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Phat News from Japan

by Billy Berghammer - March 1, 2000, 10:44 am EST
Source: IGN64

First information on Game Boy Advance, Metroid, Zelda...

Metroid even! Well a GBA version is implied. Drool on Samus lovers! The 64Dream Mag has some sweet news in a little interview with Nintendo of Japan's PR chief Yoshio Hongo-san. How clear will the GBA screen be? Read on!

Nintendo of Japan's PR chief Yoshio Hongo-san recently spoke with overseas game magazine The 64Dream about a number of interesting topics including the company's upcoming Game Boy Advance, a possible Metroid for the Dolphin system and the release date of Legend of Zelda: Mask of Mujula in Japan. We've got the highlights as follows.

Metroid on Dolphin?

Hongo-san did not offer a conclusive answer, but rather more speculation. He said Yoshio Sakamoto, who worked on Card Hero for GB, was in charge of Metroid. The internal development group that Sakamoto is registered in now makes a Game Boy Advance version of Metroid much more likely, according to Hongo-san. Also, the Nintendo PR head brought up the fact that the Metroid series has traditionally been 2D (side-scrollers), which lends itself to the architecture of Nintendo's next-generation handheld.

Game Boy Advance

When asked, Hongo-san clarified that Nintendo's upcoming Game Boy Advance will be able to play all original Game Boy titles. The PR head used Tetris, a game released 11 years ago, as an example, saying that Advance will have no problem handling the puzzler.

The LCD screen on Game Boy Advance is brilliant. According to Hongo-san, he has seen a demo of Nintendo 64's Rogue Squadron running on the Advance and he describes it to 64Dream as "breathtakingly beautiful." Note: This is somewhat misleading, however, as Rogue Squadron N64 is absolutely incapable of running on the Game Boy Advance hardware. We can only speculate that when Hongo-san references the game, he is referring to a video-feed working on the Advance's LCD screen.


Hongo-san reaffirmed that Pokemon Stadium 3 is in the works by Nintendo, but he couldn't say when it might be released. Incidentally, Nintendo, and more specifically Mr. Miyamoto, previously announced that Stadium 3 was underway.

Hongo-san knew nothing of a sequel to Pokemon Snap.


Nintendo's Ocarina of Time follow-up, Legend of Zelda: Mask of Mujula, was previously announced by Nintendo to arrive in Japan April 27th. Hongo-san confirmed the release date and explained that Nintendo is releasing the Mujula in late April so that Japanese players can enjoy the title during their Golden Week holiday, which begins the first week of May. According to Hongo-san, debugging is said to start at the end of February, so the game shouldn't have any problems making its scheduled April release date.

Commercials for Mask of Mujula will begin airing in Japan in April.

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