Bloody Roar 2 – 1998 Developer Interview

Bloody Roar 2 – 1998 Developer Interview

This short Bloody Roar 2 interview with director Kenji Fukuya first appeared in V-Jump magazine. It includes a brief-but-informative timeline of the development, followed by remarks on BR2's connection to the first game, unused characters, and future ambitions. Be sure to check out Kenji Fukuya's Bloody Roar 3 interview as well if you haven't read it yet!

The BR2 Development Schedule

10/97 - The BR2 Development Begins!

The BR2 development began just before BR1 went on sale on November 7th. The initial work was largely focused on design.

12/97 - Master Planning Doc Completed!

The top secret planning doc (see pic below) includes a number of ideas that were dropped, including: a crab beast named Donryuu, a younger brother of Fox [[Hans]], and a bull beast.

1/98 - The Modeling Data is Complete

The modeling is completed for several of the characters, including Yugo and Marvel [[Shina]]. At this point, BR1 platform is still being used for the modeling, but the team can now look forward soon to seeing the characters move about in-game.

3/98 - Voice Recording, Illustrations Begin

The sound effects that the team were worried so much about turn out wonderfully! Everyone's spirits were running high when the voice actor recording the narration mentioned they were a big fan of Bloody Roar.

Kenji Fukuya (1998)

6/98 to 8/98 - Fine-tuning begins! Fukuya-san spends the summer in Tokyo

A busy period of fine-tuning and adjusting the gameplay. Fukuya spends about 70% of his time in Tokyo… this was probably the most "dense" period of the development.

9/98 to 11/98 - BR2 location test, AM Show

Musicians enter the studio to record the Playstation version original BGM. The guitarist displays his godly skills. The arcade version is unveiled at the AM Show.

11/98 to 1/99 - Debugging completed! BR2 goes on sale!

After a devilishly hard debugging, the Playstation version is completed, and finally goes on sale! Like a father seeing his daughter married off, there's a bit of loneliness…

Concept art for Yugo, protagonist of the Bloody Roar series.

A Look Back at BR1

Fukuya: From the very start I had this feeling that normal human vs human fighting games were kind of boring, and originally I wanted to have super-powered characters, kind of like the Super Sayans from Dragon Ball. Eighting came up with the beast theme, which tied the whole thing together.

With the success of BR1 paving the way, the BR2 development had a relatively smooth start. With BR2, we wanted to create a fighting game that had a lot of options and choices for players. And of course, we wanted it to be more polished. The reason it's hard to knock your opponent down in Bloody Roar is that we don't want to interrupt the flow of the gameplay. We want matches to be an up-to-the-hilt game of wits, where every moment matters.

Concept art for Uriko and Marvel.


Fukuya: My original idea for BR2 was that it would take place several years after BR1. Sort of a way to say "goodbye" to older characters. (laughs) One of the first beasts I thought of was a bat. From there, it was like… if a bat works, anything goes! And so next we came up with weird ones like Busuzima and Uriko. I had that idea for a "half-beast" since the first game, but it seemed too outlandish to me then. So it got carried over to BR2 as an "experimental" addition.

Busuzima was similar--there was no way we were going to have something wild like a chameleon character in the first game. Actually, that reminds me, in the beginning Uriko was going to be a different character, but there's a certain passionate Uriko fan in our staff, and he protested loudly. (laughs) Ultimately, the way she turned out is owed to his efforts. We thought about giving her a fancy name, or making her an out-and-out Chinese character. There were a lot of things about her that didn't quite make sense, like… how did an inoshishi (wild boar) beast give birth to a cat child…?

We had also thought about adding a bull character to BR2, but for various reasons that became a insect. That's Stun. Technically he's not a beast, but I guess that's another "experimental" thing we wanted to try this game. His wings are very pretty though, aren't they? We were also planning to make him fly, but then he would have been too strong so we abandoned that idea. (laughs)

Regarding an elephant beast… everyone thinks elephants are so cute, right? They always mention Dumbo. And elephants can be cool too, right? Think of Mammoth Man from Kinnikuman. A total power fighter, that was the image I had in mind.

Fukuya finally got his elephant in Bloody Roar: Primal Fury.

The Illustrations of BR2

Fukuya: For this game, we had Morishita-san do the illustrations, and Kagoshima-san contributed to the story for story mode. It was the right call--I knew they were talented and they didn't disappoint. Sitting next to Morishita and watching him draw, I was amazed at his abilities, especially the speed at which he can work. I'd say to him, "I don't know about the eye color here…" and without a second thought he'd fix it right there on the spot. Bam, done. It's actually kind of intimidating. I mean, of course, his talents go beyond just being quick. (laughs) He can work roughly and quickly, and he's talented too. If you zoom up close to some of the drawings though, there might be some embarrassing spots.

Sequels and Future Plans

Fukuya: Next time I'd like to make a "special edition" Bloody Roar game, I think. And of course a proper third sequel. I want to go deeper on the strategic gameplay we've established in BR1 and BR2. Man, I wish we had like six years to make the next one. (laughs) I want to see Mecha Bakuryu in the next game. I mean, resurrect the first-gen Bakuryu. His head could spin around, and his hands could be drills! Wait… you're saying you want us to make a game where you raise little Bakuryu moles!? You actually think they're cute…?! Well, I can't say I understand where you're coming from, but OK…

Concept art for Jenny and Long.
Concept art for Gado and ShenLong.
Concept art for Busuzima and Bakuryu.
Concept art for Alice and Stun.

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1 comment

  1. A younger brother for Hans (“Fox”) would have been a great addition to the BR2 cast for the sake of giving the guy some form of continuation in the Bloody Roar franchise…although bringing back Hans, Mitsuko, and Greg would have been even better overall. I also liked the idea of the bull character whose concept art appeared in the gallery of BR1, and Donryuu the Crab definitely should have been a thing!

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