Tokuro Fujiwara, circa 1997
April 7th, 1961
Game director, producer
"Arthur" was the pseudonym Tokuro Fujiwara (藤原得郎) used during development of the CPS-1 installment of Strider. A prolific Japanese video game designer and producer, he's best known for creating the iconic Capcom series Ghosts 'n Goblins, as well as being producer in several of the company's other franchises, most notably the Mega Man series and the first Resident Evil. Fujiwara has also been credited under the name "Professor F".
Tokuro Fujiwara was attending the Osaka Designer's College when he joined Konami in 1982. Fujiwara was interested in an opening as product planner the company had at the time, and didn't even knew Konami made video games until he did the entrance exam. At first he worked as an artist for stuff such as leaflets and the acrilic boards for medal games.
He directed two games while at Konami, Pooyan and Roc'n Rope, the second being the first game he developed from scratch. Roc 'n Rope was difficult to develop as Fujiwara found himself constantly struggling with the memory limitations. Years later, he'd expand on the rope gameplay mechanics in Capcom's 1987 Arcade/NES game Bionic Commando.
Fujiwara left Konami in 1983 to join Capcom together with Yoshiki Okamoto, although the two were invited to join the company by different people. Fujiwara designed many of Capcom's first Arcade games, including Vulgus, Pirate Ship Higemaru, Ghosts 'n Goblins and Commando, the latter two developed concurrently. Around 1986, he became head of one of Capcom's three development groups (the "First Planning Room").
In 1988, Tokuro Fujiwara oversaw the development of the Strider three-way project, where he was credited as "Planning Adviser". As Kouichi Yotsui's manager, he picked him as the head of the Arcade game side of the project because he had "really good negotiation skills", as he believed such a project would require them. During the three project heads's stay at the Shinjuku Hilton hotel, both him and Capcom's head of development Akio Sakai would occasionally join them and help in building the game's world and main character.
Although infamous for being rather strict to his junior staff, Fujiwara showed a lot of leniency to the inexperienced Yotsui, allowing him free rein to do as he saw fit and ensuring the game would be finished only when Yotsui said so. Strider was developed around the same time as Ghouls 'n Ghosts, both games using the then-new Arcade "CP System" board. Fujiwara felt the board's operational capabilities weren't hard to work with, but the ROM capacity presented a challenge. As the chips were all lined up across the circuit board, they needed to put a lot of effort into the design front in order to make good use of them. To do this they used 30 graphic artists instead of the usual 2 or 3 used in previous projects.
Strider turned out to be the last Arcade game Fujiwara worked on. Around the latter half of 1988, Capcom organized itself into 2 departments, one to handle Arcade games and one focused on home consoles. Although Fujiwara expressed his desire to continue making Arcade games, he was ordered to move into the domestic division. Once he was transferred, he started work on Mega Man 2.
For the following years, Tokuro Fujiwara was involved as producer in several of Capcom's entries for home consoles, including several entries in the Mega Man and Final Fight series. His final contribution at Capcom would be as producer of the first entry in the Resident Evil series. Inspired by Sweet Home, a NES horror game he developed, Fujiwara determined elements such as the game's setting and the change from a 1st person view to a 3rd person view, leaving out the "actual work" to the game's planner (and future series producer) Shinji Mikami.
Following Resident Evil's release, Tokuro Fujiwara left Capcom and funded his own company, Whoopee Camp. The company, however, only released two titles: Tomba! and its direct sequel, before going out of bussiness. Masahiro Kurokawa and Harumi Fujita (planner and composer of the NES Strider) rejoined him as staff on Tomba!, Kurokawa filling in as writer for it and its sequel. Although the games were well-received critically, poor distribution led them to underperform in sales and lead to the company's disbandment.
Undeterred, Fujiwara then established "Deep Space" as a subsidiary of Sony Computer Entertainment Japan. Deep Space released two titles before folding as well: 2001's Extermination, a survival horror game taking several cues from his previous work in Resident Evil, and 2003's Hungry Ghosts, which took a different approach to the genre, seeking to provide a more "virtual" experience through exploration.
In 2005, Fujiwara was approached by Capcom to work on Ultimate Ghosts 'n Goblins, the latest entry in the series he created. Fujiwara was happy, but also a bit apprehensive due to how little he knew about the hardware it was being developed on, the PSP. He developed the game as a "pure" sequel with expanded content, a number of new elements (such as branching paths) and a more casual approach in an attempt to revitalize the platforming genre. He was later credited as "consultant" in the 2006 remake of another game he created, Bionic Commando Rearmed.
|1983|| Roc'n Rope|
|1984|| Pirate Ship Higemaru|
|1985|| Ghosts 'n Goblins|
|1986|| The Speed Rumbler|
|1987|| Higemaru Makaijima|
|1987|| Bionic Commando|
|1987|| Tiger Road|
|1988|| Ghouls 'n Ghosts|
|1988|| Mega Man 2|
|1989|| Destiny of an Emperor|
|1989|| Marusa no Onna|
|1989|| Sweet Home|
|1990|| Mega Man 3|
|1990|| Gargoyle's Quest|
|1990|| Chip 'n Dale Rescue Rangers|
|1990|| Street Fighter 2010: The Final Fight|
|1990|| Little Nemo: The Dream Master|
|1990|| Final Fight|
|1991|| Super Ghouls 'n Ghosts|
|1991|| Tenchi wo Kurau II|
|1991||The Little Mermaid||Capcom||Capcom||NES, Game Boy||Producer|
|1991|| Mega Man: Dr. Wily's Revenge|
|1991|| Mega Man 4|
|1991|| Mega Man II|
|1992|| Final Fight Guy|
|1992||Darkwing Duck||Capcom||Capcom||NES, Game Boy||Producer|
|1992|| Gargoyle's Quest II|
|1992|| Mega Man 5|
|1992|| Mega Man III|
|1992|| Street Fighter II′ Turbo|
ストリートファイターIIダッシュターボ -HYPER FIGHTING-
|1993|| Breath of Fire|
ブレス オブ ファイア 竜の戦士
|1993|| DuckTales 2|
|Capcom||Capcom||NES, Game Boy||Producer|
|1993|| Final Fight 2|
|1993|| Mighty Final Fight|
|1993|| Mega Man 6|
|1993|| Disney's Aladdin|
|1993|| Mega Man IV|
|1993|| Chip 'n Dale Rescue Rangers 2|
|1993|| Mega Man X|
|1994|| Mega Man Soccer|
|1994|| Goof Troop|
|1994|| Mega Man V|
|1994|| Demon's Crest|
デモンズブレイゾン 魔界村 紋章編
|1994|| X-Men: Mutant Apocalypse|
|1994|| Breath of Fire II|
ブレス オブ ファイアII 使命の子
|1994|| Mega Man X2|
|1995|| Street Fighter Alpha: Warriors' Dream|
|Capcom||Capcom||PlayStation, Sega Saturn||Consumer Staff|
|1995|| Mega Man 7|
|1995|| Mega Man X3|
|1995|| Final Fight 3|
|1996|| Resident Evil|
|Whoopee Camp||Sony Computer Entertainment||PlayStation||Producer, Director|
|1999|| Tomba! 2: The Evil Swine Return|
|Whoopee Camp||Sony Computer Entertainment||PlayStation||Producer, Designer|
|Deep Space||Sony Computer Entertainment||PlayStation 2||Executive Producer|
|2003|| Hungry Ghosts|
|Deep Space||Sony Computer Entertainment||PlayStation 2||Executive Producer, Director|
|2006|| Ultimate Ghosts 'n Goblins|
|2006|| Bionic Commando Rearmed|
バイオニック コマンドー マスターD復活計画
|GRiN||Capcom||PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, PC||Consultant|
|PlatinumGames||Sega||Wii||Original Game Design|
|2016||Project Scissors: Night Cry||Nude Maker||Nude Maker||PC, PlayStation Vita, iOS, Android||Special Support (message)|
- ↑ Ohta Publishing (2009). "Game Center CX Complete" (Japanese). ISBN 978-4-7783-1180-3.
- ↑ 2.0 2.1 Hamamura, Hirozaku (July 2, 2003). "The Lair of Hungry Ghosts". Famitsu. Translated by Fox, Fennec. Retrieved from archive.org. Accessed September 1, 2016.
- ↑ 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 3.4 3.5 3.6 3.7 Staff (2003). "The Man Who Made Ghosts’n Goblins" (Japanese). Continue (12). Translated by GlitterBerri. Accessed September 1, 2016
- ↑ 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. Accessed 24 Oct 2010.
- ↑ Strider. (Capcom). Arcade. Level/area: End credits. (March 7, 1989).
- ↑ 6.0 6.1 Scion; Dire 51 (24 April 2010). "Interview with Kouichi "Isuke" Yotsui". LSCM 4.0. Translated by Gaijin Punch. Accessed September 1, 2016.
- ↑ 7.0 7.1 Jones, Darran (24 Apr 2010). "The Making of... Strider". Retro Gamer (76). pp. 48-53.
- ↑ "Makaimura Series – Interview Collection" (Japanese). Translated by Shmuplations.com. Accessed September 1, 2016