Retrogame Designers: Takashi Nishiyama

Takashi Nishiyama is a Japanese game designer, who has worked since the 80s with major companies in the gaming industry, such as Irem, Capcom and SNK. In his career, to date, he has participated in the creation of more than 40 video games, almost all becoming classics in their kind.

moon patrol di takashi nishiyama su
Kung Fu Master di Takashi Nishiyama su

His first success was undoubtedly Moon Patrol, developed for Irem in 1982. Moon Patrol was the first videogame (tied with Taito’s Jungle Hunt) to use the parallax effect in the background. The game was a huge success and won numerous awards, including the Arcade Award “Best Science Fiction Game” by Electronic Games magazine. Later, in 1984, again for Irem and Data East, he designed the martial arts arcade Kung-Fu Master (Spartan X in Japan), considered the founder of beat’em up video games.

Street Fighter I di Capcom realizzato da Takashi Nishiyama su

After the first successes, he was contacted by Capcom, on whose behalf he developed the Street Fighter project, which will become one of the most long-lived and successful franchises of the Japanese company. Specifically, along with Hiroshi Matsumoto, Nishiyama will follow the production of the first episode of Street Fighter (1987) taking care of the characters, the gameplay and personally inventing many of the “special” techniques possible in the game, such as Ryu’s famous “Hadouken”. The same game board with six keys (three for fists and three for kicks) was his invention. Previously, in fact, no game had ever required so many controls.

Il cabinato di street fighter capcom su

Following creative disagreements, Nishiyama left Capcom, albeit remaining on excellent terms with management and staff, before the release of Street Fighter II in 1987, a follow-up that he could not therefore take care of personally. Nishiyama preferred to move to SNK, where he had the chance to rework the concept of Street Fighter – a game very dear to him – deepening aspects that had been neglected during the Capcom production. Thus was born Fatal Fury (1991), spiritual successor of his first Street Fighter. Nishiyama will work on many other successful projects, such as Art of Fighting, King of Fighters and Metal Slug.

Fatal Fury SNK di Takashi Nishiyama su

Currently Nishiyama, along with some old former Snk and Capcom collaborators, has founded his own video game production company, Dimps, based in Tokyo. Since the early 2000s, the company has been making original games and conversions for successful Sega, Nintendo and Capcom home systems.

Video Games developed by Nishiyama between ’80s and ’90s

  • Moon Patrol 1982 (game designer)
  • Kung-Fu Master 1984 (game designer)
  • Section Z 1985 (game designer)
  • Trojan 1986 (game designer)
  • Legendary Wings 1986 (director)
  • Mega Man 1987 (producer)
  • Avengers 1987 (director)
  • Mad Gear 1988 (planner)
  • Street Fighter 1987 (director)
  • Last Duel: Inter Planet War 2012 1988 (director)
  • Ghost Pilots 1991 (executive producer)
  • Fatal Fury: King of Fighters 1991 (director)
  • Mutation Nation 1992 (consultant)
  • Fatal Fury: Legend of the Hungry Wolf 1992 (producer)
  • The King of Fighters ’94 1994 (producer)
  • Fatal Fury 3: Road to the Final Victory 1995 (producer)
  • Real Bout Fatal Fury 1995 (producer)
  • Real Bout Fatal Fury Special 1997 (producer)
  • The King of Fighters ’97 1997 (producer)
  • The King of Fighters ’98: The Slugfest 1998 (producer)
  • Samurai Shodown: Warriors Rage 1999 (executive producer)
  • The King of Fighters ’99 1999 (producer)
  • Metal Slug X 1999 (producer)


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