DE­SIGNER PIX­ELS

Hiroko Yokoyama ex­plains the graph­i­cal de­vel­op­ment of some of SNK’S most recog­nis­able games

Retro Gamer - - 40 YEARS OF SNK -

how much sup­port did you have from the

Ikari War­riors ar­cade team when work­ing on the msx2 ver­sion?

Mr Oba [Koji Obata], who was the main leader of the team in charge of the ar­cade ver­sion of Ikari War­riors, helped us a lot when port­ing the game to MSX2. He shared with us the dot pixel data of the orig­i­nal game. Un­for­tu­nately, the map data was miss­ing, and we had a lot of trou­ble be­cause of this.

what sort of ma­te­ri­als did you use for ref­er­ence and in­spi­ra­tion when work­ing on Gue­vara (Guer­rilla War)?

There were al­most no books about Che Gue­vara in Osaka in 1987. I had to go to one of the big­gest book stores in Osaka, where I fi­nally found three books about Che Gue­vara’s life. There was also very lit­tle doc­u­men­ta­tion about Cuba at that time, but I found a few pages about this coun­try and its streets in a mag­a­zine for men. It was way af­ter I thought I should have searched in sec­ond­hand book­stores for books about Che Gue­vara that were pub­lished in Ja­pan in Six­ties and al­ready out of print.

Crys­talis had a fan­tasy theme, un­like the mil­i­tary games you worked on be­fore­hand. how did you come up with the char­ac­ter de­signs for this game?

The de­vel­op­ment of the game had al­ready started when I was in­volved in this game, and I was told by the orig­i­nal team mem­bers that I could draw freely, as long as the main char­ac­ter had red hair and was wear­ing blue ar­mour. I used manga and anime that were popular in Ja­pan at that time for my ref­er­ence, and pro­posed to the plan­ners three vari­a­tions of Me­sia. Af­ter be­ing in­formed on the de­tails of the Four Sages, I started work­ing on their de­sign. I also made sure to draw Athena and Ken­sou as adult ver­sions of Psy­cho Sol­diers. I drew mon­sters in dot pix­els, but also some imag­ined from the game set­tings and at­mos­phere. Af­ter the plan­ners chose and approved the de­sign of the Four Sages, I pol­ished and added de­tails to these char­ac­ters un­til their fi­nal de­sign get approved.

» [Ar­cade] SNK is known for its stel­lar sprite art, and that’s been a fact since its early games like Guer­rilla War.

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