HighTech Lab. Japan

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HighTech Lab. Japan Inc. (株式会社ハイテックラボジャパン) was a pioneering computer graphics production company that worked on such projects as NHK TV programs and the animated films Akira and Royal Space Force: The Wings of Honnêamise. It was founded in 1986 and headed by Takeshi Yoshizaki (吉崎武), formerly of ASCII. Yoshizaki was the editor-in-chief of ASCII magazine and established ASCII HighTech Lab., which developed the MSX LaserDisc game Starfighters. [1]

HighTech Lab. Japan was originally based in Higashiyama, Meguro, Tokyo [2], and later moved to Shibuya, Tokyo. [3]

CG production proved to be a profitable business for HighTech Lab. Japan because of Japan's bubble economy. However, the bubble eventually burst and in the 1990s, the company shifted its focus to video game production. [4]

HighTech Lab. Japan shut down in 1997. The company's last game was Deep Sea Adventure: Kaiteiguu Panthalassa no Nazo for the PlayStation, released in March 1997; much of the team behind that title, with the backing of publisher Takara, started developer Barnhouse Effect that same month.

Game list

Research Methods: Actual mentions, interviews, online resources, shared staff

3DO

  • Pyramid Intruder (JP Publisher: Taito)
  • Starblade (JP Publisher: Namco; US/CA Publisher: Panasonic)

Arcade

  • Bouken-Ou Topple (CG production) (Taito) [5]
  • Pyramid Patrol (CG production) (Taito)

FM Towns

  • Lupin Sansei: Seikon no Mashu (JP Publisher: CRI)

LaserActive

  • The Great Pyramid (some CG production) (JP/NA Publisher: Pioneer)
Programming: CRC Research Institute; Video Production: Japan Academic Documentation; Translation: GK Associates; Music Selection: Vancl; Some CG Production: Plus One, A&L, Fuji TV; Package Design: FIS Incorporated
  • Hyperion (JP/NA Publisher: Taito)
  • Pyramid Patrol (JP/NA Publisher: Taito)
[Some?] Programming, [Some?] Graphics: C-lab.
  • Rocket Coaster (JP/NA Publisher: Taito)
  • Time Gal (JP Publisher: Taito)

Macintosh

This section is sketchy due to lack of information on these titles.

  • Derby Analyst (JP Publisher: HighTech Lab. Japan)
  • Digital Gallery: Rocket Coaster (JP Publisher: Taito)
  • Europe Vol. 1 (?)
  • Sekai no Kessaku Sentouki Vol. 1 (JP Publisher: HighTech Lab. Japan)
  • Time Gal (JP Publisher: Taito)

PC Engine CD/TurboGrafx-CD

  • Let's Be Friends (unreleased) (Linguaphone Japan) [6]

PlayStation

A "submarine simulation game" based on the manga, this was eventually "abandoned in favor of a 'marine adventure game' that would be popular with the general public" (Deep Sea Adventure: Kaiteiguu Panthalassa no Nazo).
  • Deep Sea Adventure: Kaiteiguu Panthalassa no Nazo (JP Publisher: Takara)
Some CG Support: Act Japan; Sound: Reeb
  • Galaxian³ (JP Publisher: Namco; EU Publisher: Sony Computer Entertainment)
  • Starblade α (JP/US Publisher: Namco; EU Publisher: Sony Computer Entertainment)
  • Tokyo Shadow (co-developer) (JP Publisher: Taito)
  • Toshinden 2 / Battle Arena Toshinden 2 (opening movie - production management, computer graphics) (JP Publisher: Takara; US Publisher: Playmates Interactive Entertainment; EU Publisher: Sony Computer Entertainment)
  • Zeitgeist / Jupiter Strike (co-developer) (JP Publisher: Taito; US/EU Publisher: Acclaim)

Saturn

  • Tokyo Shadow (co-developer) (JP Publisher: Taito)

Windows

  • Sekai no Kessaku Sentouki Vol. 1 (JP Publisher: HighTech Lab. Japan)

See also

  • Transpegasus Limited - Appears to be an adult brand used by High-Tech Lab. Japan or perhaps Digital Production (see below). High-Tech Lab. Japan registered the trademarks. (Example: [11])
  • Digital Production (有限会社ディジタルプロダクション; later 株式会社ディジタルプロダクション) - Likely a subsidiary or affiliate of High-Tech Lab. Japan as it was located at the same address. Name is seen on some Transpegasus Limited products.
  • Digital Studio - HighTech Lab. Japan's recording and computer graphics studio. Appears to have been spun off into its own company (株式会社デジタルスタジオ [12]; Digital Studio Inc. [13]).
  • Denno Shokai - Company started by former employee Toshiharu Nishizawa
  • Gijyutu Shounen Publishing - Company currently run by Yoshizaki. Involved with computer kits and technical books and operates the Dream Library computer museum.

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