From Game Developer Research Institute
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Find of the Day
It looks like that unreleased Mega Drive Ninja Gaiden game was developed by Opus. How did I come to this conclusion? I decided to play through the game to see if perhaps the name of the developer was written on a wall or something, and what do you know - I found something! At the end of round 4-2, there's a sign flashing over the entrance that says "OPUS" backwards (see the screenshot).
This discovery comes over a week after I asked on 2ch if Goblin Sound became Opus. Yes, I post on the Japanese forum 2ch (in a thread about game developers), I don't know Japanese, and they don't seem to mind. Anyway, according to whoever replied to me, Goblin Sound existed from 1987 to 1990. The CEO of Opus (which was started in 1990) Takayuki Suzuki was previously with Goblin Sound (BTW, MD Ninja Gaiden uses a sound engine with a 1989 Goblin Sound copyright).
Starsky and Hutchinson
I recently e-mailed former game programmer Paul Hutchinson, asking him about his work for Sega. Read what he had to say here.
I'd also like to welcome new user Manjimaru, who I've not heard from since he e-mailed me on Sunday. But I look forward to his contributions.
Westone's on the Agenda
Welcome to a New User, G-Sat on TOSE
- I'd like to welcome Jonny2x4 to GDRI. So far, he's started entries on East Technology, Almanic, and Knight Technologies.
- Dimitri recently did code comparisons of TOSE games on the Super NES and Game Boy. Here's what came up (keep in mind that we cannot yet confirm that these are all TOSE games, but they are likely candidates):
SNES/Super Famicom: Bazooka Blitzkrieg / Destructive Dig & Spike Volleyball / Volleyball Twin Dragon Ball Z: Hyper Dimension Dragon Ball Z: Super Butouden Dragon Ball Z: Super Butouden 2 Dragon Ball Z: Super Butouden 3 Dragon Ball Z: Super Gokuuden Dragon Ball Z: Super Saiya Densetsu Goal! / Super Cup Soccer Hana no Keiji: Kumo no Kanata ni Jaleco Rally Big Run Jissen Pachi-Slot Hisshouhou! Twin Vol. 2 Kidou Senshi V Gundam Namco Open Natsuki Crisis Battle Oda Nobunaga: Haou no Gundan Pipe Dream Pro Sport Hockey / USA Ice Hockey Rokudenashi Blues: Taiketsu! Tokyo Shitennou SD Gundam Gaiden SD Gundam Gaiden 2 SD Kidou Senshi Gundam SD Kidou Senshi Gundam 2 Slam Dunk: Dream Deam Shueisha Limited Slam Dunk: SD Heat Up!! Slam Dunk: Shikyou Gekitotsu!! Slam Dunk 2: IH Yosen Kanzenhan!! Sterling Sharpe's End 2 End Super Bases Loaded / Super Professional Baseball Super Bases Loaded 2 / Super 3D Baseball Super Bases Loaded 3 / Super Moero!! Pro Yakyuu Super Bombliss Super Earth Defence Force Super Goal! 2/Nobuhiro Takeda no Super Cup Soccer Super Play Action Football Super Professional Baseball II Super Rugby Super Tennis Super Tetris 2 + Bombliss LE Super Tetris 3 Takeda Nobuhiro no Super League Soccer Tetris 2/Tetris Flash Yokoyama Mitsuteru: Sangokushi Yokoyama Mitsuteru: Sangokushi 2 Yoshi's Cookie Yoshi's Safari/Yoshi no Road Hunting Yoshi no Kuruppon Oven de Cookie Yume Maboroshi no Gotoku Yuu Yuu Hakusho 2: Kakutou no Shou Yuu Yuu Hakusho Final: Makai Saikyou Retsuden
Game Boy: Atelier Elie GB Bakutsu Retrieve Master Bases Loaded/Baseball Kids Battle Unit Zeoth Bikkuriman 2000 Blodia Crayon Shin-Chan (1-5) Dancing Furby Dear Daniel no Sweet Adventure Dodge Boy Dragon Warrior 1&2 Dragon Warrior 3 Dragon Warrior Monsters Dragon Warrior Monsters 2 Fairy Kitty no Kaiun Jiten Game & Watch Gallery (1-3) Ganbare Goemon: Tengutou no Gyakushuu Goal!/J.Cup Soccer Grander Musashi RV Harvest Moon GB/Bokujou Monogatari GB Harvest Moon GBC Harvest Moon 2 GBC/Bokujou Monogatari GB2 Harvest Moon 3 GBC/Bokujou Monogatari GB3 Hatris Hello Kitty no Beads Koubou Hello Kitty no Sweet Adventure Hello Kitty to Dear Daniel no Dream Adventure Karakuri Kengou Den: Musashi Road Kid Icarus Kirby's Block Ball Kisekae Monogatori Legend of the River King GB/Kawa no Nushi Tsuri 3 Legend of the River King GBC Legend of the River King 2/Kawa no Nushi Tsuri 4 Lodoss Tou Senki: Eiyuu Kishiden GB Mach Go Go Go Magical Taruruuto Maru's Mission/Oira Jajamaru! Sekai Daibouken Masakari Densetsu Kintarou ACG Medarot Cardrobottle Metal Gear Solid/Metal Gear Ghost Babel Metal Walker/Bakusou Senki Metal Walker GB Midori no Makibaoo Namco Classic Ninku Ninku 2 Nushi Tsuri Adventure: Kite no Bouken Oshare Nikki Pia Carrot e Youkoso!! 2.2 Pipe Dream Play Action Football Pocket Sonar Roadster Sakigake!! Otoko Juku Sanrio Timenet Soccer Space-Net (Sports Collection) Super Bombliss DX Takeda Nobuhiro no Ace Striker Tales of Phantasia: Narikiri Dungeon Tamagotchi 3 Tetris 2/Tetris Flash Tetris Blast/Super Bombliss Tokyo Disneyland: Fantasy Tour Tower of Druaga Ultraman Club Ultraman: Chou Toushi Gekiden Umi no Nushi Tsuri 2 Winnie the Pooh: Adventures in the 100 Acre Wood/Atsumete Asobu Kuma no Pooh-san World Ice Hockey Yoshi's Cookie Yuu Yuu Hakusho (1-4)
The True Origins of Intelligent Systems?
First of all, thanks to someone at 2ch for bringing this up.
According to Wikipedia, "Intelligent Systems came into being when members of Nintendo's Nintendo Research & Development 1 division headed by Gunpei Yokoi splintered off into its own development team." That may only be partially true, if it's true at all. It appears a company called Iwasaki Giken may have had something to do with the formation of IS. Here's why we think so.
1. Ryouichi Kitanishi is named in a patent for an "electronic locking device" assigned to Iwasaki Engineering.
Inventors: IWASAKI, HIROJI C/O IWASAKI ENGINEERING CO., LTD. KITANISHI, RYOICHI C/O IWASAKI ENGINEERING CO.
"Giken" (as in "Iwasaki Giken") means "engineering and research," so presumably Iwasaki Engineering and Iwasaki Giken are the same thing. And just who is Ryouichi Kitanishi? He is the head of Intelligent Systems.
2. If you look in the disk version of FC Soccer, you will find this:
IWASAKI ELECTRONICS Co.Ltd F.D.A. SPECIAL VERSION FAMILY SUPER SOCCER 85/10/11 update by YKM -----> Hiroyuki Yukami Iwasaki-Laboratory S-Hokuen 201 Produced by MUCHAKUCHA.IKUNO -----> Kouzou Ikuno Created by CPU.YUKAMI -----> Hiroyuki Yukami LUM.OOYAMA ROM.DOHMAE Art Designer BABA.YAMAMURA -----> Yasuhisa Yamamura Music NICK.KONDO -----> Kouji Kondo Co-Director SPYHUNTER.OHTA USO.KITANISHI -----> Ryouichi Kitanishi Special thanks INCHIKI.NAKAMURA KEN.NAKAJIMA -----> Kenji Nakajima GPZ.SENGOKU -----> Toshio Sengoku 5KAISEI.IIJIMA TROUBLE.SUZUKI YASE.SOBAJIMA KOMASHI.NARIHIRO -----> Tohru Narihiro
"IWASAKI ELECTRONICS Co.Ltd"...Just on the name alone, one might assume this is the same company. But that's not enough for us. Back to the patents, Hiroji Iwasaki (mentioned in the patent above) turns up in one assigned to Iwasaki Electronics. Another man named Kenji Iio turns up on a patent assigned to Iwasaki Electronics and one assigned to Iwasaki Engineering. So we could conclude that Iwasaki Engineering and Iwasaki Electronics are one and the same, or at least related.
3. A relationship between Iwasaki Giken and Nintendo has already been established. According to the book Sore ha Pong kara Hajimatta: Arcade TV Game no Naritachi, Iwasaki Giken is the company that disassembled and reverse engineered Donkey Kong so that Nintendo could develop Donkey Kong Junior (see our Ikegami Tsushinki entry for more on that).
Is it possible Iwasaki Giken became Intelligent Systems? Probably not. IS was established in December 1986. Here is an article from October 12, 1987, about Iwasaki Giken's PROICE-Σ in-circuit emulator, which mentions Hiroji Iwasaki and gives the same Kyoto address seen in this patent.
New "In Their Words" Excitement
Best "In Their Words" Q&A ever? Possibly. I got to exchange e-mails with Kimihiro Endou, a former Hot-B programmer (Steel Empire, Blue Almanac) and Opera House contractor. Great stuff. Read what he had to say here.
Answers may still be coming in, so be sure to keep checking the page.
18 Undiscovered Websites Every Gamer Should Know
Here's a list of "18 Undiscovered Websites Every Gamer Should Know." GDRI is suspiciously absent. Damn Democrats.
Of Mahjong and Chameleons
Dimitri ran a code comparison of F1 Circus and Fuzzical Fighter (FC, both by Make Software). Capcom's Gold Medal Challenge '92, DuckTales 2, and Chip 'n Dale Rescue Rangers 2 came up (Make Software is actually mentioned in the Gold Medal ROM). We're unsure of what Makesoft might have done on these games. Probably just sound or something.
Nichibutsu's Nichibutsu Mahjong III, Mahjong Taisen, WCW World Championship Wrestling, and Kurogane Hiroshi no Yosou Daisuki! Kachiuma Densetsu also came up. If I were a betting man, I'd say these were by Makesoft. But we cannot confirm these without any credits.
Total flukes came in the forms of Flying Dragon, Bikkuriman World: Gekitou Sei Senshi, and Keroppi to Keroriinu no Splash Bomb!. The credits in Bikkuriman World and Splash Bomb don't look familiar at all, while Flying Dragon is much too old.
Another fluke that appeared was Pyokotan no Dai Meiro, published by Sunsoft. The ROM mentions JSS, which I thought might be Japan System Supply. We proceeded to research that company. Seems it was responsible for some Pyokotan games later on.
AIM, Fill in Cafe
The entry for AIM is now up. A Fortyfive entry may or may not be far behind.