Majora’s Mask Heavily Influenced Development Of Super Mario Galaxy 2



You wouldn’t think it, but the experience gained from developing The Legend of Zelda: Majora’s Mask contributed significantly to the production of Super Mario Galaxy 2 at Nintendo’s Entertainment Analysis & Development division in Tokyo. This is explained in the latest installment of the company’s Iwata Asks feature.


“I thought we needed something that would make a significantly different impression than the first game,” revealed Takeshi Hayakawa, one of the game’s three directors.


“At first, when we had the idea of using the engine from the first game as a foundation, I think everyone thought of Majora’s Mask.” The three-day cycle, at the core of Majora’s Mask, was an early source of inspiration, according to Galaxy 2 producer Yoshiaki Koizumi. It was this concept of being able to dynamically change the game world that appealed most to the directors.


This, naturally, was easier said than done.


“I knew from all the trouble we had with Zelda that you have to get all the various elements to fit. Sometimes you have to give up on things you’ve made up to that point,” recalled Koizumi. And he would know, for Koizumi-san was co-director on Majora’s Mask, along with series regular Eiji Aonuma. And so, he advised the proponent of the world change concept, director Koichi Hayashida, that their time would be better spent just trying to develop a fun game.


This shift in development philosophy led to the conception of the Spin Drill, Cloud Mario and Rock Mario. Kenta Motokura, the third director, revealed that Koizumi was particularly demanding with regard to the last, owing again, to his involvement with Majora’s, where Link could turn into a Goron and roll around, similar to Rock Mario.


“I was the one who made the controls for Goron Link in Majora’s Mask, so with regard to Rock Mario, I wouldn’t let him rest until I was satisfied,” joked Koizumi.

Ishaan Sahdev
Ishaan specializes in game design/sales analysis. He's the former managing editor of Siliconera and wrote the book "The Legend of Zelda - A Complete Development History". He also used to moonlight as a professional manga editor. These days, his day job has nothing to do with games, but the two inform each other nonetheless.