On Super Fire Pro Wrestling Special…
“Super Fire Pro Wresting 3 was supposed to be the final game in the series, but it sold very well, so I had the opportunity to work on Super Fire Pro Wrestling Special which also had had a story mode, as the game sold well, Human said, ‘Make another one. This time, you can make it whatever you want.’
I thought about what I could do to make this game unique so I realised that the Fire Pro series itself was just a simulator, about raising a particular wrestler and having him rise through the ranks. I thought, ‘Well, what can I do within that? I know: I can make this a story, I can make this a story-driven experience.
Pro wrestling at the time was experiencing a boom in Japan – hence the games selling so well – so within that big boom, you have people getting very philosophical about wrestling and writing a bunch of things – analysis – and all these deep things, I’m personally a huge fan of wrestling, so I thought how I could give my take on wrestling? What’s my philosophy? I saw this game as a vehicle to do that.
The final boss is a guy named Dick Slender, which is a parody of Ric Flair, and so originally I thought, ‘We can have two endings here – one, you beat the guy and you get the happy ending, the other, you lose and get the bad ending. I didn’t decide to go with the two endings – instead you go on and beat the last boss, he gets all the acclaim from the crowd, from the people, and the screen gradually goes from white, to black. It shows the character’s house, and he’s committed suicide… For me it was like an apotheosis – the character had become a god. It turned into a shitstorm.”
On Killer7 and on working on a global release…
“From the beginning, Mikami-san told me that this is a game that will be released globally, and that’s something that I was conscious of and thought about a lot when working on the game – for starters the game takes place in America. So I thought, what can I write about America? So that’s where the idea of having Japanese politicians come over. The game takes place around 70 years after the war, so what would happen if the peace treaties between America and Japan were revoked. Thinking very deeply about this and about the scenario, I was able to come up with these characters. It’s a game that has my own take on things, but at the same time it’s a game that was very carefully thought about and planned meticulously.”
On developing for Wii and was this a good choice…
“To start at the end of the question, yes I’m glad I did it. One point though, for Japanese people, they don’t necessarily think of Nintendo hardware as for kids. And so when the Wii was first announced I saw the Wiimote. The action that the character Travis has, this is perfect for that, this is the only thing I can use for that.”