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View topic - Whodunit: Miki & Fujiwara Production/Opera House

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Whodunit: Miki & Fujiwara Production/Opera House
Post Posted: Tue Feb 13, 2007 10:16 am
Last edited by CRV on Fri Feb 16, 2007 5:27 am; edited 1 time in total
http://gdri.smspower.org/wiki/index.php/Miki_%26_Fujiwara_Production/Opera_House

Satoru Miki and Hiroyuki Fujiwara were freelance programmers that worked together on games for the likes of Pony Canyon and ISCO. In 1989, they established Opera House in Naka-Meguro, Tokyo.

The fate of Opera House is unknown, but it appears that Miki went on to work for Gram Design and Fujiwara went on to work for N i n t e n d o.

Famicom/NES
Break Time: The National Pool Tour (US Publisher: FCI)

FM Towns
Advanced Dungeons & Dragons: Heroes of the Lance (JP Publisher: Pony Canyon)

Game Boy
Bubble Ghost (JP Publisher: Pony Canyon; US Publisher: FCI)

Game Gear
Side Pocket (under ISCO) (US Publisher: Data East)

Mark III/Master System
Cloud Master (US/EU Publisher: Sega; BR Publisher: Tec Toy)
Double Hawk (under Sanritsu) (EU Publisher: Sega)

Mega CD/Sega CD
Advanced Dungeons & Dragons: Eye of the Beholder (JP Publisher: Pony Canyon; US/EU Publisher: Sega)

Mega Drive/Genesis
Captain America and the Avengers (under ISCO) (US Publisher: Data East; EU Publisher: Sega; BR Publisher: Tec Toy)
Master of Monsters (under ISCO) (JP Publisher: Toshiba EMI; US Publisher: Renovation)
Midnight Resistance (under ISCO) (JP Publisher: Data East; US Publisher: Sega)
Verytex (under ISCO) (JP Publisher: Asmik)

MSX1
Alpharoid (JP Publisher: Pony Canyon)
Come On! Picot (JP Publisher: Pony Canyon)

MSX2
Advanced Dungeons & Dragons: Heroes of the Lance (JP Publisher: Pony Canyon)
American Soccer (under ISCO) (JP Publisher: Nidecom)
Nekketsu Kudo (JP Publisher: Pony Canyon)
Ninja Kun: Ashura no Shou (under ISCO) (JP Publisher: HAL Laboratory)
Project A2 (JP Publisher: Pony Canyon)
R-Type (under ISCO) (JP Publisher: Irem)
Super Runner (JP Publisher: Pony Canyon)
Ultima: Exodus (JP Publisher: Pony Canyon)

PC-98
Advanced Dungeons & Dragons: Heroes of the Lance (JP Publisher: Pony Canyon)

PC Engine CD/TurboGrafx-CD
Shin Megami Tensei (under ISCO) (JP Publisher: Atlus)

Super Famicom/Super NES
Classic Road (under ISCO) (JP Publisher: Victor)
Classic Road II: Real Kouma Simulation (under ISCO) (JP Publisher: Victor)
Jungle Wars 2: Kodai Mahou Atimos no Nazo (work cooperation with Marionette) (Developer: Atelier Double; Game Design: Powwow; JP Publisher: Pony Canyon)
Kyuuyaku Megami Tensei (under ISCO) (JP Publisher: Atlus)
Super Hockey '94 (under ISCO) (JP Publisher: Party Room 21)

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Wait! How did "Cloud Master" and "Double Hawk" show up here?

"Double Hawk" was suspected simply because of the names of the programmers - Mikisama and Fujichan. "Cloud Master" was suspected because if you hack "Double Hawk," you will find music from CM.

Recently, I found this string in the ROMs:

MSX-C ver 1.1 CRUN


This string also turns up in known Miki & Fujiwara-programmed MSX games such as "Ultima: Exodus" and "Nekketsu Kudo" as well as MSX games ISCO takes credit for, like "R-Type." That, more or less, cinches it for me.
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Post Posted: Fri Feb 16, 2007 1:44 am
Very interesting. Nice research, once again.

I'm a little confused as to why Hot-B's name is on Cloud Master, though. I guess Hot-B hired Miki and Fujiwara to make the game but Sega ended up publishing it?
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Post Posted: Fri Feb 16, 2007 5:15 am
NeoZeedeater wrote
I'm a little confused as to why Hot-B's name is on Cloud Master, though. I guess Hot-B hired Miki and Fujiwara to make the game but Sega ended up publishing it?


I don't know. Hot-B published the MSX2 version (below) the year before. The SMS version is obviously based on that.



BTW, the MSX2 version is pretty choppy. Screenshot courtesy Generation MSX.
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Post Posted: Mon Apr 09, 2007 11:52 am
http://gdri.smspower.org/wiki/index.php/Miki_%26_Fujiwara_Production/Opera_House

"Devilish" (GG), "Honoo no Toukyuuji: Dodge Danpei" (GG), and "Running Battle" (SMS) have been added to the list.

How did I get there?

My colleague Dran/Dimitri/DJ Squarewave (depending on where you talk to him) did some code comparisons.

First, he did a comparison of "Cloud Master" and "Double Hawk," both of whose developers have been established. The game that consistently came up was "Running Battle." "Devilish" also kept popping up. Popping up sometimes was "Dodge Danpei."

A second comparison was done between "Cloud Master" and "Running Battle." "Dodge Danpei" was coming up. "Devilish" and "Double Hawk" were coming up almost every time.

"Dodge Danpei" seemed odd to me because I was pretty sure that was by SIMS. Look at these credits:

Program               Hiro
Graphic               Kupu Kupu
Graphic               Matsutokujou
Planner               Matsutokujou
Sound Composer        Nasubi
Sound Composer        Fumi
Special Thanks        Enjyoh
Special Thanks        Sakkin
Special Thanks        Super Punch


Most of these names turn up in other SIMS games and I've come to assume these are SIMS staffers. The odd duckling, though, is "Hiro." I've not seen that particular pseudonym used in another SIMS game before. There are two SIMS programmers with "Hiro" in their name, however. One is Hirohiko Yoneda, who usually goes by "Yone," so I eliminated him. The other is Yasuhiro Nomura, who worked on "From TV Animation Slam Dunk: Shouri heno Starting 5" (GG). A code comparison was done between "Slam Dunk" and "Dodge Danpei." Nothing of interest was coming up. So it would seem "Hiro" could be Opera House programmers Hiroyuki Fujiwara or Hirofumi Ino.

For the latest list, go to:
http://gdri.smspower.org/wiki/index.php/Miki_%26_Fujiwara_Production/Opera_House
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Post Posted: Sun Dec 16, 2007 9:07 am
I was just looking at The 7 Colors for the PC-98, which I suspected might involve Opera House. The programmer's Kimihiro Endou, who, going by text strings in the disk image, went by the pseudonym "kim." Also in the disk image was the string below, which I found in other PC-98 games on which Opera House worked:

OPERAHOUSE=4Yu


If this Kimihiro Endou indeed worked for Opera House and indeed went by the name "kim," this could be "KIM," a programmer on GG Side Pocket.

A Google search came up with the website for "mongoose," something programmed by someone named Kimihiro Endou, who also goes by "kim" (again, all lowercase). I think this might be the same guy who programmed The 7 Colors. But there's only one way to find out for sure.

So, I need someone who can write an e-mail in Japanese.

Objectives:
- Mention you are writing on behalf of Game Developer Research Institute and SMS Power
- Ask if he worked for Satoru Miki & Hiroyuki Fujiwara/Opera House
- Ask what games he worked on
- Mention The 7 Colors PC-98 and Side Pocket GG
- Ask if his response can be posted on GDRI

Endou's e-mail address can be found via the link at the bottom of the front page of the "mongoose" website.

Thank you very much in advance.
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Post Posted: Mon Jan 28, 2008 3:50 am
Please don't volunteer all at once. I took the liberty of e-mailing Endou myself and fortunately, he can write in English.

I will have his responses up on GDRI soon.
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Post Posted: Wed Jan 30, 2008 7:31 am
Kimihiro Endou Q&A now up:

http://gdri.smspower.org/wiki/index.php/Kimihiro_Endou_(In_Their_Words)
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Post Posted: Wed Jan 30, 2008 8:55 am
Wow, cool stuff. This kind of archaeology is really good to have.
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Post Posted: Wed Jan 30, 2008 3:27 pm
It's interesting that several games through this developer had Hitoshi Sakimoto as sound composer:

7 Colors
Devilish
Bubble Ghost
Master of Monsters
Midnight Resistance
Verytex
...
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Post Posted: Thu Jan 31, 2008 3:34 am
ccovell wrote
It's interesting that several games through this developer had Hitoshi Sakimoto as sound composer:


Sakimoto had a contract with Opera House.
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Post Posted: Thu Jun 17, 2010 1:59 pm
Opera House now has a website. As to the relevance to Sega 8-bit, the site lists Side Pocket (GG), Dodge Danpei (GG), and the "SegaM5" version of Chuuka Taisen (which I assume is the SMS version of Cloud Master).
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Post Posted: Sat Oct 09, 2010 6:04 pm
CRV wrote
"SegaM5" version of Chuuka Taisen (which I assume is the SMS version of Cloud Master).


Wasn't Mark V the codename for Megadrive, with Mk. IV being Master System?
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Post Posted: Sun Oct 10, 2010 8:00 am
idrougge wrote
Wasn't Mark V the codename for Megadrive, with Mk. IV being Master System?


That crossed my mind, but I'm still assuming they mean the "SegaM'S'" version.
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Post Posted: Tue Sep 10, 2013 10:53 am
The list on the Opera House website was updated with Devilish, Running Battle, and Double Hawk.
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