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Super Mario Land/Super Mario Bros. development details

Posted on April 5, 2014 by (@NE_Brian) in General Nintendo, News

German website Nintendo-Online has researched the development of Super Mario Land and Super Mario Bros. Here’s a summary of the site’s report passed along to us:

Super Mario Land:

– Development was handled by a team consisting of eight R&D1 members; noone from the Super Mario Bros. development team – not even Mario creator Shigeru Miyamoto – was involved.
– The core development team – producer Gunpei Yokoi, director Satoru Okada and designer Hirofumi Matsuoka – had worked together with Intelligent Systems on Famicom Wars before Super Mario Land. Famicom Wars was released in August 1988. That means that development of Super Mario Land started around August 1988 and did take approximately six to nine months.
– Compared to Super Mario Bros. 3 and Super Mario World, the development time was short. Also, the development team did not have experience developing a Mario game. These two points caused the game to be glitchy, short and a bit weird.
– Yokoi and Okada were also the main engineers working on the Game Boy. Super Mario Land might have started as a kind of intern tech demo.

Super Mario Bros.:

– It is often claimed that the development team of the original Super Mario Bros. consisted of the following six people: Shigeru Miyamoto and Takashi Tezuka (designers), Koji Kondo (composer) and Toshihiko Nakago, Kazuaki Morita and Yasunari Nishida (programming).
– While there are sources proving that Miyamoto, Tezuka, Kondo, Nakago and Morita were involved in the project (e.g. Iwata asks), there is now such proof for Nishida.
– The operator of the website that deals with the history of Nintendo confirmed to us that Nishida was in fact not part of the development team.
– We believe that this misconception derives from a misinterpretation: The pseudonym “Yachan” which is listed as a programmer in the credits of The Legend of Zelda was interpreted as “Yasunari Nishida”, but in fact the Nintendo programmer Yasunari Soejima was behind that pseudonym.
– Because of that, the development team of Super Mario Bros. only consisted of five developers, and Yasunari Nishida was not one of them.

Source 1, Source 2

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