Santos

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Santos was a company headed by Takeshi Tozu (戸津猛), who previously ran Orca (Game Machine 1983/8/15, pg. 6), Sesame Japan, and Crux. [1] It was established in July 1985 as Whiteboard (株式会社ホワイトボード) [2] [3]

In December 1991, Santos allegedly became a wholly-owned subsidiary of Sega called Megasoft [4], but it also allegedly went bankrupt [5], so the circumstances surrounding this are unclear. For more information, see the Megasoft entry.

Tozu did not join Megasoft, however; he apparently started a new company [6], also called Santos.

Gai Brain was started by former Santos staff.

Research Methods: Actual mentions, code comparisons, hidden data, interviews, online resources, shared staff

As Whiteboard

Arcade

  • Airwolf (Kyugo) [7]
  • Dakko-chan House (Sega)
  • Flashgal (Sega)
  • Legend (Sega)
  • Photo Mahjong: Gekisha (Whiteboard)
  • S.R.D. Mission (Taito)
  • Sukeban Janshi Ryuuko (Sega)

Famicom/NES

  • Airwolf (sound?) (JP Publisher: Kyugo)
Programming: C-lab.?
  • Space Harrier (JP Publisher: Takara)
Started out as a game based on Licca-chan, Takara's popular fashion doll

Mark III/Master System

  • Alex Kidd: The Lost Stars (JP/US/EU/AU Publisher: Sega; BR Publisher: Tec Toy)
  • Danan: The Jungle Fighter (EU/AU Publisher: Sega; BR Publisher: Tec Toy)
  • Dynamite Dux (EU/AU Publisher: Sega; BR Publisher: Tec Toy)
  • Masters Golf / Great Golf (JP/US/EU/AU Publisher: Sega)
  • Megumi Rescue (JP Publisher: Sega)
  • Nekkyuu Koushien (JP Publisher: Sega)
  • Opa Opa / Fantasy Zone: The Maze (JP/US/EU/AU Publisher: Sega; BR Publisher: Tec Toy)
  • Reggie Jackson Baseball / American Baseball (US/CA/EU/AU Publisher: Sega; BR Publisher: Tec Toy)

Artist Ano Shimizu said he worked on Dynamite Dux and Nekkyuu Koushien at Whiteboard. [8] A code comparison between the two revealed shared code in the rest of the games on this list except Alex Kidd and Great Golf.

Alex Kidd, Fantasy Zone, Great Golf, Megumi Rescue, and Nekkyuu Koushien have the same initials, "YM," in the header. [9] Additionally, the standings screen in Great Golf has the name "KEI M," likely a reference to Whiteboard programmer Kei Maruyama (though some of the other names appear to be Sega staff). [10]

Danan: The Jungle Fighter, Nekkyuu Koushien, and Reggie Jackson Baseball share a font. The other games use a variation of a font seen in Sega-developed titles like Black Belt with a less angular "A."

Whiteboard is named as a third party owed royalties for Danan: The Jungle Fighter on a list of Sega games that could be licensed to Atari Corp. as part of a settlement between the two companies over alleged patent infringement by Sega (referred to herein as "the Atari list"). [11]

Possible games (and reasons for inclusion on this list):

  • Great Baseball (overseas)
Similar graphics
  • The Pro Yakyuu Pennant Race
Similar fonts/graphics
  • Walter Payton Football / American Pro Football
Uses fonts similar to ones used in Flashgal
  • Wonder Boy
Displays same Mark III logo at startup on Japanese systems as Masters Golf / Great Golf and Opa Opa / Fantasy Zone: The Maze
  • World Games
Similar fonts/graphics

Mega Drive/Genesis

  • Mahjong Cop Ryuu: Hakurou no Yabou (JP Publisher: Sega)

SG-1000

  • Wonder Boy (JP Publisher: Sega)
Names of several staff members are found throughout the ROM: Kamei, Maruyama, Nakayama, Tanaka

Possible games (and reasons for inclusion on this list):

  • Ninja Princess
Has the same Sega logo animation at startup as Wonder Boy

As Santos

Arcade

  • Hammer Away (unreleased) (Sega)
Went on location test but was cancelled
  • Mahjong Quest (Taito)

Game Gear

Possible games (and reasons for inclusion on this list):

  • The Pro Yakyuu '91
Based on The Pro Yakyuu Pennant Race (Master System)
  • Space Harrier
Appears on the Atari list, but there's no other evidence of Santos' involvement
  • Wonder Boy / Revenge of Drancon
Based on Wonder Boy (Master System)

Mega Drive/Genesis

  • Battle Golfer Yui (JP Publisher: Sega)
  • Toki: Going Ape Spit / JuJu Densetsu (US/EU/JP Publisher: Sega; BR Publisher: Tec Toy; KR Publisher: Samsung)

Neo Geo

  • Janshin Densetsu [MVS] (Yubis)
According to the game's director, Santos went bankrupt in the middle of development, and they (the director) were sent to a Sega subsidiary (presumably Megasoft). [12] They go on to say the staff of Tozu's new company (presumably the revived Santos) finished developing the game. [13]

Links