The Untold History of Japanese Game Developers: Volume 1

The Untold History of Japanese Game Developers: Volume 1 – by John Szczepaniak

The Untold History of Japanese Game Developers reveals more information and secrets about the history of Japanese video games than ever before. There’s first-hand accounts of Konami’s secret games console, the pre-history and origin of Game Arts, some unusual events at Telenet, and never before heard stories from inside Falcom. The secret politics behind Enix’s game programming contests are revealed. There’s a tour of the Love-de-Lic and WARP offices, and layout sketches of many other developers. Every interviewee is asked about unreleased games. There’s detailed insight into the culture of computer, console and arcade games, including interviews with high profile collectors and preservationists. From the dawn of games until after the millennium, there are recollections you won’t find anywhere else, with exclusive archive photos (printing is black & white).

36 interviewees! Over 500 pages!

With foreword by GAMESIDE magazine’s editor-in-chief, Yusaku Yamamoto

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Also available on all other Amazon sites. Please search for them directly.


Hitoshi YONEDA
Japanese cover artist, first hired by Falcom, company’s early days, Sega, Phantasy Star II cover, changes for the West, influenced by English water colour painters, other non-game work

Google software engineer, April Fool’s jokes, 8-bit Maps explanation, Google Treasure Hunt, Pokemon joke, behind the scenes of Google, working with Square-Enix, Dragon Quest

Katsutoshi EGUCHI
Former punk musician discusses the life of Kenji Eno, creating Real Sound for the Sega Saturn, working with the Bitmap Brothers, bringing Gods and Xenon 2 to Japan, dealing with CESA and ratings in Japan, Eno-san’s creation of the Dreamcast logo, Michael Nyman in a hotel, map of WARP offices

Enix programmer, history of the company, how royalties worked, game design and programming schools, Kouichi Nakamura, self-taught programming, development tools, detailed explanations on PC-88 development (graphics, map creation, music), Haunted Cave, Magic Garden, JESUS I&II, converting Ultima, Prajator, differences between tapes and disks, illegal games, the changing nature of the industry

Professor Akinori NAKAMURA
The work of Ritsumeikan University in preserving Famicom games

Game Preservation Society
Detailed look at the Japanese Game Preservation Society, scanning floppies, copy protection, unreleased games, rarest PC Engine game on Earth, optimal conditions for preserving games, technical explanations

Matsubara KEIGO
Interview with a preservationist with 14’000+ game books, choose-your-own-adv books based on games, music CDs, magazines, Earthbound guides, and the most important book: Denshi Yuugi Taizen TV Games

Japanese gaming and arcade culture, old magazines, hi-score players, the world of the SCORELER, a TV series called No Continue Kid which examines this culture

Roy OZAKI & Kouichi YOTSUI
Mitchell Corporation and Capcom (with rare photos!), Pang and its similarities to Bubble Buster / Cannon Ball on Japanese computers, arcade games Strider, Cannon Dancer, The Karate Tournament, Lady Killer, Gamshara, Puzz Loop and Zuma, dealing with gangsters, Polarium, Suzuki Bakuhatsu, Nostalgia 1907, secrets of Namco’s System 10 board, visiting Nintendo, PC-98 dev, Data East, Toki, unreleased games

Masaaki KUKINO
Konami and SNK arcade games, map of SNK office, unreleased games, Haunted Castle (aka: Castlevania), Asterix, Crime Fighters, Silent Scope, meeting Noel Gallagher of Oasis, King of Fighters

Suikoden Chapter
Yoshitaka Murayama, Harry Inaba, Jeremy Blaustein, Casey Loe, world exclusive secrets about Konami’s unreleased games console/handheld, lots of Suikoden trivia, difficulties of localisation

Visual Novels introduction

Japanese visual novels, nakige, eroge, darkige, doujin vs commercial, Comiket, differences between Japanese/English story techniques, Umineko, Higurashi When They Cry, Rose Gun Days, dealing with fans, Otogirisou, Key, Jun Maeda, an unreleased game, otaku culture, Otogorisou and Kamaitachi no Yoru

Visual novels, working at KID, Pepsiman, VANTAN videogame vocational school, Memories Off, Otogorisou and Kamaitachi no Yoru, Never 7, Ever 17, Remember 11, EVE, the pressures of making erotic games, Steins;Gate, 999, Virtue’s Last Reward, Danganronpa, PlayStation 4

Touhou shooters, PC-98 versus Windows, office sketches, working at Taito, Bujingai, PS2 bench-marking, Taito’s karaoke games machine, Comiket over the years, doujin, indie, female characters, beer, trivia

Yoshiro KIMURA
Square Soft, Doug Smith, Lode Runner, old Japanese computers, Romancing SaGa, Rule of Rose, Chulip, Little King’s Story, indie, doujin, detailed life history, board game with potatoes, Love-de-Lic (with office sketches), Moon on PlayStation, Lack of Love, Kenichi Nishi, outdoor theatre, Grasshopper, rare artwork

Telenet, Falcom, Game Arts, Quintet (with rare photos!), Exile on Japanese computers, PC-88, Megami Tensei differences between Famicom and MSX, ActRaiser, Illusion of Gaia, Robotrek, censorship, Gaiares, Sega Mega CD, Lunar: Eternal Blue, removed characters, Valis, creating pixel art, graphics techniques, the story behind Ys III, what happened to Masaki Hashimoto and Tomoyoshi Miyazaki, Granstream Saga

Jun Nagashima
Falcom (incl. office sketch), Shade, creation of Popful Mail, alternate names, Ys V on SFC, Studio Alex

Falcom, Sega, Quintet, Ancient as a family-run business, The Black Onyx, sister joining industry by creating art for The Fire Crystal, what happened to Masaki Hashimoto and Tomoyoshi Miyazaki, making doujin games, history of The Scheme on PC-88, writing a music column for magazines, tour of the studio, Joe Hisaishi, origin of Sonic the Hedgehog on 8-bit systems, Bare Knuckle 4 details, influencing dubstep

Masamoto MORITA
Sega, arcade divisions and rivalry with console divisions, Saturn, Dreamcast, different arcade boards and their uses, end of Sega hardware, sketch of company layout, meeting Steven Spielberg, Dororo on PS2, the manga being censored, influenced by Halo, Isao Okawa, Die Hard Arcade

AX series and Game Arts introduction

ASCII, AX series, Game Arts, Taito deals, history of Japanese computers, Olion, lots of unreleased games, Theseus & influence on Thexder, Illegus, MSX prototype, writing books on games and the MSX, Apple II in Japan, PC-6001 Commodore Business Machine (PET), programming languages, Kouichi Nakamura

ASCII (with map), AX series, Game Arts, Theseus, Illegus, Silpheed on both PC-88 and Sega Mega CD, rendered backgrounds on Sega, cut content, secret minigames, Lunar: Eternal Blue debugging and game balance, Japanese magazines, DEA game school and course specifics (photos), Star Trek

AX series, Game Arts co-founder, creator of Thexder, early days at the company, office maps, Cuby Panic, PC-6001, new model of PC-88, shift to consoles, some incredible Game Arts trivia

Hiroshi SUZUKI
First ever stealth game, Manbiki Shounen, signing a deal with Taito, Lupin III (arcade game), flight sims, Japanese computers, BASIC Master Level 3, PC-98, creating custom hardware boards for computers, flight controller, sound board, lots of unreleased games, early culture of computer games

Vanguard, Enix, unreleased Sega Saturn hardware allowing online shopping, The Black Onyx, Axiom on PC-88, games on PC-98, working with Game Arts and Falcom, future of mobile phone games, working on Lunar: Silver Star Story and Lunar: Eternal Blue, for both Sega Mega CD and later Sega Saturn, Grandia

Namco (and its desire to launch a console), Enix, Vanguard, origin of Pitman and Catrap, updating Catrap for Game Boy, copyright discussion, magazine type-ins, early computers, creating the NeGcon controller, unreleased NeGcon games, programming on Lunar, PC-98, Reichsritter, Gunyuu Sangokushi

Hokkaido trip & Hudson lab

Yasuhito SAITO
Musician, dB-SOFT, Data West (with office maps), programming Volguard and 177, Macadam Soft, the mystery behind Bounty Arms on PlayStation, Layla on Famicom, Sharp X1, the Data West Active Picture System for streaming on FM-Towns, Rayxanber shmups, Cross Blaim’s connection to Metroid

Takaki KOBAYASHI & Keite ABE
dB-SOFT, Agenda, SmileBoom, Woody Poko, Melroon, Studio P on PlayStation, PC-88 and PC Engine technicalities, 177 controversy, Riot City, Prince of Persia, BASIC for the NDS and 3DS, computer history, gifts to fans, mahjong, working with SNK, life in Hokkaido, copy protection on floppies

Mega Man, Mighty No.9, Capcom, Comcept, Akira Kitamura, origin of characters, Zero as a red Han Solo, Kickstarter and crowdfunding, kids sending postcards with boss designs, Japan and Western games and what they can teach each other, limitations of the Famicom hardware

Stephen & William ROZNER
Mega Man for DOS, Capcom USA, Street Fighter for the C64, and an unreleased version on NES!

Makoto GOTO
Shubibinman 2, Don Quixote for laserdisc (MEGA LD), Sega Pico, Vixen 357, Winds development house as an outsource company, Japanese middlewear, Phil Fish, Star Trek, PC Engine magazine scan


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