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Extra Credit: Remembering Satoru Iwata

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On July 11, 2015, Nintendo President Satoru Iwata passed away suddenly at the age of 55.  Many of us are familiar with Iwata-san thanks to the fantastic Iwata Asks series and his consistent appearances on Nintendo Direct videos, but there was a lot of legacy behind this man as well.  This podcast honors Nintendo’s late leader with the story of his life and climb from an unpaid intern at Commodore Japan to the first non-family leader of a video game powerhouse.

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Written by Fred Rojas

July 19, 2015 at 4:42 pm

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Nintendo President Satoru Iwata Has Died

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I remember seeing all those death announcements of celebrities in the last few years, especially the (real) ones that make it to Facebook, and cannot understand the majority of people that claim to be sad.  It’s the negative side of me that thinks they are doing that just for attention and want to add the “me too” mentality to the loss of a person we’ve seen on TV or the silver screen.  Whether that is true or not is irrelevant because assuming at least some of these people are sincere, I now know how they feel.  Satoru Iwata is an important man in the realm of video games and it is with the deepest regard that I discuss his death briefly.

It’s mind blowing to me given his young age, 55.  That’s almost twice mine but I do not intend to only live to 55, so on a selfish level it humbles me to think about the frailty of life.  More importantly, Iwata represents what we should all want of our company presidents.  Working his way up from a programmer and producer at HAL Laboratory (Adventures of Lolo, Kirby) right out of University and eventually rising the ranks to be President of Nintendo is just about the dream of any gamer and developer out there, so he should be commended.  We will be doing a show to honor him much like we did with Hiroshi Yamauchi in the upcoming days (and Jeremy Parish has already announced a HAL episode of Retronauts to honor him as well), but it’s just too sad and sudden to jump into it now.  I’m not crying or anything, not that he doesn’t deserve it, but because I’m still trying to process it all.  I can assure you that if Iwata-san were able to communicate with us he would want us smiling and happy of his release as opposed to saddened, but I just feel a large sense of loss.  He was a great man who did great things and regardless of how you feel about Nintendo’s current state there should be no doubt that the company was significantly better thanks in part to his efforts.  I don’t want to ramble on or add more sentiment to this Sunday evening so I leave with a fantastic quote from Iwata that Bungie recently tweeted:

On my business card, I am a corporate president.  In my mind, I am a game developer.  But in my heart, I am a gamer.” – Satoru Iwata

Rest in peace.

Written by Fred Rojas

July 12, 2015 at 9:06 pm

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Retro Game Night: Adventures of Lolo and Joe & Mac

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This week’s retro game night had two requested classics:

First up is the puzzle platformer from Kirby developer HAL Laboratories (also where Nintendo CEO Iwata got his start) entitled Adventures of Lolo.  This title predates Kirby’s Adventure by a few years, but the basic concept of his design are very apparent (Lolo and girlfriend Lala are also enemies in a Kirby title).  Requested way back when in our forums by IzzleMoxle, here’s an NES classic:

Immediately following is our second title, the action platformer Joe & Mac (sometimes with the subtitle Caveman Ninjas) on the SNES.  As a near launch title, this is one of many arcade ports that showed off Nintendo’s 16-bit console’s big impressive sprites while somewhat showing off its impressive Sony sound chip.  I remember dumping hours into what is a moderately difficult, but wonderfully addictive game:

If you would like to see a classic game played for retro game night or beaten for our occasional retro game challenges, just hit me up in the contact section.

Written by Fred Rojas

June 29, 2013 at 9:45 am