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Nintendo’s Shigeru Miyamoto Talks About Designing Super Mario Bros.’ First Level

by Michael Scrutchin Posted: 09-08-15 | 2 years ago
Super Mario Bros., World 1-1
Photo Credit: Nintendo Super Mario Bros., World 1-1

If you’re excited about the release of Super Mario Maker this Friday, you can start beefing up your level-design knowledge with a video lecture by Nintendo’s Shigeru Miyamoto on creating the first level of Super Mario Bros. back in the mid-’80s.

The video, posted by Eurogamer yesterday, features Miyamoto, director of the original Super Mario Bros., cheerfully discussing how he and his team designed the level so that it covertly teaches newcomers (i.e., everyone in 1985) how to play the game. Pretty brilliant, actually.

There’s a reason for everything in World 1-1 of Super Mario Bros. and Miyamoto and his assistant director Takashi Tezuka talk all about it, right down to the handling and control of Mario when he lands after a running jump—there’s always been a little bit of a post-jump slide, which developed from game to game thereafter. Throughout the eight-minute video, Miyamoto discusses his creation with wide-eyed enthusiasm, eschewing technical details and instead focusing on how the gameplay elements make it a joy for the player. What a joy it was—and still is.

Super Mario Bros. celebrates its 30th anniversary this year.

Michael Scrutchin

Former film critic and editor of the now-defunct Flipside Movie Emporium. Writer of sorts. Houston native. Also: dancer, poet, fiddler.

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