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Development
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Strider started life as part of a three-pronged collaboration between Capcom and artist circle Moto Kikaku, consisting of this game, the Strider Hiryu manga, and the original Arcade game, all sharing the same name.[1]

The idea of working on a project with a company outside the world of gaming came from Akio Sakai, who back then recently joined Capcom as new head of development[2][3]. Sakai was able to secure the deal with Moto Kikaku, seeing it as a test to running a seralized manga and game at the same time.[2]

While the manga and Arcade game were handled by Tatsumi Wada and Kouchi Yotsui repectively, the NES "consumer version" was given to Masahiko Kurokawa, who previously worked on the NES conversion of Commando and the NES original Higemaru Makaijima.

Development HistoryEdit

Initial meetings between the three heads of the project were carried on at the Shinjuku Hilton hotel, arranged by Capcom's president Kenzo Tsujimoto so they could iron out details of the setting and world view. After deciding on the common elements of the setting, Yotsui and Kurokawa returned to Osaka and worked together to flesh out the basic outline agreed upon in Shinjuku[2]. As both men followed career in film, they took advantage of this and together developed a detailed background setting for the project[4], and eventually each one wrote their own script for it.[5]

Despite the initial intent for each team to take the fully-formed concept and adapt it to their respective media[1], Kurokawa and Wada wound up working closely together, writing an involved and developed story that became the backstory for both the manga and the NES-developed game[2]. Due to this proximity between both projects, it's hard to appreciate the game without having read the manga first, as it explains some important plotholes and shows which parts were created as filler for the game and which are actual storyboard points. While Yotsui was also approached, he turned it down and created his own version of the story, on the grounds he saw the three projects as a competition to see who could make the best product.[1]

Famicom VersionEdit

Strider FC scr2

The Famicom version and how it shows in-game dialogue

The Japanese Famicom version was originally announced in June 1988[6], when the manga was in the middle of its run. Initially reported for release the following October[7], it was later changed to December instead[8][9], following the release of the manga's tankôbon (collected edition). For unknown reasons, the game was further delayed to a 1989 release[10] and eventually and silently cancelled for its Japanese release. A few promotional items were released before the game's cancellation, the most notable of which was Strider Hiryu: Original Music, a cassette released in 1988[11] as a promotional giveaway to the readers of Weekly Comic Comp (where the manga was serialized) which included themes to be featured in the Famicom game, as well as vocal versions of the opening and ending themes.[11]

Alleged white cart prototypes of the Famicom Strider have showed up several times in Japanese auction sites[12], and one was eventually dumped online in April 2014.

English VersionEdit

The English version of Strider was first publicly announced during the January 1989 Winter CES convention held at Las Vegas[13], around 2 months before the release of the Arcade version, with later magazine previews claiming an April release date[14], three months earlier than the game's final release in July[15]. Based off the known Japanese prototype, the final released version appears to have received a general code cleanup to correct performance and graphic/palette bugs, as well as a number of edits to enemy sprites and locations, stage layout and item placement. Most notably change is seen in how they handle dialogue: The Famicom version shows text vertically at the side of the screen; whereas the English version transitions into a black screen to show its text.

In spite of those corrections, however, the English version is still plagued by glitches and bugs, being well-known for poor programming and a rushed translation. Where it suffers the most is in the collision detection and control scheme. The collision detection makes avoiding enemy fire tricky, whereas the controls are stiff and sometimes unresponsive; certain actions (most memorably the Triangle Jump) are an arduous chore. It's translation is noticeable rushed and typos, oddly-phrased sentences, and mistranslations abound. Cutscenes are often hard to understand and leave the player at a loss.

ReferencesEdit

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 Tane, Kiyofume (February 2009). "The Father of Strider Who Made the Game World Explode: Kouichi Yotsui Discography". Gameside (16). Translated by Gaijin Punch for Gamengai. Retrieved from Archive.org. Accessed November 7, 2016.
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 Scion; Dire 51 (24 April 2010). "Interview with Kouichi "Isuke" Yotsui". LSCM 4.0. Translated by Gaijin Punch. Accessed 24 Oct 2010.
  3. Jones, Darran (24 Apr 2010). "The Making of... Strider". Retro Gamer (76). pp. 48-53.
  4. Robson, Daniel (October 2014). "The Making of...Strider". Edge (271). Pg. 96-99.
  5. Szczepaniak, John (January 10, 2016) "Interview with Roy Ozaki and Kouichi Yotsui". Hardcore Gaming 101 official YouTube page. Accessed May 23, 2016.
  6. "Strider Hiryu Japanese Magazine Scans". Famicom Tsûshin, June 1988 issue.
  7. "Strider Hiryu Japanese Magazine Scans". Strider Hiryu Promotional ad.
  8. "Strider Hiryu Japanese TV Advert". Retrieved from Archive.org. Accessed 21 Nov 2010.
  9. "Strider Hiryu Japanese Magazine Scans". Marukatsu Famicom, October 1988 issue.
  10. "Strider Hiryu Japanese Magazine Scans". Famicom Tsûshin, January 1989 issue.
  11. 11.0 11.1 Kouji-S. "The Phantom 'Strider Hiryu' Theme Song" (Japanese). Retrieved from Archive.org. Accessed November 21, 2010.
  12. Mike. "All Fingers Point To Zain Mind Control Weapon As Culprit For $3307 Unreleased Strider Famicom Prototype". nintendoplayer.com. Retrieved July 31, 2013
  13. Staff (May 1989). "Short ProShots" (English). GamePro (01). Pg. 47
  14. Staff (May 1989). "Next Wave" (English). Electronic Gaming Monthly (01). Pg. 8
  15. Nintendo. Complete Old Games List (Press Release). nintendo.com. Accessed from archive.org. Retrieved July 31, 2013

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