Read Earthbound Creator's Touching Farewell To Satoru Iwata

Since Nintendo president Satoru Iwata passed away this weekend, developers throughout the world have been saying goodbye in their own ways. One of the most touching tributes was a letter penned to Iwata by Earthbound creator Shigesato Itoi.

If you're the crying kind, you might not want to read the letter at work. It's a definite tear-jerker from the get-go. The letter, broken into three blockquotes below, were translated from the original Japanese by KameDaniRyuu:

No matter the farewell, I think the most appropriate thing to say is “we”ll meet again.” We are friends so we”ll see each other again. There is nothing strange about saying it. Yeah. We’ll meet again.Even if you didn’t have the chance to put into words how sudden it was going to be, how far you’d be traveling, or how you went much earlier than expected, I know you went wearing your best.You always put yourself second to others no matter what, helping anyone who needed it whenever they needed it. You were that kind of friend. Although you may have been a little selfish for the first time ever by taking this journey.

Let's dry your eyes with some background on these two. Itoi and Iwata first began working together back in the early 1990s. Itoi's company Ape had been developing Earthbound (released as Mother 2 in Japan) for four years and while many of the individual parts of the game were completed, it didn't work. Iwata, then president and programmer at HAL Laboratories, stepped in to help.

“If we used what you have now and fix it, it will take 2 years," Iwata told Itoi, according to an interview from 2013. "If we can start fresh, it’ll take half a year.”

The truth is though that I still don’t believe any of it. I feel like I am going to receive a message from you inviting me out to eat at any moment. I wouldn’t mind if you were to ask me like always if I had some free time. Even still, I’d ask you as well.

As predicted, Iwata and his team at HAL Laboratories reprogrammed the game from square one in half a year. Then, after the two companies polished the game for an additional six months, it was ready for release.

While the game received mixed reviews at launch, it's since become a cult classic for RPG fans. Many enjoyed its surreal take on American society, quirky humor and deviation from the usual medieval fantasy settings that characterized most SNES role-playing games. When the game was re-released on Wii U in 2013 after years of waiting, most critics agreed that the game still held up.

In addition to being a great game, Earthbound was the start of a friendship between Itoi and Iwata. The two remained in touch throughout the years even though their careers went in very different directions.

Still, “we’ll meet again.” It would be great to hear from you whenever and wherever; I’ll being calling to you too. I’ll call if I have something to discuss or I want to tell you a great new idea I’ve had.We’ll meet again.Then again, you’re here with me now.

Iwata passed away at age 55 due to bile duct cancer.

Pete Haas

Staff Writer at CinemaBlend.