Obviously, with video games, certainly it's important to have games that create these massive and expansive and very detailed gaming worlds. But at the same time for players, there's a tremendous amount of fun to be had from playing a game, or in this case drawing something, within a set of constraints, and then trying to improve and do your best within those constraints to see how good you can do.
Q: A "Zelda" book ("Hyrule Historia") was released earlier this year, which turned out to be a New York Times best seller. Do you have, in your mind's eye, a vision of the story and world of Mario that could be laid out in a book? Maybe even a map?
A: I don't have a map in my head. Trying to create something like that, that was so hard that's actually why we decided to fly off in a different direction with "Super Mario Galaxy." That's a facet that's very important for the "Zelda" games. We spend a great deal of consideration when creating a new game in terms of how it fits in with the other stories.
Q: "Nintendo Land" very much teased us, and everyone wants to actually go to Nintendo Land in person. Have you ever been approached about a Mario theme-park, or is that ever something you would consider in real life?
A: Certainly, with Nintendo being in the entertainment industry, there may come some point in the future where that might become a possibility. But right now we've got our hands full creating our digital products. Certainly, it's not an impossibility.
Q: What's the most fun you've ever had working on any game?
A: Actually, I have a lot of fun making all the games, even surprisingly the ones that have a lot of challenges to solve or they take a lot of time to finally bring together into final form ... even those ones I have a lot of fun, and the ones where we have a lot of freedom to make the games, those are fun to make.
But, I guess, thinking back, probably "Super Mario 64" and the original "Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time." That era was the first time we were taking games and bringing in this new 3-D technology, building the rules and the framework through which games would be depicted in 3-D, I think, probably made those the most fun games to work on.
In working with some of the younger staff members, and when they have a question on a project and say, "I don't know who to go to to find the answer to this question," I'm always the type that says, "Well, if you don't know who has the answer, then simply make the answer yourself." I have a lot more fun when we're making up the rules as we go along.
Q: So the frustrating times are also the most enjoyable?
A: The higher the hurdle, the more fun it is.
Stay tuned for Part 2 of this interview when we review Luigi's "Mansion: Dark Moon" later this month.