shmups.system11.org

Shmups Forum
 
* FAQ    * Search
 * Register  * Login 
It is currently Tue Jun 22, 2021 9:09 pm View unanswered posts
View active topics



Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 45 posts ]  Go to page 1, 2  Next
Author Message
 Post subject: A History of Toaplan
PostPosted: Sat Apr 07, 2007 3:37 am 


User avatar

Joined: 05 Feb 2007
Posts: 2304
Location: Missouri
I can't seem to find much about Toaplan on the web. The Wikipedia entry at least is really sparse. I was guessing a lot of this information is probably in japanese since they're hardly known about in the west. I wanted to know how Toaplan started up, what happened leading up to their bankruptcy, etc. Any interesting reads about them or any other shmup history? If I had a huge budget to do a documentary, I'd fly to Japan and make it happen myself :P
_________________
That is Galactic Dancing


Top
 Offline Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Apr 07, 2007 4:43 am 


User avatar

Joined: 25 Jan 2005
Posts: 928
Location: Georgia, USA
This is from memory, so there may be errors if you compare to a proper article :)


Toaplan formed largely from the ashes of Orca and Crux in 1984/'85. Most of their early games were published through Taito or other companies with Toaplan putting their own label on games around the time of Hellfire in '89.

Internally, Toaplan had a few different development teams to work on various projects. Most of the shooting games were programmed by Tatsuya Uemura or Masahiro Yuge. The two worked together for at least Flying Shark and Twin Cobra, but in 1988 the two helmed seperate projects--Tatsujin for Yuge and Hellfire for Uemura. To my knowledge, the two never worked directly with each other again while at Toaplan. In later years they would both assist Eighting with Dimahoo.
Daisenpu, Batsugun, and Grindstormer/V-V are among the few shmups not programmed by Yuge or Uemura. Batsugun and Grindstormer were programmed in part by current Cave programmer Tsuneki Ikeda. Lee Ohta programmed Daisenpu and I have no idea if he had help.

The main musicians for Toaplan were Tatsuya Uemura and Masahiro Yuge (renaissance men), Toshiaki Tomizawa, and Lee Ohta. Masahiro Yuge was classically trained on the piano, Uemura was informally trained on guitar and has/had his own band. I can't remember what Tomizawa's training was and know almost nothing about Lee Ohta :(

Graphics of the earlier Toaplan games were created by Koetsu Iwabuchi, Naoki Ogiwara, and Kenichi Takano. Yuko Tataka and Sanae Nito may have been original graphics staff, otherwise they were added sometime around Tatsujin. Junya "Joker Jun" Inoue is often associated with Toaplan because of his work on Batsugun, but he wasn't hired until Dogyuun! in 1992. "Joker" in a series of references refers to Mr. Inoue being Toaplan's 53rd employee.

While some companies hire a few people here and there over time, my understanding is that Toaplan would hire nearly a new team (programmers, artists, musicians) in one go. This new team would then be tasked with creating a prototype for a new game which would later be evaluated. This is how Zero Wing and Dogyuun! were both started. With Zero Wing, Yuge's Tatsujin team and Uemura's Hellfire team finished their projects and so started to meddle with Zero Wing. This is why the soundtrack to the game features Toshiaki Tomizawa (new musician), Yuge, and Uemura.


As Toaplan was eventually such a large company, it had an internal newsletter and some workers would often check in on the other games in the works. There were company-wide meetings (I do not know with what frequency) in which game design ideas or balance suggestions would be brought up. These were often manic, high-energy affairs which could devolve into a pie in the face/food thrown at someone giving a bad idea or shouting matches over if a game is fair enough or if it would be too easy and lose money. Music for games was often picked in a similar manner. Musicians would shop several songs around and the company would then say which ones they wanted in, which ones they hated, etc.

It is sometimes considered that the success of Capcom's Street Fighter series and the fighting game explosion killed Toaplan, but I think that was only one part of the picture. Toaplan, particularly Yuge's shooting game branch, was making notoriously difficult shooters that were turning off many players from the games. Some of the balance / hit box sensibilities being shouted about kept the feeling of the games in the '80s.
To increase profits, some members of Toaplan programmed ports of their games to the Sega MegaDrive, while other games were licensed to other companies for porting. Soundtrack releases came for every game instead of just some of them.

In the end, Toaplan faced bankruptcy and closed its doors sometime in late 1993 or very early 1994.


Post-Toaplan, Masahiro Yuge and some other ex-Toa staff with a few new guys finish Kyukyoku Tiger II and release it through Taito under the new company Takumi. Masahiro Yuge would later assist on Giga Wing before leaving Takumi. He contributed to Dimahoo with Eighting and more recently (co-?)designed Kuru Kuru Kururin, also for Eighting.
Tatsuya Uemura, Junya Inoue, and a few other ex-Toaplanners form Gazelle and release Air Gallet and one other game before painfully ending. Uemura later assists on Dimahoo.
Kenichi Takano, Tsuneki Ikeda, Naoki Ogiwara, and a few other Toaplan guys set up Cave and create Donpachi with some new staff. After the collapse of Gazelle, Junya Inoue is hired by Cave. Toshiaki Tomizawa and Satoshi Kouyama also join Cave.
Lee Ohta and Saori Hiratsuka teamed up with Taito to bring us Gekirindan. Ohta disappeared afterward, but Hiratsuka was an artist for one of the Puzzle Bobble games (and then disappeared afterward).


Top
 Offline Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Apr 07, 2007 5:12 am 


User avatar

Joined: 05 Feb 2007
Posts: 2304
Location: Missouri
:shock:

You should consider appending this to the Wikipedia entry! That's all just from your recollection? Although I guess it would be tough to cite it all... In any case, wow, glad I asked. Man I love this community.
_________________
That is Galactic Dancing


Top
 Offline Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Apr 07, 2007 8:01 am 


User avatar

Joined: 01 Jul 2005
Posts: 1190
Location: Louisiana
Holy hell that Toaplan article was a very interesting read, it's a damned shame we lost a company that made some pretty kick ass games (Cave games definitely draw off the old Toaplan formula, good thing too). I remember when I had no appreciation for Toaplan, then I started delving deeper into their games and found myself surprised about how good the games really were (albeit the games were tough, but not a problem), now I appreciate all the great shooters this company put out, and all this time I thought they were a branch of Taito (guess not after all).


Top
 Offline Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Apr 07, 2007 10:26 am 


User avatar

Joined: 12 Mar 2007
Posts: 1949
Location: Ukraine; Yalta
incognoscente
wow, loooots of tnx =)
_________________
Caravan\Time Attack list


Top
 Offline Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Apr 07, 2007 11:07 am 


User avatar

Joined: 31 Jan 2005
Posts: 15006
Location: Chicago
This interview w/ Junya Inoue confirms quite a few things that incognoscente very graciously told us. FYI -- he has spotted several obscure errors in every translation I've posted, a couple of hours after posting. He is the king.

I have also since found another very, very brief interview w/ Tsuneki Ikeda when he talks about entering Toaplan. He mentioned something about V-V, but I think it was more or less getting influence from that team. I will translate it at some point, but I'm kind of busy now.
_________________
RegalSin wrote:
New PowerPuff Girls. They all have evil pornstart eyelashes.


Top
 Offline Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Apr 07, 2007 11:08 am 


Banned User
User avatar

Joined: 06 Feb 2005
Posts: 2291
Location: Inside a computer
For the Megadrive ports, Toaplan only ported two shooters on the Megadrive: Zero Wing and Fire Shark.

The other Toaplan shooters were ported by different companies:

Sega: Twin Hawk and Truxton
NCS: Hellfire
Tengen: GrindStormer and Slap Fight

Note to say in the Slap Fight MD mode on Salp Fight for the Megadrive, the music was composed by Yuzo Koshiro (Street of Rage fame).

Orca made some OK games in the early 80s. Note to say two of their games (River Patrol, and Espral) were ported onto the Atari 2600 (VCS) by Tiger Electronics. Both games had really low print runs and now they worth a lot of money.

Crux only made one game, an OK shooter called Gyrodine which was published in the arcade by Taito.
_________________
Why Arcade games are better.
Image


Top
 Offline Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Apr 07, 2007 11:11 am 


User avatar

Joined: 31 Jan 2005
Posts: 15006
Location: Chicago
One last note: If someone wants to go digging through Insert Credit, Recap posted a screenshot of a non-shooting game Toaplan was working on during their demise. I believe it's mentioned in the aforementioned interview (and is not Tekipaki 2).
_________________
RegalSin wrote:
New PowerPuff Girls. They all have evil pornstart eyelashes.


Top
 Offline Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Apr 07, 2007 11:57 am 



Joined: 28 Jan 2007
Posts: 146
Location: amsterdam
Hmmm, the wikipedia article on Raizing mentions they are an "offshoot" of Toaplan... but Incognoscente's (great!) post doesn't mention this except for some of the guys helping on Dimahoo. Is that really all the connection there is?


Top
 Offline Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Apr 07, 2007 11:58 am 


User avatar

Joined: 23 Nov 2006
Posts: 2833
Nice post incognoscente. This kind of stuff should be on the site. Malc, release the site ever!
_________________
MegaShock! | @ YouTube | Latest Update: Metal Slug No Up Lever No Miss


Top
 Offline Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Apr 07, 2007 12:09 pm 


User avatar

Joined: 30 Jun 2005
Posts: 4600
Location: Germany
incognoscente wrote:
In the end, Toaplan faced bankruptcy and closed its doors sometime in late 1993 or very early 1994.


I believe it was early 1994, as Batsugun Special Version was presented at AOU in Feb. 94 (although subsequently never released).

GaijinPunch wrote:
One last note: If someone wants to go digging through Insert Credit, Recap posted a screenshot of a non-shooting game Toaplan was working on during their demise. I believe it's mentioned in the aforementioned interview (and is not Tekipaki 2).


That was Genkai Chousen Distopia, kind of a Toaplan take on Rastan Saga, or something.
http://www.insertcredit.com/archives/000853.html


Top
 Offline Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Apr 07, 2007 12:13 pm 


User avatar

Joined: 30 Jun 2005
Posts: 4600
Location: Germany
auryn wrote:
Hmmm, the wikipedia article on Raizing mentions they are an "offshoot" of Toaplan... but Incognoscente's (great!) post doesn't mention this except for some of the guys helping on Dimahoo. Is that really all the connection there is?


I think Shinobu Yagawa was briefly hired by Toaplan close to their demise, after he had made Recca, but he never actually got to produce anything for Toaplan. I'll try and find a source on that again.


Top
 Offline Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Apr 07, 2007 2:33 pm 


User avatar

Joined: 27 Jun 2005
Posts: 1403
Location: Detroit, MI
incognoscente wrote:
This is from memory, so there may be errors if you compare to a proper article :)


Great memory, my friend. Very interesting read! History lesson is good!

(circa 1991)
I didn't know of Toaplan until I played Fire Shark (Genesis) and then I revisited Truxton as they both had similar mechanics. Good games from great folks!
_________________
OVERRATED


Top
 Offline Profile  
 
 Post subject: !
PostPosted: Sat Apr 07, 2007 3:02 pm 


User avatar

Joined: 25 Jan 2005
Posts: 4167
Location: Oort Cloud
Thank you incognoscente.

Fighter17 wrote;
Quote:
Orca made some OK games in the early 80s. Note to say two of their games (River Patrol, and Espral) were ported onto the Atari 2600 (VCS) by Tiger Electronics. Both games had really low print runs and now they worth a lot of money
.
Espral?? - Hmm...sounds like another more recent game :wink: . Couldn't find anything on it in a Google search. Do you have any other details/links?

Cheers, DEL
_________________
Image


Top
 Offline Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Apr 07, 2007 4:39 pm 


User avatar

Joined: 30 Jun 2005
Posts: 4600
Location: Germany
@DEL

Espial is the correct spelling:

http://www.klov.com/game_detail.php?game_id=7719


Top
 Offline Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: !
PostPosted: Sat Apr 07, 2007 4:39 pm 


Banned User
User avatar

Joined: 06 Feb 2005
Posts: 2291
Location: Inside a computer
DEL wrote:
Thank you incognoscente.

Fighter17 wrote;
Quote:
Orca made some OK games in the early 80s. Note to say two of their games (River Patrol, and Espral) were ported onto the Atari 2600 (VCS) by Tiger Electronics. Both games had really low print runs and now they worth a lot of money
.
Espral?? - Hmm...sounds like another more recent game :wink: . Couldn't find anything on it in a Google search. Do you have any other details/links?

Cheers, DEL


Ah, I mispell it. It's Espial.

Atari Age link for Espial: http://www.atariage.com/software_page.h ... abelID=168

Atari Age link for River Patrol: http://www.atariage.com/software_page.h ... abelID=408

Look at the shitty cover art for River Patrol.

Let me tell you one thing, both games are not fun to play at all.
_________________
Why Arcade games are better.
Image


Top
 Offline Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Apr 07, 2007 5:34 pm 


User avatar

Joined: 06 Dec 2006
Posts: 410
Wow, cool thread, lots of great info. Thanks for that killer post incognoscente.


Top
 Offline Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Apr 07, 2007 5:44 pm 


User avatar

Joined: 25 Jan 2005
Posts: 928
Location: Georgia, USA
Thanks and you're welcome. :)


szycag wrote:
You should consider appending this to the Wikipedia entry! That's all just from your recollection? Although I guess it would be tough to cite it all... In any case, wow, glad I asked. Man I love this community.

I like the most basic idea of Wikipedia, but I don't like the Wikipedia itself much. [citation needed]

Amongst the sources are Tatsuya Uemura and Junya Inoue personal homepages, Junya Inoue interview, Junya Inoue+Tsuneki Ikeda interview, Tatsuya Uemura + Masahiro Yuge interview, much of the Toaplan oeuvre (arcade + home), soundtrack liner notes, a few magazine articles, and others that escape me. Arcade-History.com and a few Japanese forums are only used to suggest further research--I type and transliterate all staff lists in my notes personally (this includes Ibara, Psyvariar 2, and other non-Toaplan games for which I've posted staff information).


GaijinPunch wrote:
I have also since found another very, very brief interview w/ Tsuneki Ikeda when he talks about entering Toaplan. He mentioned something about V-V, but I think it was more or less getting influence from that team. I will translate it at some point, but I'm kind of busy now.

That would kick ass. I look forward to it.

PS: you're the king.


CIT wrote:
I think Shinobu Yagawa was briefly hired by Toaplan close to their demise, after he had made Recca, but he never actually got to produce anything for Toaplan. I'll try and find a source on that again.

This would be much appreciated--I've never located a single concrete detail (staff list, interview, etc.) of Yagawa's employment at Toaplan.



@Fighter17: even some of the ports not programmed by Toaplan still had assistance from Tatsuya Uemura or Toshiaki Ohta :)

My personal favorite Orca game is Sky Lancer.


Top
 Offline Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Apr 07, 2007 7:13 pm 


User avatar

Joined: 10 Jun 2005
Posts: 548
Location: Suburbs of Detroit
Great stuff guys. I love Toaplan games. Cool to know more about the guys.


Top
 Offline Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Apr 07, 2007 10:03 pm 


User avatar

Joined: 30 Jun 2005
Posts: 4600
Location: Germany
incognoscente wrote:
CIT wrote:
I think Shinobu Yagawa was briefly hired by Toaplan close to their demise, after he had made Recca, but he never actually got to produce anything for Toaplan. I'll try and find a source on that again.

This would be much appreciated--I've never located a single concrete detail (staff list, interview, etc.) of Yagawa's employment at Toaplan.



Hmm, I just did a pretty intensive search and couldn't come up with anything. It might be a figment of my imagination, or me just mixing something up.


Top
 Offline Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Apr 07, 2007 10:09 pm 


User avatar

Joined: 05 Feb 2007
Posts: 2304
Location: Missouri
You're all kings in my book! [citation needed]

Ugh damn! hehe...
_________________
That is Galactic Dancing


Top
 Offline Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Apr 08, 2007 12:03 am 



Joined: 07 Feb 2007
Posts: 199
Location: Jonesboro, AR
http://www.neo-arcadia.com/dossiers/toaplan/toaplan.php

If you know french, you may get a kick out of this post.

If you don't know french, you can at least look at pretty pictures. ;)


Top
 Offline Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Apr 08, 2007 3:47 am 


User avatar

Joined: 05 Feb 2007
Posts: 2304
Location: Missouri
You guys bowl me over, this is great stuff!! Wish I knew french, but yeah the pictures were great too... I understood some of it, I took french 101 in high school :P
_________________
That is Galactic Dancing


Top
 Offline Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Apr 09, 2007 6:18 am 


User avatar

Joined: 25 Jan 2005
Posts: 4031
Location: Planet Doom's spaceport
GaijinPunch wrote:
This interview w/ Junya Inoue confirms quite a few things that incognoscente very graciously told us. FYI -- he has spotted several obscure errors in every translation I've posted, a couple of hours after posting. He is the king.



Just a question. In the part where he says Ra. De. is a mash up that stands for "Raging Decide", meaning one who conquers gods, assumably he means "deicide". Did you translate that part or did he actually say decide? Does japanese even have an equivalent word to deicide?
_________________
Feedback will set you free.
captpain wrote:
Basically, the reason people don't like Bakraid is because they are fat and dumb


Top
 Offline Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Apr 09, 2007 7:08 am 


User avatar

Joined: 31 Jan 2005
Posts: 15006
Location: Chicago
Acid King wrote:

Just a question. In the part where he says Ra. De. is a mash up that stands for "Raging Decide", meaning one who conquers gods, assumably he means "deicide". Did you translate that part or did he actually say decide? Does japanese even have an equivalent word to deicide?


They never say "decide" anywhere other than the the soundtrack IIRC. I don't have the original interview anymore as I had to gut the magazine it came in to scan the pics, and eventually trashed them as I was moving last year.

Going off of memory, he loosely says, "'RaDe' comes from initials of "one who conquers gods", and that's about it. I don't think the article flat out says "Raging Decide" anywhere. It's in Continue #6 (Tetsuwon Atom on the cover) if anyone wants to dig it up. Not a very widespread publication though.
_________________
RegalSin wrote:
New PowerPuff Girls. They all have evil pornstart eyelashes.


Top
 Offline Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Apr 09, 2007 8:17 am 


User avatar

Joined: 25 Jan 2005
Posts: 4031
Location: Planet Doom's spaceport
GaijinPunch wrote:

They never say "decide" anywhere other than the the soundtrack IIRC. I don't have the original interview anymore as I had to gut the magazine it came in to scan the pics, and eventually trashed them as I was moving last year.

Going off of memory, he loosely says, "'RaDe' comes from initials of "one who conquers gods", and that's about it. I don't think the article flat out says "Raging Decide" anywhere. It's in Continue #6 (Tetsuwon Atom on the cover) if anyone wants to dig it up. Not a very widespread publication though.


That's how the title ESPRade came to be?

Inoue: It came from taking the first two letters of each word of [the title of the track] Raging Decide (Those Who Conquer Gods)*. A truly coined phrase (laughs).

Raging Deicide=pretty bad ass
_________________
Feedback will set you free.
captpain wrote:
Basically, the reason people don't like Bakraid is because they are fat and dumb


Top
 Offline Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Apr 09, 2007 9:38 am 


User avatar

Joined: 31 Jan 2005
Posts: 15006
Location: Chicago
Quote:
That's how the title ESPRade came to be?


Apparently sow. I *think* it was also mentioned in the ESPRade developer interview (Inoue & Ikeda) which is also featured at gamengai.
_________________
RegalSin wrote:
New PowerPuff Girls. They all have evil pornstart eyelashes.


Top
 Offline Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Sep 06, 2008 4:45 pm 



Joined: 16 Nov 2007
Posts: 655
Location: France
Here's a link to some screenshot's of the lost Toaplan game Gaijinpunch mentioned:

http://personal.auna.com/crsanest/misc/ ... o-game.htm

Looks very interesting. Wardner/Pyros was a great side-scrolling platformer so they had already shown they could make something out of that format. This looks a lot less platformy though. That fourth screenshot reminds me of Trojan.


Top
 Offline Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Sep 06, 2008 6:17 pm 


User avatar

Joined: 29 Sep 2007
Posts: 2083
Location: Los Angeles
This thread is awesome. incognoscente is a video game sage and hero. Thank you for your wisdom, sir.


Top
 Offline Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Sep 08, 2008 4:36 am 


User avatar

Joined: 21 Jul 2005
Posts: 238
loved this page

http://web.archive.org/web/200201110101 ... index.html


Top
 Offline Profile  
 
Display posts from previous:  Sort by  
Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 45 posts ]  Go to page 1, 2  Next

All times are UTC


Who is online

Users browsing this forum: John4300, Klatrymadon, o.pwuaioc, Yoshi and 9 guests


You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum

Search for:
Jump to:  
Space Pilot 3K template by Jakob Persson
Powered by phpBB © 2000, 2002, 2005, 2007 phpBB Group