. Instead, I thought that a more ambiguous, less defined world of animal characters would be more fitting.
And the creative minds behind Final Fantasy VII weighing in on their favourite characters...
Kentarou: I personally really like Red XIII's scenes. Every time I remember that one scene of his, I start to tear up. (laughs)
Kanzaki: My favourite would be Tifa, because of her ample bust. (laughs)
Fujii: Yuffy. I like the sounds she makes. Also, it's not a character, but I like all the summons.
Kentarou: Ah, yeah, I have a special love for Titan. Nomura said Titan should flip over the ground that the enemies are on. He would peel off a slab of the land: no matter what terrain he was on. (laughs) At first I had him come in on normal ground, and he'd flip the same slab of ground no matter what terrain… but that looked boring. I had a small insight into the problem and was able to solve it.
There's so much great stuff on Shmuplations, interviews conducted long before the Internet became totally obsessed with sharing every piece of every conversation with a game designer.