Following his looks at Pong, Breakout, Space Invaders, and Pac-Man, writer and theorist Eric-Jon Rossel-Tairne now examines the inexorable rise of Shigeru Miyamoto, from Donkey Kong through Mario Bros to Super Mario Bros.
It is 1981. Somewhere between testing and mass release, interest in Nintendo’s Space Invaders clone Radar Scope had cooled. It’s not that the game was poor. It’s just that six months earlier, Pac-Man had changed the arcade landscape, and in the narrowing landscape for Invaders clones there was only room for excellence. Do we order Radar Scope, or do we order Galaga? Easy choice.
Enter the slacker art school kid who was only ever hired as a favor to his family.