This article is written from the Real Life point of view Globe

Yoshio Sakamoto - Game Developers Conference 2010 - Day 3 (2) cropped

Yoshio Sakamoto at the Game Developers Conference 2010

Yoshio Sakamoto (坂本 賀勇 Sakamoto Yoshio, born July 23, 1959) is a Japanese game designer who works for Nintendo. He is the co-creator of the Metroid series having worked as director, scenario designer, or script writer for many of the titles.[1]


Sakamoto grew up with Nintendo toys, which he noted to be inventive and occasionally "strange". The company hired him in 1982 when he came out of art college. Recruited by Shigeru Miyamoto, his first position was as designer on the team behind Donkey Kong Jr. He turned to the Nintendo Entertainment System afterward, helping design Kid Icarus and directing Metroid, both 1986. In the English version of Metroid, he is credited as Shikamoto.[2] "Shikamoto" is not a mistranslation, but a nickname given to him by R&D1 staff. At the time, he had been living in Nara, Nara Prefecture, which has a significant population of "shika", or deer.[3]

Metroid franchise[]

Following the original Metroid, Sakamoto has directed or produced all Metroid games produced internally by Nintendo except Metroid II: Return of Samus. These are Super Metroid (1994), Metroid Fusion (2002), and Metroid: Zero Mission (2004). Sakamoto's role on Fusion was more removed compared to Super Metroid.

Sakamoto supervised the production of Retro Studios's Metroid Prime (2002) and Metroid Prime 2: Echoes (2004), although he had less of an in-depth role in the production of these games. Bryan Walker said that he was "available and very helpful" when it came to ensuring that elements of the Metroid Prime series, such as the story and backtracking, matched that of the 2D Metroid series.[4]

Outside of the games, Sakamoto was also the editorial supervisor and general editor for the Magazine Z manga.[5][6]

An interview with Sakamoto, Kenji Yamamoto and Kensuke Tanabe was published in Nintendo Dream volume 85 in March 2003, and republished on the Metroid Official Site soon after. An unofficial English translation was released by the Metroid Database on December 15, 2011[7], and can be accessed here.

According to Yosuke Hayashi, Samus Aran is like a daughter to Sakamoto.[8]

Sakamoto claimed in a Super Metroid interview that he was the only one to know where Samus's beauty mark was,[9] which later turned up in Metroid: Other M (and subsequent 2D Metroid games) under the left side of her lip. In addition to producing Other M, Sakamoto remotely consulted on the live-action commercial. He asked that it include the scenes of the baby's birth in Return of Samus and death in Super Metroid, and replace a scene depicting the murder of Samus's parents with Ridley's attempted murder of Samus in her childhood.[10]

In 2014, Sakamoto stated that he would rather "challenge himself" to create new experiences and draw new players, than to revisit traditional game series.[11] He later produced Metroid: Samus Returns, appearing in the Developer Diary to outline the game, and then continued his partnership with MercurySteam to realize Metroid Dread at long last. Similar to Samus Returns, Sakamoto outlined the game's development history in a featurette, and announced that it would conclude the main story arc of the 2D Metroid saga, but not end the series.

Partial credits[]

  • Game & Watch Donkey Kong (1982) - Barrel/Crane Artist
  • Donkey Kong Jr. (1982) - Artist
  • Wrecking Crew (1985) - Designer
  • Balloon Fight (1985) - Director
  • Gumshoe (1986)- Designer
  • Metroid (1986) - Director
  • Kid Icarus (1986) - Game Design
  • Famicom Tantei Club (1988) - Director, Writer
  • Balloon Kid (1990) - Director
  • X (1992) - Director
  • Kaeru no tame ni Kane wa Naru (1992) - Scenario
  • Hello Kitty World (1992) - Special Thanks
  • Super Metroid (1994) - Director
  • Teleroboxer (1995) - Director
  • Galactic Pinball (1995) - Special Thanks
  • Game & Watch Gallery (1997) - Adviser
  • Famicom Tantei Club Part II: Ushiro ni Tatsu Shoujo (1998) - Director, Writer
  • Trade & Battle: Card Hero (2000) - Director
  • Wario Land 4 (2001) - Supervisor
  • Metroid Fusion (2002) - Chief Director
  • Metroid Prime (2002)- Special Thanks (Content Advisor)
  • Wario World (2003) - Advisor
  • WarioWare, Inc.: Mega Party Game$! (2003) - Supervisor
  • WarioWare: Touched! (2004) - Producer
Sakamoto and Marquez peace signs

Sakamoto with MercurySteam's Jose Luis Márquez.


  • Sakamoto is a reggae and dub bass player in his spare time. He once had a jamming session in February 2018 with Mark Lentz, at the time an employee of Q-Games.[13]



  1. ^ Q&A: Metroid Creator’s Early 8-Bit Days at Nintendo. WIRED. Retrieved on April 10, 2010.
  2. ^ Rap Sheet — Person : Yoshio Sakamoto. MobyGames. Retrieved on October 24, 2005.
  3. ^ "Interview: Hirokazu Tanaka", Shinesparkers, 2018-12-24. Retrieved on 2018-12-24. 
  4. ^ Reilly, Reece. "#109 - Bryan Walker Interview (Metroid Prime Trilogy, Donkey Kong, Mario Kart 7, Project Management)" (starts at 32:03). KIWI TALKZ. October 2, 2021. Retrieved December 14, 2021.
  5. ^ Yoshio Sakamoto. Retrieved on October 24, 2005.
  6. ^ Exclusive: Metroid designer Yoshio Sakamoto speaks!. Computer And Video Games (September 1, 2003).
  7. ^
  8. ^ "Other M was Sakamoto-san's idea and it's his creation, and we're just really happy to be a part of that, and that he asked us to be part of that creation. We talked a lot with him over the course of development, having very frank conversations about lots of different topics. But you can tell Samus Aran is his daughter; it's like that to him. So we're really looking forward to what else he might come up with in the future for the Metroid series." - Yosuke Hayashi interviewed by Christian Nutt, Gamasutra. "Led By A Love Of Games: Team Ninja's Hayashi Speaks" pg. 3. December 23, 2011. Retrieved February 13, 2021.
  9. ^ Developer Profile: Yoshio Sakamoto. Metroid Database. Retrieved on January 31, 2024.
  10. ^ Interview: Micky Coyne. Shinesparkers. September 2, 2022. Retrieved September 2, 2022.
  11. ^
  12. ^ いど. "【実況】このゲーム、オモロいどプライムハンターズ その16(終)" YouTube. November 12, 2021. Retrieved October 3, 2022.
  13. ^ Shinesparkers. "Top Facts You Didn't Know About Metroid". December 16, 2022. Retrieved December 16, 2022.
  14. ^ Cuthbert, Dylan (dylancuthbert). "THIRTY YEARS! Since I began working with Sakamoto, Izushi and Dan Owsen(NOA) on X for the GameBoy, last night we had an impromptu get together because Dan happened to be in town! Dan also worked on StarFox on the NOA side." 27 January 2020 6:09 p.m. Tweet.
  15. ^ Rafael Machó Alcaraz (_NewRafa). "Se cumple un año del lanzamiento de #MetroidDread, un sueño hecho realidad y una de las mejores cosas que me han pasado en la vida. 💙🤍 ¶ La velocidad a la que pasa el tiempo debería de ser ilegal. No, en serio, una ley o algo. ¿Vamos a seguir permitiéndolo? Samus haz algo." ("One year has passed since the release of #MetroidDread , a dream come true and one of the best things that has ever happened to me. 💙🤍 ¶ The speed at which time passes should be illegal. No, seriously, a law or something. Are we going to continue to allow it? Samus do something.") 8 October 2022 4:07 a.m. Tweet.