Naming the Characters is Actually a Big Deal
- Well then, let's move on to the "heartrending" part of the story.
Itoi All right.
- First of all, Hinawa suddenly dies right in the first chapter, so it seems there were some female players who were really shocked by this after naming Hinawa after themselves.
Itoi So I hear. That's the depth of attaching a name to something. There are some who just name the characters AAAAA, and a long time ago, I felt a little upset toward people like that. I wanted to tell them that it's a big deal to give your characters names of their own.
- And that's especially important this time around.
Itoi When I heard about the impressions people got from Hinawa's death, the ones that really stood out to me were from people who had named her after their own mothers. It made me really happy when they mentioned how, afterwards, they really appreciated their mothers. There were also some mothers who used their own names, and accepted Hinawa's death with a feeling of warmth. I think those are the people who are living their own lives to the fullest.
- I can see that.
Itoi One of the underlying themes of MOTHER 3 is that there are two feelings--like, "C'mon, it's just a game," and, "C'mon, be serious, this is a game here." So I put a powerfully moving scene right in the beginning, as a testament to the interesting developments to come. Making that first chapter was really tough, especially because I felt like I did such major things with it.
Hinawa's death in Chapter 1. The sunflowers blooming around the grave under a bright blue sky provided a lasting image.
- Some say that the game isn't very MOTHER-like...
Itoi Well, that really can't be helped. But if you play through the game for a little while, you'll see it's okay. Had we done it otherwise, people would've complained, "It's just a dumb carbon-copy rehash of 1 and 2." I wasn't trying to be strategic about it or anything, but MOTHER 3's story is what it is. That's really all that I can say about it. But it's true that if you give the characters personal names, you're probably in for a big shock.
- And I'm sure there are people out there who became completely submerged in that world.
Itoi But no matter how you look at it, it is just a game, and it's not a true story. So to get this point across, I tried to make it as exaggerated as I possibly could. When Bronson tries to break the news of Hinawa's death, he says, "I've got good news and bad news." But didn't you find that to be a rotten thing to say?
- I felt pretty uneasy about that line.
Itoi I left that feeling of uneasiness in there without cutting back on it at all. To me, that was pretty important. In that scene, everyone is offering their deepest condolences, but if I had let the game continue on with that mood, I definitely wouldn't have been able to throw those Oxygen Machines into the game later. (laughs)
- I'm grateful that you put those Oxygen Machines in for us. (laughs)
A Game With Depth
- Salsa's story in Chapter 3 is pretty sad, too. The way Fassad always electrocutes Salsa really creates a feeling of hatred for him.
Itoi Hatred is really important too. In this case, it shows that there are people in the world of MOTHER 3 who hurt others out of enjoyment. Fassad doesn't really understand the pain of others, you know? But the key is that he's using the pain of others to accomplish things for his own benefit. No characters are really ever that bad. Character that bad can only be used as a joke.
- And it's also an important point that we're playing as Salsa, isn't it?
Itoi During battles, there are times when Fassad appears to be a reliable ally. That evokes very complex emotions. Basically, the person who hurts you the most is the one who comes to your aid to save you from outside enemies. There's also the feeling of, "You probably haven't felt this feeling before, have you?" Games are really interesting because they're able to do that. You wouldn't be able to transfer something that evokes emotions in that way into a novel, for instance.
- That's true.
Itoi Things like that are what give games depth.
Even though Fassad electrocutes Salsa, he still seems reliable in battle
- The Clayman Factory is a really sad place, too.
Itoi Yeah. Makes you wonder what the Claymen really are. It seems like a story about someone smart who used cheap materials...
- The Claymen appeared during the Nintendo 64 years, too, didn't they?
Itoi The design of the Claymen has always been a theme I've been working on in my mind. I felt their design this time was okay, but to tell you the truth, I still feel like the very best Clayman design would have turned out differently.
- Oh, really?
Itoi It was important material for me, almost to the point where I could let someone make a movie about the Claymen. You can make the claim that Claymen are people, too.
- I can see that point of view, too.
Itoi After all, in some myths and legends, it's thought that God breathed life into a pile of clay to create humans. I hope people will get a taste of the Claymen's sadness and endless sorrow when they look at them.
- When I see them working as hard as they can, I really do feel sad. But, the absolute saddest part of the entire game is the last battle.
The endlessly-working Clayman, who can say nothing but, "Muooon." Sad.
Itoi tells us more about the world of MOTHER 3!
Behind the scenes development anecdotes, the message behind the logo, and the ultimately heartrending final battle...
It all continues here!