Thanks to the launch of Ask Iwata: Words of Wisdom from Satoru Iwata, Nintendo’s Legendary CEO, a new book that pulls together various Iwata Asks interviews and touching words from Iwata’s colleagues at Nintendo, fans are discovering (and rediscovering) all sorts of fascinating facts about the company.
Over the past couple of days, one topic which seems to be doing the rounds on social media is the Wii’s infamous ‘Why not take a break? screen. As anyone who owned the console will likely remember, this screen used to appear pretty frequently when playing games like Wii Sports; Nintendo clearly thought that players should be reminded to relax after their strenuous tennis playing, even though we dare say the majority stayed firmly seated on their sofa while waving their hand about.
The new book reveals that this screen was actually inspired by a similar feature found inside Earthbound, or ‘Mother’ as it’s known in Japan, and judging by the traction this tweet’s gained, it seems the info is new to a lot of players.
In actual fact, this was first revealed by Iwata back in 2011 in a discussion with Shigesato Itoi and Yasuhiro Nagata. Here’s a quick translation courtesy of EarthBound Central:
IWATA: Also, there’s the “Two-hour Dad”.
ITOI: Yes, yes, there was that too.
NAGATA: Your dad calls you when you play for over two hours straight. He says, “Don’t you think you should take a break now?”
IWATA: I was dumbfounded when I heard you were putting that into the game. I was like, “What are you thinking?!” Here we have a player who’s fully immersed in the game, and then we say, “Hey, why don’t you quit?”
NAGATA: But then you added a similar feature to the Wii later on.
IWATA: That’s right. (laughs) Mr. Itoi’s idea of adding a “Two-hour Dad” had at some point taken hold of me, and I wound up adding something similar to the Wii.
So, we hand it over to you. Did you already know this little console generation-spanning fact, or is this completely new to you? Either way, it’s pretty cool to see that EarthBound inspired a system feature so many years down the line.