Nintendo released Animal Crossing: Pocket Campin November of 2017 following a lengthy delay from its originally announced launch window. The free-to-play mobile game has generally been well received, but it’s likely that wouldn’t have been the case if Pocket Camp stuck to its initial schedule.
In a recent episode of Did You Know Gaming, Liam Robertson dives into the history of a handful of Nintendo games that underwent massive changes during development. According to his research, the game we now know as Pocket Camp began as Animal Crossing: Town Planner.
The scrapped game concept had players building and managing a town from scratch, approving things like building placement and public works projects. This game was under development for around a year before Nintendo decided that it wasn’t meeting their quality standards (much like Metroid Prime 4) due to being too bare-bones and simplistic.
You can learn about the history of Animal Crossing: Pocket Camp as well as Splatoon, Captain Toad, Project. H.A.M.M.E.R., and more by watching the episode above!
About a month ago, we learned the surprising news that Nintendo of America President Reggie Fils-Aime is retiring next month. Reggie has been the face of Nintendo in the Americas for well over a decade (while also planning and executing marketing strategies behind the scenes), but his story goes back much further.
The latest episode of Did You Know Gaming digs deep into the history of the Regginator to explore his rise to power. The story starts with political upheaval in Haiti causing the future parents of Fils-Aime to flee to the United States, covers Reggie’s time working for companies like Pizza Hut and VH1, and looks at many of the key moments in his career at Nintendo. It’s well worth a watch for any fans of Nintendo or Reggie.
Masahiro Sakurai is one of the most successful developers ever to work with Nintendo IP, and his latest masterpiece may be his most popular yet. In celebration of the launch of Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, Did You Know Gaming has taken an extensive look at Sakurai’s life, highlighting many of the key moments in his life and career, including the development of games like Kirby and Smash.
From his early days as a middle schooler playing Pong and learning to program all the way until today, Sakurai has had an unstoppable love for video games. That dedication would lead him to become one of HAL Laboratory’s top game designers after falling in love with one of their games as a child. It would further lead him, with the help of Satoru Iwata, to push for Nintendo’s most prominent characters to be part of a fighting game. Even the pain of calcific tendonitis couldn’t stop Sakurai from pushing ahead to greatness.
If you’d like to know more about the life and career of Masahiro Sakurai, you’ll want to check out the latest Did You Know Gaming by clicking above!
Back in 1995, Nintendo launched the Broadcast Satellaview add-on for Super Nintendo, allowing Japanese fans to experience content broadcast over satellite TV. This occasionally included exclusive games, like the Zelda spin-off Ancient Stone Tablets or BS Super Mario Collection, a new version of Super Mario All-Star with extra content. In the case of the latter, Nintendo made some rather strange music choices.
While traveling around the overworld of BS Super Mario Collection, music plays in the background, as you’d expect from a Mario game. However, not all of the music is Nintendo originals. Nintendo licensed out a seemingly random handful of songs to add to the game, including The Power of Love by Huey Lewis and the News, The NeverEnding Story, and even Rick Astley’s now-infamous Never Gonna Give You Up.
This is one of many bizarre tidbits revealed in the latest episode of Did You Know Gaming. The new episode focuses on obscure Mario facts, from the early days all the way up until Super Mario Odyssey. You can check out the full video above!
While millions around the world are either nostalgically revisiting Kanto or heading there for the first time, Did You Know Gaming decided to mark the launch of Let’s Go, Pikachu and Let’s Go, Eevee with a lengthy collection of obscure Pokémon facts. There’s plenty to dig through, including tidbits about the music, Pokémon designs, and mistakes that weren’t caught before launch, but perhaps the most interesting revelation is that the original games almost ended up being much harder.
The Pokémon franchise would eventually give players the ability to challenge NPC trainers they had already defeated to a rematch, but a similar feature was once planned for generation one. Instead of triggering rematches with some special item, the original plan was for every trainer to battle you every time you walked in front of them, even if you’ve already beaten them. Thus, the entire game world would have been a minefield of rematches.
On top of this added challenge, the encounter rate for wild Pokémon was originally much higher. According to Tsunekazu Ishihara, CEO of The Pokémon Company, it would take over an hour to get through Viridian Forest, and half a day to get through a cave like Mount Moon. The development team rightfully decided that this was just too much and toned things down for the final release.
The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time is one of the most critically acclaimed and influential games of all time, inspiring countless adventures in the two decades since it released. So where does a game like that draw its own inspiration? Certainly past Zelda games like A Link to the Past set the foundation, but Ocarina of Time‘s action came from a less expected source. Nintendo turned to Ninja movies.
The latest episode of Did You Know Gaming explores the development of one of gaming’s greatest masterpieces, revealing lots of lesser-known details in the process. During the game’s development, many staff members would head to Toei Kyoto Studio Park for inspiration. This park is designed to look like it’s from the Edo Period (1603 – 1868) in Japan, and more than 200 movies a year are shot inside.
Patrons of the park are allowed to explore freely, watching as period piece films are created right before their eyes. One day while some Nintendo staffers were in attendance, they witnessed a scene in which a samurai caught a kusarigama thrown by a ninja, pulled the chain taut, and began moving in a circle around his opponent. This is how the idea for Ocarina‘s famous Z-targeting system came to be.
Nintendo also noticed that in many of these films, enemies would rush the opponent in hordes, but then only one would attack a time. As silly as this is to think about happening in a real life fight, it was the perfect system to pair with Z-targeting to create Ocarina of Time‘s combat. In fact, Nintendo went so far as to hire many of the actors they encountered in the park so that they could record motion capture for the game.
Seeing as Ocarina of Time is one of the most popular games in the Zelda franchise, I’d say this strategy paid off. You can learn all about this story and many others from Ocarina of Time‘s development by checking out the video above!
Bandai Namco and Arc System Works launched Dragon Ball FighterZ to stellar reviews and impressive sales numbers back in January. The 2.5D anime-fueled fighting game has been a massive hit with fans, and it owes much of its success to a beautiful art style that expertly captures the action that made Dragon Ball Z popular. The latest episode of Did You Know Gaming digs into the development of FighterZ, including the process of achieving that perfect look.
While many fans believe the game to look “just like the anime,” that’s not quite what Arc System Works and Bandai were aiming to achieve. Instead, they focused on modernizing the classic style to create a new style that looks the way people imagine Dragon Ball Z looked in their nostalgic memories. Their key moment of victory was when they finally believed they had Gohan and Goku’s father and son Kamehameha correct, which took several months.
You can learn about all of this and more by watching the video above!
Super Mario Odyssey was one of the top-rated and top-selling games of 2017, boosting Nintendo Switch sales to new heights during the holiday season. The game takes place in a series of self-contained stages (envisioned by Nintendo as “walled gardens”) where the player is free to roam and explore with full control of the camera, but it wasn’t always like that.
Mario’s Switch adventure is the subject of a recent episode of Did You Know Gaming. The video goes over tons of interesting trivia from the game, including the fact that Nintendo almost opted for a fixed camera. They wanted to attract a wide audience, and that includes young and inexperienced players. Nintendo feared that free control of the camera would make things too complicated for these types of players, but they changed their minds when they realized just how popular Minecraft is with children, free camera and all.
The new episode also contains some fun musical facts. Did you know that the game’s hit theme song, Jump Up, Super Star!, had to be completely re-written from Japanese to English, then heavily edited after that? Given that it managed to crack the iTunes top 25 list (a rare feat for video game music), it looks like those changes were for the best.
The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild has been out for well over a year now, and players are still uncovering its many secrets. The critically acclaimed Wii U and Switch adventure is the subject of the latest Did You Know Gaming Episode, which reveals tons of interesting tidbits. Did you know the developers actually took the time to program the sound of a Bokoblin picking its nose, or that the game’s 900 Korok seeds are actually all poop?
You can learn about these facts and more by clicking the video above!
Pokémon Ruby and Sapphire’s developers drew inspiration for its new generation of monsters from animal encyclopedias, cartoons and movies, and their own childhood experiences. One family of Pokémon, the Aggron line, was borrowed from Korean mythology. Aggron’s design in particular seems to be from a 1985 Korean movie called Pulgasari, which has an interesting and disturbing story behind its production.
In 1978, North Korean dictator Kim Jong-il abducted filmmaker Shin Sang-ok and his wife, actress Choi Eun-hee. The duo were forced to make films for the dictator (produced by Kim Jong-il himself) for years, and Pulgasari was their final project before they managed to escape to America after giving their “caretakers” the slip in Vienna in 1986. The depiction of the Pulgasari monster in the film is fairly consistent with Aggron, including horns, plated shoulders and stomach, and a massive tail.
The Pulgasari (or sometimes Bulgasari) of Korean legend is an iron-eating monster that starts out small and grows to enormous heights. This matches perfectly with the Aggron line, with Aron’s Pokédex entry stating that it creates its own body by eating iron. For more awesome facts about Pokémon Ruby and Sapphire you can check out the newest episode of Did You Know Gaming above!
Waluigi is one of the most bizarre characters in the Nintendo universe, and lately fans have been getting all worked up over the fact that he (once again) didn’t make the roster in the newest Super Smash Bros. game. Waluigi’s used to getting the short end of the stick from Nintendo, and the latest episode of Did You Know Gaming explores his history in depth, highlighting his tragic tale.
Did you know that Nintendo designed the character around the defining trait of self-pity? Did you know Shigeru Miyamoto vetoed the idea of letting Waluigi have a girlfriend, or that Daisy canonically can’t stand him? What’s the deal with him and Wario? Are they brothers or just friends? All of this and more is tackled in the new video, and you can check it out by clicking above!
When Wii U was first announced, Ubisoft was one of its most vocal supporters, but poor sales early on led to that support quickly drying up. Rayman Legends, planned as a Wii U exclusive, was delayed so it could launch on other consoles. As Ubisoft CEO Yves Guillemot later revealed, Ubisoft also had an unannounced Wii U game that was completed and ready to ship, but it was withheld until Wii U had a larger install base. That never happened, and the game disappeared without a trace.
Years later, Ubisoft has never explained what happened. A brief leaked clip in 2015 suggested that the mystery title was “Know Your Friends,” and Liam Robertson (along with Did You Know Gaming) has just completed an investigation into the creation and eventual scrapping of this forgotten piece of gaming history.
Know Your Friends was a social/party game where players would scan themselves into the game (using the Wii U GamePad’s camera) and then answer fun, silly, and occasionally more serious questions about each other. As the name suggests, it’s a way to learn more about those close to you in a fun setting.
The game was developed by a small team with a limited budget at Ubisoft Paris. They had originally planned to use the UbiArt Framework engine (which debuted in Rayman Origins) to power the game, but they were apparently denied permission by Ubisoft Montpelier, the team in charge of the still-developing engine at the time. As such, they switched to a cut-out art style reminiscent of South Park, with animations inspired by the Muppets.
Know Your Friends tested extremely well within Ubisoft’s development teams, and there was an optimistic sense that it could be come a hit game among casual players on the same level as Just Dance. Because of this Ubisoft wanted to launch it at just the right time to capitalize. Development was far enough along that it could have been completed in time for Wii U’s debut, but Ubisoft decided to let it cook a little longer and focus their marketing efforts on ZombiU at launch instead.
After ZombiU flopped, Ubisoft’s support of Wii U began to wane. Rayman Legends was delayed multiple times and lost its Wii U exclusive status, and Know Your Friends was trapped in limbo, finished but unreleased. Because Ubisoft hoped to reach a vast casual audience (like the original Wii’s install base of 100 million), the marketing team eventually determined that it would just be too expensive to market Know Your Friends on a struggling console like Wii U.
Despite being finished, Ubisoft opted not to release it at all. Later the development team floated the idea of porting it to other platforms, and there was even a prototype made for mobile platforms, but it was ultimately scrapped. Thankfully, many of the disappointed Know Your Friends developers went on to help make Mario + Rabbids Battle Kingdom, a smash hit on Nintendo Switch.
In celebration of the launch of Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freezeon Nintendo Switch, Did You Know Gaming featured it (and its predecessor, Donkey Kong Country Returns) in their latest episode. There’s tons of interesting Kong facts throughout the video, including the revelation that Retro Studios hails Shigeru Miyamoto as “Master Yoda” for his wise counsel.
As it turns out Miyamoto was quite involved with the development of Donkey Kong Country Returns. He considers Donkey Kong to be “his baby” (one of many iconic characters birthed by Miyamoto’s mind) and wanted to make sure Retro got it right. As such, he frequently playtested and offered suggestions, including the game’s blow mechanic and the double ground pound. The former decision initially elicited a response of “What the hell?” from Retro, but they eventually came to appreciate how it could spice up the game.
SEGA was once a proud competitor in the video game industry, but their last major console is now virtually synonymous with failure. Why did the Dreamcast crash and burn so hard? The latest episode of Did You Know Gaming tackles the troubled development process behind SEGA’s infamous console, highlighting the business decisions and market pressures that ultimately led to SEGA’s withdrawal from the hardware race.
You can explore this troubled era in SEGA’s history by clicking above!
The Tanooki suit has become one of the most well-recognized power-ups in the Mario franchise since its debut nearly 30 years ago, but history almost played out very differently. When Super Mario Bros. 3 was early in development, long before anyone had dreamed of a Tanooki-based power-up, the development team was considering an item that would transform Mario into a centaur.
This little-known tidbit is one of many fun facts in Did You Know Gaming’s new episode on Super Mario Bros. 3. Did you know that the game was originally going to have a top-down perspective or that Chain Chomps were inspired by a mean dog that chased Shigeru Miyamoto as a child? You can catch all the Mario trivia by clicking the video above!
One of the first games I remember playing as a child (and one of my favorite games to this day) is A Link to the Past on Super Nintendo. This classic Zelda adventure expanded on everything that made the original great, stepping up the graphics, adding more unique weapons and items, improving enemy AI, and much more. The third main series Zelda game created a successful formula that the franchise has been capitalizing on for decades.
The most prominent of the new additions to A Link to the Past was probably the inclusion of a second world, something that many Zelda titles since have borrowed. The Dark World/Light World system proved to be a hit, but did you know that the development team originally envisioned three worlds? Or that Link was originally going to have a party of helper characters? Did You Know Gaming tackles these tidbits and more in their latest video, and you can check it out by clicking above!
Pokémon Stadium is one of the most memorable and cherished games from the Nintendo 64 era for many, but you might be surprised by what you don’t know about the popular Pokémon spin-off. The Pokémon Stadium series is the latest subject of Did You Know Gaming, the popular YouTube series that digs into the history and secrets of video games. Did you know that the game Westerners known as Pokémon Stadium is actually Pokémon Stadium 2 in Japan, or that Electabuzz mistakenly has six fingers in the games? You can learn about these facts and more by clicking above!
Nintendo’s Super Mario Bros. series is one of the most popular and iconic video game brands in existence, and what’s a good series without a good villain? The king of the koopas himself is the star of the latest episode of Did You Know Gaming, the popular YouTube series that digs into the history and secrets of video games. Did you know Bowser’s look was once based on the Ox King from Journey to the West or that he once appeared as a giant monster in a Sim City game? You can learn about these facts and more by clicking above!
Pokémon Sun and Moon are out now on Nintendo 3DS, and Did You Know Gaming is getting in the spirit by taking a look back at the series. Their latest episode explores some of the lesser-known secrets of the franchise, while also diving into some of the localization changes and censorship decisions. Did you know the games were once planned to feature a Charisma stat that impacted your ability to catch Pokémon or that humans and Pokémon used to get married according to the Japanese text? Get the scoop on these facts and more by clicking above!
Beloved Nintendo icon Satoru Iwata passed away over a year ago now, but his presence continues to be felt. Even in recent months we’ve heard new and touching stories about the former Nintendo President, including the fact that he continued working for Nintendo until the very end and that he took the time to write reflective messages to many of his employees in his final year. Since his passing, we’ve seen many retrospectives and tributes recounting the incredible story of his life, and Did You Know Gaming is the latest to highlight some of those key moments.
Their latest video touches on his early days as a computer enthusiast, purchasing the world’s first programmable calculator, the many roles he assumed at HAL Laboratory (including his promotion to President of the company), the numerous games his skilled programming rescued from development hell, and the way he changed the game industry as President of Nintendo. You can view it by clicking above.