When we were almost done with the development of Metroid, one of our staffers casually suggested "Why don't we make Samus Aran a female character to surprise the player?" Back then I thought it was a nice idea, but I couldn't foresee what a huge impact this would have on the future of the franchise.
Yoshio Sakamoto is one of the most prolific game designers at Nintendo, having been vetted with his expansive work with the Metroid series. He is a key member of Nintendo's vital and oldest development team, R&D1, within which he founded the Team Shikamaru group dedicated to script writing. Regarding his professional relationship with Shigeru Miyamoto, he believes his own mission is not to compete but to "always come up with something very different from what Mr. Miyamoto is likely to do".