Mention Nintendo producer Yoshio Sakamoto and many in the know will recognise him as a visionary force that was responsible for co-creating the Metroid series. But, he has revealed that he was “forcefully asked” to help Samus Aran set out on her first mission on the Nintendo Entertainment System.
After working as a game designer across Donkey Kong Jr., Balloon Fight, Wrecking Crew, and Gumshoe, Sakamoto was approached to work on Metroid and was given little option other than to accept.
“My boss told me that the Metroid team was having a very hard time, and as someone who had experience on building video game projects could I go and somehow help this game progress to release?” Sakamoto explained to Game Informer in their September issue.
“In short, I was forcefully asked to participate. By his tone, I really smelled danger. And as I joined the project and looked around, I realised the release date was right around the corner but the project had nothing there.
“Even with our limited resources and time, I figured out how we could leverage the existing components of the game to create variation and an exciting experience.”
Sakamoto has since become legendary in the community, moving on to work on nearly every Metroid game that has seen release. He didn’t work on Metroid II: Return of Samus, but can now rectify that with the retelling in Nintendo 3DS exclusive, Metroid: Samus Returns.
He later added: “Metroid was one of my first experiences on a pretty big video game project, but I wasn’t sure if players would enjoy the game. I thought that it was a special game, and even then, I believed that it could be a special franchise, something that I would like to continue. Through the development of Metroid 1, I really grasped the possibilities and potential of a video game.”
Metroid: Samus Returns will release exclusively for Nintendo 3DS worldwide on September 15th.