GDC 2014: Why Koji Igarashi is Grateful for the Word "Metroidvania"

GDC 2014: Why Koji Igarashi is Grateful for the Word "Metroidvania"

Even if he does find it woefully inaccurate.

Long-time Castlevania producer Koji Igarashi has been out of the limelight for the past few years as the series he helped steward for so long was quietly retired and relaunched under the Lords of Shadow banner (though hardly to universal acclaim, unfortunately). Yesterday, he emerged from his lengthy radio silence to announce his departure from Konami and intention to create "the games fans want," which he'll undoubtedly elaborate on in his Game Developers Conference panel this Friday.

The title of the panel, "There and Back Again: Koji Igarashi's Metroidvania Tale," particularly caught my eye. "Metroidvania" is a fan term for the style of games he helped create, so it's interesting to see him adopt it for a discussion of his work. Bearing a good deal of responsibility for popularizing the term over the years – an act for which I feel guilty on a daily basis – I was curious to know what Igarashi thinks of the word that's become synonymous with his creations when I spoke to him earlier today.

"I was actually surprised by the name," he says. "In my heart, I really wanted to create a Legend of Zelda style game. But I suppose that when you turn Zelda into a 2D platformer, yes, it resembles Metroid." When I mentioned the connection most likely stems from the fact that Symphony of the Night uses a map that looks remarkably similar to Super Metroid's, he laughed. "I thought it was because of the game's super jump, which is very similar to Super Metroid's."

Despite its inaccuracy, Igarashi says he's grateful for the term.

"When I left Konami, they told me I couldn't use the name Castlevania when talking about my plans. So it was actually really handy that the word 'Metroidvania' existed!"

So I guess I don't have to feel quite so guilty anymore.

Expect the full text of our interview with Igarashi, which explores his new venture and the unfortunate fate of classic Castlevania in greater detail, later this week.

Sometimes we include links to online retail stores. If you click on one and make a purchase we may receive a small commission. See our terms & conditions.

Read this next

Halo: Reach is Still Great—But Its PC Port is Missing Some Key Features

The magic of Halo coming to Steam is marred by a barebones port.

Bungie Originally Wanted Halo: Reach to Just be Called "Reach"

The name didn't stick, but the title screen makes its own statement.

The Making of Shovel Knight: Specter of Torment, Part 4: The Subtle Art of Backgrounds

In the penultimate entry, Yacht Club Games talks about the small but important details that can make the difference in a level.

Riot Games Announces Forge, a Third-Party Arm Focused on Narrative Games

It'll focus on "single-player/story-focused" games in the Runeterra universe.

The Early Access Period for Dreams Is Coming to an End Soon

If you want in on Dreams before the full release, now's the time.

The Game Awards Has Around 10 New Games and Projects to Reveal

It'll run for almost three hours, too.

More Articles

Halo: Reach is Still Great—But Its PC Port is Missing Some Key Features

The magic of Halo coming to Steam is marred by a barebones port.

Call of Duty: Modern Warfare's Microtransactions Are Here. Are They Less Predatory Than Before?

Season One for Modern Warfare has kicked off, with a new online store in tow.

Nintendo Needs to Actually Support Its Games For Longer Than a Year

Smash benefits from healthy ongoing support, but where is the love for the rest of Nintendo's games?

Minecraft Black Friday Deals - Games, Toys, Playsets, and More

You can't build a Minecraft deal this good.