A special surprise awaited attendees at Saturday's New Super Mario Bros. Wii Coin Battle tournament finals. Mario creator Shigeru Miyamoto made an appearance at the event to hand out awards, shake hands, and deliver some final words.
The Coin Battle Japan Number One Championships is a nationwide tournament using New Super Mario Bros. Wii. The tournament kicked off with regional events in February, touring the nation to select seven player groups who would appear in the Tokyo finals on Saturday.
As reported at Famitsu.com, the final rounds were split into three divisions: tag battle, single player general, and single player youth.
Tag battle had two players team up and attempt to collect the most coins. The majority of teams consisted of brothers, most ranging from elementary school to high school, but there were some pairings of parents with younger children as well. Regardless of the participants, all the play was top notch, the site notes. In the end, the Kodama brothers from Chuugoku/Shikoku and the Umesaki brothers from Kyushu advanced to the final round, with the Kodama brothers coming out on top.
The general single player participants were all junior high to high school. Using Luigi, Mr. Izumi from the Chuugoku/Shikoku area came out on top with a small four coin difference over Mario, as played by Mr. Sato from Kanto.
The youth tournament limited play to elementary school children. The final round, played on the game's World 5-4 stage, ended with everyone dying. The final winner was determined by the player who had gotten the most coins prior to dying. Mr. Kikuchi from Tohoku beat Mr. Kino from Kanto by a margin of just one coin.
Miyamoto made his appearance following the end of the tournament and handed out awards. The winners were given a Mario trophy and a Wiimote engraved with "Champion. The runners up were given a shield of some form and a Wiimote engraved with "Runner Up."
After shaking hands, Miyamoto made some comments about the play he'd just seen. "It was incredible!" he said. "I watched with excitement, similar to watching the Olympics on television and cheering on the curlers."
"We made this game thinking that we wanted people to play while communicating with one another," he said of New Super Mario Bros. Wii. "But with just that, the gamer spirit would not rest, so we added the Coin Battle elements towards the end. This tournament does not give you the time to look at your surroundings. That is okay today. However, we want Mario to be enjoyed together."
Closing off the awards ceremony, Miyamoto had everyone hold hands, saying "Today, we've all gathered here, so let's hold hands. In particular, hold hands with the team that was your rival just now."
Miyamoto ended the event with some parting words: "I originally did industrial design, and wanted to make tools -- things that could be used to draw the Koopa Troopas, for instance. So, this game was made as a tool that everyone can play, rather than as a game that you strategize to clear. Tools are useful because everyone uses them. Play is like this. Even a single stick can be fun if everyone plays together. We plan on continuing to make this type of product, and would be happy if you'd play and play and build up what we've made into something even more interesting."