Shigesato Itoi TELLS ALL about MOTHER 3

Ionia Itoi Understands the Magypsy Heart

- Moving on to the story, I'd like to talk about the tagline "Strange, Funny, and Heartrending". I would say Fassad's Happy Boxes in Chapter 3 count as "strange".
Itoi   Well, everyone seems to have just decided they're televisions.
- Yeah. (laughs)
Itoi   Well DON'T! (laughs)
- But they do have antennas, and, well, they really do look like TV sets.
Itoi   Yes, during development I wondered if they did look too much like TVs and had them fixed countless times. But the boxes aren't even displaying anything.
- And they're not computers either, I suppose?
Itoi   Computers? I don't know. I really have no idea. They're just "Happy Boxes". So, really, they could even be fish tanks. (laughs)
Happy Box
It's a TV! It's a PC! It's... a Happy Box!
- As far as the characters go, the Magypsies are amazingly strange.
Itoi   Yes, they're like mixed-up Chimeras. (laughs) A fusion of man and woman.
- Before I first encountered the Magypsies, I was told, "They're neither man nor woman, nor are they human." That really left it up to my imagination as to what frightening creature I was about to come across. (laughs)
Itoi   The real credit for that goes to the person who drew the art. (laughs)
- They really are some fantastic people.
Itoi   It's because the world in the game is so macho. The good guys in the game are strong and they fight. The same goes for the bad guys. So in other words, it's set up so that might equals right. "Power is Beautiful." And amid all of that, there are these non-men yet non-women people who have already gone so far as to accept their fate of death. If these characters really existed... I would want people who play MOTHER 3 not to act hostile towards them. I would want them to have fun together in a world they both share.
- I can really feel how much you respect the essence of the Magypsies.
Itoi   I really do respect them. I have Magypsy friends of my own.
- I knew it! (laughs)
Itoi   It's to the point where I've been told how well I understand the Magyspy heart. (laughs) And how some players were especially moved to tears in the way the Magypsies' sense of beauty differs from the sense of beauty most people adhere to.
- Only someone like you with such a wide variety of acquaintances could've created such a world. (laughs)
Itoi I'm not one of those people. But I really like them a lot. Enough that I'd want to be one myself. (laughs)
- (laughs)
Itoi   There's a part where a Magypsy says, "Farewell!" and then flutters away like a piece of paper. I really like how there's a complete lack of weight... it's almost pitiable. (laughs)
One of Itoi's favorite scenes. Look how light that slowly fluttering form seems!
- Even though they live for over 10,000 years. (laughs) Speaking of which, when a Needle is pulled and a certain Magypsy begins to disappear, he says, "I'm well." By any chance, is that from "Kiki's Delivery Service"5...?
Itoi   Yep. The staff tried to stop me when I wrote that. They said, "If you weren't Shigesato Itoi we'd have stopped you." (laughs)
- There's quite a mysterious ring to the Magypsy names, like Ionia and Phrygia.
Itoi   That was Shogo Sakai's doing. Apparently they're special musical terms.
- Is that true for all of the Magypsies?
Itoi   Even Mixolydia.
- Really?
Itoi   Think of it as Mr. Sakai's own play on words. Apparently, people who know a lot about music find that naming scheme intriguing.
- Games in the MOTHER series have adventures to gather melodies, so it's nice to have something similar this time around, too.
Itoi   Yes, I wanted to keep the music aspect of it important. Just as I have great respect for the Magypsies, I also feel very happy with the music when I'm playing the game. So it'd be really great if this helps bring together people who really love music and people who really love gaming.
Note 5: Kiki's Delivery Service
A 1989 film by director Hayao Miyazaki. Itoi wrote the famous tagline, which read, "I've had hard times, but I'm well."