Have you ever seen a game set in a red light district before?
The Famicom was released in the 80s, and children of the time were all obsessed with it. Various other game consoles soon followed, each with their own signature games, capturing the hearts of the children. But back then, most video games were marketed solely at children. There was one game that broke through this common mentality: Ryu ga Gotoku.
The protagonist is a man who once made his name in the world of the yakuza. The player, becoming the protagonist, is able to move about the red light district as they please. They can set foot in shady places such as casinos and cabaret clubs. They engage in fist fights with punks wandering the streets. Finally, the protagonist becomes embroiled in a huge conspiracy that looms over the red light district and faces his own destiny. As an as yet unseen masterpiece of a game that portrayed a profound drama, it enchanted huge numbers of people. It was worked on by Toshihiro Nagoshi, creative officer at Sega's R&D department. He encountered huge troubles along the way before achieving this glory.
Since at the time of its creation the general opinion was that games were children's toys, no one would agree to the proposal of doing something unheard of like making a yakuza the protagonist of a game.
"There's no way a game that kids won't buy will sell."
"Won't we get criticism for it being violent?"
Amidst the constant rejection, Nagoshi maintained his conviction.
"Adults want an interesting game."
"Like films and music, there has to be some way of giving games a value that will be time well spent for an adult."
Finally, someone who agreed with his beliefs appeared. He wanted to make a brand new game, the like of which no one had ever seen. Nagoshi's feelings moved people. The following line was written on the game's advertising poster:
For all of the adults who are tired of games. For all of the adults who love games.
The foundation was laid for a game that could be enjoyed not just by children, but by adults as well. This book is a record of the astounding fight of Nagoshi, who believed in this, and those who supported him.