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How Sonic’s Creator Struggled For Years To Create Rodea the Sky Soldier



Kadokawa Games recently hosted the “Rodea: The Sky Experience Tour 2014 ~First~” as the game’s first event for fans to try the game out, and 4Gamer have shared their report on what director Jin Hasegawa and Prope’s Yuji Naka had to say about the title.


The Rodea discussions began with “what thoughts went into the creation of Rodea?” As it turns out, director Hasegawa always wanted to make a game where you can fly, and it’s something he dreamed of doing ever since he was a child. Again, prior to developing Rodea the Sky Soldier, Hasegawa had always been involved in the development of games with violence, so making an all-ages game is something he’s been wanting to do for a while.


It was those two thoughts that prompted the would-be director to meet up with former head of Sonic Team, Yuji Naka, then felt like he might be able to make two of his wishes come true.



The above image reads: “A dream I saw when I was young, ‘a grand adventure on the never-ending skies’.”


During his tenure in his position with Sega, Naka was known for his work as the producer and lead programmer for NiGHTS into Dreams. While he never made a sequel to NiGHTS, which was highly demanded by fans across the globe, Naka said that it was sort of for the same reason that Steven Spielberg never made a sequel to E.T.


“I didn’t want to do anything that could possibly take away from the good that was NiGHTS,” explained Naka. Instead, Naka was spending his time doing research and development for a game that would allow you to fly around the skies more freely; however, making a game that lets you freely fry around in 360 degrees proved to be difficult, even with access to a gyro sensor-equipped controller.


One day, while going about his usual trial-and-errors for finding a way to make something work, Naka came across the Wii. By using the Wii Remote, he felt that he might be able to make a new type of action game that would give you the freedom of flight in 360 degrees. While Naka now had an idea of how to make the game, he still had one obstacle ahead of him: For several years, Naka tried to show his plans to various game companies, but none of them were willing to work with him on it.


It wasn’t until he crossed paths with Kadokawa Games, and they saw the plans for a game where you get to fly the skies, that they responded with “let’s do this together.”


“Our wavelengths matched up perfectly,” Hasegawa added.


From then on, the development of Rodea began… or so it seemed. As it turned out, opinions held by the developers at Prope clashed with those of the publishers. According to Naka, out of the 9 years of existence since the establishment of Prope, they’ve never had as many arguments as they did while working on Rodea.


In the end, though, things worked out and both the publisher and developer were able to come to an agreement, but Naka still remembers all the trouble that went into the making of the game.


Rodea the Sky Soldier is slated for release in Japan on April 2, 2015 for the Nintendo 3DS and Wii U.

Editor-in-Chief at Siliconera. Gamer, avid hockey fan, and firm believer in the heart of the cards.