Friday, December 18, 2009

What is it with Nintendo's inability to animate skirts?

In the run up to the release of New Super Mario Bros. Wii, Shigeru Miyamoto mentioned that Princess Peach wasn't playable in the game because it would have been too difficult to animate her dress.

The programmers behind New Super Mario Bros. Wii aren't the only ones who find skirts problematic, it seems. In a recent interview with Famitsu magazine, The Legend of Zelda: Spirit Tracks producer Eiji Aonuma said the following when asked about Zelda's appearance in the game:

"People on the staff have wanted to have Zelda in the game for ages, but if we did that, then her skirt becomes an issue. Having girls in dresses in an action game is kind of hard to deal with. That's how we got the idea of having her body stolen and her soul going inside Phantom Guardians."

8 comments:

Viewtiful_Justin said...

Yeah...that's really strange. I think Nintendo is lazy in that respect. Denying players the chance to play as their favorite female characters because skirts are hard? LAME.

I don't really get what the issue is, honestly. Is it a physics problem, like, the don't know how the collision detection would work? Or is it purely a question of animation? I'd love to hear more about this...

Tracey said...

This is really interesting. I have heard a number of complaints about the absence of Peach as a player in this game. People mostly seem upset that there are two toads instead of the princess a la Super Mario Bros. 2. My husband heard the theory recently that Nintendo didn't want to disappoint players by giving them the false hope that Princess could fly like she did in Mario 2.

If it's really that difficult to animate a skirt, I, for one, would LOVE to see Princess Peach run off-screen and return wearing pants before joining the boys in a quest.

Bryan Ochalla said...

The funny thing about all the complaining re: no Peach in NSMBWii, though, is that Mario et all are, once again, supposed to save her. So, it makes sense (to me) that she's not playable. Still, they could have changed the story (like they did in SMB2) and made her playable, but I guess they decided against that when they decided animating her dress would be too difficult :)

Luminairis said...

There is no excuse for Zelda, after all she was Tetra in Wind Waker. Why not use her in that design?

Bryan Ochalla said...

Oh, I agree, Luminaris. Actually, one thing that continues to confound me is that both Peach and Zelda (and their skirts) appeared in Super Smash Bros. Melee and Brawl--so obviously Nintendo's programmers have been able to animate them to some extent...

Luminairis said...

Yeah, and Zelda at the end of Wind Waker ran around in a dress and that was on Gamecube. Not to mention Princess Peach's DS game. She was the main character and they didn't cry then about how "difficult" it was.

Janice said...

Lol, this is old; I found it while looking for tips on how to draw and animate skirts... Anyways; I'm pretty sure it doesn't have anything to do with animating the skirt itself, but the fact that her outfit is a dress, and a girl fighting in one of those is kinda.. Hard and uncomfortable(there's not much leg room), if you're talking about making a game as realistically possible as you can. I'm in art school, and on one of my classes an assignment was to create myself as a heroine with a sidekick. I used to wear a lot of skirts, and so I drew myself with one. My teacher pointed out how fighting would be hard while wearing one of those.

They do it in anime cause usually they're super short and to get as many panty shots as possible. Nintendo can't do that. Much less with a Princess like Zelda or Peach.

If the skirt had a side slit, then yes, it'd be more comfortable to run around and kick ass with. But that would mean giving the princess a more sexualized dress.

The way Aonuma phrases it, it seems to me it has nothing to do with the animating itself. Do you know how many modifiers there are on 3D software that will animate cloth for you? To me it seems, that, realistically, you really can't go around in dungeons with long skirts dragging behind. Again, not enough leg room.

Bryan Ochalla said...

Thank you for your input, Janice! I agree with your comments, actually -- although I (obviously) hadn't thought of them before you mentioned them. Now I can see why Nintendo's programmers might have some problems with skirts in action games. Thanks again :)