Originally posted on 20 January 2016
Source: page 30-31

Destiny of a Dragon

Nagoshi and Kikuchi's miraculous chance meeting

Masayoshi Kikuchi. Since joining the company he had dealt with the home gaming market, and had been involved in such hits as Panzer Dragoon. He is also a man who displays a calm and collected view, always maintaining a slight distance. Everything about him was the total opposite of the passionate Nagoshi, who had worked on arcade games for many years. Kikuchi visited Nagoshi's team due to the merger of the company subsidiaries. While no one showed any interest in Nagoshi's plans, he looked at the proposal and said:

"It sounds interesting."

From that point onwards, Kikuchi became a valuable ally to Nagoshi.

Nagoshi's enthusiasm to proceed with the proposal no matter what was unrivalled. Besides conveying that passion to people, Kikuchi's distanced, calm viewpoint was more useful than anything else to the plans. It is easy to think that a game starring a yakuza would aim for a niche audience. Kikuchi added new elements in order to show the staff that they were aiming for a broader demographic. One day, Kikuchi submitted the following idea to Nagoshi:

"Let's put a little girl in."

―Just the rarity of having a yakuza as the protagonist wouldn't be enough. There must also have been staff members who wouldn't understand that the game was being aimed at a wider, more general audience. But if the ultimate yakuza had someone beside him to protect - for example, a little girl - the story would gain depth. Rather than being a game themed around ninkyodo, if it were centred around a human drama the staff would probably understand it, too.

Nagoshi's enthusiasm and Kikuchi's judgements united, the proposal making a huge leap forward.

"A story that brings together a legendary yakuza and a young girl."

People who thought of this new proposal as interesting and intriguing gradually began to step forward and endorse it. Even at company meetings, it was being discussed for advancement.

On the other hand, however, Kikuchi had big concerns. He admitted this to Nagoshi.
"It will probably take at least a billion to make this game."

"Panzer Dragoon"
A popular shooting game in which you can engage in 360° aerial combat whilst riding a dragon. Kikuchi primarily worked on submitting ideas for boss characters. However, he himself says, "I liked the horse-racing sim Derby Stallion at the time and wasn't very fond of shooters."
"Development budget"
The main source of anguish for those in the gaming industry. At the time of the Famicom's appearance on the market, games were simple programs and the development budget would be around 10 million yen, an unbelievably low sum by today's standards. Nowadays, in the age where minutely detailed characters move around freely, a single game requires a budget of around 1 billion.
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