Metroid: Other M’s Tear-Filled Development Process



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Metroid: Other M is just weeks from release, and to commemorate the event, Nintendo president, Satoru Iwata, held one of his famous “Iwata Asks” interviews with the game’s development managers. Comprising the trio of developers was the unlikely alliance of Yoshio Sakamoto (producer), Team Ninja’s Yosuke Hayashi (director) and Ryuzi Kitaura (cinematic director) of D-Rocket.


As you’d expect of a cinematic game like Other M, the development process required liberal amounts of motion capture and recording work, all of which were overseen by Kitaura-san, who also drafted the storyboards for the entire project.


Motion capture that moved Sakamoto to tears, apparently. An excerpt from the segment:


Iwata What was Sakamoto-san like in the studio?


Kitaura He stood close to me, checking the monitors. When we’d shoot a particularly moving scene, I’d ask him ‘How was that, Sakamoto-san?’, but he’d be completely silent — again.


Iwata Just like when he saw the storyboards for the first time?


Kitaura Yes! (laughs) I was really worried, thinking ‘Oh no, he doesn’t like it…’, but then when I peeked at his face, his eyes were full of tears.


Iwata Oh my…


Kitaura Well, the cinematic did show Samus in tights. (laughs)


All (laughter)


Sakamoto Yeah… But weren’t you crying as well, Kitaura-san?


Kitaura Well, your tears were infectious, Sakamoto-san! (laughs)


Being the youngest of the three, and from a different generation, poor Hayashi would often find himself faced with obscure old monster movie references that only Sakamoto and Kitaura understood. They would then have to explain to him what they were talking about, so the game director wouldn’t be left out of the loop.


Nonetheless, Kitaura conceded that he felt Hayashi was probably the most grown-up and the coolest of the three, since he tended not to fall into tears like the other two.

Ishaan Sahdev
About The Author
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.