Kouichi Yotsui Kouichi Yotsui, planner/director, Strider
Why did you decide to start the game in Kazakhstan, and why did you opt for a futuristic take on the country?
That part of the world seemed fresh. We wanted to create an adventure in a mysterious place you had never seen before, in a near future that was not too far away from reality. We’d never been there, though, and now when I see Kazakhstan on TV it’s totally different than I’d imagined it.
What inspired the huge robot enemies that feature throughout the game?
Since we had a hero who was able to leap nimbly about and climb any surface, it made sense to have large enemies. When you make an action game, an enemy that takes up twice the size of the screen is perfect. We didn’t quite pull it off, though.
The dramatic music played a major role in setting the tone. Was that important to you? How much work did that part represent?
I actually got in trouble for having too many songs. Rather than using sound effects, I wanted to convey the changing atmosphere with the music; for example, if it’s raining, I wanted the music to reflect that. I drove the composer, [Junko] Tamiya, crazy with my demands.
How close was the finished Strider to how you’d envisioned it?
I only got about halfway there. I was miserable. “This isn’t it, this isn’t it. Next time, I’ll do better.” I wanted the enemies to be stronger. They’re not much of a challenge. But a videogame never comes out how you expect it to, and sometimes you have happy accidents as well as unhappy ones.