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Shigeru Miyamoto Shares Nintendo Secrets

The revered video game designer on Nintendo's history, the next wave of gaming and the 'Year of Luigi'
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original super mario
Nintendo of America

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A Star is Born

Miyamoto revolutionized gaming with 1985's Super Mario Bros.: a colorful spectacle that allowed characters to grow in size by powering up, stomp turtles and become invincible by catching stars. "We realized people really wanted to be able to run faster," he says. "And we found very quickly that being able to run and jump and dodge enemies or holes that you might fall into would create sort of a sense of thrill. We focused on really trying to bring a little bit more of the physical energy, physical activity to the game itself."

Miyamoto sees the introduction of an invincibility star as key to Super Mario Bros.' appeal. "What we found that was particularly interesting or fun was that in a game where really your ultimate goal is to try to avoid the enemies and avoid falling into the holes, when all of the sudden you become invincible, you get this sudden desire to sort of run through everything as fast as you can," he says. "And there were many people on the team who said, 'This is ridiculous. You shouldn't be invincible.  This doesn't make a game.' And I said to them, 'Well what's interesting is the fact that even though you're invincible, you can still fall down a hole and die.' It creates this very strange dynamic in the game that's very fun. I had to persuade them."

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