In addition to the main stages this time, you can play the Coin Rush mode. How did this new mode come to be?
It was before we decided that the theme this time would be collecting coins. I wanted to make a Super Mario game that you could play over and over again.
You wondered what you could do so that players wouldn’t put it aside after clearing all the stages.
Yeah. Rather than making large-volume stages, I thought about how I could make something fun for customers to play a little in their free time.
In situations like, “I’ve got a little time, so I’ll play for about five minutes.”
Yes. It started by wondering if we could pull together something a little light, like playing three stages in a row and if you mess up once, it’s over. But the ones we made in the beginning didn’t look like players would proactively approach it.
The motivation for playing wasn’t strong.
Yeah. Meanwhile, we had started making the main stages with the theme of collecting a million coins, when a big problem arose.
No matter how much you played, you couldn’t get a million coins! (laughs)
The thought that it would “work out somehow”, didn’t work out at all!
Yeah. You could get them in the tens of thousands, but it was like, “How many times do you need to play the entire game to get one million?”
Then it isn’t play, it’s work!
When we were worrying over that, we thought about the Coin Rush mode and thought about making it so that players could get lots of coins that way.
Getting lots of coins is a strong motivation.
Right. We thought that collecting coins would motivate players to play. And we tried making it so that if you grab the top of the Goal Pole, the number of coins you’ve collected doubles. It sure feels great to pull that off!
And if you miss, it feels awful. (laughs)
Then one million came into view.
Yeah. We were like, “Somehow, we did it!” (laughs) But then a big problem arose elsewhere. Earlier, we talked about transferring an idea from SUPER MARIO 3D LAND to this game.
If you put a block over Mario’s head, lots of coins come out.
Yeah. We call it a Gold Block. When we made it and showed it to Tezuka-san, he was super happy and then showed it to Miyamoto-san, but Miyamoto-san said, “I don’t like it.”
Yeah! (laughs) He was hung up on why the coins come out.
Ah. His background is in industrial design, so he wondered about the mechanism behind it. He can’t accept something if the mechanism behind it isn’t clear. An example would be the Propeller Box in New Super Mario Bros. Wii.
Yeah. He said he didn’t like how you never really understand it – you put this thing you don’t really understand on your head, and for no clear reason coins come out.
What did you think when he said he didn’t like it, Tezuka-san?
Well, you know...
Like he had his hands on the tea table*? Editor’s note: Miyamoto-san is known for asking teams to reconsider their ideas from the ground up. In Japanese, this is referred to as ‘upending the tea table’.
I did think, “Oh, no!”
We hadn’t even sorted out the tea table at that point, but it was like the biggest table imaginable had been overturned with a bang!
How did you get it upright again?
Miyamoto-san and Tezuka-san discussed it, and Miyamoto-san said that he hated how he didn’t know what he was supposed to do after suddenly getting this block on his head.
It is uncomfortable having your face covered up.
After all, coins have always come out of blocks when you hit them. I thought, “Then why don’t we combine it with that action?” In other words, you’re pounding away at this block for coins and end up getting it stuck on your head!
Continually hitting the block displays your desire to get coins.
We tried making it so that the block completely covers your head as an effect of you hitting the block a number of times as if to say “I want coins! I want coins!”
Ah, I see. It seems like there’s a certain logic to it! (laughs) It seems.
I explained that to Miyamoto-san, and he said, “Oh, I suppose that’s all right.” I was surprised at how he accepted it without a fuss. (laughs)
It must have suddenly all come together for him. Although, everyone has already recognised this, but you do sort of have to wonder why hitting a block makes coins come out! (laughs)
© 2021 Nintendo.