A Virtual Tour of Nintendo HQ

February 6th, 2006 at 10:52 pm by The Missing Link

Note: This article is an exception to our standard policy on copying articles. Permission to copy this article is prohibited without TML’s expressed written permission. Permission to link to and summarise this article is still permitted without permission.

We’ve all known for some time that Nintendo is… very secretive about their games and their systems. The same is true for their buildings as well. Nintendo doesn’t allow just anyone to prance into their HQ and start snooping around. Thankfully, I’m so super-cool and ultra-sexy that they had no choice but to let me in! (Ha! If you believe that, I’ve got some oceanfront property in the Gerudo Desert to sell you.) No, I’m a lowly peon, and the security guard would not let me in by my lonesome. Unlike most people who claim to have their uncle’s cousin’s mother’s father’s sister’s best friend’s parakeet’s daughter’s stepsister’s boyfriend’s former roommate who works in Nintendo, I actually do know someone that works inside the ominous grey building of Nintendo, and my really good friend was kind enough to vouch for me at the security desk, saying that SHE thought I was super-cool and ultra-sexy that I wasn’t a spy for Bill Gates that I was her visitor. The ploy worked, and ShawnaDuck and I were invited in to take a tour of Nintendo with my good friend.

Before I begin, I want to handle all the easy questions. No, I did not see the Revolution in action. No, I did not hold the nunchaku controller. No, I did not see Twilight Princess. No, I did not see any game that isn’t already in stores. No, I did not take pictures of anything super secret Nintendo is planning. No, I don’t know anything super secret that Nintendo is planning. No, I could not tell you those secrets if I had seen them. No, I’m not some V.I.P. that was able to access the restricted areas in Nintendo. No, I did not meet Reggie. No, I don’t know how to pronounce Reggie’s last name. (That was going to be my question if I met him.) No, I cannot stand on my head. No, I will not tell you who my friend is so you can get in either. I just took a simple tour and took a few pictures. This article serves nothing more than to share with you my experience in the event that you never manage to find your way inside Nintendo’s pearly gates. And, as always, yes, the Wallet Monster will come after anyone who tries to ask any of the above questions.

I started out getting this nifty badge that brought me into the sacred halls of Nintendo. (I fought off the urge to say the famous phrase, “Badges? We don’t need no stinkin’ badges!” I figured they’d throw me out, and I didn’t want to risk that after coming so far!) Our heroic trio then marched up the stairs and into the break room where the employees gather during their… breaks.

That’s my friend and… oh goddesses, ShawnaDuck is going to kill me for putting up her photo. (Don’t kill me!) Anyways, there’s several arcade games here set up to be in eternal free play mode. The Nintendoites are allowed to play games like Mortal Kombat II, Dr. Mario, R-Type, Neo Geo games, among several others in their free time while sipping a pop or munching on snacks. Already, this sounds like a better deal than my job!

We then swung headed quickly over the Link to the Past skybridge over to the old building (even Nintendo has an ironic sense of humour), and we quickly passed through Marketing to get to Café Mario. Before we really got into the restaurant, we passed by a bulletin board that where E-mails, letters, and fanart were posted that actual fans from North America had submitted to Nintendo. There was a really nice Zelda picture there, so I had to take a picture. (If anyone knows who made it, I’ll gladly mention him or her here on the ‘Blog.)

Now, onto Café Mario! There’s a restaurant on premisis for Nintendo employees to dine at during lunchtime. They’ve got everything here, from freshly made salads and fruit to hot meals. Even a picky eater is certain to find something here to satiate their appetite.

Now we move onto the coolest parts of Nintendo HQ. Taking a left from the café, we came across a huge myriad of active consoles and rows and rows of games. Pardon me for a moment as I show a gruesome and gratuitous shot of myself clawing at anything Zelda I could find.

The consoles, had games ranging from Donkey Konga to Super Smash Bros. Melee, from some basketball game with Princess Peach in it to DDR: Mario Mix, and employees could come here to play games in their free time if they wanted to venture a little further from Cubeville. (Ah Cubeville… how familiar I am with thee.) The rows and rows of games that were there could be leafed through for information and were able to be played… even checked out by the employees for play on their systems at home. (Drool. Oh sorry. I forgot the last thing you wanted was a phlegm-coated article.) I even found one of the two arcade games that I have been looking for for like… ever.

Next to this were several displays of various Nintendo memorabilia that had been created over the years. There was a 100-piece Zelda jigsaw puzzle. There were oodles of Pokémon toys. There were Mario plushes galore. And one of the most recent addition to this was a slew of Super Mario Strikers stuff along with autographs from Team Nintendo.

Next we got to see two meeting rooms adjacent to this managarie of craziness. Unlike many other office buildings, rooms are not numbered but rather named after various Nintendo games and characters. The two meeting rooms here were named Link and Zelda, proving once again that I probably shouldn’t ever suggesting shipping and Nintendo HQ in the same breath for the rest of this article lest I want the comments section to go completely nuts.

In the same room (okay, most of the cool stuff is in the same spot; I didn’t design the place, so you can’t sue me), they had the History of Nintendo, showing all of the products they had produced from the beginning of the company all the way through the Gamecube and the GBA:SP. (The Nintendo DS had not been added yet, but I honestly don’t know where they’re going to find room for it!) It started out, if you don’t know, as a playing card company, and then it gradually morphed into producing the Famicom (Family Computer) in Japan, the R.O.B. (Robotic Operating Buddy), the NES, and then the rest, as they say, is history. Yes, there was a Virtual Boy there, too, so they’re not shunning their failures as some companies do.

Finally, there’s the employee store, Nintendo Fun & Games. In there is a variety of things from games and consoles to shirts and sweatshirts, from keychains and laniards to playing cards and tops, from pens and pencils to plushes and beer steins. Of course, I couldn’t help but enter and purchase a few things of my own, but I’ll let the exact nature of my purchases go unsaid. And now, to distract you from what I just said, here’s a picture of the store. You should look at that and go onto the next paragraph, yes.

We then left the new wing of Nintendo to go back to the call center, where your calls to Nintendo’s 1-800 number go when you experience problems with your games and consoles. We weren’t allowed to take pictures in there, but it was just cubicles, and you wouldn’t want to see that stuff anyways. It’s beyond boring; trust the TML. From a far… far… too-far-to-notice-anything-special-going-on distance, we could see the place where the Nintendo Power magazine was made. Finally we went back downstairs and went into the Customer Service Center, the only place where non-employees are allowed to go within the Nintendo building. Here is where units are brought to when they’ve been broken and need fixing. Those that enter are welcomed by none other than Mario himself.

We toured around the store a bit, got to meet the person behind the counter, and then were told of a story about a Game Boy that had been brought to Nintendo that had been partially destroyed by a bomb going off. The Game Boy’s bottom was melted and deformed, yet somehow miraculously, the unit still worked! Sadly, it was not on display down there, but it makes a neat story nevertheless.

Such was the end of our tour, and after checking out with the security guard, we went back to my friend’s house for what would turn out to be a wild night of Mario Kart DS and conversation.

While I’m sure that text and pictures don’t properly do NOA’s headquarters justice, one thing I really hope it does do is inspire you to keep living the dream. I’ve wanted to see NOA headquarters for years, and finally I was lucky enough to have my chance (emphasis on the word “lucky”). Even beyond that, though, I know a lot of you out there, myself included, one day would love to be in the gaming industry and work for Nintendo. (Or one of their evil counterparts. After all, a certain someone does happen to live really close by…)

It does take a lot of work and a lot of patience, but who knows? One day you might waltz into Nintendo HQ, get your own employee badge, and be taking your own friends on tours.

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51 Messages from the Gossip Stones about “A Virtual Tour of Nintendo HQ”

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Wow, so thats what you were doing all this time. :D Thats a pretty crazy trip.

Nice, but you showed only the obvious “bling-bling” part of NOA. I admit it’s pretty cool, but I would have preferred a more behind-the-scenes article. Instead now I’m just jealous of not having access to the whole thing! :(

SmashManiac said:

Nice, but you showed only the obvious “bling-bling” part of NOA. I admit it’s pretty cool, but I would have preferred a more behind-the-scenes article. Instead now I’m just jealous of not having access to the whole thing! :(

Unfortunately, photographs are only allowed to be taken in certain areas. I took pictures wherever I was allowed… hence you really only get the bling-bling part of it.

Yeah, Nintendo has trained ninjas who will take you out if you even breathe in those places.

Seriously, you take some of their air and your dead.

Heheh, that’s pretty awesome. Wish I could go on a tour like that… although I suppose I’d never get further than to NoE.:(

*whispers something under breath*
*dressed as a journalist (again)*Hey, TML, I have a few questions for ya:
Did you really see SSBM as an arcade?
Did you really think your the desendant of everyone’s favorite spy, James Bond, Agent 007?
What about the Nunchaku controller?

[TML: I warned you not to ask about the nunchaku controller… ;) ]

WOW…WOW…WOW I am so jealous haha damn thats one trip I would like to take. Actually I have plans to move to Japan in the future so maybe I will be able to get a tour of Nintendo’s Japanese HQ (thats if they do tours) well if my dream of living in Japan comes true I will try to get some pictures for you if I can TML.

BTW Hey TML this is how you pronounce Mr Aimes’s name- Regg-ie Phil-is Ai-mes, or as we in the UK call him “the Reggienator”, lol.

X) They may be evil, but they’re something! Maybe you’ll have to make a tour of more gaming companies someday ;D (Most don’t have that much cool stuff in them though XD)

It looks like you’re having fun! I’m so glad you got to do that, and just as glad you got to share with everyone! That’s quite awesome TML X3

Yay! Glad your plot worked. ;)

Lucky you, wish i could go!

Some guys have all the luck.

That had to have been so cool! I’m so going to build a house and name my rooms after zelda charicters…oh yeah…lol. Thanks for the peak TML!

Wowee! That would really rock to go there. Of course, some day all of YOU will want to have a tour of MY company…heh heh…

WHAT?! What is a my picture doing on the Internets?!!!1

Just kidding. ;D

That was such a wonderful day! Many thanks to our awesome friend who gave us the tour! :D

Whats the food like?Is it crappy, or is it good :P

Oh, man! You’re so lucky!

*drool is hanging form my mouth dripping on the keybord, and several large gasps are given in the past few minutes*

Wowowowowow!!! I would give almost ANYTHING to be working in there!!! (Except my Gamecube and soon to be Twilight Princess) Is there any sushi in the cafeteria? Im crazy about that stuff…
Really, though, that was so cool!!!!

I want that Twilight Princess Standee…

Awesome pics.

Um, you’re a bit bigger than I thought you were. You really should try to exercise more often. Well, whatever. That’s what Americans look like these days. Can you give us a few hints as to what you bought? Anything Zelda-related? I’d have to cry if you said you bought some Pokemon stuff.

No, I did not eat in the cafeteria. But West Coast food is better than my hometown as a rule.

Master of ALttP said:

Can you give us a few hints as to what you bought? Anything Zelda-related? I’d have to cry if you said you bought some Pokemon stuff.

I can. But I’m not. I’m just evil that way.

Yes, another Wallet monster *seing its bigger* to fight 0_0 sweeet! *fights it off with little success*
Navi: Geez, TML, you need to keep this kid from the monsters, hes swordsplay happy *stares at HH trying to run from the monster in order to get more hearts*

TML FTW!!!111oneone

Really, thanks.

*shiver* Wallet Monsters *shiver*
haha lucky you TML!! I have a really really good friend who works at Sony, so I’ve seen some of that kinda stuff before… But I don’t really like Sony… Ah man I wish he worked at Nintendo!!! And I wish I did too

I always thought it was boring on the inside, but now, its half as boring (bling-bling only) did you see the fuzzy slime guy there, he used to be a mascot there before they voted on changing him (he looked like a monster from a different game) and did you ever figure out how to play the original Nintendo card game?


makes me want to work there even more >_>

Its just a pity that Nintendo’s European HQ is in Germany, wish it was in the UK.

Oh that is just mean. I want in. sutch a store. My god. I wish I had friends in high places. best I got is well no one. dam. you’re just teasing us with this. aren’t you? (it’s a retorical question.) oh well. guess we’ll just have to wait until Nintendo decide to let us all in for outrageous prices and overprice the store completely. *sigh*

Oh, TML…you are so very lucky… I wish that someday I can do artwork for Nintnedo…even just the smallest blade of grass in the vastsness of Hyrule Feild would fill my heart with glee….. Do you think if I mail some of my art to them, they might consider it..or, at least, post it on the super cool bulletin board? …I know I’m not the best artisit in the world, but still..I’d like to try… What say you, boss?

The Darkest Link said:

you’re just teasing us with this. aren’t you?

Absolutely not. If I was teasing or taunting you, I’d say I’d have gotten in, shown a picture that dubiously proved my claim, and then said nothing more. I figured that sharing as much of the experience as I could (an experience I never thought I could have) would be the best bet.

Woah that is so awesome. That looked like the coolest place ever.

hhmmm it looks awesome but it needs more gorons and rocks lots of rocks

I’m a newbie but to heck with it…

Yeah I hate it when people claim that their sister’s uncle’s brother’s child’s brother’s dog’s cat’s son’s owner’s grandma’s cousin’s father’s friend’s friend’s sister work at NOA and know where the triforce is and have told them.

You should have asked them if the Zelda III: Triforce Saga beta cartrige was real.

A what!Zelda III Triforce saga?Now thas something interesting.back to the subject: How big was the building?And you never told us what the food was like?

(a) No, it’s not real.
(b) It’s two buildings.
(c) I didn’t HAVE the food there. Otherwise, I’d have mentioned it.

Ok, just checking.What was the oter game you’ve been looking for

The Missing Link said:
I even found one of the two arcade games that I have been looking for for like… ever.

The arcade for Mario: Double Dash

The Missing Link said:

The arcade for Mario: Double Dash

Omg that is like the awesomist thing EVER! I love Mario: DD! TML I’m sooooo jealous

Wasnt the GameCube Arcade system called “Triforce”?

Awesome! I would love to go to NOA. NOJ might be cooler exept I wouldn’t understand what people were saying.

  • 41. JC says:

The actual inside of Nintendo HQ looks barron and deserted. Was everyone basically working on whatever (Call centers, NP Magazine, etc)?

Were there multiple floors? If so, were you just on the first one?

I’d love to go inside there. But, actually, half of Nintendo HQ is in Nintendo World in NYC. ;-) (The arcades part, places to buy fancy items, buy games) Nintendo World is just NOA HQ without the call center and NP. :-p

TML, you are causing a mega controvercy! Lol. Better stop any wars from breaking out!

Sounds like a pretty awesome trip! You are pretty lucky TML.

Musica said:

TML, you are causing a mega controvercy! Lol. Better stop any wars from breaking out!

I have no idea what you’re talking about. :P

I think the “Triforce” GameCube Arcade system was developed by Nintendo, Sega & Namco.

What was it like in the shop there did they have other games besides classics like mario and the legend of zelda ?????????

one word: Dude… ::stares in admiration::
that is so cool!!

Did you eer see anything of a Tingle RPG in there?I am just wondering (plz say no)

I think he said that they never let him see anything that wasn’t out already, which makes sense, because any word like that spreads at the speed of light on the internet.

If that game stays in Japan, we will be safe.Has anyone noticed that below the Mario statue is a Minish Ninja?