From Battle Royale to Yakuza; Takeshi Kitano’s legacy in video games

Some Japanese game developers such as Shigeru Miyamoto, Hidetaka Miyazaki, Hideo Kojima, Shinji Mikami, Fumito Ueda, and Yoko Taro have been somewhat successful over the years. whose games usually experience good sales and their influence on the industry is undeniable. However, one name to watch out for is Takeshi Kitano. Kitano, better known as Beat Takeshi in Japan, rose to fame as a comedian in the 1970s. However, among his diverse abilities, game creation can be mentioned.

BingMag.com From Battle Royale to Yakuza; Takeshi Kitano’s legacy in video games

Some Japanese game developers such as Shigeru Miyamoto, Hidetaka Miyazaki, Hideo Kojima, Shinji Mikami, Fumito Ueda, and Yoko Taro have been somewhat successful over the years. whose games usually experience good sales and their influence on the industry is undeniable. However, one name to watch out for is Takeshi Kitano. Kitano, better known as Beat Takeshi in Japan, rose to fame as a comedian in the 1970s. However, among his diverse abilities, game creation can be mentioned.

His game called Takeshi no Chsenj or Takeshi's Challenge was released in 1986 for the Super Nintendo. In this game, in which Kitano acted as a consultant and designer, you were in the role of a poor salaryman searching for treasure on a remote island. However, to get to sin, you have to somehow free yourself from a series of social taboos. This included beating up an old man to get the treasure map in the first place, divorcing your wife, and quitting your job.

BingMag.com From Battle Royale to Yakuza; Takeshi Kitano’s legacy in video games

While the game's ideas, inspired by the action arcade games, adventure games, and violence seen in GTA, sounded interesting on paper, the game was a ridiculous work of art and was considered nearly impossible to complete. The game was the first work to achieve Kusoge rating from Famitsu magazine and became one of the worst games in history. However, according to the game's developer and publisher Taito, the game has still sold more than 800,000 copies. The game was later made available on the Wii virtual console and mobile.

Considering this, you might say that Kitano didn't leave a special legacy and on the other hand mocked the media. That said, you could argue that this puts Kitano light years ahead of indie games that specialize in less-than-fun gameplay. At the same time, Takeshi no Chsenj can be said to be a precursor to Yakuza games. In fact, Kitano has long been fascinated by the yakuza and believes that his father may have been a member. This is despite the fact that he has talked in past interviews about how when he was growing up in a working-class neighborhood, kids looked up to baseball players and yakuza.

BingMag.com From Battle Royale to Yakuza; Takeshi Kitano’s legacy in video games

An image of Kitano in Yakuza 6

Based on his rigid personality, he might Deliberately shocking viewers who were more used to laughing at him on television, he became known to international audiences in the early 1990s with the Yakuza trilogy, however it was Hana-bi in 1997 that set him apart from other filmmakers. It included Japanese legends like Akira Kurosawa and Yasujiro Ozu. Kitano, playing a retired cop, is a man of few words who goes on violent and brutal rampages against the yakuza gang who repeatedly extort him for the money he owes them. Meanwhile, he takes care of his sick wife and the widow of a colleague who was killed in the line of duty. This film is a nihilistic crime work that also shows the humor and humanity of his character. In Yakuza 6: The Song of Life and the series that always mixes serious drama with comedy, it turns. In this game, Hirose was clearly a character written for Kitano as a seemingly calm family patriarch who treats his underlings and Yakuza like his own children. He first meets Kiryu over ice cream and brags about his recent exploit of defrauding the hospital to get insurance money. However his demeanor hides the fact that he actually has skills as a knife assassin and ends up being one of Kiryuu's toughest opponents. Naturally, Kitano brilliantly plays both sides of Hirose and makes one of the most subtle roles in this series.

BingMag.com From Battle Royale to Yakuza; Takeshi Kitano’s legacy in video games

While Yakuza 6 is Kitano's first official video game appearance in 30 years, his influence can be seen elsewhere as well. Consider the game Ghost of Tsushima. Soccer Punch Studio may say that the production team was inspired by Kurosawa's samurai films, and this inspiration can even be seen in the game's black and white mode (Kurosawa mode), however, when placed in the role of the vengeful Jane instead of recalling Kurosawa's films. , perhaps the most can be mentioned the film Zatichi Kitano. The various elements of this film can be seen in the narrative of Ghost of Tsushima more than any other work.

However, to appreciate Kitano's wider legacy in gaming, we have to go back to 1986, when the TV competition Takeshi's Castle took place. As host, Kitano would run a show where over a hundred contestants would compete in ridiculous challenges, dwindling each round until the last remaining contestants attempted to storm the castle. While occasional videos of this program were broadcast on Western television, it eventually led to the creation of another television competition, this time in the West, called Total Wipeout.

BingMag.com From Battle Royale to Yakuza; Takeshi Kitano’s legacy in video games

In video games, we now see a work called Fall Guys, which is very well known and popular today. The game has undoubtedly been inspired by old UK TV shows like It's a Knockout, but Takeshi's Castle has always been a source of inspiration for the developers and was also mentioned by the developer's studio, Mediatonic. While some critics recognize the game as an example of a battle royale that subverts the genre's violent combat, on the other hand, considering that Takeshi's Castle started in the 80s, this match can be considered the source of The main inspiration of Battle Royale games. The show aired a decade before the book Battle Royale and its film adaptation.

The connection between the two may not seem so close at first because the film Battle Royale forces school children who are to the limit. fight each other to the death, making the issue a hot topic in Japan at a time when youth violence was becoming a social concern. It's no coincidence, however, that Kitano is known in his televised competition as the ruthless teacher who oversees the competition.

These days, Kitano is still a fixture on Japanese television, but if the reports are true However, his upcoming samurai film will likely be his last as a director. While fans and critics alike will no doubt use the film as an opportunity to look back at his lifetime achievements, his impact on the video game industry should not be overlooked as it is more important than you might think.

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