Originally posted on 20 January 2016
Source: page 42-45

Destiny of a Dragon

Being involved in the lives of people important to you...

The plans finally began to move along. Nagoshi began the process of completing the story, the game's backbone. Heart-warming, action comedy, picaresque... There are all kinds of different ways to tell a story. Thinking of what would be best accepted by the general public, simple, clear stories are best. The righteous protagonist beating the villain with a good and evil theme also works well. But Nagoshi was set on an excellent human drama that intertwined people's complex expectations. This was actually largely influenced by Nagoshi's own background.

Shimonoseki, Yamaguchi. Nagoshi spent his youth in a town close to the port facing the Genkai Sea. The home environment in which he grew up was not a happy one. His father was hardly ever home. He rarely had conversations with his parents like normal parents and children do, usually speaking with his grandmother. His father had incurred large debts, and rumours spread through the neighbouring towns that it was "best not to go around with the kid from that house".

Finally, Nagoshi decided that he wanted to leave this town. He wanted to find something in the big city of Tokyo that he really wanted to do. To do that, he had to pass the entrance exams to a Tokyo university. He studied hard and took an exam at a university of the arts, but failed the second exam. He moved to Tokyo and spent a year waiting for his next chance. In the afternoons he went to prep school, and at night he worked a part-time job to earn his tuition fees. Even after working exhaustively and getting into university, his parents sent him no allowance and he continued working part-time in earnest to make a living. It was around this time that he became ensnared by games.

It all began with the birthday present from the partner he was dating at the time. Buying the Famicom and Super Mario Brothers, a game that was popular at the time, he became hooked. He had played games at game centres before, but had never ventured into the world of video games. He became completely addicted to home gaming, where as long as you had a game you could spend countless hours playing it. Having awakened to the goal of game development, Nagoshi overcame the tough task of finding employment and joined Sega. Each day he lost himself in his work. Gradually he was given more and more to work on, and even worked as a game producer. After development finished on Daytona USA, what could be called his masterpiece, Nagoshi repaid all of his parents' hefty debts.

Having achieved his great success, Nagoshi was filled with thoughts of his parents, living in his distant hometown. Maybe it was due to the burden of their debts that his parents had been unable to build a happy home? Maybe they knew they weren't good parents but were somehow distant, and had been unable to form parent-child relations well.

―He wanted to regain his bonds with his parents once more.

Immediately afterwards, sad news arrived. His family home in Shimonoseki had been burned to the ground in a fire. What Nagoshi saw upon hurrying back to his hometown were charred remains. The fire had claimed the life of the grandmother to whom he was so close. His parents were unharmed, but due to shock from the fire his mother began suffering from cognitive impairment. She no longer even recognised the faces of her husband and son.

As though pitying his mother, he and his father got on better than ever before. As her symptoms worsened, he took care of his mother by himself. Perhaps his father had realised that the reason he had been able to live so wildly before was because his wife had been taking care of him. His wife would never look at him that way again. For the first time, his father realised how important she was to him.

Even though he didn't grow up in a very warm household, his parents and grandmother were his dear family. Why couldn't they regain their bond before they parted forever? When he realised that he hadn't had the courage to stay involved in the lives of those he loved, he began to see the story he wanted to show.

―What does it mean to watch over those you love?

He wanted to tell the story of a man who once fled from watching over those dear to him finally facing his own destiny. Now that he was taking charge of a project on which he gambled himself, this desire began to take shape.

The protagonist was named after someone important to him.

"Kazuma Kiryu".

Before long, another miracle happened to "Project J": a man with whom Nagoshi had never met until recently was added to create the scenario. He later became scenario/event lead Masayoshi Yokoyama.

Novels and dramas that show a protagonist who commits crimes. This style is common with yakuza and the criminal underworld.
A home game console, the Family Computer, released by Nintendo in 1984. It was a big hit not just domestically but also overseas, with worldwide sales totally more than 60 million units. It lay the foundation for the modern gaming industry.
"Super Mario Brothers"
A game released in 1985 by Nintendo. It was an unprecedented hit both in Japan and the rest of the world, with worldwide sales of more than 40 million copies. This game became a huge influence for several game creators.
"The characters' names"
"Each of the main characters' names are taken from parts of the names of people who are dear to me. I did this to show that the characters are not just symbols on a screen, but actual people with souls. ...Who did I take them from? That's a secret." (Nagoshi)
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