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TSS Interviews Kazuyuki Hoshino


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Because this isn't Lost World focused and I don't really know where else it could go given the nature of the questions.

 

TSS staffer Swiss was able to get some time with Hoshino San at this years Summer of Sonic.

It's in the spoiler, but depending on what forum skin you're using, you might find it easier to read on TSS itself.

 

TSS: First of all, what does it mean to you to be here at Summer of Sonic?

 

Kazuyuki Hoshino: It’s great to be here and meet the fans who have continued to love the characters that I have created!

TSS: How do you go about the process of creating the Badniks and other enemies for Sonic games?

Kazuyuki Hoshino: Other than creating some of the key central characters I’ve also created lots of sub-characters. Whenever I create a main character, someone that’s central to the story or series, I always fully immerse myself in that character to really put myself in their shoes. When I was younger I always dreamed of my creations being sold as figurines in shops so people could buy some of the things that I had created. I’ve always kept this in mind when creating characters so I can design them to look great not only for their purpose, but so they would look good as figurines too.

TSS: Out of all the enemy characters you have created, which would you say is your favourite (Metal Sonic excluded!).

Kazuyuki Hoshino: Although he’s not as much of an enemy anymore, I’d definitely have to say Shadow the Hedgehog.

TSS: How did designing for NiGHTS differ to designing for Sonic games?

Kazuyuki Hoshino: When I’m creating characters for Sonic, I always have in mind that it needs to be appealing to millions of people. Sonic has such a big mass audience so I try and design to meet that taste. With NiGHTS, it has a very particular theme with quite a specific and niche market so I can push the boat out a little further to make designs that are more dream-like and psychological.

TSS: What were your biggest challenges in terms of design when making the transition from 2D to 3D games?

Kazuyuki Hoshino: When designing in 3D, you have to make sure that you create everything so that even the parts that weren’t visible before in 2D are now visible in 3D and they look good. You have to figure out how every part of the design would look from different angles and make it work. In the classic Sonic games he only had to be shown from the perspective that made him look best, now that everything is in 3D, you see Sonic from behind a lot more than you ever would have in 2D so now you have to make sure he and all of the other characters look good from all angles. Shadow has a red stripe going down his back and this is because we wanted to make him look both cool from behind and distinctively different from Sonic.

TSS: If you were to re-design Metal Sonic today, what new features would you give him, if any?

Kazuyuki Hoshino: When we originally created Metal Sonic, the thing I really had a focus on was making him look metallic because he is, of course, called Metal Sonic. If I were to re-design him, I would potentially challenge this and try to give him a different feel and texture that you would pick up just from looking at him. For example, a new feature I would perhaps give him is the ability to become invisible. You know in Sci-Fi films where they have the light-reflection technology that camouflages the user? I’d love to experiment with things like that and incorporate that technology into not only his skillset, but his visual design too.

TSS: You’ve created many iconic and memorable characters over the years. Do you think that we might see an art book dedicated to your works one day?

Kazuyuki Hoshino: I’m honoured that this question has been asked several times already today! I don’t have any plans at the moment to create a compilation of all the art that I’ve created so far. It would be great to have though and my Mother actually looks at art books quite often so she would be incredibly proud!

TSS: Thank you very much for your time, Hoshino-san!

http://www.sonicstadium.org/2013/08/sos13-kazuyuki-hoshino-interview/

It has to be quite the strange experience, to imagine your creations as toys or figures... and now they're giant statues in peoples homes and action figures in peoples toy boxes.

Also I know he's commented on sci-fi being an influence for Metal Sonic, but I love the idea of Metal Sonic having some kind of stealth generator and even having it as part of his design in some way.

And please publish an artbook!

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I would like to see this invisible/stealth clock be intergrated into Metal's design. I can see that being a possible strategy in his arensal as a boss fight actually.

 

Good interview.

Edited by TheChaosBlue
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Never knew he designed Shadow. This is a damn informative interview!

 

Yeah, him designing Shadow was the biggest eye opener. That delegation has always been given to Iizuka and Uekawa. You learn something new every day.

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I'm guessing it's a case of one artist providing the base model and then another artist handles the finer details and polish. Archie does it a lot - a lot of designs actually come from Ian Flynn or other key figures, and then it's up to Yardley or whoever to actually make a fully official design. Presumably this might have happened between Hoshino and Uekawa.

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Well, at least a few Shadow questions would have added some variation to the questions at Sonic Boom.

 

"What were you thinking when you designed Amy/Metal Sonic?"

"What was going through your mind when you designed Amy/Metal Sonic?"

"When designing Amy/Metal Sonic, what did you want them to look like?"

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Frankly I'm amazed they didn't touch upon the creation of Shadow part more. Let's be honest, given Shadow's large, potent fanbase that probably would have generated a lot more interest in his work for the team.

But it looks like we were all had. Even the official wikis put Shadow down as having been conceptualised by Iizuka and then brought to life by Uekawa.

...is Hoshino ashamed of having helped create Shadow or something? Given that one critique I hear of Shadow is that he replaced Metal Sonic in some ways... it wouldn't surprise me.

 

Wait, I think I know where the confusion is. He was part of enemy design. I think he means design in the game, the model, etc. rather than the actual character. So while Iizuka/Uekawa brought the character to life, Hoshino actually put him in the game as the model you have to fight during all those lovely boss battles and such. Thought of movesets and such, etc.

 

At least, that's my interpretation.

Edited by Ogilvie Maurice
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I don't think there was ever an actual source to "Uekawa/Iizuka made Shadow", and considering the creative proccess, I don't see it odd that Hoshino may have been the one to develop the design and then Uekawa did the tightened up final design. Especially since according to translation, Shadow has a streak on his back- I don't remember this?

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...is Hoshino ashamed of having helped create Shadow or something? Given that one critique I hear of Shadow is that he replaced Metal Sonic in some ways... it wouldn't surprise me.

 

...Hoshino's favourite enemy character after Metal Sonic is Shadow. I don't see it as shame so much as humility. 

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Now that we know he played some part in Shadow's creation, I now want him to shed light on those rumors of prototype Shadow designs being horrific. I remember reading on Retro that one of the early designs of Shadow depicted him as being all torn up and even missing an eye. There's potentially a lot of cool stuff to learn by going down that tangent, and even the possibility of unearthing some never-before-seen art for Shadow and SA2. Ah wellz; next year, mayhaps?

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It really is a shame we don't get to see too much of the concept art. Silver's few revealed concepts are interesting... I'd love to see what Shadow looked like when he was in the shop.

 

I don't think there was ever an actual source to "Uekawa/Iizuka made Shadow", and considering the creative proccess, I don't see it odd that Hoshino may have been the one to develop the design and then Uekawa did the tightened up final design.

My presumption entirely. It's what happens when Archie introduces or re-designs characters... they have one or two folk who do the concept and then someone who does the official art. Sounds like Iizuka came up with the basic ideas, Hoshino did the original work, and then Uekawa was given the rest... likely because Uekawa did all the other final designs so it would make sure stuff didn't clash.

 

Especially since according to translation, Shadow has a streak on his back- I don't remember this?

 

He doesn't, though fans often put one there if memory serves.

 

...Hoshino's favourite enemy character after Metal Sonic is Shadow. I don't see it as shame so much as humility.

 

Welp, that's what I get for not really paying attention...

 

The only thing I ever heard concerning Shadow's creation was that his original name was "Terios" which can be translated to mean "Reflection of", which suits his introspective nature pretty well.

What makes me irate is it's said that's Japanese. Japanese words all end with a vowel or n, so that's a blatant lie.

I tried looking at other languages... I presumed Spanish or maybe Italian. Couldn't find anything.

Which leads me to believe the meaning is fabricated, or that it was a myth. There's a car called the Terios but I have no idea where they got the name from.

Edited by Ogilvie Maurice
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Because Shadow ends in a vowel or n.

In Japanese he's called Shadou.

Just as Sonic is Sonikku and Knuckles is Nakkaruzu.

The main point being that if Terios was in fact Shadow's name, there's no way it was Japanese in origin. I'm stumped where it came from beyond that, however.

Edited by Ogilvie Maurice
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And Terios wouldn't be Terios in Japan either. I've never heard anyone refer to it as Japanese itself.

I have. It's been said to be Japanese for "reflection of."

Anyway, that wasn't my point. I hadn't considered this angle though so I'm going to see if Tereosu or Teriosu digs up anything. I really wish my friend who knows Japanese hadn't fallen out with me after Boom...

Looking at it, it doesn't look like any word for "reflection" matches up to anything close to Terios. The more I look at it, the more inclined I am to believe the term wasn't taken from Japanese at all.

Edited by Ogilvie Maurice
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Well whoever said that to you must have been confused. It's Greek.

It was on the Sonic News Network's wiki as memory serves. Actually it looks like a lot of places claim Terios or Teriosu translates as this or that from Japanese but as someone who isn't fluent I can't confirm that.

I can't find Terios, but I can find Teleios in Greek, which means "perfect." Sounds like it was really horribly butchered to Japanese.

Guess that's one mystery solved. :v

Edited by Ogilvie Maurice
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Terios is not a greek word, IIRC. Personally I think it was meant as a reference to Therion, mangled in translation. Either that or someone calling from the car, Terios, as a nice Western-sounding made-up name, until someone says "wait but wasn't that a car"

 

Really, this is just something I think I'm going to submit to Iizuka next year. Art books are nice and all, but the level of confusion over a name is just ludicrous and getting Word of God on the matter is always joyous.

 

Hoshino might know something about it too given his enemy design... apparently the "Terios" name originates from him being called that by game files or something like that? I'm not digging too deep because while the name is entrenched it looks like there's God knows how much speculation about it.

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I think it's a situation like "Knuckles had a nike deal!", where it's info we had from the early days of the fanbase so no-one bothered fact-checking it much? It just gets told over and over?

 

Wouldn't doubt if it really is a way overblown urban legend, yes. I am definitely submitting this at next year's Boom. I always forget questions I want to ask when the time comes so I'll just need to write this down...

 

If Hoshino publishes that art book, I'd really like some developmental trivia books published too. Because good lord there's so much of it and often so much confusion it can reach ridiculous levels. Word of God is very useful in this regard.

 

...I'll still be keeping the name for fan works of course because it's cool. :P

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