BitSummit 2018 - Suda 51 Interview (Transcript) - Japan-based Nintendo Podcasts, Videos & Reviews!


Friday, May 18, 2018

BitSummit 2018 - Suda 51 Interview (Transcript)

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We had a chance to sit down with legendary game creator Suda 51 during our time at BitSummit in Kyoto. Much fun was had as we talked about the January 2017 press event for Switch and the translation mishap, Travis Strikes Again, classic gaming, wrestling and a whole lot more. Read on (or check out the video version of the interview at the bottom of this page) to hear what Suda had to say!
James: Hello. I am now joined by friend of the show, Suda 51. Nice to meet you.
Suda: Hi, nice to meet you.
James: Thank you so much for joining us. You’re wearing a Nintendo Switch T-shirt. So you’re a Nintendo employee, now?
Suda: I’m joining Nintendo for the weekend. But, I’ll be going back to Grasshopper on Monday.
All: (laughs)
James: I hope you can get some money out of it.
Suda: (laughs) I’m not getting anything for this.
James: So, because we’re focusing on the Switch, you’re first appearance as a Nintendo Switch representative was the first Switch hardware announcement. You were on stage announcing a No More Heroes game with no title.
Suda: Yeah, that’s right. We’ve shown the game off at other events, this being the first time in Japan. Finally, at BitSummit, gamers in Japan can try it.
James: It is funny. Living in Japan, we often can’t play Japanese games (at events). Zelda, for example, we couldn’t play Zelda earlier. People (at events) in America played it before us.
Suda: Ahhhh. Yeah. I’m sorry about that.
All: (laughs)
James: On the stage when you announced a No More Heroes series game, did you have a plan for a game at that point or were you just announcing your idea?
Suda: During the Switch presentation I had a general idea of what I wanted to create. A game of this size. Not a numbered title. I wanted to make an indie-like take on the series. Also, I wanted a new challenge. We had a set style for the numbered titles up until now and we really wanted to make something different.
James: At that time when you were making the presentation, many people watching the video had the impression that you were ad-libbing. Maybe you went away from the script because the translator (like we have today) had a lot of trouble translating your Japanese into English. Was that true, that you were ad-libbing, or just having fun?
Suda: Originally, we had a script. They told us to make one. It was even there on the stage monitor. I felt if I stuck to it, I would come across as kinda stiff. So I thought I’d put it into my own words. It was pretty close to what we had planned but when I ad-libbed…Well, the translator had memorized that previous script, so he kind of froze up and just kind of stopped.
James: Mr. Kimishima wasn’t angry, right?
Suda: When it was finished, Mr. Kimishima shook my hand and was really happy with everything. He was pretty excited. He thanked me. I was pretty happy about that. As for the translator, he was at PAX with Nintendo of America. I met up with him there and went to apologize. I even brought him some snacks.
James: That’s very nice of you.
Suda: He forgave me. We had lunch together. He forgave me.
James: So, on to this game. No More Heroes. The title is not No More Heroes 3. Does that mean, after finishing this game, you are going to move on to No More Heroes 3?
Suda: Well, with the upcoming Travis Strikes Again and this new series, Travis isn’t a killer and is fighting in a different kind of world. I think he’s on a new adventure with this new IP. If the game sells really well, I’d still like to get back to the main series. One of my main goals is to make No More Heroes 3. If everyone buys Travis Strikes Again and supports this new game, No More Heroes 3 will be closer to reality. I want you to make sure you tell your friends about it.
James: It is a very good fit for BitSummit because Travis Strikes Again is all about various indie games in one game. Did you become more interested in indie games recently or is this something you’ve always been enjoying?
Suda: I’ve liked indie games for quite awhile now. Before “indie” was even used, kind of like the symbol for indie games…What the heck was that called? Br..Bra..Braid! When that game came out, I really thought that the indie scene had some interesting new titles. After that, games like Limbo and other flagship titles like Hotline Miami came along. I really felt the excitement of the indie scene. At various events, because I like them, I check out the indie stuff there. Hotline Miami was impactful. When the game first appeared, the indie scene level of quality and the quality of triple A titles were almost the same.
James: You don’t categorize your game as an indie game, do you? It seems very high budget.
Suda: Travis Strikes Again feels “indie” to me.
James: So you mentioned Braid and Limbo. Are there any future indie games that you are looking forward to or watching?
Suda: There are a lot that I’m interested in. Here at BitSummit, there are a lot of interesting ones, too. All of them here seem really interesting. It’s really fun for me to see all of those games here, but still, I’m interested in what the Hotline Miami guys, the studio Dennaton Games and their new title. I’m really looking forward to what they’re working on. As a fan and as a friend of those guys, I wish them the best and look forward to that title.
James: How did you choose the games in Travis Strikes Again? Are there any more that haven’t been announced yet? Secret ones that are going to be put in later?
Suda: So, Travis has this game system, the Death Drive MK-II. The system has six launch titles. In this game world, these are the kind of games that would likely appear at launch. My image was “this kind of genre” would be there, so we thought up these six games.
James: So, just six?
Suda: Plus one.
James: Ahhhhh.
Suda: Yeah, yeah. Six plus one.
James: Is the console name a Mega Drive reference? Are you a fan of the Mega Drive?
Suda: Imagewise, yeah, of course. Instead of “Mega,” it’s “Death” here.
James: So, Super Famicom or Mega Drive? You have to choose one.
Suda: Oh, man. Well, I’m wearing this (Nintendo Switch) shirt now. Today, I’m a Nintendo guy. However, at the time I was at a loss to choose between the Super Famicom and Mega Drive. I ended up going with the Mega Drive. It had such a cool design, it was black and it had that cool circular thing in the middle. So, I bought the Mega Drive back then.
James: So, final question. What was your favorite wrestling game on old consoles?
Suda: Oh boy. Let me see here. Of course I’d really like to recommend a game that I made. But, my favorite one had to be a WWE, formerly WWF, game. WWF Superstars, an arcade game. I really loved that game. It had guys like Hulk Hogan, Million Dollar Man, Big Boss Man and the like. It was a really great lineup of wrestlers.
James: Thank you so much for joining us. I’m really glad to meet you because the first game I actually previewed as a “game journalist” was the first No More Heroes on the Wii. So I’m really happy to finally get to meet you.
Suda: Wow. Thank you so much!

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