Tecmo Koei Blog – The Making Of Fist Of The North: Ken’s Rage

By Hisashi Koinuma - Producer . October 27, 2010 . 12:24pm

Hi everyone it’s Hisashi Koinuma from Tecmo Koei here in Japan.  I hope everyone’s doing OK there today.  Who am I?  I’m a guy who’s been here at Tecmo Koei for quite a long time and have worked on and produced projects such as Samurai Warriors and Dynasty Warriors: Gundam, among many others.  Oh yeah, I’m the producer of the game I want to talk to you about today, Fist of the North Star: Ken’s Rage.




I’ll admit it right here and now.  To all of you.  Yes, YOU!  I am a huge fan of Fist of the North Star.  I grew up with the manga in my childhood and the series is one of my fondest memories.  When we decided to move ahead with the project we were just purely stoked.  This is a dream come true for our team; to have the ability to work on one of the most classic and undying franchises in the whole world is just an honor.  Moreover, throughout the whole project we received supervision from one of the two original creators of Fist of the North Star, Mr. Tetsuo Hara.  I’ll talk about his involvement in the project a bit later on.


Anyway, about the game.  The game’s story faithfully follows the original manga and it portrays the main protagonist Ken’s quest in a ravaged world destroyed by nuclear war.  Ken sets out on a quest to search his true love, Yuria and defeat his arch rival Raoh, a brother of the same deadly and destructive martial arts style of Hokuto Shinken.  You’ll be able to choose from a few characters to play as and experience the original story.  These characters are broadly divided into three styles, Hokuto, which is a hard, head-on destructive style; Nanto, a much faster and flowing style of combat; and Special, which is a mix of martial arts and shooting action.  Each character is unique and feels different to one another so you’ll have a chance to experience a variety of over-the-top action.  You’ll see your favorites such as Ken, Rei, and Mamiya, among others.  To Fist newcomers, I will stop here so I don’t spoil the experience for you!


For Ken’s Rage we made sure to come up with a brand new engine which can incorporate both action and adventure elements.  Players will be able to experience this in the game’s main story mode, the Legend Mode.  To me the game resembles a feel of a modern day beat’em up and there’s also so much gore and violence that you will instantly feel like you’re living inside the manga.  As our team has quite a bit of experience on the Warriors games, we felt that adding those elements into the game would fit really well also, so we added a secondary mode based closer on this engine.  I’ll tell you more about that soon.




Coming back to one of the most important parts of the project to us is the involvement by Hara-Sensei as I mentioned before.  It was a real honor to have him supervise the project from the very start to the very end.  Hara-Sensei was very particular as to how we took the characters from a 2D comic and portrayed them in next-gen 3D visuals.  Every time we would come up with a round of revisions he would come back to us and point out the minor details of each character, specifically regarding their muscular structure.  We tried our best but in the end Hara-Sensei told us to go and look at bodybuilders’ muscles and base the design on that.  It just shows how much love and devotion he had for those characters, and even though working with him was difficult, we managed to improve so much as a result.


I could tell you so much more about the project but I have to stop right here for the time being before I become unable to stop!  Stay tuned because soon I will have more information on DLC and the game’s “what-if” secondary mode called the Dream Mode.  Look out for Fist of the North Star: Ken’s Rage coming to a store near you on November 2, both on X360 and PS3.



  • Kevin_Levin

    lol Tried the demo. It’s kinda cool. Which it has that feature that game; Brutal Legends had. Which you can switch from a T-esque game to a M-esque game.

  • So I guess this confirms that we will be getting DLC like the Japanese version. Hopefully it won’t be overpriced like Japan ($10 for an extra character)…

  • caddyalan

    I became a FOTNS fan only recently, thanks to the most recent region 1 DVD release. In the US, some of the adaptations of FOTNS were censored, and a few other adaptations were cancelled before completion. Also, it’s one of those properties which may have seemed dated by the time of its release. The recent DVD version, which is probably identical to the episodes streaming on Hulu and Crunchyroll, may be one of the best.

    That said, I’m not sure if I’d pay $60 for a spinoff game, but it may be a decent licensed game.

  • “Nanto, a much faster and flowing style of combat”
    I take I’m missing something here.

    Some please educate me:
    I’m constantly hearing “nanto!” in anime and it’s always used to say “What is this?” or “How could this happen?”. Is this or joke from the developers/the series or does the word have another meaning?

    • Kal_Kent

      I have no Idea what Nanto means by it self but Nanto Seiken means Southern Cross or Sacred Fist of the South if i remembered correctly.

  • Mr. Hisashi Koinuma… thanks for this blog entry — very cool of you to give us insight.

    I loved the demo. I have too much on my plate right now, but I will definitely buy this by the end of the year.

    • SolidusSnake

      I agree, it’s pretty badass that a japanese producer is reaching out to american gamers like this. :D

  • thebanditking

    Awesome, I really enjoyed hearing about the early development process and its great to know one of the creators was involved. I am a big fan of the Dynasty Warriors games, but I was really shocked by this title. The game play was slower, but felt fresh and I ended up playing the demo over and over . I really feel you did an excellent job on this title so congrats to you and your team, I will be picking this up on PS3 at release!

  • shion16

    A lot of people exploted during the developmet of this game

  • THANK YOU MR. HISASHI KOINUMA!!!! Please make Ryuga, Juza, Fudo, Shuren, Hyui, Rihaku, Yuda, and Colonel playable in the sequel! ^_^ And please make Yuria, Airi, Rin, Bat, and Ryuken ‘playable’ in the sequel’s Dream Mode, even if they don’t get their own dream story, it would be fun using them!

    In the meantime I will buy Fist of the North Star: Ken’s Rage for myself and some friends, and will buy the DLC too! We look forward to Ken’s Rage 2 as well! This is really the #1 franchise we want to see more and more sequels! ^_^ Thanks again!

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