Until now, noone was able to determine exactly whether the ON clip was a hoax or some kind of clue. "Mario looks fake", some people said. "How could he have predicted that ´creative brain´ quote from the press conference", others asked. Well, all the answers are here in the first interview by Pablo, I believe. I am only aware of him posting on the Spanish forum Vandal.net. I mailed him a whole bunch of questions, which he kindly answered.
On a legal note: you are free to republish this entire interview or quote from it, as long as you do not alter the content in any way and quote this website as its origin. Thank you.
* Do you have any connection to Nintendo? Did you ever work for them or know someone who works for them? Was the clip ordered by anyone at all, or did you decide to produce it yourself?
No, I don’t have any kind of connection, but quite the opposite. The first “Fan Fiction” I published on the net, called “Super Mario Universe” had as a slogan “I’ve known Nintendo for 20 years, it is time for Nintendo to begin to know me”. I do all this so that I can form part of thais company which I love. I’m aware I’ve got no chances of being taken on by Nintendo: I haven’t studied in Digipen, I’m not American or Japanese, I don’t use the programs they use, I don’t have many years of experience creating games… I’d never pass their personal departments tests, though this doesn’t mean I can’t be more useful for them than all those who seem to have a bigger academic formation than me. Nintendo has been my inspiration, their games have woken up, fed and shaped my creative abilities, I think like Nintendo, I live its philosophy, I know what their fans want, and even without ´giving up my style, I can make people doubt if my creations don’t come from a big professional Nintendo team. Nothing of this is taught at any university however prestigious it may be, but unfortunately that’s not going to be reflected on a job interview. The reason for all my “Fan Fictions” is to show all this, and on the way expressing myself about everything Nintendo does which I don’t agree with (mostly, releasing new ideas they should have released years ago, and which for that reason lose efectivity).
* In the clip, you anticipated a few things: talking about the different sides of the brain, the ability to create games as well as play them. How could you know these things before Reggie Fils-Aime talked about them at the press conference? Secondly, you anticipated that the Revolution could be connected to a computer monitor. Also, the reflection in the DVD being inserted seems to show the Revolution console. And the outlined console below the Gamecube (with a question mark on it) looks similar too. Did you really just guess all that? How do you explain that Reggie said ´Be prepared to let your right brain run wild´ after the clip was released?
It’s obvious they’re just coincidences. The thing is, when something is done sharing the same philosophy of doing things, coincidences increase. As I’ve said before, a part of myself thinks like Nintendo, I can anticipate their releases and intentions (obviously, this isn’t a rule, I sometimes fail, perhaps because of the influence of games by other companies, hahahahaha). The trick is mixing what I’d like Nintendo to do as a fan and what I believe they’re going to do as a company; it never fails. And about that thing of using both your brain sides, I think it would be quite succesful to allow users to create their own games. Nintendo has always taken care of making games that players can personalize, and I’m not talking about changing the colour of the menu, of course. The 64DD had the intention (relatively speaking) of exploiting the creative part of players allowing them to save or overwrite parts of a game. The most recent example is Animal Crossing, a game in which Nintendo has invested a lot of years, not regarding the technical section, but regarding the approach: the participation of the user in the creativity and the game. All this is already part of the past: just looking at things like this it was possible to infer Nintendo would talk about using both sides of the brain. Thay had talked about it in the past, though they didn’t say it in an E3 presentation. “Electroplacton” or “Nintendogs” are games that seem “irrelevant” compared to the spectacular games of PS3 or Xbox360, but Nintendo wanted them to be highlighted in this years’ conference. The reason is that they also reflect the idea of fostering users’ creativity in which Nintendo is so interested and which on the other hand is understimated by the competition.
* In the clip you abbreviate the Revolution´s name to RS. IGN has reserved the URL rs.ign.com (though it is not active yet). Is that another coincidence? Are you in contact with IGN at all?
It’s another coincidence. I’ve got no contact with IGN and I don’t know what that domain means.
* The clip is very impressive. If noone ordered it, why did you make such a big effort? Is the message on this high-res still really from you? It was posted by someone called Yugulator (on this forum).
Yes, that messege’s mine and I know Yugulator. Mi intention from the beginning was what I did with the F-Zero clip: explaining on the clip itself that it was made by a fan, and not by Nintendo. A few minutes after having finished it, I uploaded the Nintendo ON clip to a server whose direction is known only to me to show it to some friends. I don’t know very well how, in 20 minutes time, it was already travelling around the Internet and provoking quite a commotion. I told Yugulator to write that message to clarify why I had done it, because I hadn’t had time to put a warning on the clip itself, and I didn’t want people to make up things, although I haven’t been able to avoid it.
* Why does the clip end so abruptly? What day did you want to release it and why?
I wanted mi idea about the new Nintendo console to be released before the E3 so that I would demonstrate that, instead of showing something really exiting and revolutionary related to virtual reality, they’d present something related to develop cheaper games to sell more of them and getting more money from users offering just a minimun in exchange. For that reason, and because of some setbacks I had, I decided the clip wouldn’t have an ending, it would finish with what the little time I had until the E3 allowed me.
* How do you explain the flash animation seen on NintendoOn.co.uk? Are they just copycats? Have you had contact with William McClean (owner of the website)?
That web page isn’t mine. Mi clip is a free clip, done for hobby, without a profit motive or because of fame (it just has the intention of expressing my principles and on the way saying “hello, I’m here” to the people in Nintendo). Therefore, as the author of the clip I haven’t got any problem in having webs from all around the world linking to the clip or making reference to it. Up to now, NintendoON.co.uk hasn’t put any advertising on the web page to earn money of my clip, so I didn’t pay much attention to it until I discovered that website was spreading around the net the rumour that the clip was theirs. When I realized this I hurriedly wrote to MeleeWebDesign asking them about their intentions and reminding them they couldn’t neither use the content of the clip nor plagiarize the design to get any money. In the only answer I received they “challenged” me to prove in the United States or Great Britain that I have a certificate proving that clip and its contents are mine. This answer has showed me that perhaps their intentions aren’t so good. But, on the other hand I find it quite funny thinking how they’re going to prove before a judge the clip is theirs, because not only do I have the originals but also I could make the whole clip again without any kind of problem. There are people who are really mean.
* Is the ON logo your design? Or does it come from a different source?
All the merit of that logo comes from the amazing designer Miguel Iranzo (better known as “Atari Baby”). I like to count on him and have his opinion in everything I do. We’ve always won all desingn contests we’ve participated in together.
* If the clip is all made up, is there any kind of significance to the numbers from the castle count: 002.150.014, 211.348.824 and 512.000.000?
It’s just a counter that counts the castles seen on screen. Anything else is a mixture of coincidences and people’s fantasy.
* Is there any significance to the technology shown? Are you aware of ´Augmented Reality´ technology? What was your inspiration for the proximity sensor shown?
Everything that appears in the clip is totally real. Nintendo ON isn’t only the Internet clip, it is a whole philosophy about what Nintendo would have to do to sweep aside its competition. The creation of the console is based on existing data, techniques and technology. The proximity radar is based on military armament used for instance in some cars to detect how close the other cars are when you park. In this case, it works this way: the radar sends waves and takes them back, deducing the distance from an object nearby from the time it takes to the waves to go there and come back. NintendoON uses this technology to create an image in grey-scale of the player’s hands, in which each shade of grey matches with proximity and remoteness, being the whiter the closer and the darker the further.In this way it could calculate the movement of a finger and apply it to a virtual button introduced into your hand by the console’s viewer. In the original clip I had been preparing for months, everything was perfectly explained, because it lasted around 30 minutes. However my 250-megabyte hard drive, where I stored all the information, broke before the E3. In the final clip, all these explanations where absolutely neglected.
* What type of software did you use and exactly how long did it take you to produce the clip? Yugulator claims it took you a week. That seems far too little time to me.
About the software I use: I know I dont’t do anything illegal because I don’t earn money with what I do, I haven’t signed the clip with the intention of advertising myself and I haven’t published the clip myself anywhere. But, since I’ve “borrowed” the software from my design school, I prefer to answer your question saying I made the clip cutting everything out of painted paper and recording it all at a determinate hour of the day in which you couldn’t see the wires I used to move everything. About the time it took: it’s true I made it in a week, not because I wanted it that way, but because I lost all the information in my hard drive and I only had a week before the E3. It was either doing everything in a week or doing nothing.
* Did you completely remodel the Super Mario 64 castle or did you get the map from somewhere?
Yes, I did all the modelling and the textures from scratch. I’ve laughed a lot reading some comments of those who say “that’s very easy: you just have to de-compilate the game from an emulator and it’s done”. I’d like them to come and tell me how that is done, because I would have saved a lot of effort.
* If I may ask, how old are you? Do you work only for elrellano.com? What is your job precisely? What kind of training have you received?
I’m 23, at this moment I don’t have a job, and when I finish the four subjects I still have ahead in my design studies, I’ll see what to do. I collaborate with elrellano.com and I’m the director of a group of friends who make parodies and shortfilms, called “elCorral”.
* Have you created the spectacular videos on Sachit.Animestyle.info? If so, you did a lot of clips on Nintendo games, Metroid and F-Zero especially. They must have taken you months. Were any of these contract work in any way? Is that really your website? Are you connected in any way to Matt Langdon of Ontario, Canada (the owner of Animestyle.info)?
I know somebody called Sachit (though I don’t know if he’s Matt Langdon, I’ve never heard that name) but we don’t speak much because I’m not very good at English. And yes, the clips on that web are mine. I’ve been doing “Fan Fiction” for a long time, I’ve done it about Zelda, F-Zero, Metroid, Perfect Dark and Nintendo ON. Many years ago, a lot of Nintendo fans knew me for my drawings in a Nintendo 64 magazine. I think I’m in a phase of learning, so when I finish a clip, I feel embarrased of the previous ones.
* Has anyone else approached you about the ON video? Has Nintendo been in touch with you after the clip was released?
After releasing the clip I’ve received some interesting offers, but I’ve preferred to go on with the projects I had before the clip. I didn’t have the intention of finding a job (if it wasn’t with Nintendo itself). No, Nintendo hasn’t said a word.
Of course, the whole interview rests upon this person really being Pablo Belmonte, which I´m absolutely convinced of. I approached the owner of the El Rellano domain. He forwarded my mail and it is obvious that he is working directly with Pablo, because Pablo produces a great deal of the site´s content. There was only one detail that made me question his authenticity: The mail signature read ´Psycho3ler´ with an ´h´, rather than ´Psyco3ler´, which appears on the site and videos in question. So I asked three additional questions to make sure he really was the creator of the videos:
* On the hidden El Rellano page, where do you get to when you answer the riddles at the end correctly?
Nothing interesting, it’s a zone only for those who form the group “elCorral”. If you can answer everything (and only we know the true answers), you get to a web with the unfinished or provisional versions of what we’re preparing at that moment.
* Just a personal question: I really like the soundtrack. Where did you get the music from? Who is it from? I would very much like to buy it! ;)
It’s a song by the great Harry Gregson-Williams, from the film “The rundown”, which I can’t recommend you because I haven’t watched it.
* Is your nickname Psycho3ler with an ´h´? Wasn´t it spelt without an ´h´? Sorry to ask (I am a journalist and have to ask this): Is there any way you can prove that you are Pablo Belmonte?
The “H” variety depends only on the language. “Psyco” is “psycho” in English, so I use Psyco3ler in Spain and Psycho3ler for things in English. However, it doesn’t follow any logic, you can read it as “Psychotriller” in English or as “chico tresler” in Spanish. I find ambiguity in names funny, it’s great that everyone says it differently, and all of them are correct. And about proving I’m Pablo Belmonte, I might need to show my ID card when I find people taking profit of my work or earning money in an illegitimate way, or pretend to talk on my behalf. By the moment, I’m not interested in proving anything, as I’ve said I have no intention of advertising myself. Whoever I am I’ll continue expressing my principles through my work and my main intention is not needing to sign or saying who I am to make everybody know that it’s me who is behind a good job.
It is clear from all three answers that the mail really was from Pablo. If you are still in doubt and speak Spanish, go to his ID page on the Vandal forums and read all his entries. You will find that his posts there match exactly what he told me, in content and style. I think that pretty much eliminates any possibility of an imposter.
Finally, I would like to express my heartfelt thanks to Pablo for taking his time to answer all these questions in such great detail and, of course, for being such an inspired artist. Muchos gracias, Pablo!