Katsuhiro Harada Series producer, Tekken
How did you choose the locations for the game, and why did you pick Chiba Marine Stadium?
It’s simply because, at that time, we were unable to build walls [laughs]. We called it ‘Mugen En’ [Infinity Circle] – you could never hit a wall while playing. We had to use large arenas, like the desert or the South Pole. The only way we could think of showing scenery was setting fights on the roof of a building, or a baseball stadium. As for locations, back then Street Fighter was like travelling the world, so it was almost a stereotype for fighting games.
You could play a quick game of Galaga while Tekken was loading. Ridge Racer did something similar, too. Why was that?
Well, we were trying to get the patent for playing another game while the main game was loading. When they started putting games on CDs, everything advanced except for loading times. Because PlayStation was so high-spec, we could load an older game in a few seconds. Hajime Nakatani is now CEO of Bandai Namco Studio, but back then he was the Tekken project’s section manager. He was also in charge of Galaga. I liked it, because it was one of the games I used to play when I was a student.
Why did Tekken sell so well in Europe?
The Sony brand is so strong. Sega struggled overseas: Virtua Fighter was a good game, and popular too, but Sega was not a well-known home electronics brand. When Sony launched a game console with cutting-edge technology, it took off quickly. I’m often asked if it’s because we designed the characters or the game to European tastes, but I don’t think that’s the case.