Translations Archive

Nintendo Classic Mini Family Computer
Weekly Shōnen Jump 50th Anniversary Version
Guide to the Fastest Possible Path to 100% Completion

(06 July 2018)

Kazuhiko Torishima Interview0


Torishima-san, were there any titles that you directly supervised, and not just the Famicom Shinken1 articles?
Regarding Dragon Ball, when they told me they wanted to make a video game adaptation, I just said: “Oh, okay, fine.” As to whether I checked the actual contents of the games, however, the answer would have to be no, I didn’t, at least, not at first.
Was this a time when you were very hands-off regarding merchandise, whether it was games or anything else?
Since I couldn’t go and check up on it, the first Dragon Ball game2 turned out absolutely awful. There was also a card-type game somewhere in there, wasn’t there? Which one was it, again?
I… believe that was Gokū-den, wasn’t it?3
With that one, they let me check out the game concept ahead of time. I told them that I wouldn’t let them release it if I didn’t like it, so I believe that was the first time I got to see the actual contents of the game.
And so, that one turned out well. Was the card system already in place from the very conception?
Yes. Like I said before, what’s important is to make sure that anyone can play it, and then after that, is to be able to recreate the world of the original comic. I told them to make these two points a priority, and if they did, it would more or less be in “acceptable” territory.4
The following translator notes are included for the benefit of the reader as supplemental information and were not originally published in the book.

0 This is a partial translation of a significantly longer interview. We have translated the four Q&As directly related to Dragon Ball.
1 A series of articles about video games published at irregular intervals in Weekly Shōnen Jump from 1985 to 1988
2 Torishima could be referring to two “first” games here. The technical first was Dragon Ball: Dragon Dai-Hikyō, developed by Epoch for the company’s own Super Cassette Vision in September 1986. Epoch was the first merchandising partner for a small period of time beginning in 1986, before this partnership transferred over to Bandai later that same year (a partnership which remains in place to this day). Bandai’s first game was Dragon Ball: Shenron no Nazo for the Nintendo Famicom in November 1986.
3 Not quite. August 1988’s Dragon Ball: Daimaō Fukkatsu — the second Nintendo Famicom game for the Dragon Ball franchise — was the first to feature the card-based gameplay. This continued with Dragon Ball 3: Gokū-den in October 1989, and would carry through to the remaining Dragon Ball Z games on the Famicom.
4 Torishima talks extensively about this idea of what fans would accept vs. a “bootleg” kind of product in the Unite Tokyo 2019 panel discussion.
English Translation: Zénpai