Hibiki Sakai is a Japanese fifth-grader who loves drumming and Rhythm Heaven, Nintendo’s cult beloved series of quirky rhythm games. The Rhythm Heaven games are, in fact, the only ones Hibiki can play with ease — he’s blind, as he told Nintendo in a heartfelt letter his father shared on social media.
“I am blind, but I’ve always wanted to play video games like everyone else,” Hibiki wrote, according to a translation by RocketNews24. “But there aren’t many games I can play at all. The one game I can really play is [Rhythm Heaven]. It’s the only game I can enjoy together with others, and I never lose at it. I’ve gotten perfect scores on all the versions on the Game Boy Advance, Nintendo DS, Wii, and 3DS too.
“So I really, really want you to make more [Rhythm Heaven] games,” he added. And it’s perfectly fine if you make them a little harder too!”
Rhythm Heaven relies on tapping a button in time with various rhythms, creating humorous tunes and sounds. That’s useful for players with visual impairments like the young Hibiki.
Hibiki’s father, who goes by kentarock1020 on Twitter, posted both his son’s letter and — best of all — a personalized response from Nintendo of Japan itself. A week after Hibiki’s letter went in the mail, according to his father, he got another one back.
Two versions of Nintendo’s letter arrived: one in Braille, one written out in Japanese.
“Thank you so much for sending us here at Nintendo your heartwarming letter,” it read. After thanking the Rhythm Heaven fan for his enjoyment of the series, the company’s rep added, “We have passed on your letter to Nintendo’s development department. We want to keep making games that everyone can have fun playing, so thank you for your support.”
The last Rhythm Heaven we got stateside was Rhythm Heaven Megamix, a Nintendo 3DS remaster of the original game for Game Boy Advance. There aren’t any new ones in the works, as far as we know. Until a new one comes out, Hibiki is keeping himself busy with his impressive drum skills. Check that out below.