Sakurai Also Considered Making A Star Fox Game For 3DS

By Ishaan . June 29, 2010 . 11:55am


In a recent interview with TechLand, Project Sora CEO and Kid Icarus: Uprising designer, Masahiro Sakurai, revealed how his debut 3DS title came about.


It all began, Sakurai revealed, with Nintendo president Satoru Iwata revealing the 3DS hardware to him. At the time, 3D technology hadn’t been decided upon as one of the defining features of the device, so all Sakurai had to go on was the increase in hardware over the Nintendo DS.


“Anything is okay, you do whatever you want,” Iwata had told his former colleague from their HAL Laboratory days, even giving him the authority to use a Nintendo franchise. At the time, Sakurai envisioned a game with a combination of air and ground combat, followed by a boss battle, and decided upon Kid Icarus, following his modernization of Pit in Smash Bros.


However, while Kid Icarus eventually turned out to be a perfect fit once the 3D technology entered the picture, another franchise was originally under consideration, but didn’t make the cut for design reasons.


“Yes, there actually was one other and that was Star Fox,” Sakurai revealed.


“But the problem with Star Fox was that — and you’ll see this when you see the trailer for Kid Icarus — is that the game design incorporates a lot of different views. For example, flying and shooting sideways or turning around and shooting behind and I felt that there were some restrictions with Star Fox in this regard. With Pit, there is a certain amount of flexibility that is allowed and makes a better fit for this gameplay.”


Luckily for fans, Star Fox ultimately managed to make its way to the 3DS as well, in the form of a Star Fox 64 remake. You can read our impressions of the demo Nintendo presented at E3 here.

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  • Guest

    Well, I’m kind of sad that he didn’t decide to do StarFox, but that’s okay, we got Kid Icarus (the game that many believed to just be rumour! and it probably was just a rumour since there wasn’t much to base it off till now!) AND a StarFox 64 remake!

    By the way, Successor to Miyamoto (allusion to a previous Siliconera article)!? It sure looks likes it’s happening! And quite frankly, I can’t think of a better person for the job…all Miyamoto had going for him was the fact that he created Mario and Zelda at the time before he became someone big, and it’s the same for Sakurai, where all he has is his Kirby games (and Smash bros. my favourite).

    • I wouldn’t say successor to Miyamoto, necessarily, but Sakurai does seem to be one of the few people associated with Nintendo that Iwata trusts implicitly. That “You do whatever you want” kind of speaks for itself.

      Part of the reason could be that the two of them go back a ways. They created the prototype for the original Smash Bros. between the two of them and Sakurai has even filled in for Iwata once, during an Iwata Asks for Fire Emblem. Plus, Smash Bros. is a big, big responsibility, considering it uses their entire roster of characters.

      Yea, I’d love to see Sakurai take on a more senior position at the company itself, but who knows if that’ll ever happen. In a way, it’s nice that he isn’t part of NCL because he isn’t under the watchful gaze of Miyamoto.

      • lostinblue

        I don’t think Miyamoto ever had it’s gaze set onto sakurai, even while he was at NCL, tbh.

        Sakurai was from the HAL-side after all and Miyamoto never meddled with Kirby nor was he all that involved in Smash Bros I think. It’s not like the man steps in everywhere, he has enough work already. Another example would be Fire Emblem actually, it’s NCL but pretty independent from Miyamoto nonetheless.

        • jarrodand

          IIRC Miyamoto (or at least EAD) had a hand in Kirby Tilt-n-Tumble for GBC and it’s canceled GC sequel, Kirby Roll-a-Rama. That’s it for kirby though.

        • No, but the problem is, Sakurai’s too good to work on a — pardon the wording — niche franchise like Fire Emblem. He’s meant for bigger things, given his talent and understanding of the industry. And we all know any big project at NCL, save for a few, inevitably end up involving Miyamoto in some manner. For instance, Sakurai has, for a while, wanted a strong single-player component in Smash Bros., which I recall reading Miyamoto was against. I think the only team that can keep him out of their affairs is SPD1, because Sakamoto is kind of the anti-thesis of everything Miyamoto does.

          Certain people would get nowhere without Miyamoto’s guidance. The entire Zelda team seems rather confused and mis-managed without his input, for instance. People like Sakurai, though, can pin-point what they want to focus on and make a beeline straight toward it.

          • lostinblue

            I don’t disagree, but I think they also understand that.Miyamoto wouldn’t interfere much with zelda if he wasn’t requested to, for instance, after all he only gets involved towards the end of the development cycle, not to go as far as saying they’re lost without him, but yes, they need guidance for now, and Aonuma is not Sakurai.But… Sakurai always got away fine with it, because he doesn’t need such guidance (and he isn’t working on Mario nor Zelda, of course)

            I mean, they even threw Miyamoto at Retro, when Metroid Prime was being developed right? but they certainly didn’t threw him at Team Ninja, because it’s working and Sakamoto was more than enough. Miyamoto is a important piece of the puzzle, but it’s not like they’ll scretch him on projects that don’t need him.

            Speaking of which, sakamoto is awesome.

          • Too good to work on it? How would being somewhat niche make a series bad or unworthy in some way?

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