Miyamoto turns 70: 70 facts you didn’t know about the most important figure in video games

70 years. Shigeru Miyamoto, one of the most important personalities in the video game industry, if not the most important, today celebrates 70 years full of creativity and joy for fans of this medium. For this reason, and as a quick tribute, we at MeriStation are going to go over 70 facts of all kinds and conditions regarding her figure. Anecdotes, curiosities and details about a person as mysterious as vital to whom we wish to blow out the candles in the company of his loved ones. And there are many more!

  1. Birth. Shigeru Miyamoto was born on November 16, 1952 in Sonobe, rural Japan.
  2. He wanted to be a mangaka. As a child, he was a big fan of comics and manga. He dreamed of becoming an illustrator when he grew up.
  3. No TV. There was no television in her house until she was 11 years old.
  4. The power of the imagination. The Legend of Zelda saga was born from childhood memories of exploring a cave near his house with a flashlight.
  5. Neighbors as inspiration. The chained dog of his neighbor at the time is the origin of the Chain Chomp. Miyamoto says that on one occasion he tried to attack him and was only saved because he was restrained by the chain.
  6. Education. He studied industrial design at Kanazawa Municipal College of Industrial Arts.
  7. rock star. In college, he was part of a band where he played the banjo. He can also play guitar and mandolin.
  8. Good musical taste. Declares himself a fan of the Beatles, the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band, Doc Walson and the Ramones. His love for music would stem from Wii Music.
  9. He keeps in touch. Search the following on Youtube and enjoy Miyamoto and the Roots on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon, 2016.
  10. Dog lover. Trained to become a professional dog breeder.
  11. From Pokemon to Nintendogs. His dog is called Pikku after Pikachu and he was the one who inspired and encouraged him to create Nintendogs, the game that sold us all a DS.
  12. Slam Dunk. He played basketball during his college years.
  13. Athlete. In addition to basketball, he enjoys swimming and cycling. He likes to play sports and stay in shape. The aquatic phases of Super Mario 64 come from his obsession with swimming.
  14. Bicycles are prohibited. In recent years, Nintendo has not allowed him to cycle to work for safety.
  15. Ex-smoker. Because one thing does not take away from the other.
  16. Age at which he stopped playing pachinko machines and smoking. He wanted to improve his lifestyle and he did so by getting heavy with Wii Fit.
  17. Family. He has a wife and two children.
  18. No heirs to the empire. Her eldest son is in advertising and her youngest wants to be a veterinarian.
  19. Old school dad. He was one of those who forbade his children to stay at home to play when the weather was nice and invited them to do something outside. If they gambled more than he deemed appropriate, they were prohibited from playing video games.
  20. First video game he tried. This sector caught his eye after trying out Space Invaders in 1978.
  21. He entered through the door. He got his job interview at Nintendo because his father was a friend of then boss Hiroshi Yamauchi.
  22. First project. He started working on Color TV Racing 112, a racing game with a steering wheel controller.
  23. Popeye changed his life. The original Donkey Kong and the idea of ​​a hero saving the princess originated from Popeye, but Nintendo couldn’t get the rights and had to improvise.
  24. He didn’t trust Link. Although he simultaneously developed Super Mario Bros. and The Legend of Zelda, he didn’t really believe it would succeed because “a world of swords and magic really wasn’t considered mainstream at the time”.
  25. Heretic. He created a game called Devil World which paid homage to Pac-Man and in which a character collected Bibles to defeat Satan while running through a maze with a dragon in the center. So much religious iconography meant that Nintendo didn’t dare release it in the United States, only in Japan and Europe.
  26. Disappointments. He still says they could have done more with Zelda II: Link’s Adventure, but they were limited with hardware and couldn’t get around it with the usual ingenuity.
  27. Hated Donkey Kong Country. Rare’s game was so successful that for a while Nintendo insisted that all future games from the company look like this, putting a lot of pressure on its employees. Miyamoto went so far as to state that “Donkey Kong Country proves that players will put up with mediocre gameplay as long as the art is good”, angry words which he would later withdraw.
  28. Bite. He came to live across from his work in order to meet deadlines for certain projects. He was obsessed and absorbed.
  29. Composer. Although not generally related to the field, he was the one who wrote the music for Donkey Kong’s arcade and collaborated by advising it for many of its later games.
  30. His stomach preferences. His favorite dish is ramen and the one he hates the most is liver.
  31. Leave him alone. He hates fame and signing autographs. He says he gets arrested more outside of Japan than in his own country.
  32. He’s not a great player. He admits to not playing too many video games in his spare time because of all the hobbies he has. He prefers small pleasant experiences with his family.
  33. #1 Pac-Man fan. His favorite character in the world of video games is Pac-Man.
  34. His proudest accomplishments. The games he is most proud to have worked on are Star Fox 64 and Super Mario World.
  35. Games he admires. There are many third-party works that he admitted to feeling a devotion to. These are the cases of Portal, Tetris, Minecraft, Angry Birds and Pokémon Go.
  36. His friend Mario. The name of the character that would make him go down in history comes from the owner of Nintendo of America who was named Mario Segale and resembled the design.
  37. His friend Donkey Kong. For its part, the name Kong comes from the attempt to make it clear that Kong was just that, an ass, an idiot.
  38. Mario’s age. For Miyamoto, the plumber is barely twenty years old and criticizes the mustache for making him look much older.
  39. Movie fan. George Lucas is his idol and the main source of inspiration for Star Fox.
  40. And the westerns. Yoshi is said to have originated from the idea of ​​making a mount for Mario to ride like the outlaws in the movies.
  41. Yoshi was a long time coming. Although the character had been in his head since Super Mario Bros., technology didn’t allow his inclusion until Super Mario World.
  42. Undecided. Before keeping the Star Fox name, Miyamoto-san couldn’t choose between Star Wolf, Star Hawk, Star Sheep, and Star Sparrow.
  43. Ego exercise. Also a fan of Hitchcock, who appears in all of his films, Miyamoto wanted to do the same by putting Mario in every game he made, but that proved impossible given the prolific and eclectic nature of his career.
  44. Good at listening, bad at talking. He claims to have no problem understanding English, but he has a problem speaking it. Curiously, her father was an English teacher.
  45. Occupation. He describes his work as “human engineering”.
  46. Ambidextrous. Although he wields both hands perfectly, his favorite is the left, which is why characters like Link wield the sword with it.
  47. He was the CEO of Nintendo. After Satoru Iwata passed away in 2015, he was in charge of the company during the months when they were looking for a successor. Tatsumi Kimishima would be the chosen one and Miyamoto would resume his functions, but already afterwards as vice-president.
  48. How much does he earn? In an exercise in transparency, Nintendo revealed the annual salary of its executives. Miyamoto, director and member of the board as a creative advisor, is paid 1.8 million a year. $670,000 base and approximately $1.13 million in targets.
  49. With Mario, freedoms are rare. He admits he only allows wiggle room with Mario designs in sports games and spin-offs, not major platformers.
  50. Games you don’t remember as his. Besides Mario and Zelda, he has been involved with other iconic names like Pikmin, Pilotwings, Excitebike, F-Zero, Kid Icarus, Ice Climbers, Metroid Prime, and Kirby.
  51. Renegade. When someone says video games aren’t good for young people, Miyamoto always remembers the same being said about rock.
  52. Knight. He was knighted in France in 2006. He is the first video game designer to receive such an honor and you should call him Sir Shigeru Miyamoto.
  53. Prince of Asturias Award. The third time was the charm. He won it in 2012 after narrowly failing in 2011 (Royal Society) and 2010 (Zygmunt Bauman and Alain Touraine).
  54. Fake Japanese. He has always felt more connected to American culture than Japanese culture, for which he often apologizes.
  55. Order of Culture. Despite the above, in 2019 he received Japan’s highest honor in the world of culture, being the only video game designer to have received it.
  56. strange hobbies. He is known to measure random objects and check if his previous guess was correct, as well as rearranging the layout of his house at night.
  57. Tributes. Daikatana’s protagonist goes by the name of Hiro Miyamoto, and he’s not the only one. For example, Ash’s rival in Pokémon is called Shigeru in Japan (and Gary in the rest of the world). A nod to the creator of Pokémon, one of his disciples.
  58. Influencer. Chosen by TIME magazine as one of the 100 most influential people in the world in 2007 and 2008.
  59. Nobody sold more. The Super Mario saga is the best-selling in the history of the industry ahead of Tetris, Pokémon, Call of Duty and GTA.
  60. Its beta testers. He is always testing his games and ideas with his friends and family. His main goal is to impress his wife.
  61. Gameplay, against everything and against everyone. Main advocate that gameplay matters more than graphics and story.
  62. No sadness. Believes that “complex emotions are hard to deal with in interactive media” and that’s why he prefers to make games without big dramas and tragedies.
  63. He is not a fan of RPGs. He has gone so far as to state that he is not interested in games “decided by stats and numbers”.
  64. Exceptions of the genre. Although he is not a fan of role-playing games, he shared his admiration for Dragon Quest, Final Fantasy and the Mother saga.
  65. Finally, he is a filmmaker. He is the producer of the movie Mario which will be released in 2023.
  66. How much is Miyamoto worth? His fortune and the value of the promoter are estimated at 40 million.
  67. His favorite Mario. Super Mario World. He never hesitates.
  68. His last job was as a director. He last signed on as a supervisor in such duties on Star Fox Adventures in 2016.
  69. He doesn’t like his nickname. When called “the Spielberg of video games”, he always defends that this nickname “starts from the erroneous assumption that video games are inferior to the film industry”.
  70. And after? The current project he is most involved in is Pikmin 4, which he has been working on since 2017.

Sources | 1, 2, 3, 4