August 7, 2009 6:00 AM | Eric Caoili
With every major first-party release, Nintendo usually posts a transcript from a developer roundtable discussion hosted by the company's president and CEO Satoru Iwata.
For the latest group interview on Punch-Out!! for Wii, Iwata gathered series creator and director Genyo Takeda, legendary game designer Shigeru Miyamoto, and other developers involved with the game.
As is typical with his roundtables, Iwata keeps the session engaging by delving into unexplored topics, such as Takeda's distinction as Nintendo's first game designer, Miyamoto's surprising art contributions to the original Punch-Out!! arcade game, and an explanation for Mario's appearance in the NES port as a referee (pictured).
For that last point, Makoto Wada, whose first project at Nintendo was Punch-Out!!'s NES edition, revealed that the mustachioed plumber wasn't originally supposed to appear in the ring.
Wada: I drew that myself without permission.
Iwata: You could get away with a lot then. (laughs)
Miyamoto: We didn't have an approval system when using Mario images back then and it went right past my check. (laughs)
Wada: That's why it is a slightly strange looking Mario.
Wada also brought to light a Punch-Out!! secret that he's kept for 22 years, exposing an easy way for players to take down Bald Bull:
Wada: This is a great opportunity, so I have something I'd like to say. In Punch-Out!!, the game gives you a lot of hints about effective timing of punches. There is a big boxer called Bald Bull in the NES version as well and a light flashes to the right in the audience when he charges. If you punch when it flashes you will land a body blow.
[Punch Out!! Wii producer Kensuke] Tanabe: What? Really?
Wada: No one has known about that for about 22 years…
Wada: I was wondering when I would have a chance to tell people that.
Iwata: You've been holding that information for 22 years since the release. (laughs)
Wada: Now that I had the chance. (laughs) There are a lot of hidden elements in the NES version.
You can read the full translated interview at Nintendo's Wii site for North America.