Kensuke Tanabe Interview July 1 Feature

Kensuke Tanabe discusses Metroid Prime: Federation Force and how it’s important to the overall Prime plot

Wired recently published a new interview article with Nintendo producer Kensuke Tanabe, responsible for the Prime series.

In this interview he discusses the importance of the game to the overall Prime plot, how you will get to see Samus from a different perspective and how he wants to continue the Prime plotline after the ending of Corruption, among other things.

Keep reading for the Q&A:

Tanabe apparently sees himself as a sort of outsider, because he mainly works with Nintendo’s non-Japanese studios.

“I was trained to look at [Metroid] from a different perspective. I’d never seen anything that focused on the Galactic Federation against the Space Pirates. I thought that would be an interesting idea to explore.”

Tanabe goes on to say that the game isn’t just about playing matches of Blast Ball for victory on the space pitch, and that the players will get to visit some planets in the single player campaign.

“On one of them, there will be research that the Federation has to conduct, and they get to the planet thinking it’s an abandoned place that the Federation used to use before, but they find out that the Space Pirates have been using that place to plot something against the Galactic Federation. Creating the ultimate weapon.”

Tanabe doesn’t want the game’s missions to be just a series of firefights against enemies. According to him, that’s what Next Level Games came up with at first.

“Their idea of first-person shooting games is to have a lot of targets to go through. I also wanted, instead of having an abundance of enemies to shoot around, to have more time to be able to get used to the controls.”

“There’s one mission where you have a railway with carts on top of it, and your mission will be to push that from beginning to end. The point of this mission will be to avoid the magnetic force against you to get the carts onward to the goal, and there you have the Space Pirates spawn to add to that, to be in your way.”

“It’s not just about bringing [enemies] that are clever, but also focusing on other ideas that I could implement in the game to make things a little trickier and more challenging for players to go through a single mission.”

That, he said, is when Next Level had its a-ha moment: “We’re not just creating a first-person shooter game, we’re creating a Nintendo game.”

Tanabe then explains that the desire to create a first-person shooter type game where beginners and advanced players could play together is where the idea for “Blast Ball” came from.

“I personally am not very good at first-person shooters. Anyone who plays me, beats me right away. For me, it would be really hard to play in that sort of typical first-person shooting, where you have a survival mode, playing against each other.”

“If you have this huge target, this huge ball in the middle of the field, it would make it easier to learn aiming and control skills.”

He also mentions how in the game’s story mode, Blast Ball comes as a replacement for a standard “tutorial” type level.

“I really don’t like tutorials,” Tanabe said. Blast Ball lets you get used to the game’s controls in a fun way. Winning a game of Blast Ball is your “graduation” into the elite Federation Force squad that gets sent out on the aforementioned interplanetary missions.

Next, Tanabe explains how Nintendo producer Yoshio Sakamoto is the one in charge of the main Metroid series and how a new Metroid for Wii U isn’t completely out of the question, depending on what he might be working on, something he doesn’t know anything about. However, a new Prime would have to wait until the NX comes out, because it’s too late to make one for the Wii U.

He then talks about the ending of Prime 3 and continuing that plotline:

“Are you familiar with the ending of Prime 3? You might remember the scene where Samus gets on the ship and you see the planets, but after that, there’s another ship that lands in that place. That was actually Sylux, who appeared in Metroid Prime Hunters. In my mind, I still have that idea where Sylux is going after Samus. So to continue that story is something I’d love to work on.”

He also explains how Federation Force fits in and compares developing the Metroid universe to the Avengers:

“Just to watch the movie Avengers to see what it’s all about, I watched the single [movies] that focused on each hero. While there has been some negative feedback, this is something that will be very important in the plot, the whole idea of the Prime universe.”

“So far, all the games have been focused on you as a player being Samus. This is your first chance to actually see Samus in-game, through your own eyes. There will definitely be a chance for you to meet with her in the game.”

“When [other Nintendo employees] see the games I create, they might be unique, and people may not agree with them.”

However, they let him run with it, because they know Tanabe delivers quality.

“Otherwise, I wouldn’t be able to make games that focus on Tingle.”


NOTE: This interview was interesting… I’m starting to think that Federation Force might reveal Sylux’s origina story or his planet, Cylosis. I’m really curious to see where this is going now!? Leave me a comment with what do you think, ok?