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Interview: Ghosts’ n Goblins creator Tokuro Fujiwara



Take our usual hand and let Polygon’s Winter Games package for 2021 guide you through the playground for winter games – what’s great, what’s not, and what exciting features await you in the games coming out in February and March.

When the description “most difficult video game” comes to mind, many people jump to titles like Dark souls and Cuphead. Before they came Ghosts̵

7; n Goblins, a game from the radiant mind of Tokuro Fujiwara that defines the word “difficult” and lives on as a pleasant nightmare in the dreams of 80s children everywhere. Fujiwara directed many early Capcom titles, for example Dear home, the horror classic that inspired Resident Evil the series, as well as the legendary platform player Bionic command. But Ghosts’ n Goblins is still recognized as his baby and his first true breakout title.

It’s now over two decades since the release of the latest true mainline Ghosts’ n Goblins title, and years since Fujiwara directed his last game, Crazy world. Now Fujiwara and Ghosts’ n Goblins are reunited for a promising new entry in the series, Ghosts’ n Goblins Resurrection – which he talked about, among other things, in this interview with Polygon.

Polygon: How does it feel to return to Ghosts’ n Goblins after all these years?

Tokuro Fujiwara: It’s been 35 years since the original Ghosts’ n Goblins released, and I’m very grateful that fans continue to cherish this series. It makes me incredibly happy to deliver a brand new title after the series’ 35th anniversary.

How has the game world changed in your eyes since you worked on the first one Ghosts’ n Goblins back in 1983?

Over the years, many new genres have been born. The game world has become so diverse that there is game content that seems to cater to each person’s enjoyment. I imagine you feel the same way, but I think games are still loved, because what players like varies from person to person. There are so many game creators who create experiences that meet these needs and interests with different genres and ways of expression. There are titles that are appealing because they change and evolve, but on the flip side, there are also titles that are attractive because they remain the same. The fact that there are a number of players with different tastes, makes me very happy and gives me a sense of purpose in my work.

Tokuro Faujiwara, creator of Ghosts' n Goblins

Photo: Capcom

Have any recent video games influenced any of the elements of the classic Ghosts’ n Goblins formula for you as you developed this new title?

I wanted this game to focus on what I think is the hallmark of the series, so did not take much inspiration from other titles. From the beginning, the scenes were inspired by a “horror theme park” -like concept and filled with obstacles that give players the feeling of achievement you feel when they conquer a difficult challenge through their own efforts. These two extremely important elements were the most important in my approach to Ghosts’ n Goblins resurrection.

I’ve heard you’re a big fan of creating a real challenge for players, and gaming issues are a very hot topic these days. What do you feel counts as real problems in video games versus cheap obstacles?

I touched on this in my previous answer, but an important element that I wanted the players to enjoy throughout this series is a sense of accomplishment. I deliver a “challenge” for the players to achieve this sense of accomplishment, but the “challenge” part is not the main goal.

Players feel that sense of accomplishment when they are able to overcome challenges in a difficult game through their own creativity and effort. I think players get frustrated and feel that the game is cheap when there are too many random or random elements that become the challenge and affect the player’s progression, instead of letting the players use their own creativity and effort.

This new section now has several difficulty options, much like Ultimate Ghosts’ n Goblins. How do you feel about this? If you could go back to the original and add difficulty options, would you?

Given the player base at the time, I probably would not have created more difficulty levels for the arcade or console version of Ghosts’ n Goblins. When Ghosts’ n Goblins launched, there was no significant difference in skill level between the players, so they were able to compete against each other on a similar playing field.

Many fans have had very polarizing reactions to the new art style resurrection, compared to the usual style of Ghosts’ n Goblins. What are your thoughts on the new look?

Seeing many different reactions and opinions about the art style after the announcement made me realize how much love and good memories players have for the series, and knowing this gives me a lot of joy. I think the original Ghosts’ n Goblins had a great, nice art style. To Ghosts’ n Goblins Resurrection, we really wanted to use concepts like an “animated scroll” or a “picture book” motif that we felt would be at home with the series’ “horror theme park” inspiration. I think when people play it, they will agree that it fits well into the series.

Did you have any nerves to come back to “revive” the series? What did you think would be the most challenging part of remaking this game?

I was very happy to have this opportunity and come back to Ghosts’ n Goblins series. Since this title is a reboot of both Ghosts’ n Goblins and Ghouls’ n Ghosts, it took me many years to go back, but the memories of those times came back to me quickly.

Regardless of the title, game development is a massive mission. I was very excited that I was able to express this title on such a large scale compared to the limitations we had with the original Ghosts’ n Goblins. At the same time, however, I was aware of the challenges involved.

Now that Ghosts’ n Goblins is back, are there any other games you want to revive? (May be Gargoyle’s Quest?)

The team came together and worked very hard to create Ghosts’ n Goblins Resurrection, so my attention is still on making it the best possible experience. I can not say much else at the moment, but I hope you look forward to the game.

Where did the idea for Arthur’s famous heart-patterned underwear come from?

There’s one very important detail I need to share with you that people may not know: the pattern on his underwear is actually strawberry.

Arthur has this unevenness when he wears the armor, but on the inside he gets a little fancy and uses his favorite boxers.

However, underwear is not just something he likes to wear. It was actually a gift from the princess and acts as a “charm” to protect Arthur in battle.

It’s probably safe to say that the strawberry design was something the princess loved.

Ghosts’ n Goblins Resurrection will be released on February 25 on the Nintendo Switch.


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