My goal every year at Tokyo Game Show for the past, I dunno, six or seven years (ever since we unknowingly lucked into an interview the guy who created Konami’s VRC6 chip), has been to find and interview interesting people who have played a meaningful part in gaming’s history, even if they’re relatively unknown in the West. Especially if they’re relatively unknown in the West. The latest entry in this loosely connected series is Infinity, Beyond, an interview with Yukio Horimoto of the developer Infinity. I’ve looked around and have never seen any sort of English-language profile of Infinity online; the closest thing was a forum thread from a few years back where someone recounted an email exchange with Horimoto, but that amounted to an attempt to determine how subcontracting worked with some of the NES games the studio worked on. So, as with my Umihara Kawase/Sakai interview from a few years back, please enjoy this Infinity/Horimoto profile—one that, hopefully, will help raise Horimoto’s profile in the West a bit and result in additional informative interviews emerging in English (as has happily happened with Sakai).
This profile only touches briefly on The Battle of Olympus, which for big NES dorks like me was the highlight of Infinity’s catalog. But that’s because we had enough of a conversation about the game to warrant a standalone making-of retrospective. That’ll be along in a few days. Here’s a preview of a brief exchange that won’t be in the final piece, though:
USG: It’s been a long time. Did you work at all on the Game Boy version of the game, or…?
USG: Do you know who did that, who created that version? I think it was only released in Europe.
Horimoto: Oh, I didn’t know.
USG: You don’t know?
USG: I imported a copy from Europe, just to see what it’s like.
Horimoto: I think someone made an emulator for NES and working on Game Boy. No?
USG: I don’t think it’s an emulator.
Horimoto: Oh really?
USG: Yeah, it takes basically the game and the art and it presents them very faithfully, but instead of having the full screen, you have like that much space, so you don’t see what’s on the sides of the screen. It’s very difficult to play, and it’s also kind of sluggish because the Game Boy just wasn’t as powerful as the NES in a lot of ways. I was just wondering if you knew anything about that version, because it’s very hard to find, very obscure.
Horimoto: I haven’t heard of it. *laughs* This is the first time.
Parish: It’s out there, somewhere.