If you’ve been on the Internet at all in the past 48 hours, you’ve heard one of the world’s most legendary rockers, Lemmy from Motorhead, passed away recently. So in his memory, Kotaku dialed up Dayvv Brooks, Nintendo product analyst in 1989, and asked him about how he arrived at the names for the Koopalings — because it’s been confirmed Lemmy in Super Mario Bros. 3 is actually named after THAT Lemmy.
“Music has always been a big part of my life. I’ve been a DJ for years and have been a music collector for even longer. When I first saw the group of seven Koopalings, music was on my mind.
The hairstyle on one of them reminded me of Ludwig von Beethoven for some reason and Ludwig von Koopa was born. Next was the one with the glasses—that has to be Roy Koopa in homage to Roy Orbison, who almost always wore glasses. Then Wendy O. Koopa (Wendy O. Williams) [and] Iggy Koopa (Iggy Pop). One looked like a loudmouth, so he was Morton Koopa Jr. from [the] loud-mouthed talk show host Morton Downey Jr. And then there was Larry. There’s no real-world equivalent—he’s not Larry Mullen Jr. from U2 or Larry King—he just looked like a Larry.
That brings us to Lemmy. In addition to being a great name, it’s perfect for a video game character. This Koopaling struck me as being the kind of character who would do his own thing, no matter what anyone else thought. I think it was those crazy eyes. Lemmy Koopa was in the crew.”
Brooks did not leave the company until 1992, so it’s a safe bet he’s also the reason those Triceratops enemies at the end of a few Super Mario World levels are named “Reznors.” (Trent Reznor…..NIN, get it?) And now, what might’ve been…..