“Now It’s Time To Recharge” – Sakurai’s Famitsu Column, Vol. 165

Famitsu 165

Note: Do not repost the full translation. Please use the first two paragraphs and link to this translation. For additional information, please read this postThis translation is for fan use only, and may not accurately reflect the opinions of Masahiro Sakurai. The following is a selection from Famitsu. If you enjoyed this article, I would strongly encourage you to support Sakurai by buying his books. If you have any questions about this article, please contact the administrator

Hey guys, Sutamen here with another translation of Sakurai’s Famitsu column. In it, the ever-hardworking Sakurai talks about taking a holiday to recharge. Enjoy! Thanks to Crane043, Teh_CBass, and Masked Man for translation assistance.

This translation is for fan use only, and may not accurately reflect Masahiro Sakurai. The following is a selection from Masahiro Sakurai’s book: Think About the Video Games DX. If you enjoyed this article, I would strongly encourage you to support Sakurai by buying his books. If you have any questions about this article, please contact the administrator.


Now It’s Time To Recharge

Originally published in Famitsu Vol. 165, 18 August 2006

In October of 2005, Brawl’s development began. The proposal was completed on Tanabata** of the same year.

Proposal: Where the game ideas and rules are written down (not necessarily as paragraphs on paper).

Translation Note:** Tanabata is a Japanese festival that occurs on July 7.

It’s already been about a year since then. This isn’t anything new, but I felt that I was mentally and physically exhausted. I was worn down, and I couldn’t push myself to go any further. Thinking about it, I had no time to catch my breath. I had a heap of things to do, even outside of development work.

When making the previous game, Melee, I continued working on it for about a year, without a single holiday. Anyone could look at that and think “that’s not good”, but it was a situation where for every thing I worked on, little by little, the player would be that much more satisfied. Not one day was wasted. I don’t regret the craziness I did back then one bit.

Now, I take vacations, at least on paper. But, considering that I also have things like this column, it seems that in the end I work on my days off too. Monday through Saturday I work on Brawl, and Sunday is for other work, such as columns. As overtime goes, bringing my work home is not a rare occasion. Also, as I get on in years, I can feel my physical strength declining. Right now I’m most concerned about insufficient exercise. My stomach flab, soft like silicon, has got me feeling down. But my belly isn’t going down.

I mostly dislike things that are good for you, but even I used to jog at night before I changed residence. But, the place I’m living at now, it’s hard to call it pretty; if I went running at night, I’d probably step in something. So unfortunately, I’ve been skipping jogging. Recently I have not been able to feel any effects even from nutritional drinks or supplements.

Things good for you: they’re tiresome, and they’re a pain. But you gotta do em.

Anyway, I thought, if I continue like this, I wonder if I’ll break before the game is finished? It’s probably essential that I recharge now. Including Marine Day**, 3 consecutive holidays were coming up, so I decided to take that time to restore my body to perfect health. I made it a rule to not think about anything work-related during my vacation.
TN** Marine Day, a national holiday in Japan, is on the third Monday of July.

Is that even possible? is what I thought, but I ended up pushing all work-related thoughts out of my mind and enjoyed myself very much. I had a great time at a certain island. I sped around here and there on a rental bike, swam at the beach, enjoyed the first-rate scenery from the high grounds, soaked in some natural hot springs, ate lots of delicious food, and after one day of enjoyment, my tired body slept soundly.

Anyhow, I had a great time!! Speaking of grand feelings, I didn’t think that one day could be that long and wonderful. I even thought, “I’m glad I was born.” After all, when I’m confined within my office, my spirit and my outlook tend to become confined as well. It’s an everyday affair.

I’m very sorry, but because of the holiday I took this time, 3 days worth of content will not be in Brawl. The game may have lost a few days’ worth of work, but if you criticize me for taking a few days off, then isn’t that like the outlook of a bad boss, not making the best use of their people? Personally, I can promise that I’ll work hard, but days off are also a necessity. If you can systematically plan your leisure time, then that’s even better.

However. Today is the last day of my holiday. I’ll soon come home from my trip and write the manuscript for this column. Right—back to workAh, well. No way to win against crying kids or deadlines**. In any case, days off are important!! For the sake of maintaining my efficiency, I have to remind myself to make time to rest when I can.

(I finished this column a fair bit quicker than usual. Is this also an effect of the recharging!?)

TN** This is a play on a Japanese proverb, 泣く子と地頭には勝てぬ, meaning “You can’t argue with a crying child and the lord of your estate”.

Looking back on “Now It’s Time To Recharge”

Interviewer: Really… Each time a story like this appears… I think, “I wonder if this serialization is a burden…”

Sakurai: Please don’t worry! It’s not like that! (Laughs)

Interviewer: Then that’s fine…. but please don’t overdo it.

Sakurai: It’s written here, but I did rest more than when I was working on Melee.

Interviewer: Going a whole year without a break…!

Sakurai: I’ll never do that again as long as I live.

Interviewer: Anyway, where did you decide to take your vacation?

Sakurai: Hmmmmm. That’s secret. (Laughs)

Interviewer: Booo… But, taking a three day holiday means that Brawl won’t have those three days’ worth of content — that’s a very Sakurai-like thing to say.

Sakurai : Ahahaha.

Interviewer: Well, you shouldn’t need to report an excuse for a break, since most people are probably encouraging you to take it.

Sakurai: And yet, game creation is a thing where the more I do it, the closer I get to “fun”…


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One comment

  1. Sakurai is the type of person that the game industry needs, but not the one we deserve. Thinking of the April Fools Nintendo Direct, I was slightly upset that when they announced the smash ballot, he will never catch a break from the fan requests. But as long as he’s okay and his arm is getting better, he should feel free to do what he wants. Post-ballot wise, I hope that Sakurai and co. get a well extended break since they just can’t please all the fans.

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