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.

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