How Metal Gear Rising Nearly Didn’t Have One Of Its Main Illustrators

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Kenichirou Yoshimura, a former designer at PlatinumGames, was on his way out of the company. He was switching from being a full-time Platinum employee to going freelance, and his official date of resignation was just three days away. However, instead of leaving as planned, Yoshimura ended up working on Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance.


“Three days before I was about to leave Platinum to go freelance, without much left to do, I strolled over to the nearby Rising team to see if they needed any help,” Yoshimura recalls in a development blog post. He didn’t like what he saw.


He continues: “Then I saw their designs—the art style could not have been further from the Metal Gear universe. Immediately, I slammed my fist on the director’s table. ‘You cannot put this in a Metal Gear game!’ I told him. Before I knew it, my last three days at Platinum turned into over half a year.”


Yoshimura, as it would turn out, was a Metal Gear fan and an admirer of series illustrator, Yoji Shinkawa, and his work. Like other fans, Yoshimura collects Shinkawa’s art books. Once he joined the Rising team, his first assignment was to design Raiden’s rival, Sam. This is the design he came up with, with the last set of illustrations representing the final design:



You can check out Yoshimura’s full blog post about his experience designing Sam and a whole lot more concept art at the PlatinumGames blog.


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Ishaan Sahdev
Ishaan specializes in game design/sales analysis. He's the former managing editor of Siliconera and wrote the book "The Legend of Zelda - A Complete Development History". He also used to moonlight as a professional manga editor. These days, his day job has nothing to do with games, but the two inform each other nonetheless.