Grant Kirkhope may be a veteran composer in the games world, but he’s also just like us. He, too, is capable of completely embarrassing himself at the worst possible moments. That happens to include when he met Nintendo designer and creative lead Shigeru Miyamoto, resulting in a story of epically bad proportions.
And Kirkhope’s “how I met Miyamoto” story is really, really bad. He reminisced about their less-than-charmed first encounter in an interview with GamesIndustry.biz this week. Kirkhope ran into Miyamoto at E3 1997, the year that the conference took place in Atlanta. The composer was fresh off Goldeneye 007, to this day one of the most beloved Nintendo 64 games; next up for him was Banjo-Kazooie, another Rare classic that would cement him in the industry.
Now imagine someone with those accolades running into another well-respected person industry vet. Should be a classic meeting of the minds, right? Here’s how Kirkhope tells it:
Nintendo had a party in a museum, and we all got hideously drunk. I saw [Rare founder] Tim Stamper talking to Miyamoto, and I introduced myself as the composer of Banjo-Kazooie, totally drunk. He just looked at me with the blankest expression, he couldn't tell what I was saying. A while later, I was in the bathroom —and this is embarrassing — I was trying to pull down [Donkey Kong 64 designer] George Andreas' trousers for a joke. I was on my knees and I looked up to see Miyamoto staring down at me. That was the last time I spoke to him.
At least Kirkhope will have his chance to try again with Miyamoto, now that he’s working on Mario + Rabbids Kingdom Battle over at Ubisoft Milan. We already know that Miyamoto’s a big supporter of the crossover Switch project; he gave director Davide Soliani a big shout-out during the game’s E3 2017 reveal, a moment that drove him to tears.
Besides, even if drunkenly pantsing someone is a mortifying position to be in around one of your idols, Kirkhope at least has a really great story to tell at parties. The closest I’ve come to having a Miyamoto meet-up moment was at this year’s E3, when he brushed past me not once, but two times during the conference. He made light, accidental contact with my shoulder! How exciting!
Hold onto that story of yours, Kirkhope. It’s a good one.