Sad news from the world of gaming, as longtime Nintendo president Satoru Iwata died over the weekend in the company’s home town of Kyoto, Japan of natural causes, according to Kotaku. Since taking over the reigns as president in 2002, Iwata oversaw Nintendo’s industry-wide transition from the fifth generation (Nintendo 64) into the sixth generation (Gamecube). Iwata was also the head boss at Nintendo for its release of the Nintendo DS, the Wii, and the Wii U.
One of the more overlooked notes of Iwata’s time on the throne of Nintendo: Iwata was the first new president of the company since 1949, and also the first president to not be a part of the Yamauchi bloodline.
Granted, Satoru Iwata didn’t single-handedly invent the Mario character or wire the Wii, but he did have significant involvement in several projects responsible for so many of our childhood memories, as his creative relationship with the company dates back to the mid-90s. Assuming there’s not a single reader on here who wasn’t a Nintendo 64 fan in the ’90s/early-2000s, let’s take a look back at some of these iconic images that make up Iwata’s legacy.
Nothing was more fulfilling for me in 1999 than getting a new star in Super Mario 64
If you didn’t know the Rainbow Road shortcut on Mario Kart 64, what were you even doing with your life?
This all-inclusive bit from the Super Smash Bros. intro got me riled up to kick some Nintendo ass every time. I’d fight you just for the rights to play with Samus.
The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time made it cool (and fun) for anyone to play RPGs.
Not sure how our parents let all of us get away with GoldenEye 007. Every first-person shooter should be this simple and multiplayer-friendly.
And don’t forget about this cultural masterpiece that was conceived under his watch.
Thanks for the memories, Satoru Iwata. I think I speak for all of us when I say that our childhoods would not have been the same without your consistent guidance as Nintendo’s head chief over the past 13 years. In honor of your passing, we should all go home, dust off the N64 (or other Nintendo console of your choice), and simultaneously let this child’s excitement remind us how we used to be..