INTO THE MIND OF THE MEIJIN


meijin.jpg

11.21.2008

Brandon Boyer

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Takahashi Meijin is one of those gaming figures who you might have heard of on the periphery but never fully wrapped your mind around — he was semi recognizably the face of Hudson’s Adventure Island series, and indeed has served as the company’s spokesman for the past two decades. More amazingly, though, he was the star of Game King, Japan’s rough equivalent to 80′s NES advermovie The Wizard.

As you can see in this montage, which is self-parodying to the point of near postmodern, the program saw Meijin training for a national Star Soldier championship by honing his famous ’16 shot’ skills — the ability to press a NES controller button 16 times a second — by vibrating tabletops to bring tea-sets closer and, amazingly, exploding a watermelon with just a structure-weakening flick of his hummingbird-flutter fingertip.

All that is prelude to a hat tip toward 1up’s Ray Barnholt, who has landed the most extensive English language interview with Takahashi we’ll see in some time. In it, he explains how he came to Hudson, his thoughts on the East/West hardcore/casual divide, and confirms that he essentially invented the Turbo-Grafx 16′s sliding turbo switches, but, delightfully, kept them limited to 8- and 15-shots a second so no one could steal his crown.

Master Higgins Speaks [1up.com]

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