Yoot Saito reveals cancelled DS project Mario Motors
SimTower, Seaman, and Odama creator Yoot Saito delivered a talk at Reboot Develop 2018 yesterday. During the session, he revealed something entirely new that we hadn’t heard about previously.
Many years ago, Saito was involved with a Nintendo DS game codenamed Mario Motors. He was actually quite close with late Nintendo president Satoru Iwata as well as Shigeru Miyamoto, and during the early 2000s, the three would “chat over tea casually” and game ideas.
Saito recalled one such meeting:
“During one meeting, Iwata-san asked me a question: ‘Saito-san, what have you been interested in lately?’ I immediately understood what he was getting at, so I answered ‘sculpting chunk.’ Miyamoto-san said ‘huh?!'”
“I explained this crazy idea to them and they really listened to me very carefully in complete silence, and finally said ‘that sounds interesting, let’s give it a try.'”
Saito liked the idea of sculpting objects out of metal chunks. Since he “really wanted” to make that into a game, it led to Mario Motors, “a game where you created engines.”
According to Saito, Mario Motors was about “shaving and sculpting out of a chunk of metal to make a cylinder [which then] decides the ability of your engines.” There was initially a plan for players to learn about how acceleration works by blow into the DS microphone. However, he ultimately scrapped it “because this would cause children to get out of breath.”
Saito didn’t state specifically why the project never moved off the ground. “I can’t tell you why, but please guess,” he said.
As for his meetings with Iwata and Miyamoto, Saito noted:
“I really understand just how much they respected each other, and how they formed the two wheels that pulled Nintendo’s game business forward. They paid attention to me because they were always hungry for something new.”