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Shouzou Kaga

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Shouzou Kaga

Shouzou Kaga 1994.png
Kaga in a Famitsu interview in 1994.
Gender

Male

Nationality

Japanese

Employer
It’s not a big problem if some of your characters die in Fire Emblem; I want each player to create their own unique story. Don’t get caught up trying to get a “perfect ending.” Have fun!
— Shouzou Kaga[1]

Shouzou Kaga (Japanese: 加賀昭三 Kaga Shōzō, spelled Syozo on his blog and Shouzoh in Fire Emblem Gaiden) is a Japanese game designer and writer who was once employed by Intelligent Systems. During his time at Intelligent Systems, he was the scenario writer for the first five games in the Fire Emblem series, and is often considered to be the "father of Fire Emblem".

Biography

Early career

Kaga first entered the video game industry in 1986, when he participated in a game coding contest run by Enterbrain's LOGiN magazine. His entry, a "role-playing [game] with hidden romance" called Cosmic Fighter, placed third in the contest.[1][2]

Fire Emblem series


This section has been marked as a stub. Please help improve the page by adding information.


As an employee of Intelligent Systems, Kaga worked on the first five games in the Fire Emblem series and BS Fire Emblem: Archanea War Chronicles. He was the lead scenario writer on all of these games and the director on every game from Gaiden onward. As a writer on the Jugdral games in particular, Kaga drew on his fascination with political history and how the course of history is changed by the smallest acts, and aimed to write "realistic" stories reflecting the unpleasant nature of medieval times and how mistakes change the world.[3]

Tirnanog and the Emblem Saga lawsuit

Shortly before the release of Fire Emblem: Thracia 776, his final Fire Emblem game, Kaga departed from Intelligent Systems in August 1999 and founded his own studio, Tirnanog. His final contribution to a game for a Nintendo platform was Trade & Battle: Card Hero, published the next February. As the president of Tirnanog, Kaga's first project was a strategy game for Sony's PlayStation console, which was originally titled Emblem Saga; former Fire Emblem artist Mayumi Hirota also served as this game's character designer. According to Kaga, Emblem Saga was planned to be directly tied to the events of the Archanea games and the Fire Emblem series:

I’ve made five games, which took place on three continents. Emblem Saga takes place on a fourth continent called “Forceria” and its atmosphere is the same. In this world, the Manakete tribe once flourished, and they built a highly advanced civilization. As history went on and they faced destruction, how did they deal with humans, the masters of the new age? The Manaketes… or rather, ancient dragons are involved deeply in this game. As they faced destruction, many of them chose to sleep underground eternally and hide their faces from the world, but there were those among the Manaketes who resented the humans. The story concerns those wicked men who sought to use their strength and the people who opposed them, as well as the shrine’s holy guardian dragons who appeared because of a certain pact.
— Kaga, in an interview with Famitsu[4]

However, in 2002, Kaga, Tirnanog, and his publisher Enterbrain faced a copyright infringement lawsuit from Nintendo over the Fire Emblem elements in Emblem Saga. Nintendo lost this case, but successfully won a case against Tirnanog for breaking unfair competition laws and were awarded damages.[5][4]

As a result of the case, Emblem Saga was renamed TearRingSaga: Yutona Heroes War Chronicles and all directly Fire Emblem-related elements were removed. Even so, the game continued to bear a stylistic, thematic, and gameplay resemblance to Kaga's previous works; while Fire Emblem: The Binding Blade, the first Fire Emblem game produced without Kaga, simplified the series' gameplay and removed features, TearRingSaga maintained many of the more complex gameplay traits which the series had abandoned, such as a skills system and a weapon level stat. It was released in mid-2001, and was followed up by TearRingSaga Series: Berwick Saga for the PlayStation 2 in 2005. Berwick Saga featured numerous changes to gameplay, possibly as an attempt to distance itself from Fire Emblem as a result of the lawsuit, such as a hexagonal grid-based map.

Current activities

Vestaria Saga I logo.png

In the years following the release of Berwick Saga, Kaga retired. He started a blog which he uses to share scraps of information about TearRingSaga and Berwick Saga which he finds on his hard drive. His first post on this blog was a post about the world setting of TearRing Saga, and a brief history of its nations.[6] He is not known to have ever discussed his time working on Fire Emblem on this blog.

In May 2015, Kaga announced that he had begun production on a free strategy RPG, Vestaria Saga, using the game-making software SRPG Studio. He put out a call on his blog for assistance in producing the game.[7] After this call the first part of Vestaria Saga was released ahead of his planned release date of September 21st 2016, releasing it September 5th instead.[8] The first part of the game can be downloaded for free from Vestaria Saga's website. It should be noted that the game is written entirely in Japanese.

Credits

Fire Emblem series

Post-Fire Emblem works

Other


This section has been marked as a stub. Please help improve the page by adding information.


Trivia

Gallery

References

  1. 1.0 1.1 Kaga, S., Sakaguchi, H., et al.; trans. shmupulations, Fire Emblem – Developer Interviews with Shouzou Kaga and Hironobu Sakaguchi, shmupulations.com, Published: 2016-05-03, Retrieved: 2016-05-03
  2. Kaga, S., 懐かしのデビュー作(1), , Published: 2016-05-03, Retrieved: 2008-05-31
  3. Kaga, S.; trans. Amielleon, Kaga Interviews (Page 3/Q1), Fire Emblem (according to Japan), Published: 1999-01 (trans. 2013-02-22), Retrieved: 2015-02-24
  4. 4.0 4.1 VincentASM, Fire Emblem 64, Serenes Forest, Retrieved: 2016-05-03
  5. University of Japan Copyright Center, 日本ユニ著作権センター/判例全文・2002/11/14d 3, Translan, Published: 2002-11-14, Retrieved: 2015-04-17
  6. Kaga, S., 世界設定[00508], , Published: 2008-04-01, Retrieved: 2015-07-04
  7. "On his purported blog, Kaga is recruiting volunteers to assist with an indie game to be developed with SRPG Studio, a recently-released Japanese game-making tool published by SapphireSoft that allows creation of strategy RPGs like Fire Emblem." — VincentASM, Shouzou Kaga developing indie game with SRPG Studio, Serenes Forest(webpage), Published: 2015-05-06, Retrieved: September 5th 2016
  8. "Originally planned for release on 21st September 2016, Vestaria Saga (Part 1) is now available for public download!" — VincentASM, Shouzou Kaga developing indie game with SRPG Studio, Serenes Forest(webpage), Published: 2015-05-06, Retrieved: 2015-05-09

External links