Interviews// Yutaka Hirata on Wario: Master of Disguise

Posted 5 Apr 2007 13:09 by
We adore Wario here at SPOnG, so any new outing he makes onto any Nintendo console is always a reason to rejoice. And, of course, to party!

SPOnG caught up recently with Mr. Yutaka Hirata from Suzak Inc., the director of the latest DS game Wario: Master of Disguise.

Read on to find out about what may well be the next must-get DS title. Note, we've had to edit this pretty carefully as some of the answers were, as they say 'lost in translation', but you'll get the gist of what Mr Hirata tells us!).

SPOnG: Can you explain the story behind Wario: Master of Disguise?

Yutaka Hirata: One day, Wario watched the TV animation program, ?Master Thief of COUNT CANNOLI? and hit upon the idea of entering the TV show to get all of the gold and silver treasures.

As soon as he enters the TV program, Wario happens to obtain one stick, called ?GOODSTYLE? that bestows the ability to disguise the show?s main character, COUNT CANNOLI. Wario eagerly sets out to find the ?Wish Stone?, which they say is the coolest treasure of the world. By making the best use of his new disguise ability, however, Wario learns that he is not the only one who is looking for the ?Wish Stone?, and ?

In this way, the battle to find the Wish Stone starts, which is the battle among three characters - Wario, COUNT CANNOLI (who wants Wario to return the GOODSTYLE) and an enigmatic third character.

SPOnG: What are the different forms available to Wario?

Yutaka Hirata: There are 8 kinds of forms that Wario can disguise himself as, which are:

1)Thief Wario: the first disguise you master in the beginning of the game, which is the basic form of Wario and has highest jumping and fastest running ability among all eight forms.

2)Cosmic Wario: Cosmic Wario wears a spacesuit and is equipped with a laser gun. He has the ability to fight using the laser gun and turn on certain switches by using it.

3)Genius Wario: Wario garbs himself as a researcher. Genius Wario can clear up a mystery, such as hidden route and see the invisible floor in the map with his large goggles.

4)Arty Wario: Arty Wario looks like Wario of a crazy painter. Arty Wario can draw some marks in the screen, that is, he can create blocks, doors, health meters, or heart marks to revitalize himself.

5)Captain Wario: Captain Wario can take a boat ride and move on the surface. The upgrade permits him to dive in a submarine and move around under water as well.

6)Dragon Wario: Dragon Wario looks like dragon, and has fire breathing ability. Dragon Wario can break fire blocks, and can burst through thin floor due to his body weight.

7)Sparky Wario: Sparky Wario wears discharge suite and can discharge a lightning strike. He can light the darkness and can paralyse the enemies with his lightning strike.

8)Wicked Wario: Wicked Wario is a bat shaped Wario, and can fly in the sky. You can let Wicked Wario fly by blowing into the DS mic.

SPOnG: Where did the idea of using different forms of Wario originate?

Yutaka Hirata: We were originally focusing on looking for a way to use the stylus to make the game innovative. Firstly, we created an action game by way of trial, where Wario makes various kinds of items by drawing things and solves thing by making use of the items on the basis of orthodox type of side-view action.

However, the feature of drawing items made the rhythm of the action game worse, and did not seem enjoyable, therefore we were looking for a system that could work with a more simple and intuitive drawing feature in the action game, and we finally came up with the present feature, which is that Wario can disguise and change his abilities.

SPOnG: How will the stages be structured? Will they be classic Wario platforming or involve more of a puzzle element?

Yutaka Hirata: Do you mean like ?Wario Land Series? by classic Wario platforming?

SPOnG: Yes, that's right

Yutaka Hirata: Yes, it has the same structure as classic Wario games. There are various kinds of stages, from the accessible places like passage boat and museum to an ancient monument and a volcano, and the player will make their way through the complicated landscape by looking at the map.

SPOnG: Will Wario be invulnerable in this game or will he have a health bar?

Yutaka Hirata: Yes, he has a health bar, but when Wario turns into Arty Wario, he will be able to revitalize whenever you want to any extent!

SPOnG: You have worked on some Nintendo licensed products before, notably some F-Zero games on the Game Boy Advance. What is it like working with Nintendo?

Yutaka Hirata: I think it is one of the happiest opportunities to work with Nintendo, speaking as a game developer. Nintendo is a company which has a long history of creating a number of masterpieces in the culture of video games. I feel Nintendo bangs the bush in terms of its know-how and its attitude toward creation.

We are required to consistently maintain high level of quality from the planning to the completion. I think it is fun and the challenge for development to try to go beyond the requirement. And Nintendo gives us lots of advice to improve and to avoid self-righteousness. I believe all of these things will contribute the user?s high degree of satisfaction. So yes, we work with Nintendo in a good relationship.

SPOnG: We love the artwork in this game. Has it been difficult to stay true to the atmosphere of the Wario series?

Yutaka Hirata: Thank you for your compliment on the game.

I did not think it was difficult to stay true to the classical Wario series in terms of artwork, but it was inevitable to have a certain 'old-fashioned taste' for this title because it is a vanilla side-view action game. Therefore, it was hard to think how to express novelty in the game.

SPOnG: How involved has the creator of Wario, Hiroji Kiyotake, been on this project?

Yutaka Hirata: Hiroji Kiyotake supervised the forms of disguised Wario that we designed.

SPOnG: The music has traditionally been strange and wonderfully weird to accompany the atmosphere of the Wario world. Who will be composing the music for Master of Disguise?

Yutaka Hirata: A guitarist who loves rock music has composed the music. He is an ordinary Japanese young guy (laughter).

He has composed several original tracks of the games developed by Suzak, such as ?F-Zero: the legend of Falcon?, and ?F-Zero Climax?.

He created all of the music in Wario Master of Disguise, except for the opening music which was developed by the president of Suzak, who also used to be a musician.

SPOnG: Wario games have had a long history of including wacky mini-games alongside the platform adventure. Will we see any mini-games in Master of Disguise?

Yutaka Hirata: There are eight kinds of simple mini-games in the game, making use of the DS stylus.

SPOnG: How many stages and features will Master of Disguise have, for those eager to know how long this game will last?

Yutaka Hirata: There are 10 stages, plus five special stages. I think it will take at least one to two hours to complete each stage. There are more than 100 kinds of treasures hidden in the game, and you will need to go through it at least twice to find all of the treasures. All of the treasures are funny and interesting, so players really will want to find all of the treasures.

SPOnG: What?s in the pipeline for Suzak? Can you reveal a clue about the secret DS title you?re currently developing?

Yutaka Hirata: As far as our Nintendo titles are concerned, we do not have anything that I can tell you right now.

SPOnG: Finally, what is your favourite form of Wario and why?

Yutaka Hirata: I think all of the disguises are great and fun, however if I choose one from them, I think that would be Cosmic Wario. This is the first disguise the player can obtain, so I think each of the player will feel closer to it. And when Cosmic Wario becomes able to shoot lots of lasers after the level is raised, players will be very exhilarated. You will also feel relaxed when you make Wario jump softly (laughs).

Thanks to Hirata-san for taking time out to talk to SPOnG.

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LUPOS 5 Apr 2007 13:10

"It's a We, Wario."

Have none of you play smooth moves? ;)

zoydwheeler 5 Apr 2007 13:13
heh, forgot about that!
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