Miyamoto and Hayashi talk Star Fox Zero – story, GamePad, vehicles, more
This month’s issue of Japanese magazine Nintendo Dream contains a lengthy interview which mainly pertains to Star Fox Zero. The publication spoke with Shigeru Miyamoto and co-director Yugo Hayashi about the recently-released Wii U game.
We now have a summary of what was shared in the interview. Miyamoto and Hayashi talked about the approach to the story, GamePad, vehicles, and even a bit about Star Fox Guard, among other topics. Head past the break for the full rundown.
Seeking for Sense of Presence and Coolness
Compatibility of Star Fox with Voices
– The discussion first goes back to Star Fox 64, which was released 19 years ago for the Nintendo 64. At that time, the game was noted for having a lot of voices.
– There was a trend in Japan at the time to include voices from voice actors in video games. But Miyamoto initially thought that voices had little in relation to games, and the same quotes tend to be used multiple times, which was why he preferred his games to not have voices.
– However, Miyamoto conceded that Star Fox 64 had a very good compatibility with voices. In high-paced shooting games, there was no time to be able to read text, but with voices, it’s possible to give hints to the player without losing the tempo and sense of speed.
– For example, a comment like “Above you!” is helpful enough to make you notice your surroundings and act accordingly (like braking and outmaneuvering the enemy), which broadens the breadth of play.
It’s like sitting in a [real] cockpit
– Hayashi, who is the producer for Star Fox Zero, was a high-schooler when Star Fox 64 was out. He was addicted to that game and he even bought a guide book to play it thoroughly.
– At first he felt the game was difficult, but the more he played each day the more he improved, like finding new routes and gaining higher scores.
– Regarding the voices, Hayashi thought that the short quotes didn’t interfere with the fast-paced shooting game where attack timing is crucial. It also made him get a good feel for the story, making a sense of presence (inside the game).
– Star Fox Zero is delving further than 64 in that sense of presence by making the voices more immersive. Fox’s visor allows him to listen to voices from other characters.
– By setting the Wii U GamePad in a certain distance from the player’s ears, it will make the voices come murmuring into the ears. Enemy voices come from the left speaker, while allies speak on the right.
“Want to see cool scenes”
– Miyamoto wanted to make a new Star Fox game because he wants to see cool scenes, as he reminisced on moments from his childhood of seeing a plastic model aircraft being moved by his own hand.
– That’s where he utilized the TV and GamePad screens to show the game from different points of view. For example, one view is from someone in the control tower controlling a remote-control plane, while the other monitor is showing from inside the plane’s cockpit.
– From there Miyamoto thought the former point-of-view looked more interesting. He likened it to replay scenes in racing games.
– He made it so that in Star Fox Zero, the GamePad shows a view from inside the cockpit while the TV show the Arwing from the outside in cool angles. You can play the game with the viewpoint you prefer, while those watching can be mesmerized by the usage of camera angles on TV. That’s why they ended up deciding to make a Star Fox game on Wii U.
– Hayashi thinks the coolest scene is when the giant fortress boss appears at the first stage in Corneria. When its laser cannon is destroyed and the player flies below it, large debris gets close. When the viewpoint is switched to the outside, the scene where the player tries to evade those debris is very cool.
– Which is why one of the fun points in Star Fox Zero is not just to beat the boss and end it right there, but to play the game again and find scenes that players think to be cool.
Maneuverability that can be played intuitively
– The Wii U GamePad has two sticks. Back during the Nintendo 64 days, boosting and braking in Star Fox 64 was done by pushing buttons. In Star Fox Zero, they are done by pushing the right stick forward and backward respectively. Also ZR is used to shoot, and the player can aim with GamePad’s gyro feature. Sometimes the A button is pressed to transform the machine.
– The controls might be a bit complicated to newcomers, which is why they’re recommended to start from Training Mode.
– Training Mode has explanations for all kinds of vehicles, including the ones available during later phases. The purpose of this is so that players won’t become overwhelmed when they’re able to use the new machines.
– They also added a quote “Fox, if it’s you, you should know already how to control this” in the game to further reinforce the above point.