Wonderful 101 Iwata Asks Reveals Game’s Combat Was Finished Late

Kamiya alludes to hidden characters and reveals his love for Tetris Attack.

In this week’s Iwata Asks, Hideki Kamiya is joined by his boss, Atsushi Inaba, as well as Nintendo producers Hitoshi Yamagami and Shingo Matsushita to discuss development of The Wonderful 101. Much of the interview discusses how Platinum works around Kamiya’s creative impulses, and Nintendo’s patience with him while he struggled to find the game’s hook. Shockingly, much of its defining combat elements were not completed until very recently.

The game’s scenario was originally conceived by Platinum Games President Tatsuya Minami, who originally envisioned it as a game involving flagship Nintendo characters. Kamiya found inspiration in games like Konami Wai Wai World and Famicom Jump: Hero Retsuden, as well as children’s book stories of large creatures that were made from smaller creatures combining together.

When Platinum decided to switch gears from Nintendo characters to the heroes, Kamiya originally drew them in a dark style, similar to Western superheroes, it was Nintendo’s Matsushita who convinced them to lighten it up and broaden the potential audience. It was then that they came up with the realistic toy/action figure look the game has now (comparable to Dunnies and POP! vinyl toys.)

At this point, the game also already had Unite Morphs, but combat elements kept getting tweaked and iterated all the way to today. Kamiya’s style was such that he is not able to get his ideas to come together until crunch time. This was the case with Multi Unite Morphs, which were added in at the last minute. Kamiya credits Nintendo’s encouragement and patience with him to keep him going when he was struggling at the most critical juncture of the game’s development period.

A few lighter notes from the interview:

Kamiya warmed up to Hitoshi Yamagami after learning that he worked on Tetris Attack, which he loves. The game is also known in various incarnations as Puzzle League and Panel De Pon.

Kamiya was entered by his coworkers into the game as Wonder-Director. He has a unique look and collision detection, and is a hidden character.

Kamiya also alludes to another hidden character, who is known for fighting with guns and has a trademark item. This character won’t get to use their guns, and the trademark item has been changed into a mask.

Platinum has copies of their original project pitch to Nintendo using Nintendo’s own characters, but Inaba was not convinced into sharing it.

Source: Iwata Asks