Masahiko Kurokawa was a game designer and former Capcom member who was known under his pseudonyms Patariro, Kuro and MX-5 (a reference to Ken's code number in Street Fighter 2010), and his work is often incorrectly attributed to "Masayoshi Kurokawa" or "Masahiro Kurokawa". He was best known for his work on Mega Man, the NES port of Strider and Resident Evil and his frequent collaborations with Tokuro Fujiwara.
Career at Capcom
Kurokawa went to work for Capcom in 1985. His earliest known work for them was the Famicom port of their coin-op Commando. This project was his first with Tokuro Fujiwara, whom he would collaborate with for the duration of his career. Masahiko Kurakawa also planned Capcom's 1987 release, Higemaru Makaijima, itself a sequel to another Capcom coin-op, Pirate Ship Higemaru. These minor additions to Capcom's library led to his working on the Strider project with Kouichi Yotsui, Tatsumi Wada and the artist circle Moto Kikaku. Kurokawa's experience with the Famicom informed his decision to develop the "consumer version" of Strider for that system, which irked Yotsui. Taking advantage of their background in film, Yotsui and Kurokawa developed a detailed setting for the project together, and eventually each one wrote their own script for it. Kurokawa and Wada, however, worked more together than with Yotsui for the duration of their work on Strider, tying their individual projects more closely to each other than to his. For unknown reasons, Kurokawa's Strider was released only in the West, not in Japan.
After completing Strider, Kurokawa worked on Disney's Chip 'n Dale Rescue Rangers alongside Keiji Inafune. When Akira Kitamura left Capcom in 1990 to start Takeru, Kurokawa took over Kitamura's planning duties on the Mega Man franchise starting with Mega Man 3. He and Inafune did not see eye-to-eye during the development of Mega Man 3. Inafune had "a lot of preset notions about how things should be" and claimed that Kurokawa "didn't really understand Mega Man the way his predecessor did". Kurokawa quit the production before the game was finished, leaving the remaining planning responsibilities for Inafune.
Kurokawa returned to the Disney license for Capcom's 1992 SNES release, Magical Quest starring Mickey Mouse. He also served in an advisory capacity on the production of Mega Man 5 and Mega Man 6, and worked as producer in the 1996 joint Capcom/Toho live-action series Shichisei Tōshin Guyferd. However, the capstone to his Capcom career was the 1996 PlayStation smash hit, Resident Evil.
Tokuro Fujiwara left Capcom after the release of Resident Evil and started his own company, Whoopee Camp. Masahiko Kurokawa followed him. There they created the Tomba! series. Kurokawa wrote the scenarios for both it and its eventual sequel, Tomba! 2: The Evil Swine Return. Tomba! was critically acclaimed and widely anticipated but suffered from poor distribution. Whoopee Camp went under after Tomba! 2.
Undeterred, Fujiwara started another company, "Deep Space". Kurokawa followed him to the new company, where he revisited many of the themes from Resident Evil in Deep Space's 2001 PlayStation 2 game, Extermination. Kurokawa also contributed to Deep Space's 2003 PlayStation 2 release, Hungry Ghosts, a first-person horror game geared more towards exploration and "virtual experience" than survival. Deep Space ended up folding as well. Many of its staff went on to form Access Games.
After Deep Space, Kurokawa worked as a professor for several Japanese vocational schools. He taught in the gaming career departments of ECC Computer College and Human Academy Co., and was also a contributing member of the "Neko No Mori" drama troupe. He has since passed away.
(Senjō no Ōkami)
|Capcom||Capcom||Nintendo Entertainment System||Planner|
(Makaijima Nanatsu no Shima Daibōken)
|1990||Chip 'n Dale Rescue Rangers
(Chippu to Dēru no Daisakusen)
|1990||Mega Man 3
(Rokkuman Surī Dokutā Wairī no Saigo!?)
|1992||Disney's Magical Quest starring Mickey Mouse
(Mikkī no Majikaru Adobenchā)
|1992||Mega Man 5
(Rokkuman Faibu Burūsu no Wana!?)
|1993||Mega Man 6
(Rokkuman Shikkusu Shijō Saidai no Tatakai!!)
|1993||Mega Man 7
(Rokkuman Sebun Shukumei no Taiketsu!!)
|1995||Mega Man X
|Whoopee Camp||Sony Computer Entertainment||PlayStation||Writer|
|1999||Tomba! 2: The Evil Swine Return
(Tonba! Za Wairudo Adobenchā)
|Whoopee Camp||Sony Computer Entertainment||PlayStation||Writer|
|Deep Space||Sony Computer Entertainment||PlayStation 2||Game Design|
|Deep Space||Sony Computer Entertainment||PlayStation 2||Planner|
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