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.