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Former Nintendo staffer on how he came up with Koopalings’ names and Motörhead inspiration

Posted on December 29, 2015 by (@NE_Brian) in General Nintendo, News

Well over 20 years ago, Dayvv Brooks worked at Nintendo as a product analyst. One early assignment he had was to take poorly translated Japanese text and making it sound better.

Speaking with Kotaku, Brooks explained how he came up with the names of the different Koopalings, including how Lemmy was inspired by Motörhead rock band founder Lemmy Kilmister.

He said:

“Music has always been a big part of my life. I’ve been a DJ for years and have been a music collector for even longer. When I first saw the group of seven Koopalings, music was on my mind.

The hairstyle on one of them reminded me of Ludwig von Beethoven for some reason and Ludwig von Koopa was born. Next was the one with the glasses—that has to be Roy Koopa in homage to Roy Orbison, who almost always wore glasses. Then Wendy O. Koopa (Wendy O. Williams) [and] Iggy Koopa (Iggy Pop). One looked like a loudmouth, so he was Morton Koopa Jr. from [the] loud-mouthed talk show host Morton Downey Jr. And then there was Larry. There’s no real-world equivalent—he’s not Larry Mullen Jr. from U2 or Larry King—he just looked like a Larry.

That brings us to Lemmy. In addition to being a great name, it’s perfect for a video game character. This Koopaling struck me as being the kind of character who would do his own thing, no matter what anyone else thought. I think it was those crazy eyes. Lemmy Koopa was in the crew.”

Kotaku says that Nintendo had to approve Brooks’ translation ideas, all of which were signed off by the company.

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