Game Market 1983 - Chapter 8
“By the way, when do you plan to develop a sequel to the Donkey Kom made in the 80s?”
“Actually, the sequel is almost completed, and we’re planning to release it any day now.”
“Really? Can I ask what type of a game it is?”
Perhaps because the copyright system for games have not been fully developed yet, Mr. Kumamoto freely explained the contents of the game.
“This time, I have decided to slightly switch the theme and make an entirely new game out of the character that saved the princess from Donkey Kom.”
He must have completed this game to show support for the Family console that was released a month ago.
Mr. Gunpei was observing our conversation with a proud smile.
Mr. Kumamoto’s Marigee Brothers was a 2 player game, like Donkey Kom, where you had to defeat the mushroom soldiers and the turtles in a stage. While I was talking to Mr. Kumamoto about the Marigee Brothers, I offered one suggestion.
“Yes? Do you have any questions about the Marigee Brothers?”
“Actually, rather than this completed game that’s about to be released, I have a question about the next project that would be made after Marigee.”
“You mean the sequel? We haven’t seen how the players will react to this game, so for us to start planning the next game is a little…”
The 1980s was a time where developing a sequel to a game would take a considerable amount of time. In 2015, sequels were being concurrently made alongside the original game, so I could understand Mr. Kumamoto’s hesitation.
“I think that currently, the character Marigee has an easily recognizable image, even surpassing Donkey Kom. From this, we can deduce that the Marigee Brothers will have a certain amount of popularity when it’s released. So, I was wondering if we could utilize a special method in the sequel to Marigee?”
“A special method?”
Kumamoto stared at me with a confused expression; Mr. Gunpei who was right next to him flashed a knowing smile of ‘So it has started’, and he adjusted his glasses.
Side Scrolling. This was the magical technique that would revolutionize the screen from its limited size. It was the most common of methods utilized in games of 2015, but this was the year 1983.
In this period, every game was restricted to an unchanging background. The start and end of every game had to be executed within the set background; popular games like Galug and Donkey Kom were no exception.
Just like how humanity first stepped on the moon, I was trying to make the footstep that would greatly revolutionize the gaming industry.
“We would scroll the background.”
“What? What are we doing?”
Mr. Kumamoto and Mr. Gunpei couldn’t understand me at first. Of course, understanding the Side Scrolling method would be difficult at first. I took a notebook out of my backpack and laid it in front of Mr. Kumamoto, and I lifted a pen.
“Now, look here. This box represents the screen of the game. And standing inside here is Mr. Kumamoto’s Marigee. And then…”
I extended the pen from the box outside and drew a long line.
“And this is the stage.”
At that moment, Mr. Kumamoto slapped his thigh and excitedly shouted. However, Mr. Gunpei still didn’t know what was going on as he took turns looking at both of us.
“So that was the case!! That’s right! The start and the end does not always have to be contained within a screen. The background could be a moving animation, just like a film roll, and it would give the game characters a sense of moving forward.”
He figured out ten when I only taught him one? I only gave him a hint, but Mr. Kumamoto was instantly able to figure out the concept of Side Scrolling.
“Gunpei, you were right. Mr. Kang Junhyuk is a genius! A genius!!”
“H-Hey Shigeru, I still have no clue about what’s going on. What does it mean to have a stage that moves out of the screen? What I’m asking is, how would you show something out of the screen…?”
Kumamoto had to explain to Mr. Gunpei in simpler terms for him to understand, and, after a while, Mr. Gunpei who was nodding his head suddenly gaped and stared at me.
“How are you able to come up with ideas like this? You’re completely revamping the way how games have been thought of.”
“With this, the experience should feel more adventurous inside the game.”
Mr. Kumamoto murmured something under his breath like an incantation while he stared at my Side Scrolling method. Huh? What is he doing now? He closed his eyes as if he were imagining something. A while after, Mr. Kumamoto opened his eyes and had a smile drawn on his mouth.
“I thought of a simple concept for the next sequel.”
So fast? He could already thought of an idea for his next project? Mr. Kumamoto grabbed the pen that was lying on the table and rapidly sketched bricks, a box with a question mark, and a flag with a mushroom inscribed on it… These were the items that would act as the main sauce for the emerging Super Marigee game.
“Marigee will save the princess.”
“Knights have been saving the princess up until now, but Marigee is a modern character. He who symbolizes modernness will save the Mushroom Kingdom’s princess from the monster.”
After listening to Kumamoto, Mr. Gunpei beamed and replied:
“Ho… This is an interesting idea as well. Continue on…”
“First of all, the character Marigee is a plumber. He works in a dark and a damp place. So the monster would be… Hmm… A cold and slimy reptilian creature would fit the image well. This monster would kidnap the Mushroom Kingdom princess, and Marigee, who coincidentally falls from the Mushroom Kingdom, would embark on a journey to save the princess and fight the enemy.”
What is this guy. He made an entire game in this short period of time? A genius is indeed a genius! I leaned on the chair and stared at Mr. Kumamoto while I crossed my arms.
The tips of my fingers were tingling from the fact that I was currently witnessing the birth of a project that would give the gaming world a huge impact. Mr. Gunpei let out a cheerful smile and asked Kumamoto.
“Then… That monster and the princess should have names too.”
Mr. Kumamoto turned the question to me and asked.
“Kang-kun, what food do you enjoy eating most, in Korea?”
“Me? I’m not sure…”
Until now, I’ve been eating greasy foods from Japan like fried steak and rice bowls; one food popped into my head. A sizzling meat soup inside of a warm pot… adding a bowl of rice on top of that and wrapping a piece of kimchi to put in my mouth~ Kyaa~~
It would be a bit hard for both of them to pronounce because of the unique Korean vowels… After trying several times to pronounce GookBap, Mr. Kumamto flashed a grin and said.
“Kang-kun inspired this idea so let’s call the reptilian monster ‘Koot Pah’.”
What!? You bastard, why are you deciding this so easily!? And why should the name of the food I like be the name of a villain that will be harassed by Marigee for the next 30 years to come!! Mr. Gunpei, who was next to me, gave a burst of laughter and nodded his head.
“Then what would be the name of the princess?”
At that moment, a waitress came to our table and put fruits on the table, and she said.
“These peaches are for desserts.”
Kumamoto was staring at the peaches and opened his mouth.
“We can call her the Princess Peach.”
So this was the birth of Princess Peach that will be fated to be kidnapped by the monster Koot Pah for the next 30 years. What the hell is this~?!!
Two weeks passed by, just like that, and I stood in front of the headquarters of Mintendo wearing a suit…
“Haha… I came here in the end. I played around for the last two months, so should I start working?”
I exhaled a long breath, and I slowly entered the headquarters building. Even though it was September, the heat waves were still around, so it was too hot to wear a suit; however, the interior of the building was cold enough to give me the chills. Maybe it was because there were no warnings against the dangers of catching a cold through the AC, it was blasted almost all the way to the coldest temperature.
“What could I help you with?”
An employee in the lobby asked me, who had just came into the building.
“Ah, I came for an interview with Mr. Niseko and Mr. Kumamoto’s recommendation.”
“Oh? Then would you be Mr. Kang Junhyuk?”
“Yes, that’s right.”
“I was worried because you were Korean; however, you speak Japanese really well.”
“Thank you. Where do I go from here?”
“Mmm, Mr. Kang Junhyuk is a special case, so you should be able to be interview at the president’s office.”
So I was being interviewed directly at the president’s office instead of a panel of judges? With the president of Mintendo, Mr. Yamauchi? I slightly tilted my head and asked the employee again.
“The president is interviewing me, himself?”
“Yes, our Mintendo’s president directly interviews every employee one by one, and he assigns them to the right department.”
Mintendo currently gave off an image of a toy company rather than the world-renowned gaming company that they would develop into. I followed the desk employee, and I knocked on the door of the president’s office on the highest floor.
I swallowed my dry saliva and calmed my heart before the door opened. This was still an interview after all, so I was pretty nervous…
“You can go inside.”
The employee gestured his hands for me to go inside, so I slightly lowered my head and thanked him before going inside the office. The president stood up from his seat, allowed me a seat at the reception table, and asked me:
“Hmm… Are you the Kang Junhyuk from Korea?”
“Yes, that’s right.”
“Gunpei-kun and Shigeru-kun were praising you so much, they begged me to take you in.”
“I’m thankful that they view me in such a good light.”
“I’m actually reluctant about developing games, but, from what they said, the game industry will have a huge part in the children’s toy market.”
“I also agree with that.”
“Really? How did you come to that conclusion?”
Why is this guy asking so many questions the moment I step in? However, I already prepared for these questions, so I was able to answer right away.
“It wouldn’t get boring.”
“Wouldn’t get boring?”
“That’s because you can enjoy a variety of games with one device. Also, it’s plenty enjoyable playing by yourself.”
“A device that can host a variety of games… interesting. However, wouldn’t a toy have to be easy to get bored of so new products would sell?”
“A device is not a toy.”
“Adults don’t play with toys. From what I know, many people in Japan enjoy playing games whether they’re children or adults. Just in a nearby gaming center, there are a lot of parents that bring their kids to play games together. This is why the game industry will be a business that caters to people of all ages, from a child to an adult.”
“Really? However, contrary to the 70s, the Atari shock caused a stagnation to the current game industry; so, I don’t know if it’s right to jump into the market.”
“How about taking a step forward when everyone else is backing off?”
“Huh? You actually want me to jump into this sinking hell?”