Game Center CX Season 1 – Back to Contents
The makers of too many classics to count, Konami, is Arino’s next target. Arino is already well familiar with the company, actually, since they developed a Yoiko-produced Game Boy Color game a few years prior. But rather than dwell on that, Arino starts by interviewing Shingo Takatsuka, the main producer of the Winning Eleven series. Takatsuka started as a programmer in the early ’90s, but quickly moved up the ranks to get involved with Winning Eleven.
In part 2, Arino and Takatsuka face off in Winning Eleven 7. Arino picks Chamartin and Takatsuka is West London Blue. WE is a somewhat complex game, after all — at least to an unexperienced guy like Arino. Therefore, Takatsuka ends up scoring four easy goals on our host.
Arino’s next interview is with Akira Yamaoka, producer and maestro of the Silent Hill series. Yamaoka discusses the genesis of the Silent Hill concept, as well as describing the then-upcoming SH4. He also reveals one of his favorite games: Spelunker. Devilish begets devilish, I suppose.
A special three-part challenge is on the docket for this episode. Arino must perform certain tasks in three separate Konami Famicom games.
Challenge 1: Yie-Ar Kung Fu: get the "Special Bonus." This requires fighting up to the bonus stage, then perfectly completing it to get the Special Bonus. Arino makes it up to stage 3, but is repeatedly defeated by the chain-swinging opponent, Chen. After a while he finally defeats him and makes it to the bonus stage, only to die after the first projectile. A few more tries, and by now 2 hours have passed. Arino declares one last try, and… still doesn’t quite make it.
Challenge 2: Gradius: Complete the three bonus techniques! The first is to slip under the mountain gap in the first stage (5,000 points), then touch the front end of the large diamond-shaped rock (a 1UP), and finally to beat the Big Core boss shortly after its core turns blue to skip a stage.
Arino has no trouble with the first goal, but barely scrapes by the second. On his way to the third, he gets snagged by the rock-spewing volcanoes. On his next attempt, he remembers the Konami code, so he pauses the game and gets the extra power-ups, then continues. He hits another snag when he gets to the boss, and by now he’s been at the game another 2 hours. He makes it to the next stage, only to die when he runs into a wall. Another failed challenge.
Challenge 3: Track & Field: Qualify in each event. Arino is armed with the game’s pack-in "Hyper Shot" controllers, which only have two big buttons that must be rapidly pressed. Even on the 100-meter dash it’s a little too much for Arino to handle. He tries rubbing his thumb and forefinger over the buttons — he reels in pain, but ends up finishing and qualifying.
Onto the Long Jump. The trick to scoring big here is to jump at a 45-degree angle, but Arino doesn’t quite make it and ends up in pain again. Just then, a staff member hands him two very helpful items — a pair of rulers. Arino takes the plastic one and figures out how to strum it against the buttons, creating a much better "manual turbo" effect. He starts over and positively annihilates in the 100m dash. Same with the Long Jump, the Hurdles and finally the Javelin Throw. For once, success!