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Artikel mit dem Stichwort ‘OBATA Takeshi’

The Death Undo: A Guilty General’s Wish

Sonntag, 16. März, 2014

In my article series on The Girl Who Leapt Through Time I explained how this youth novel strikes a cord with the reader by offering them a fantasy in which an unfortunate event (leading to death, for example) can be undone, and the past be redone. I also mentioned how this resonates with the structure of video games because you usually have more than one life, and/or restart points from which to redo already past events. Which is probably why this novel keeps getting referenced by video game plots.

ITOI Shigesato’s Mother RPG, which was one of the games I covered in this series, contains the opposite scenario as well, confronting the player with a death they can’t undo. I’m talking about the flying men in Magicant.1 Magicant is the magic kingdom ruled by the Queen Mary and symbolizes the player’s subconscious. The Mother Encyclopedia players guide describes them as follows:

The house of the flying men
The dream of the flying men lives in your heart…

On the Northern outskirts of Magicant there is a single house all by itself. Here live five brothers, kind of like birds, kind of like humans. They’re the flying men. Back when you were still little, your mother used to whisper the story of the flying men into your ears from the side of your bed. You probably don’t remember this very sad story which your great grandmother created. You should go and visit them. Try talking to them. Because maybe you might remember the story.

The flying men join your party one at a time when you talk to them. But you can’t restore their HP so during your battles they will inevitably die at some point. You can go back to recruit more flying men until their family is extinct and you can even find their tombstones. Or you can quit meeting them, leave them alone and alive, at the same time leaving yourself alone with your guilt.

The flying men in Mother (Earthbound Zero)

The flying men in Mother 2 (Earthbound)

Of course there were inevitable deaths dictated by the video game plot before but in the case of the flying men the player is fully responsible for their death because he initiates their recruitment (though likely not aware of it beforehand) and they die during the interactive part of the game, the non-scripted one.

(mehr …)

  1. Magicant is the magic kingdom ruled by the Queen Mary and symbolizes the player’s subconscious. []

The Note: Author’s tool, author’s weapon

Donnerstag, 15. November, 2012

In a series of interviews from Cloud Message1 A promotion compilation book from late 2008 covering several then upcoming Square Enix titles with art, game screenshots, interviews and preview articles for these games., the interviewed creators were asked to give an item they frequently use for their work, one that would characterize their work. Final Fantasy scenario writer Kazushige NOJIMA chose a note book which he uses to write down ideas for his stories. Obviously it truly symbolizes the work of the author and from the title of his 2009 game Sakura Note we can tell how important the note is for NOJIMA as the canvas of the stories he writes. The note probably holds similar importance to most people involved in writing, may they write games, or more traditional word based media like novels or comics. Same is actually true for other artists working with the pen, like the artists of comics for example.

Editor TORISHIMA tells freelance writer HORII about the game programming contest at Enix.

Contest Winners

Games originally didn’t even need any writing so it is no surprise that some of the writing expertise used in games borrows from earlier media like comics. Yūji HORII, one of the few game writers broadly known by name in Japan and the inventor of Dragon Quest, started his career as a freelance writer for the manga anthology magazine Weekly Boys‘ Jump. He also was an aspiring programmer and when an ad for a game programming contest ran by Enix was placed in Jump, HORII entered with a tennis game and won one of the three awards. Another award winner, Kōichi NAKAMURA, was to become at first HORII’s rival and later his partner on later games published by Enix, among them Dragon Quest. Jump editor Kazuhiko TORISHIMA, who had told HORII about the contest at Enix, was coaching Akira TORIYAMA at the time, the author of the immensely popular Jump series Dragon Ball, and TORISHIMA suggested that TORIYAMA should do the character and monster designs for the new game Dragon Quest. So two of the key figures that contributed to Dragon Quest’s success were of Jump descent and it was Jump writing and Jump art that would define the series. In a way, Jump was the cradle were Dragon Quest was born.2 From the 1990 Making of Dragon Quest manga by artist Shōtarō ISHINOMORI and writer Hiroyuki TAKIZAWA.

Meeting Akira TORIYAMA

So games and comics aren’t that far divorced in their subject matter and style and I want to compare two works from recent years of these two fields in their treatment of the note as a symbolic item. The worlds in Jump stories are often completely original and fantastic, but when they are set in the real world something quite normal becomes attributed with magical powers or takes on a fantastic dimension. In Yūgi-Oh, trading cards not unlike the ones used by the young readers of Jump summon real magical creatures. Soccer players in manga may use trick shots not unlike the spectacular hissatsu waza (special moves) of fantastic martial artists. And Hikaru is trained in the game of Go by the ghost of his deceased grandfather.3 Hikaru no Go is a collaboration by writer Yumi HOTTA and artist Takeshi OBATA, who would later also draw Deathnote and Bakuman. (mehr …)

  1. A promotion compilation book from late 2008 covering several then upcoming Square Enix titles with art, game screenshots, interviews and preview articles for these games. []
  2. From the 1990 Making of Dragon Quest manga by artist Shōtarō ISHINOMORI and writer Hiroyuki TAKIZAWA. []
  3. Hikaru no Go is a collaboration by writer Yumi HOTTA and artist Takeshi OBATA, who would later also draw Deathnote and Bakuman. []