Amazingly, Super Smash Bros. boss Sakurai says that he comes up with a lot of the assist trophies himself

‘A lot of characters fight with swords’

Despite all of the [intentional] chaos going on with Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, The Guardian’s Keza MacDonald managed to catch up with series lead Masahiro Sakurai to see what still drives him and how the sausage is made.

Masahiro Sakurai got his start all the way back in 1992 with Kirby’s Dream Land, and has been influencing some of Nintendo’s biggest tiles ever since. Going further back Sakurai muses on his parents with The Guardian, noting “They never supported me actively, there was a lot of uncertainty and fear. That said, after I worked on the Kirby games, I noticed that all of a sudden my parents had Kirby paraphernalia hanging around the house.”

Initially he wasn’t on track to become involved with the gaming industry at all: “I was striving to become an engineer, but something happened that made me think, maybe I can make games instead. There was a two-year-period in school where I would do a part-time job to make enough money to buy games, that I would play to research. I went out of my way to play games I didn’t like or find interesting. Those ended up being a lot more informative for me. At home I have literally thousands of games, and I think of them as pearls of wisdom from my predecessors. Game development is very difficult. Nobody sets out to create a game that’s not fun. It’s all of the challenges and difficulties that happen throughout development that determine whether a game is a failure or a success. I think playing those thousands of games is the single best and easiest way to learn from my predecessors.”

And learn he did, because evidently he still comes up with a lot of the more granular ideas for the series, even assist trophies (read: power-ups that summon characters), himself. He jests that “In gaming in general, a lot of characters fight with swords,” which causes him to whittle them down in favor of new ideas: he says that he has a “huge list” of his own creation to choose from.

He carries that passion out into the real world too, as he muses on his massive collection: “I have so many

that I can’t even think about displaying them. Nowadays I try to go for download versions, to not take up as much space … one of the biggest challenges of living in Tokyo is not having space to do anything.”

The full interview is a breezy read, and I recommend it for anyone who enjoys the series in any capacity.

From Kong to Kirby: Smash Bros’ Masahiro Sakurai on mashing up 35 years of gaming history [The Guardian]

Chris Carter
Reviews Director, Co-EIC - Chris has been enjoying Destructoid avidly since 2008. He finally decided to take the next step, make an account, and start blogging in January of 2009. Now, he's staff!