Fassad, the mouse, and Kazuko Matsuo
- Even as a bad guy, there are some things we can't seem to hate about Porky. But we can say the same thing about Fassad, too, can't we.
Itoi You've got to wonder just what happened to Fassad. He must have met up with someone really terrible. Like I said earlier, it's the same as going from playing around to dirty tricks, from dirty tricks to unforgivable deeds, from unforgivable deeds to evil sin. If there's some kind of trigger behind it, even the kindest person can end up doing something horrible.
- And Fassad turned out to be the final Magypsy...
When we discover Fassad's true form, mixed emotions go from shock to sadness.
Itoi Yeah. Among those seven magypsies, one stood alone, going off and doing increasingly worse things. People like that are usually the ones with the most power. It's scary when someone like that converts to the other side.
- That is scary.
Itoi Actually, I haven't really prepared any answers about Fassad. So if you really want to know the answer, I'd like you to read the Tannisho11 and think it over.
- The Tannisho? But even as bad a guy as Fassad was, there was one mouse who stuck by his side.
Itoi That's right. That's the important part. And you know, I've felt that way since I was a sixth grader. There was a singer named Kazuko Matsuo who sang a song with the Mahina Stars. It was a so-called "mood ballad" called "Reunion"12, and it started with the lyrics, "I could no longer see you, and for the first time, I knew love deeper than the ocean." Then the second line goes, "Everyone says he's bad, but to me he was always a good person", and she sings about this guy who is in jail. Even though it's a song like that, a long time ago, it showed up on the Red and White Singing Contest13. (laughs)
Itoi At the time, it was regularly aired on television. And during this one class excursion, we were riding the bus and the guide tells us, (imitating the voice of the bus tour guide) "I had a veeery good tiiime with all you fiiine people todaaay. Soooon, it will be tiiiime for us to paaart. So nooow, I would liiiike, to sing a sooong for yooouu." And then he starts singing the "Reunion" song. I thought, well, the title is alright, but that's not exactly a song to sing when you part with an elementary schooler!
(Both burst into laughter)
Itoi That was during sixth grade. I thought it was wrong. (laughs) But you know, that song felt really erotic to me. When I heard how there was a woman in love with a man who everyone called evil, I found it really amazing. Don't you feel that way about the general tone of MOTHER 3 as a whole?
- And that's where the mouse who's attached to Fassad comes in.
Itoi That's right. So MOTHER 3 might not appeal as much to people who can't enjoy gray areas. They'd just want to demand that characters are either good guys or bad guys. (laughs)
In this wonderful scene, this mouse is charmed by Fassad, no matter what face he shows.
- Interesting, I can see how that would be. So there are some things we can't seem to hate about Fassad, either.
Itoi So be sure to use Kazuko Matsuo's "Reunion" as reference materials. (laughs)
|Note 11: Tannisho
, or "Lamentations of Divergences" in English, is a book of Shin-Buddhism (Pure Land Buddhism), which is a denomination within Buddhism. The book's thoughts on the good and evil of mankind may clue us in on MOTHER 3's own approach to evil.
Note 12: Kasuko Matsuo's "Reunion"
Kazuko Matsuo is a singer who represents the heartfelt "Mood Kayou" genre which was popular in the 1960's. She was discovered by the famous Japanese singer Frank Nagai, with whom she would perform many duets, such as the smash hit "Tokyo Night Club".
Note 13: Red & White Singing Contest
An annual NHK-sponsored singing contest of men versus women held at the end of the year.
The secret of Flint, the secret of the doorknob
- By the way, there are some rumors saying that Flint is actually Ness14.
Itoi I've figured even since the N64 version that there would be rumors like that. Talks about that came up among the development team, and I made it so that if people really thought that, they could go on thinking it if they liked.
- So it's like, the rest is up to everyone's imagination.
Itoi I tried to make it so people could think whatever they wanted to. Which reminds me, in the scene with the last needle, did you talk to Flint after his hat flies off of him?
- I talked to him, but...
Itoi Well, something happens if you're extremely insistent and keep talking to him. It's practically a secret trick, because I added sooo many lines, you'd never expect to be able to talk to someone for that long.
- So you have to sit there and talk to Flint in a scene where you're nervously preparing yourself for the final battle?
Itoi Well it's a scene just wreaking of apprehension. I don't want people going around and blabbering in a place like that! (laughs)
(Both burst out laughing)
Itoi It's a place that'd make you think, "Why the hell are you busting out another secret!" (laughs) Even as we were approaching our release date, I went to one of our staff members who checks the game very rigorously and pleaded to put this in the game. [Staff:] "Come on, you might as well make me change their eye color, too." But I was like, if you don't put this in, I'm going to be completely unsatisfied! (laughs)
Itoi [Staff:] "But, there are already a ton of lines written. It's already finished!" (laughs)
- Better check it out the second time around!
Itoi I think it was about six times that you had to talk to Flint. I figured it was deep enough for people to dig to. (laughs)
| Note 14: Flint's rumor
Now that you mention it, Flint is always wearing that hat. The Flint = Ness rumor might come from his ability to communicate with animals and the badge the Mr. Saturns cleaned for him.
- Finally, I'd like to ask about the doorknob that comes up throughout the adventure.
Itoi As you may know, that doorknob becomes the player's in the end of the game15. There was someone who saw that, and posted something really incredible on the internet. "Even though that door was always open, it wouldn't open. This is because it couldn't open without a doorknob. ...But, the player received that doorknob. So, with that doorknob, the player could open that door at any time." I was so happy about that sentiment. It really struck me how so many players are playing the game with so many different ideas.
So let's make MOTHER 4!
Itoi Phew... (laughs) Well, 3 was hard enough to get through.
- But when you were making 2, you had to have had concepts for 3 come to mind, right? So this time, were there any thoughts about 4?
Itoi This time, I'd like to be the player. (laughs)
- There are plenty of games out there that you can be the player for.
Itoi So if someone approached me and said that they'd like to make MOTHER 4, I might just tell them to go for it. (laughs) If there was a MOTHER 4, I'd like to play it.
| Note 15: The player's doorknob
Remember the doorknob from Flint's house? During the adventure, the doorknob is secretly passed on from character to character, and in the end, the player--you, that is--pick it up.
Thomas accidentally pulls off the doorknob in the beginning of the story.