Game Market 1983 - Chapter 41





“What’re you doing?”

“I want to jot down information about the restaurant. Before I forget…”

“Before you forget?”

“There’s a competition for an idea for a program targeted at new writers.”

“A competition?”

“Yes, it’s for a new variety program or a short 2~30 minute drama, and I plan to submit food as my topic for the competition.”

Food? Is she talking about those Mukbang(watching people eat) dramas that were trending in 2010? Yuki opened her diaries wide open and started drawing the foods that we ate one by one.

I leaned my body against the table and watched her.

A moment later. Yuki started transcribing the foods that were served, in order, on top of the white paper.

“That’s amazing. You memorized all that while we were eating?”

“People did tell me that I had a great memory ever since I was little.”

Yuki didn’t stop her hand movements even as she shyly smiled. As the picture was nearing completion, Yuki asked me a question.

“Mr, Junhyuk, what was that shiru that we ate earlier?”

“It’s called the Dwenjjang Chige(soybean paste stew).”

“DenJwan Chige… what about the meat?”

“Those are the Yeontan- Bulgogi(barbeque briquettes).”

“Yeontan Burugogi…”

I couldn’t hold in my laughter after watching her cute self stumble with the pronunciations. In response, Yuki’s face also lighted up as she opened her mouth.”

“I’m not saying it right, aren’t I? Heh heh.”

“No, not at all. It’s lovely.”

After Yuki had finished jotting down all the side dishes, Yuki closed her diary with a refreshed face.

“Can I see what you wrote?”

“It’s embarrassing, I have not finished conceptualizing it yet so…”

“Don’t you know ideas are better when shared with more people?”

“It’s not about that…”

Yuki embarrassedly lowered her head and pushed the diary to me.

I received the diary and looked through the content while flipping through the pages.

Her diaries were full of detailed drawings of various eateries and specialty dessert shops and their foods in Tokyo, they were drawn in such detail that just seeing them made my mouth water.

Some entries had photos for reference attached to them which made viewing a treat. But in this time period, there shouldn’t be many people who took food pictures with a film camera?

On one drawing of a parfait was the shape of its container, ingredients, and even the height of the ice cream recorded in detail so it should be a great reference material.

One funny thing to note was next to every food picture, a egg-shaped character was rolling around making various strange faces.

“Wow… Everything’s recorded in detail.”

“Please give it back now~ please?”

“Wait a moment. Just a little more…”

As I was shuffling through the pages, I stopped my hands on one page. Instead of a food picture, there was a Mintendo cartridge drawn on it. The title of the game was ‘Dragon Emblem’, and drawn next to it was the egg character with a startled expression.

-The developer is a true genius~!! Who could’ve made this?-

-Mr. Junhyuk who cleared the game is also amazingl~!!-

“Ah~!! That’s!!”

Yuki quickly took the diary from my hands and put it back in her bag.

“Why are you so surprised?”

“I’m just embarrassed. Ah~ It’s getting hot.”

Yuki fanned her reddening face.

“You’re an unbelievable artist? Did you creator the egg-character beside each food yourself? It seems to have many expressions.”

“Ah~ He’s Tamago-san (Mr. egg) I made him, and he’s rating the food with his face. What do you think?”

“I love it, it’s very unique.”

So it was reviewing the food like an emoticon. For this era, it was a very innovative concept. But Yuki’s expression was not very bright.

“Miss Yuki, do you have something on your mind?”

“Actually, I only have a few days until the competition, but I haven’t finished conceptualizing the program concept yet. I’ve set the genre to a specialty restaurant in Tokyo but just introducing the shop would be too bland so…”

“A specialty restaurant…”

At that instant, one drama episode that I was thinking of at lunch today flashed into my head again. I don’t know if a concept like that would work in the 80s… but trying it out wouldn’t hurt. It’s only a competition afterall. With a serious expression, I rested my head on both my hands and spoke to Yuki.

“Miss Yuki, I have a suggestion for you.”

“Yes? What…?”

As Yuki showed interest, I took out a notebook from my backpack.

Compared to Yuki’s neatly organized diary it was crude and messy, but I was the type to carry around a notebook to organize the ideas that popped into my head from time to time. (I also used it to help either Chandra or Mr. Gunpei understand something)

“Woah… It seems immensely complicated. Does it contain something like a compilation of your ideas, Mr. Junhyuk?”

“It’s not as neat as yours, Miss Yuki. But I do write my thoughts down from time to time. I tend to be forgetful when it’s not down on paper so…”

“You’re right, it’s a good idea to write your ideas down.”

“Anyways, this is the concept I was thinking of.”

I sketched an employee wearing a business attire on a random blank page. Yuki who was watching me draw replied with a soft voice.

“It’s a simple picture, but you communicate the concept well. I can clearly see that he’s a salary man?’

“Is that so? I’m not as great a drawer as you Miss Yuki, but this character will be important.”

“He will?”

“Yep, this man is always hungry. Let’s call him Onaka Suita-san (Mr. Hungry man)”

“Pfft…”

Yuki stifled in laughter at my choice of name.

“It’s a very good name for something you came up with just now, keke.”

“The producers can come up with a more suitable later. Anyways, the actor playing this character would go around restaurants and order various foods to try.”

“Ah~!! So the program would do more than simply introducing the store, it would show the actor eating the food as well.”

“It would be good to steer the program like a drama. The main character is an office employee who is on a business trip in Tokyo, when he suddenly becomes famished and start wandering around.”

“And he would visit various restaurants and order foods?”

“Correct. The viewers at home would be able to visit the featured eateries themselves, and the owners would be happy from the advertisement too.”

“We would be able to introduce a restaurant to the viewers in a casual, more informal way~!! Killing two birds with one stone~”

Yuki thoroughly grasped the concept of my idea and continuously nodded her head.

The year 1987 was the year when color television was finishing up being in almost every household, so a variety of programs were flooding out.

Amongst them, cooking shows were able to display the colors of the food as opposed to the black and white screen, making it a big hit with women in the mornings which consistently rose it to the top rankings.

But there weren’t any shows based on watching other people eat yet, which caused Yuki to become thrilled with my concept.

“A very innovative concept, I don’t know how it’ll go but I’ll write a plan for it.”

“See? Two heads are better than one.”
In response, Yuki brightly smiled and nodded her head.

A while later.

After conversing for a little longer, we left the coffee shop and headed to the Shibuya station facing the chill autumn wind.

The clock was a little over 9 PM. There shouldn’t be any trains headed to Kyoto, so should I settle in for the night at a hotel for today and stop by the Pentagon office tomorrow?

Kawaguchi’s project ‘Final Frontier 1’ was a massive hit with over 20 million sales. The game developer added ‘Final’ into the title, determined to quit the industry once and for all if it went downhill again, but the game was a huge success and the sequel was already in development.

I had a phone conversation with him a few days ago, and he planned to target the sequel to a higher demographic steering towards an adult RPG… He wouldn’t be developing a borderline theme like Psychic Battle would he?

While I was having random thoughts, Yuki who was walking beside me asked me a question.

“What should we do now?”

“Um? Ah… Weren’t we heading back?”

“It’s only 9 PM? Are you heading back to Kyoto now, Mr. Junhyuk?”

“No, I have business in Tokyo tomorrow so I’m going to be staying at a hotel tonight.”

“Mmm~ Then you do have time.”

“You’re right, haha. Do you have any particular place in mind we should go?”

In response, Yuki looked up at me and grinned before opening her mouth.

“Where would a man and a women go at this time of the night?”

“What…?”

Hiii…. It’s only our 2nd meeting? Is she an aggressive type contrary to her lady-like image? Miss Yuki grabbed my hand pulled me towards the intersection.

&

A moment later.

We were standing behind a building with neon-lights and blaring music.

“This is… that… Phew~~”

“What were you thinking of earlier, Mr. Junhyuk? You weren’t thinking of anything naughty, weren’t you?”

“Not at al~”

You were the one who made me think of these thoughts, this is not right…

As I lowered my head, Yuki opened the door to the Game Center while giggling.

Subsequently, various BGM music were blasted even to where I was standing. With some expectation, I raised my head to see if there were any motels on the 2nd or 3rd floor, but there were no such establishments.

Indeed, having an arcade on the 1st floor would not fare well for a motel. Amidst the flowing BGM of tetris from the interior, Yuki called out to me.

“There is a game that I’ve always wanted to play with you, Mr. Junhyuk. Are you ready?”

“Ah, yes. Haha… With all my heart…”

I forcefully smiled towards Yuki and headed inside the Game Center.

Yuki must’ve found my reaction to be amusing as she covered her mouth and continuously chortled.

I’ve been tricked by you this time, but there won’t be a next time. I let go of my mislead mind and started freely looking around at the interior.

“This place is huge. There aren’t many like this in Kyoto… They have all the latest NEGA equipments too.

In recent times, the video game industry of Japan was undergoing a massive uprisal. In homes was the Mintendo Family, and in crowded urban areas were game centers like these; the influences of games were virtually everywhere.

If gamers wanted to enjoy a colorful and excellent quality graphics, they could only head to a game center. That was because the Family console at home couldn’t handle some of the higher end graphics.

Of course, as home entertainment systems received various improvements from 2000 onwards, game centers slowly started to go downhill…

For the home consoles, RPG genres like Dragon Warrior and adventure stories that took a long time to complete were popular, so there was no negative impact on the game center business yet.

But in this era gamers were longing to play titles at the game center in their own homes, which were another major point of appeal for impactful game center games.

I’ve felt this before, but Yuki was truly a game enthusiast. There was a motorcycle game named ‘Lucky’ that had a open spot, and Yuki quickly tied her jacket onto her waist before hopping onto the simulation motorcycle.





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