Game Market 1983 - Chapter 20
“Super Marigee!!! That’s Super Marigee!!”
As the young boy shouted in exclamation, after seeing the movements of Super Marigee on the small black and white screen, the surrounding people shouted in excitement, after looking at the screen.
“I-It is! That really is Super Marigee!!”
The people in the back weren’t able to clearly see it, but they clamored to catch a glimpse, after watching the reactions of the people at the front.
Mr. Gunpei looked at the crowd with a proud smile, and he put the GamBoy back into his pocket.
“You’ll be able to find more information about this GamBoy, that’s in development, soon. Our current goal is to release it by the end of next year. This ends our Mintendo’s surprise announcement.”
The announcement was a huge success. As the crowd was leaving the event, they couldn’t get rid of their shock, muttering “the bomb” with a befuddled expression. There was also a gentleman who couldn’t shake off his shock, running to the backstage while screaming.
“Waaaannnnng~ Gunpei you cute bastard~!! Where are you?!!”
It seems like the most touched person was President Yamauchi.
The Legend of Karin created a huge sensation like I had predicted.
The phenomenon at the event was reported in the news, and even a documentary was made about it under the topic of ‘The Social Influences of Gaming’. Of course, at the center of it all was Mintendo; the Family that was released on July 15th, 1983, garnered over 70 million sales in the past three years, and that set the precedent for Mintendo to lay a steady foundation in the game industry.
Was that the reason why? Due to nearly every single game company making games for Mintendo’s Family, there was no way the current inventions department could check the quality standard for every single game. Therefore, President Yamauchi created the Quality Inspections Department in the February of 1986.
During the past three years that I’ve went back and forth between America and Japan, I also took on the role as both a game inventor and a representative businessman of Mintendo. My official position was a director of the next generation invention department, but I recently had more jobs outside of my position.
“Director Kang, where are you going now?”
“Ah, I’m heading outside; I’ll be back~”
As I always used honorifics towards the employees under me, I was quite popular outside of my department as well. This was a completely different side of me from the me of 2015, where I was stuck in the game development department, only making games.
Should I say I finally realized the relationship between people? I still couldn’t forget the awkward atmosphere when I was relegated to the customer service department in 2015.
‘That shouldn’t ever happen again. I’ll try to make as many people be on my side as possible, and I’ll raise my reputation both inside and outside of the company. I’m working under President Yamauchi right now, but I should prepare for the day that I would have to stand up for myself to fight for myself.’
I started rolling down the streets with my newly bought Toyota. A little while later, I arrived in front of a building of a game company in Osaka. This company, that was fairly huge, was Fox Soft, who primarily made arcade games.
Just last month, a shooting game that was developed here was receiving exceptional feedback. The name of that game was “TwinD”, which I also played with my friends when I was a child… TwinD had a very unique atmosphere to it, and that was what set it apart from other shooting games.
After the Side Scrolling technology was introduced to the world, it started to rapidly diffuse, at top speed, to other games as well. Should I say the shooting genre received the most benefits? The shooting games used a slightly modified version of Side Scrolling to control planes. Using a background that was displayed vertically instead of left to right, it presented a refreshing gameplay that required you to dodge the incoming enemy bullets and fly around freely in the air.
For that reason, many people thought of the year 1985 for shooting games. TwinD especially captured the gamers with a unique approach; instead of a mindless slaughtering game, the plot took place in a fantasy world. In addition, it was possible for two players to work together to defeat the enemies together, but the problem was that there were various spots on the map where friendly fire was possible.
The items that powered up the missiles were also distinguished between 1P and 2P. Players had to collect their own resources; moreover, they could shoot a missile to block the other player from getting the item.
It was busy enough trying to fight the enemy, but now that trolling allies were a thing, after a few plays, there were a number of cases that ended in real life fights. Now that I think about it, was this the start of PK?
“I fought a lot with my friend because of this game too…”
I wore a sorrowful smile on my face, and I headed to the Fox Soft lobby. Due to Fox Soft being a professional game company, before the release of TwinD, it was a pretty big company considering it was currently the 80s.
The reason that I came here today was to assist the developers in Fox Soft’s Family software development team, and, as I had nothing to do at Mintendo, I came here on Mr. Shige’s request.
“Hello. I’m Kang Junhyuk from Mintendo. I came here for an appointment, for a meeting with the game development team?”
“Ah, I’ve been told that earlier. Can you leave your affiliated company, name, and contact information on this guest list?”
I slightly moved my head sideways, because of the unexpectedly troublesome procedure, and I started completing the contact form.
The female receptionist finally led me away, after she copied my filled-out form, and she stored it in the records room.
If anyone else saw this, they would think I was visiting the White House… Was there really a need to go through this process if they’ve already heard that I was coming?
Although the building was part of a huge company, there was not a single ant in the hallways.
Everyone was probably stuck in an invention room somewhere and working non-stop; Fox Soft wanted to keep track of the movements of the employees, so they placed CCTV cameras in various places.
“Hmmm, Fox Soft has pretty strong security.”
“That’s right. Between us employees, we sometimes call this place ‘Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.’ Chaos would ensue should even one disc come out of an employee’s belongings when they leave work.”
“Haha… Is that so.”
A moment later.
I was led into the Family software department by the lobby receptionist. Compared to other arcade game development departments that I saw on my way here, it was considered to be pretty small. As I stepped into the inventions office, the four inventors who were working simultaneously turned their heads towards me.
“Hello. I’m the director of the Console Development department from Mintendo, and I’m here on behalf of your request for assistance.”
I tried to brightened the atmosphere with a smile, and I extended a greeting first; however, the employees’ expressions looked very displeased.
“Kang Junhyuk? Who’s that… Was there a Korean employee in Mintendo?”
“I thought they would at least send Balloon Fight’s Mr. Katawa, or even Mr. Kumamoto Shigeru; however, Mintendo is being too harsh… They should’ve sent a person who could work with us on software development… To think they would send a hardware engineer.”
‘Huh… Am I being ignored right now?’
The four employees glared at me with an icy gaze while they muttered between themselves; then they went back to working.
“Then I’ll be excused.”
The receptionist that led me here bowed, and she walked back towards her desk.
What the hell is this? What’s with the atmosphere? I was thrown into this awkward situation, so I decided to look around at the employees who were working.
In 2015, even up to 100 people could be a part of developing a project, but the game development environment in the 1980s required very little personnel; it was enough for one programmer to code the game, one designer to draw the dots, and one person to double as a manager and director, to lead the team.
The last person was only responsible for helping out with drawing the dots for the items. Was the situation about this much?
I faked a cough and glanced at the programmer’s’ coding screen at the same time.
‘The coding is messy… It’s so bad that I can’t distinguish between the flag and the execution.’
Then, I stared at the screen of the designer who was making the dots. Inside the monitor was a character in a black suit, making an irritated expression.
‘Is this war themed? After all, military themes are pretty popular, especially after the release of Rambo 2 last year…’
At that moment, the team leader who was closely watching my actions called me over.
“Excuse me. Mr. Kang Junhyuk? Can I call you that? I’m Yoritomo.”
“Ah, you can just comfortably call me Kang-kun?”
“Is that right? Anyways Kang-kun, are you familiar with software programming? Something like a major project… something that we would know?”
“You guys have heard of Duck Hunt, right?”
To my response, the employees in the office all turned their heads, and they glared. Of course, there wouldn’t be anyone here who wouldn’t know of the first ever game to utilize an electronic gun that revolutionized the shooting games at home. At that moment, a young man who looked to be a helper-employee opened his mouth.
“That got popular because Mr. Gunpei made the electronic gun; the actual game could be coded by any beginner.”
‘Ho? This young fucker is blatantly trash talking.’
The team leader nodded in agreement with the young man, and he added:
“That’s right. Mr. Gunpei’s electronic gun was amazing.”
Hur… That idea was proposed by me, yet these people are being way too disrespectful… I had no choice but to talk about my contribution to the making of Super Marigee.
“Super Marigee, a game that incorporated the invented of Side Scrolling technology, was also another genius invention by Mr. Shigeru, and it was a work of art that put him in the spotlight.”
Fuck!! It was me who introduced him to the idea of Side Scrolling!! However, I quickly fixed my line of thought. The Side Scrolling and the electronic gun were made by them after all. It could be argued that my accomplishments were negligible if you took out the fact that I just sped up what would happen in the future.
However, that was that. Who does this little assistant employee, who was stuck in this tiny corner, think he is to criticize my every word? I barely managed to keep my poker face, and I asked a question to that employee.
“You’re not wrong. I haven’t released any games under my name, and you could say that all I’ve done was acting as the director. I came here because I’m qualified enough to answer any questions that you might have in place of Mr. Shigeru; thus, I’m asking for your cooperation. If there is a technical question that I can’t answer, I will go back to the headquarters, sending Mr. Shigeru over instead.”
“Krhmm… I understand what you’re saying.”
The team leader drily coughed, and he called for the programmer, Misaki. The 28 year old Misaki was a pot belly who was wearing a loose t-shirt, with an extended neck. I didn’t like how he was glaring at me through his raised glasses, but I decided to be patient.
“Oii, Misaki, explain to him about the game we’re making, and ask him for some advice.”
“Come sit over here first.”
I looked at the blueprint of the game that was laid out on the table. On top of the huge bundle of papers, the attractive title: -Never Die Soldier- was written.
‘They’re definitely getting the inspiration from Rambo. I can already guess what the plot will be about just by seeing the title…”
As I showed interest in the blueprint, the programmer called Misaki raised his glasses, speaking to me with a fake sincerity.
“I’ll give you a simple explanation of the game that we’re developing first.”
‘I don’t think he has to say anything?’