Ryokun: Kenny, when you’re wrestling, which do you consider more important – your own performance, or the audience’s response?
Omega: My thinking about this has changed a bit lately. At first, I was only focused on my own performance and the reactions I got from the live audience.
But social media and video streaming are a huge part of wrestling these days. The audience isn’t limited to the people sitting in the stands anymore; it’s spread out all over the world. I’ve been trying to take the fans watching from afar more into account.
In this installment, Shigesato Itoi has some professional advice for Maximum the Hormone.
Senpai Notices Ryokun
Ryokun: There’s one thing I wanted to ask if I ever got to meet you, Mr. Itoi.
Itoi: What is it?
Ryokun: When you first brought your pitch for MOTHER to Nintendo, I heard they pretty much ripped it to shreds. Is that true?
Itoi: Everyone tells it so dramatically, but truth be told, the whole process was more professional than the stories make it sound. I went in expecting to be showered with praise for my ideas. On my way to Nintendo, I felt like [seminal Japanese rock musician] Eikichi Yazawa, back when he was on top of his game – “I’ll blow ’em away in one hit!”
Omega: EarthBound, the international version of MOTHER 2, came in a much bigger box that other Super Nintendo games. Was that your idea, Mr. Itoi?
Itoi: Nintendo of America came up with that.
Omega: Ahh, okay. It was really surprising to see that huge box.
The first time I saw EarthBound was back in Canada, at a game rental place. I was looking through the shelves for a game to rent, and suddenly saw this huge box among all the others. “Whoa,” I thought, “what the heck is this?” It made quite an impact.
This installment brings the focus towards the series’ distinctive soundtrack.
An Ear for Music
Itoi: No matter what specific role they play, when you’re working on a game, everyone on the team is focused on figuring out ways to make the game fun. But it’s important to give consideration to how you’re going to make the parts that aren’t fun, too.
Ryokun: Now that you mention it…
Itoi: Thinking through how to make the parts of a game that aren’t fun is like laying down a base coat of primer before you start painting a picture.
At the end of the second installment of Wild MOTHER Party, Kenny Omega mentioned Porky – a major antagonist in the second and third games in the series. In part three of the round table discussion, Omega, Shigesato Itoi and Maximum the Ryokun continue talking about…
A Villain Named Porky
Nagata: Mr. Itoi, you consider Porky to be central to the series’ overall theme, isn’t that right?
Itoi: There’s a very special place in my heart for Porky. Taken as a whole, MOTHER is Porky’s story, really.
Nagata: Mr. Itoi, you often say that creating MOTHER has led you to meet all sorts of people. Do you mean that there’s something different and unique about MOTHER that brings you into situations like this?
Nagata: I’m sure everyone here plays all sorts of other games. What do you think is special about MOTHER that draws people in?
Itoi: I think what it is, is that MOTHER is kind of uncomfortable.
Hobonichi (“Almost Daily”) is a Japanese company that designs and creates a popular line of notebooks and day planners. The company’s founder, Shigesato Itoi, is more widely known as the creator of the beloved MOTHER series of roleplaying video games. MOTHER 2 was released outside of Japan as EarthBound in 1995. The series has long influenced game designers all over the world – and, apparently, professional wrestlers and nu-metal musicians as well.
Hobonichi recently hosted a round table discussion about the MOTHER series with Itoi, IWGP Heavyweight champion and known gamer Kenny Omega and Maximum the Ryokun, guitarist and vocalist for Maximum the Hormone. They’ll be posting transcripts of the talk on their website throughout December, and I’ll be translating them one at a time.
In the latest episode of Count 2.99, Koji and Sean run down their predictions for G1 Climax 28 and the Mae Young Classic, then talk with Japanese Stardom fans to get their perspectives on foreign talent, Stardom alumni in WWE and more.