Sonic Magazine with Yuji Naka:

Interview Data:

  • Interview Date: 30 December 2005 (approximate date)
  • Interview Topics: Sonic design, cheats, Rush music
  • Interview Source: Sonic Magazine at The GHZ external.png

In December 2005, a new Sonic magazine was released in France. It contained an interview with Yuji Naka, part of which has been translated by Adamis.

Mag: [introduction…] First, are you planning something special for Sonic's 15th birthday?
Naka: For the 15th birthday, we're making Sonic the Hedgehog for the next-gen machines, a "back-to-roots" game. Beside this, we have several projects, but I can't tell you more, just wait for official announcements.

[Adamis: there's a question about goodies in France, which is not interesting]

Mag: Do you find it harder to make a game on actual consoles or on 8/16 bits generation? Are you nostalgic about that era?
Naka: Hard question! Old gaming machines and actual ones are very differents on material plan and the sowftwares evolved a lot. To be honest, it's harder for us to create a game on actual consoles, but in the same time there are more capacities and let us express what we want. On old machines, the interest was to see what we were able to do in spite of limitations, and it gives me nostalgia. About gameplay, old and new machines give interesting titles. Our goal is to create fun and nice-to-play games, whatever the machine is.

Mag: Why did you change your nick from MUUUU Yuji to YU2 during the time programmers in Japan were only called by their nicks? It became a game to guess the real persons names and fans are still wondering who Macky and Jimita are.
Naka: That's a question I never expected having to answer (laughs) It seems you're very well informed! I changed because I wanted a nick based on my name Yuji (Ji can be pronounced 2 in japanese) It was my nick on the reseau.

Mag: How did you feel during that great videogame era or during Sonic's development?
Naka: Sonic came out in 1991. It is that year when he officially came out to the audiance for the first time. Then I lived in san Francisco to create the second game, and I really felt how he would be popular.

Mag: Is it you who programmed Sonic's scrolling before the game's concept was choosen? What was the hardest part to program in Sonic?
Naka: Yes, we can say I decided about Sonic's orientation. Then the problem was to keep the scrolling speed whatever the circonstances are. It was a hard job, but very rewarding for a programmer.

Mag:Why is Sonic in Rad Mobile, in 1990? WerePeople working on the Sonic project working on it too?
Naka: When Sonic was established as Sega's mascot, another Sega studio asked the autorisation to include him in their titles. We imediatly accepted the idea, it would be funny if Sonic appears in every Sega game.

Mag: What are the Consumer Softwares divisions or people that worked on Sonic CD or Chaotix?
Naka: Sorry, these are confidential informations.

Mag: A Sonic game developped "en interne" by a Sega studio, like Segasonic or Fighters, is it still possible, or does Sonic Team want to supervise everything about the character?
Naka: ST supervises everything about Sonic. We don't limit the content of Sonic games but we have to do briefings and every necessary verifications to be sure that everything correspond to the spirit of the Sonic trademark.

Mag: Why isn't there hidden codes anymore, like Select Round or Debug Mode in newest Sonic games, in 2D? It was a nice idea in old games.
Naka: Actual games let you go to the round select or sound test. We don't need to hide them anymore.

Mag: Have you recieved comments from Akira Toriyama about Super Sonic? Why can he transform almost automatically?
Naka: Oh…(smile) we didn't recieve comments from him. And if Sonic got this power, it's a question of mastery.

Mag: With the mythology developped during all the games, can we hope for a Sonic RPG?
Naka: We are always looking for new ways for Sonic to express his talents.

Mag: Have you ever thought about a crossover Nights-Sonic or about an online version of Burning Rangers?
Naka: ST always asks themselves how to do the best for players and to improve our products. We can say we thought about every possibilities.

Mag: Choosing Hideki Naganuma for Sonic Rush OST is surprising, can you tell us more?
Naka: A friend let me hear a demo. The sound was so rich on rythmic plan, I immediatly thought it would give a renewal to Sonic's sound universe.

Mag: Is Shadow a hedgehog?
Naka: Yes, he is.

Mag: Communications about next gen Sonic let us see a wish to come back to roots. Is that the case?
Naka: As I already said, we called it "Sonic the Hedgehog", that already gives indications…

Mag: If it is the case, a new collaboration with Dreams Come True is possible, or will it be musicians of Wave Master who will do the soundtracks?
Naka: About musics, we still are at the negociations stade about that game.

Mag: Thanks [bla bla bla]


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