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Thread: Classic Interview: Yoshiki Ooka (Gain Ground Programmer)

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    Blast processor Melf's Avatar
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    arcade Classic Interview: Yoshiki Ooka (Gain Ground Programmer)

    Gain Ground is a classic Sega arcade game that still manages to be under most people's radar, despite ports to several consoles. The arcade original's history is quite an interesting tale, and this 2003 interview was translated for the book "The Sega Arcade Revolution: A History in 62 Games." Read on and see how the game was made!

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    Hedgehog-in-Training Hedgehog-in-TrainingWildside Expert Yohko16's Avatar
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    Wow, that's not often that I read such interviews but glad I did!

    It's also because it's a game we plan to play with a friend, the Mega Drive port, so actually I was very interested by these lines:
    Originally, in addition to the ancient, early modern, middle age and future era, there was supposed to be a “present day” era (which was included in the Mega Drive version; so content-wise, that version could be considered the “true” version).
    Yes. This game isn’t meant to be a single-player game; it’s meant to be played with two or more people. In this game, there are times where you feel your partner screwed up and caused more enemies to appear and you have opportunities to steal someone else’s characters after they die. Your situation changes when other players are present. Gain Ground is a game you enjoy with two or more players.
    If I'm not mistaken the Master System port also has an additional area but not sure if it's "present day" area. But I'm sure that this version also keeps the co-op option, something that the later released PC Engine CD port doesn't in addition that this port has annoying "zoomed-in" view instead of displaying the full game at any time.

    Also interesting is the interview part about the arcade version's bug:
    In level 4-8, there are enemy laser turrets the player has to destroy but due to the bug they don’t actually tick down the enemy counter, meaning you can’t finish this stage by killing all the enemies. To get all your characters to the exit, you have to sacrifice some as human shields to get your important characters past the turrets. What’s even more interesting is that many Japanese players originally thought this was intentional, as they felt it fit the game’s story and world. It’s become so accepted that future ports (like the Sega AGES version) made the bugfix optional
    And the following answer:
    We didn’t expect anyone to beat the last boss with Zaemon (laughs)… We thought everyone would be having a hard time. But when we heard that players were knocking out the boss with a single tornado attack we immediately tried it out and went “oh wow, it actually works!” I really think that when you allow a certain degree of freedom, new rules will emerge on their own.

    The guy seems really cool and I see that he also worked on various console games, most notably Yu Yu Hakusho Gaiden and Doraemon on Mega Drive. I didn't even know that these games were Sega games!

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