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Monday, July 13, 2015

May Satoru Iwata Rise Directly to Heaven

By LUDWIG VON KOOPA - "Leave luck to Heaven".

Yesterday, news came out that Satoru Iwata, Global President of Nintendo, died on Saturday. Here's Nintendo Co. Ltd's statement on it:
"Nintendo Co., Ltd deeply regrets to announce that President Satoru Iwata passed away on July 11, 2015 due to a bile duct growth."
And... that's the whole statement, besides mentioning that Genyo Takeda and Shigeru Miyamoto are still in the company and are representative directors. For those wondering what that means,
"The board must appoint one or more representative directors from among its directors to have authority to represent the company. Representative directors and other directors appointed by board resolution are responsible for carrying out the decisions made by the board and have the authority to represent the company."
This arrangement is sure to be temporary.

So... Besides the obvious respect all of us at KoopaTV has for Satoru Iwata (I'm quite sure he's only been discussed in positive ways here, which is pretty rare for a person on KoopaTV), this just leaves me with a lot of questions about what happens next. ...And questions about the information we were given. So yeah, lots of questions, which is something Iwata is a fan of. "As Nintendo president, I'm also all about asking questions.

But most importantly, we need to honour his memory, which KoopaTV fully intends to do if you read on...

Satoru Iwata rest in peace tribute Mii Super Smash Bros. For Wii U screenshot Ludwig Von Koopa Nintendo
Ludwig mourning Iwata's passing in Onett, a place Iwata made possible.

Iwata did not attend E3 2014 because of a nasty bile duct growth, and he was getting surgery to get it removed during that time period. We were told it was successfully removed and that he was feeling much better. He even changed his Mii over it.

Satoru Iwata Mii change suit Nintendo after surgery lost weight
Iwata's head ended up bigger than his body, which probably was another issue his doctors brought up.
Note: Nintendo's tweet can be found here. The above is a really bad (I would hope so) translation.

But... We now know that Iwata wasn't actually fine, despite what we were told. Here's his famous statement for why he didn't go to E3 in 2015.
"With the exception of last year, I've been going to the E3 every year. However, as there's no new hardware to present this year and considering the fact that a general meeting of shareholders is planned for the week following the E3, I will remain in Japan this year. My role at E3 this year is to relay everything happening at E3 to everyone that's in Japan."
Pardon my tone, but this explanation ended up being full of bile. Obviously Nintendo doesn't announce new hardware every year, but Iwata went every year anyway. The only time he missed it was due to health issues, and he missed it again last month... And of course, we know now that would be because of health issues. Fatal ones.

According to (emphasis added), the survival rates for bile duct cancers are... really, really low. I think it's obvious that Nintendo knew ahead of time that Iwata's days were numbered, sad to say. So they must've made contingency plans, right? They had to know this was going to be a thing, so we should be hearing, publicly, about those plans very soon. Like who the next president will be, and Nintendo's strategy for the next several years, and that they will indeed move forward with Iwata's recent initiatives. Meanwhile, fans wonder what will happen to the Nintendo Directs and Iwata Asks that Iwata championed.

Boo Satoru Iwata Mario character form head
Is this why Nintendo singled out Boo Luigi in that Nintendo Direct?

Looking more at, it appears that even though the cancer was removed via surgery, it still wasn't enough to cure Iwata. This suggests the cancer was unresectable and that's something Iwata and the company must have known, but Nintendo's PR made it seem like everything was fine. That's what makes this loss that much harder to accept: Iwata was known among fans for open communication between the company and the gaming community with his Iwata Asks series, yet he was very hush-hush about his personal life to the point where we were not in the know about how much pain Iwata must have really been in during this time.

One of the last things Iwata is quoted for saying, if not the very last thing, is that he understands and hears the disappointment over Nintendo's Digital Event at E3 2015 and will work harder to meet fan expectations. He was working hard until his death, but unfortunately he will not be able to see the fruits of his labour for E3 2016 and beyond.

Satoru Iwata banana meme
He was able to see the banana, though.

We may never know Iwata's last thoughts, though some consider it fate that he died later the same day that a Nintendo fan got permanently banned from a Nintendo forum for saying they were listening to KoopaTV's Nintendo-dedicated music video from last week. Iwata was always known for being a cheery, smiling, happy dude brimming with positivity. Perhaps the negativity and warping of the world caused by the culture of oversensitivity and outright intolerance of humour got him to quit his fight and leave luck to Heaven. That would be the biggest shame if that's the case, but it highlights how we must work to make a more Iwata-friendly world.

NSider2 music video ban
This post gave Rawk a permanent ban at some shithole forum administrated by a former KoopaTV employee.

In Iwata's honour, I swear that KoopaTV will continue Iwata's positivity and consistent laughter. We will laugh. You will laugh. Whether it be in parenthesis or out loud, we will laugh and enjoy each other's company and make a better world.

That's what Iwata would've wanted.

We may find it difficult to do our daily tasks and do what needs to be done today and this week. But if Iwata knew any day could be his last and he still did his best to go to the office to bring joy to millions of people, the least we could do to pay tribute to Iwata's memory is go through the daily grind with vigour.

That's what Iwata would've wanted.

...And when we're done with that, go play some of your favourite Nintendo games. Great ones include ones that Iwata worked on directly and saved from development oblivion, including Super Smash Bros. Melee and EarthBound. KoopaTV would also like to dedicate our rendition of Smiles and Tears from EarthBound in Iwata's memory.

You know, of the "Nintendo trinity" of Shigeru Miyamoto, Reggie Fils-Aime, and Satoru Iwata, Iwata was always the most... respectable and pure of them all. Miyamoto is an unrepentant murderous liar, while Reggie is a fraud who doesn't know how to jump in Super Smash Bros.. Meanwhile, Iwata was the one who was probably the least recognised and the most subtle. He was a real leader for Nintendo and the videogame industry as a whole. He was always trying to help us understand and to help improve the lives of others, to satisfy them. Those who knew him or even just briefly encountered him in person say they met with a very classy, honest, intelligent man. That's the kind of role model we need.

Let's hope the organisation he built will continue to endure as if he never left, and live on with his values he instilled.

That's Nintendo headquarters. Above that? That's a rainbow.

By the way, they say a rainbow shined above Nintendo's Japan headquarters today. That... that's no coincidence. G-d had the rainbow as a symbol that He would never destroy life on Earth with a flood ever again. I think you could possibly interpret this in a similar fashion — we don't know why Iwata had to die now, but whatever the reason, something good will come out of it. Nintendo will not be destroyed... Nintendo will be emboldened, and with the lessons learned from Iwata's years of leadership, rise to provide joy for millions in the world.

We just hope to do our part and bring joy to thousands. May Iwata's family be blessed, along with all the lives Iwata has brought smiles and tears laughter to.

Ludwig had to write this article to get out of his own personal funk from Iwata's passing. It's really hard to believe. If you need any kind of help getting through this time — or if you totally lack respect for the man and need a place that won't censor your hatred — KoopaTV's comments section is the place for you!

Ludwig also wrote about Iwata's predecessor, Hiroshi Yamauchi, when he died.
Could Iwata's death bring about a very special game localisation? 
Awkwardly enough, Nintendo featured a gameplay concept when the Wii U was announced where you could shoot Iwata in crosshairs.
Who will be the next president of Nintendo? Perhaps Ledge Trump...
Nope, it's Tatsumi Kimishima.
There was a nice tribute to Iwata at The Game Awards 2015. The rest of the show wasn't worth watching.
You can add Pokémon Red and Pokémon Blue to the list of games Iwata helped make possible.
KoopaTV recognised this very article as the best KoopaTV article of 2015!
Nintendo didn't honour Iwata for E3 2016, so KoopaTV rants about it a year after his death.


  1. To celebrate Iwata's life, I'm playing For Glory as Ness and Lucas with the Mr. Saturn and Masked Man alts, respectively.
    (Which are actually my defaults for them anyway.)

    1. Last I checked (two hours ago), the servers for Smash are down.

    2. Oh, yeah.
      Well, I did beforehand.

    3. Oh, looks like they're back up as of ONE hour ago.


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