Shinesparkers Feature: Interview: The King of Games

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Original publication date: February 27, 2003
Talking Metroid with the instigator of Nintendo T-shirts
From a old-time game fan to a shop owner that’s a hot topic among street-oriented teens comes a Metroid T-Shirt! This time, we’ve had some Metroid talk with the instigator of all this, and owner of The King of Games, Mr. Konan

Tadashi Konan
Born in 1974.
After going through used clothing shops, started working from 1997 onwards at Loftman Co. From 2000 onwards, with his own private graphic team, Editmode Graphics, he founded The King of Games, and in 2002, from Loftman Co., he set up his online shop, The King of Games.Loftman – The King of Games Co., Ltd.
Enpukuji-mae-cho 280, Teramachi-dori, Takoyakushi Shimo-Ru, Nakagyo-ku, Kyoto City
tencho@the-king-of-games.comFor product details, go to the website of THE KING OF GAMES ↓
[Shinesparkers note: the website is no longer available]

What is Nintendo for you, Konan-san?
I’ve been familiar with them from the time of the Game & Watches… Nah, from the time of playing cards. For instance, around the New Year, I played with cards and hanafuda that were by Nintendo if you’d have noticed it, so Nintendo’s been close to me from about the time when I was a kid. (Okay that’s exaggerated…)Furthermore, from the beginnings of the Famicom, there was this composition of “Nintendo = Relief” that emerged inside of me. That is, from around the time I was in Elementary school, the information from game magazines and the like was extremely sparse, so getting my parents to buy me a game was pretty risky. (How many times a year could they even…). Be it the characters, how cool the packaging would be, if it were an action game or a shooting game, I wouldn’t know. However, in all of those games, Nintendo games never were duds. (Super Mario, Ice Climber, Donkey Kong, Wild Gunman…) I think that maybe, the games you played as a kid shed a light on whether you play or don’t play games today. Even now, and from here onwards, Nintendo is and will be my comfort brand.

The untold story of the beginnings of The King of Games

Even though it took about 2 years from the inception of KoG through my very own EDITMODE, I really went at it with an easy-going attitude at first. By chance, one person who went through our customer service was an employee of Nintendo, and he was wearing a shirt with a Nintendo logo from Spaceworld. I really wanted one so I went “Eh, let’s make one! ”, and I sent a simple design to the Nintendo HQ, and made a presentation. Of course, it first was a resounding no, so I fixed the proposition, and I did a lot of tweaking to the design. And thus, I sent the last design around Spring… and at the turn of fall, in October, I got the official approval [from Nintendo]. That approval came at the exact time of my birthday, so I was very happy about it. Since I was able to see the design in a flexible way without fitting into a mold, it was easy enough even for an amateur like me. Actually, ever since making the web shop, not even in the span of a year, I managed to meet a lot of people who share this emotional attachment to Nintendo. From there on, with those people bearing this “Nintendo spirit”, I set myself a goal to ambitiously manage to do all kinds of work through KOG.
What about the Metroid series…

The one I played in real time was the first Metroid as an elementary school student. It was too hard, but I played on due to secretly wanting to see Samus in her swimsuit! Then, the cybernetic worlds and the music of Metroid II and Super Metroid were fascinating to me.
What are your expectations for Fusion and Prime?
Fusion is on a side-scrolling point of view as it always used to be, so it looks like I’ll play it without any worries. I’d love to play it on my TV with the Game Boy Player.
For Prime, I’d love to play as a realistic Samus as soon as possible. Personally I’m not very good at first person games (feeling sick) so I kinda shied away from it at first, but since it’s a new playing point of view in the Metroid series, and since it’s coming from the same Nintendo that subverts my expectations in a good way, I’ll improve myself and take
the challenge. I’m looking forward to it.
What is the story behind adding Metroid, that had a strong [game] maniac image up to now if anything, to your T-shirt lineup?

Maybe, as of now, and for people that used to play the Famicom, I think it’s one game title among others that people keep in their drawers inside their head. Back then, for people that owned, or people that wanted a Disk System, I think Metroid was a “major” title in the same vein as Zelda was. You couldn’t play it without a Disk System, so it was a “major” title… Actually, among my shop’s staff and the customers’ requests, ever since starting selling T-shirts, there were a lot of requests in the like of “I want a Metroid T-shirt”. So I really feel sorry for having kept you waiting.

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