Introduction to the Wonderful 101 Blog!

The Wonderful 101

Filed: Community, Games, PlatinumGames, The Wonderful 101

Hi, everyone! This is Hideki Kamiya, director of “The Wonderful 101.”
It’s been some time since I directed my last game, “Bayonetta,” and I’ve been busy upholding my name as Twitter Master in the meanwhile. However, it’s about time I unleashed a new game upon the world, so it looks like I’ll finally be able to regain my original title of Game Designer!

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Anyway, since “The Wonderful 101” is a completely new game, I’m sure most people out there still have no idea what it’s about, despite the fact that the release date is not too far away. Most people seem to be going “Oh, that’s that game with the ridiculously large crowd of characters running around, right?” or “Wait, is that the game where you play as a dog?” or “Wonderful What? Never heard of it.”

And that’s perfectly fine!

That’s why we’re bringing you this blog: to have fun and share information on “The Wonderful 101!”

If I had to give a brief description of this game, I would say that it’s a simple, pure Action Game in which you become a hero and defeat bad guys. It doesn’t require a lot of deep thought. It’s just that there’s a few… well, a LOT… more heroes than in your average game.
The “101” in the title indicates the number of heroes. The reason we added one number to 100 is that we wanted everyone outside of the TV to become heroes as well. So what kind of actions can you pull off with this many heroes? That’s the question we intend to answer in detail from here on out.

But for today, you’ll have to make do with my introduction. We’ll start telling you more about the actual game in future posts, including loads of screenshots. Of course we won’t just focus on the action: we’ll introduce the characters and story as well. It’ll be a smorgasbord of information, so you’ve got a lot to look forward to!

The next update is just around the corner, so get ready to Unite Up!

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Platinum Twilight and Bayonetta Developer Commentary

Bayonetta

Filed: Bayonetta, Games, PGTV, PlatinumGames

Kamiya here, fresh off commenting on the official After Burner Climax blog in the afterglow of happiness that came when I heard news about the digital release. I still can’t believe that they are really going to port the game! It’s great! You may not know, but I’ve been begging for this gem for ages, as I thought After Burner Climax was the simplest and most effective vehicle for showing people what “next-generation” machines can really do. Having these planes flying in crazy environment and taking out entire formations of enemy planes in rapid-fire, is full of spectacle and “gamey-ness” if you ask me. Now put that up in the big screen TV corner of an electronics store, and that would get even grandma and grandpa to stop in their tracks. You don’t need to make things real! The absurd is amazing! With something like that, I could even get my old man, who might have zero interest in games, to beam with pride and say, “That’s some next-gen goodness.”

So the Xbox 360 version will be 800 Microsoft Points, and the PS3 version will be around 900 yen, which makes me wonder if it is OK to be that cheap. I would have bought it even if it was a full priced, packaged release… I’m going to have to unpack my video projector… I’ve been pretty vehement about saying, “PORT IT!” so now I am going to have to put my money where my mouth is and play this game on like a 100 inch screen.

So, since After Burner Climax is one of our brothers-in-Climax so to speak, make sure you pay attention when it is released digitally this spring. And best of luck to everyone working on the title! Oh, and let’s get working on getting Monster Land up on the Virtual Console or XBLA.

Check out the official SEGA After Burner Climax website:

http://sega-afterburner.com/

Wow, I got a little excited and that ended up longer than I thought… Alright, on to the next topic. Last January 30, we held a party for our fans at an authentic Cantonese restaurant on the 39th floor of our office building, the Umeda Sky Building in Osaka. We called the event Platinum Twilight!

32 fans came for the evening and spend some time with the staff here at PlatinumGames. A good time was had by all. Everyone was very well-mannered, and we didn’t get any “delicate” questions (actually, I kind of wish they had asked us more questions…), so it was a really chilled out evening from start to finish. It was nice to hear some much fervent support from so many people, and it made me feel warm and happy that chose a path for my life that included making games.

Having events like this with our fans is something that we did several times during our Clover Studios days, but having it in the very same building as the studio meant that we just had to make an exception to the rule and give the fans a quick tour of the production floor. Even when it is guests working in the industry, we are especially careful about information leaking, so this was the first time that non-studio guests have been show around the inside of the studio. Right now, we are working hard on Vanquish, which at the time had just been announced, but details had not been released, so even I got a bit nervous leading people around and explaining things to them.

We were only about to show people around the studio for a short period of time, but I think that people more or less got a feeling for the fact that one of the important point to the way we make games is breaking down barriers in our office and communicating with each other. I also think they discovered that we really love toys here. People even saw my cluttered desk… At the least, being able to actually talk with the users we normally don’t even get to place a face on was an incredibly important experience which can’t simply be summed up into a few words.

Of course, we are around to create and release interesting games; however, we are not some sort of “game creating machine. Everyone on the staff are each their own person. Just as when you become interested in one of our games, we are interested in the users who play our creations. Things may change depending on the type of game, its scale, or the people behind (or company) it, but I think that I’d like to make games more like they are a folk craft, filled with the warmth of people, rather than some sort of industrial packaged good. I want to keep holding these types of events, so we can share each other’s true dispositions and get a feel for each other’s humanity, instead of persisting in your stock “producer/consumer” relationship.

It was a little bit hard to figure out when the event ended because of how things were run a bit poorly; however, I am very thankful for all of those who took valuable time out of their lives to spend time with us. Thank you so much! To those fans that weren’t selected to be with us, we plan on holding as many events as we can in the future, so definitely enter to attend the next event if you can.

So here are my notes on the event…

When Bayonetta came out, I played it for 30 hours straight on the day of release! -> I beat Super Mario World the day the SNES came out.

l  So that’s the kind of person who wrote those blog entries…

l  Valentine’s Day chocolate

l  Sorry that the printing on the overseas collector’s editions Scarborough Fair gun is wrong…

l  Bayonetta cosplay! Woohoo!

l  Hand-made Scarborough Fair guns are awesome.

I love Resident Evil 2 -> I’m kinda proud that I think we might have been the first kissing scene between two polygonal characters rendered in real-time.

I like RE2 more than RE1 -> I’m actually a bigger fan of 1. LOL.

Make a sequel to Bayonetta! -> If schedules work out…

Make a shooting game! -> I’m not opposed to this…

Make Viewtiful Joe 3! -> Anyone actually going to play it? LOL

Sequel to Okami? -> I did have a story for one in my head, but you know…

My paragons of gaming are God Hand and Vagrant Story -> I, too, am a devotee.

I like Devil May Cry 2, too. -> WHAT!?

I want one of the mini-dolls from Bayonetta -> Please keep putting in requests…

I want one of the Bayonetta love pillows -> Please keep putting in requests…

I want Bayonetta’s glasses -> Hehehehe…

l  The original arcade version of Nemesis (Gradius) is awesome!

l  If you live in Juso, you should try the ramen shop near the station. It’s called Yokanise.

It’s hard to follow Bayonetta’s story -> Sorry bout that…

That wraps it up for the party, but I have one more thing to report in this post. Since Bayonetta game play commentaries seem to be flourishing online, I thought that I, Bayonetta director Hideki Kamiya, in my infinite lack of wisdom, would try and make one myself. I gave it a shot on the prologue and here are my results.

I made this by myself at home, so pardon my complete lack of excitement, the poor AV quality, and terrible technique. I am mainly talking about things behind the scenes things like incidents during development, hidden background information, etc. If you are interest, please check the videos out. It’s been more than 3 months since the game came out, so I figure that many of you may be getting close to wrapping up the game, so beware that the videos contain spoilers! I’m not normally the world’s most motivated person, so I’m not sure how long I will continue this (LOL), be have fun nonetheless.

Until next time!

Picture: Our concept designer Ikumi made these for my birthday. She designed the dolls for the game, and then she made these by hand! But instead of making Jeanne, she made Zero…

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A New Year’s Greeting?

Bayonetta

Filed: Bayonetta, Community, Games, PlatinumGames

(Originally posted January 19, 2010 on the Japanese Bayo-Blog)
A little late, but Happy New Year, everyone. Kamiya here. I’m not sure if it is because I run my mouth too much, but big brother ends up censoring me, so I haven’t really been able to give you all up-to-date information because my blog has been slow to update.
Since it is a New Year, I received various New Year’s cards and presents from our fans and others. They motivate me to work hard, so thank you so much!

So Bayonetta has finally been released worldwide, huh? Is everyone playing it having a good time? The game has been on-sale in Japan for more than 2 months now, and even though it is a game with its own peculiarities, people who love it seem to truly love it, which makes me quite happy.

Which leads me to some news… The one and only TIME magazine wrote about Bayonetta in their 1/25 issue! It was the video game pick for TIME’S PICKS FOR THE WEEK. This is pretty cool, as TIME is a huge magazine, with a circulation of over 3.3 million readers in North America!

Hashimoto said the other day that he wanted to sell more copies of Bayonetta than the original Devil May Cry, to which I replied, “Not happening…” (LOL) Anyways, I think that this game is where we planted the seeds for something that will eventually grow into a tree with a stout trunk. But I just say that kind of thing and then leave things be…Which ends up with me getting stuck with some sort of global label as someone who doesn’t want to make sequels. (LOL)

Read the rest of this entry »

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Bayonetta Fan Art Contest – The Platinum Awards

Bayonetta

Filed: Bayonetta, Community, Games, PlatinumGames

Kamiya here. Lately I’ve been listening to the Bayonetta soundtrack while working, but whenever I listen to the music from the latter half of the game, I have some sort of conditioned response to remember being in a nice warm bath, staring back at downtown Osaka (Umeda). It doesn’t leave me in a good mood. Ahhh… The last part of Bayonetta’s development was really brutal, and since I couldn’t go home, using the spa here at our offices in the Umeda Sky Building to wash away the days fatigue was the only thing I really had to look forward to; however, it seems like that left an indelible impression on my psyche. The spa on the 22nd floor has an unbroken view of Umeda, so during the day I would escape the development floor and head up to soak my messed up body in the bath. While soaking, looking out at skyscrapers under the expansive blue sky, it felt so great, like I was in heaven… When I hear the track that plays before you enter Balder’s Room, “Paradiso – Sea of Stars,” or the final track, “The Greatest Jubilee,” I feel completely opposite to the track names themselves; it’s delusional, like I’m getting sucked into hell. Both of the tracks were composed for us by Mr. Rei Kondo… Sorry… They really are good tracks… (LOL)

Speaking of the soundtrack, it isn’t just songs created by PlatinumGames staff. We had the opportunity to work with lots of people outside of the company, which I am really grateful for. From Rei Kondo, to all the staff at GEM Impact, to Hiro-san at SEGA, thank you from the bottom of my heart! I’d love to work together again!

On to the next… A while back Wizard Magazine held an art contest entitled Bayonetta Re-Envisioned, and lots of great works were selected as prize winners. Of course, we had a say in who won, and the staff all looked at all of the entries! The Grand Prize winner was one that I selected personally.

The idea of taking Bayonetta’s design and using that as a starting point for a brand new concept was a rather unusual experiment for a contest, and all of the entries obviously showed a lot of passion, each one amazing in its own right. Because of this, there were works that we weren’t able to include in the contest, but were so good that we just couldn’t get them out of our heads. That is why we would like to point them out and recognize them here on the blog.

First up is a work by Michael Hiscott. Our concept designer Ikumi Nakamura picked this one. The cherry blossom trees in the background mesh well with Bayonetta.

Shimazaki picked a work by Chuan Ju Lee. Bayonetta started with the idea that witches had to be black, but this image boldly threw black right out the window.

Shimazaki also picked another work, this one by Alexander Gordon. It’s fancy, like it could be an illustration in a fairy tale collection.

Next is a work by Brent Patrick Wilson. This one is incredible… It was a design contest for Bayonetta, but Rodin and Jeanne are so prominent that they are the only thing we really noticed.

Actually, this work by Joshua Meeks was the most popular among the team. It looks like it was created with colored pencil on drawing paper (?), but posing Bayonetta in such a dynamic drop kick is the work of no mere amateur.

Finally, we have a work by Randall Louis. The design, expression, and pose got stuck in our heads and we just couldn’t forget it. If there were a CD with this image as its cover, I would buy it without question.

So what do you think? For all the works that we picked up in this post, we are going to send the artists a copy of the Bayonetta soundtrack, which is currently on sale only in Japan! Because of the differences in markets and the such, we aren’t sure if the Bayonetta soundtrack will be released officially overseas; however, this 5 disc set is a gem, filled with what we feel is only the best content, so I think that you will find it enjoyable.

Well, that wraps it up. Until next time!

Picture: A promotional item that will be given out in Germany. Here is a picture of the back…

Picture: It has a Gates of Hell logo. What could be inside?

Picture: A lollipop! Cherry flavored, I think? But it’s got a kick to it. Definitely not that kind of flavor you would encounter in Japan. (LOL)

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More Exciting Announcements

Bayonetta

Filed: Bayonetta, Community, Games, PlatinumGames

A confused Kamiya here… I finally fixed the settings on my router the other day, and now my iPod touch gets online no problem, so I can lie around watching Nico Nico videos and wasting money on the App Store, not to mention that I don’t have to go through the connection process every time I turn on my Macbook Air as it just works now! It’s great! But when I think that, I also think that I bought the thing a year ago, and I have no idea what the heck I was doing…

Bayonetta has seen release, and I’m happy that I’ve been able to see Japanese fans getting excited these days, but now we have the Western release to look forward to, and I am getting excited all over again. For instance, the demo was made available to fans on December 3! I’d love for you all to get a feel for Bayonetta personally, as action games live and die on how they feel to play, and the best way to experience that is to pick up a controller and give it a shot yourself. I’ve always said that I don’t say, “I want you to buy our game.” I say, “I want you to play our game.” So, the first thing that I would like you to check out is how it feels to play Bayonetta, as that feeling is something that is very important to us.

Also, for every blog that I write, I do get the chance to read all of the comments that you send in. Thank you all so much! I know we made many of you wait for a while after the Japanese release, but even if it is just a day closer, I hope to share the excitement of Bayonetta with you all soon.

I forgot to blog about this earlier, but did you all get the chance to check out the MTV Japan Bayonetta special that aired on October 28? During the show, Hashimoto came out and was so incredibly nervous that his face turned a strange color, but more importantly, I want to write about recording the narration for the show. The recording took place on October 25, and I was able to sit in.

Bayonetta was narrated by the same voice actress that did the voice-over for the Japanese Bayonetta TV commercials, Ms. Atsuko Tanaka. Amongst members of the team, we would often ask the question, “If someone were to play Bayonetta, who would be good?” Tanaka-san’s name always came up in these conversations, and I, too, was looking forward to the recording.

Once we got into the studio, I saw Tanaka-san already reading the script and practicing her lines. It was my first time meeting her, and my impression of her was different than I had imagined. She has a quiet aura to her, and was soft spoken. However, the voice I heard through the speakers reading Bayonetta’s lines was powerful and vigorous, just like our heroine. Maybe it was because of the gap between her appearance and her performance, but I was left speechless.

I was sitting in on the sessions to explain Bayonetta’s character traits to Tanaka-san, and I thought that I would have to occasionally step in to direct her, but the fear that I would have to do was a bit over-the-top. I ended up just being in awe of her the entire time… In fact, there was really no reason for me to even be there in the end. (LOL) Of course, I was incredibly pleased because it was a great experience for me. The wild ideas in my head really expanded in scope. For instance, if there is ever a chance for Bayonetta to have Japanese voices, I definitely want to ask Tanaka-san to fill the part…

The TV show’s director, Mr. Yoichi Sakuma, is truly a creative individual, and being able to watch from the sidelines was really great fun. Working with people like these really made me feel like we were going to make a great show. It was a wonderful day for me.

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Picture: I got an autograph from Ms. Atsuko Tanaka! I asked her to write it out to “Hideki-kun,” just like Bayonetta would write it. Hehehe. Thank you so much for listening to my ridiculous request!

This is something I mentioned a while ago, but Hashimoto and I appeared on a Nico Nico live broadcast November 15 called “Xbox LIVE Park – Bayonetta Day!” This was my third time being on a live net broadcast. There was nothing like this when I was working on really highly anticipated titles like Resident Evil 2 or Devil May Cry. (Let’s not even get into the worldwide levels of anticipation for Viewtiful Joe or Okami… Suffice it to say, there were no live broadcasts either.) With Bayonetta, it seems that we are getting attention from a variety of places, which is something I am incredibly thankful for as this is an original title.

So on to the show… The show was set up where there was a section where we would answer user questions, another where we would show gameplay footage, etc., so we filled up our allotted 90 minutes. For someone who tends to say things off the record during interviews that would end up causing tons of problems, I get a little bit nervous with the live stuff because I know that I have to be a good boy… However, being able to talk with users directly over voice chat and the like, I was really able to get a taste of the fun that live presentations bring. I am already a big fan of Nico Nico videos, so it was incredible fun for me to see the comments streaming along to my own video.

The other thing that was, needless to say, hotly anticipated, was Japanese celebrity personality Kayo Police-san donning the Bayonetta cosplay costume! The costume, as you may know, has a bit of an audacious open-back design, but seeing her wearing it in person was really floored me. Being so innocent myself, I got so excited that I couldn’t look directly at what was going on… But I digress… Anyways, Kayo Police-san seems to be a pretty staunch fighting game fan when she games, but to make sure she was ready for the shoot, she put a good chunk of time into the retail version of Bayonetta (I hear she has even beaten the game now!) I am incredibly grateful for her enthusiasm towards Bayonetta. She even did a great job of picking up the slack when it looked like I was going to foul things up… Thank you so much, Ms. Kayo Police!

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Picture: Ms. Kayo Police surrounded by a couple of old dudes. She has a style that makes you think she isn’t Japanese, and she wore the costume perfectly! Standing next to her, I really end up looking like Doraemon or something…

And now for something completely different… The other day I got the chance to have a chat with Mr. Masahiro Sakurai, creator of Kirby and the Smash Brothers series amongst others. Speaking of Sakurai-san, I read your column all the way to the very end… I’m talking about the one in Famitsu, of course.

I was able to share a few words with Sakurai-san at this year’s TGS, but I had never really talked to him before that, and this new opportunity was kind of the first chance for the two of us to really sit down and chat. I’m sort of a shut-in, so I don’t really spend much time hanging out with other people in the industry; however, getting the chance to talk with him was quite stimulating, and I took much from our discussion. The details will have to come another time…

Other than that, I had a little time to meet a lot of other people in the industry. I was able to link the games that I see to the people that make them, with moments like “Oh, he made that game…” “So what?” you ask? Well, it’s kind of hard to explain, but it was a really useful experience for me.

This month, I will also be appearing on Enterbrain’s live internet program, MIDNIGHT LIVE 360. It seems the plan is do to a one-on-one with none other than Hideo Kojima… The stuff that we talk about off-the-record is the most interesting, but we can’t really air that, can we!? (LOL) I have to be a good boy on this one, but I will still try to make it fun.

Finally, I forgot to mention this previously, but the Bayonetta Xbox 360 Premium theme is now available in Japan. It should make old-school gamers shed tears of joy, so if you got the guts to give it a try, definitely buy a copy on the Marketplace. Just to give you a hint about the theme… We created a concept called “Witch Girl Angel-land,” based around the idea of what would happen if Bayonetta was a 2D side-scroller. If Bayonetta was a 2D side-scroller, I would have definitely played the heck out it on release. You know, not buying any extra items in the game and saving up all the coins to show my true skills… The next concept is called “BAYO,” and it is based of the idea of Bayonetta as a strategy shooting game. If times hadn’t changed, this one would have definitely been ported over to the Master System… I would have played it to death along with my younger brother. The final concept was “Umbran Fighter,” or “what would happen if Bayonetta was a 3D fighting game?” I really want to play this one. For real.

So the theme is loaded with tons of little easter egg images based off wild ideas that make me happy. Let me get away with this one, OK. (LOL) Of course, our staff put hard work into the theme, so I can promise you it will be quality!

That wraps up it for this blog… See you soon!

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Picture: Oh yeah, the other day, we sent off the prizes for the fan site contest we held in Japan. I went out and bought some iron-on transfers, printed out a special image at home, and brought it in for Shimazaki to do her magic with the iron, turning them into great t-shirts! Made with love at PlatinumGames.

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Picture: A delighted Kai-san, the man in charge of making the Bayonetta pose for our special image. We were able to use this design by getting permission from Capcom. Thank you very much to all those who made this possible.

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It’s a Celebration! Bayonetta on Sale in Japan!

Bayonetta

Filed: Bayonetta, Community, Games, PlatinumGames

(This blog post originally appeared on the Japanese Bayo Blog on November 12, 2009.)

Hello again, everyone. Hideki Kamiya here. I just wanted to tell you all that I’m really getting a kick everyday out of watching the gameplay videos you are uploading. Uploading and watching videos of gameplay on the net was something I couldn’t do when I was a kid… I would stand behind people in the arcade and watch them play, figuring out strategies, or have a gallery of people behind me, pleased that they watching… Times have changed, right. I really don’t have anything to say against it personally. As long as people behave themselves and have fun, I’m happy.

Which brings us to my next point. I’m a little late to the party with this, but Bayonetta went on sale without a hitch! For the games that I’ve worked on up until now, I would hang out in the corner of a big box store and watch over sales that day; however, this time I had some work to do in Tokyo, so while I was there on the business trip, I checked out quite a few stores in Shinjuku, Shibuya, and Akihabara that were selling the game.

So how did it go? Well, to be honest, I couldn’t really tell! LOL. We were going around to the stores around lunchtime on a weekday, so there weren’t really that many customers in the aisles, and nowadays stores don’t really have people carry games up to the register, but instead look at a row of empty boxes and just tell the staff member which game they want. I didn’t really get to see the old school moment of someone picking up the game and taking it to the register to purchase… But what I did see were people standing in front of the empty boxes thinking about things, so I tried to send them a really strong telepathic message – “Just buy it already, go home, and have some fun!”

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Picture: It’s definitely lunch time on a weekday. So I ended up by myself in the store since no one was around…

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Picture: What the hell is this!? LOL.

That evening, we arrived in Akihabara, and when we went into Yodobashi Camera, we discovered that the 360 version of Bayonetta had sold out! The shipment numbers might have been a little tight, but it is a good thing when more people buy your game than the store imagined, don’t you think? (Apologies to all those who couldn’t pick it up!)

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Picture: It’s the evening, and you can see more customers in the store. Seeing in-store displays like this really makes you happy.

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Picture: The 360 version is sold out! It seems new titles really do have an uphill battle with regards to shipment numbers.

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Picture: Seeing Bayonetta lined up with the Wii version of Okami made me kinda happy. LOL.

While we were going around to stores, we also took some time to check out some of the advertisements that were placed up in and around the Kanto region (Tokyo metropolitan area). I had previously taken a look at the ads, but seeing them in person is a whole different kind of impressiveness. I’m sure people around other areas of Japan wanted to see these as well, so my apologies. The development staff of the game in Osaka were quite envious as well. But the most important thing here is how to get people who don’t know about Bayonetta interested in the game. I hope that even one more person checks out the official site because they saw one of the ads and thought, “What’s this!?”

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Pictures: Ads in Shibuya station. Get off the platform and right before your eyes is Bayonetta! If you look around, you will see tons of these large advertisements lined up. It was quite a sight, and there were even more than the ones shown here.

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Pictures: Once you exited Shibuya station, the TV commercial was being played on the huge display right in front of you! Every 30 minutes the ad would play once, so I waited with bated breath for it to air. LOL. If you looked to your left, there was another ad on the huge cylinder of the 109 building. To see a game advertisement on the 109 building is an incredibly rare occurrence, or so I am told. But since it is the ever-so-fashionable Bayonetta, I think that is why they probably let us get away with it.

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Pictures: In front of the station, Microsoft was handing out special flyers. I got one myself.

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Pictures: This is the Shinjuku station “Peel-Away” poster! The “bad cards” were posted to cover up Bayonetta’s supple curves. By pulling them off, you were not only revealing Bayonetta, you could scan the card and go to a special website on your phone via QR barcodes. They were also scented with the faint smell of Bayonetta’s perfume. Watching things, girls, old men, and even grannies that would seemingly have no interest in games were looking carefully at the ad and pulling off the cards.

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Pictures: She is really pretty, huh… The Bayonetta in the game is a bit harder edged, don’t you think? This girl doesn’t look like she would kick angels in the butt, knocking them into a guillotine and sending their heads flying… (LOL)

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Picture: A digital advertisement in Akihabara. Bayonetta’s ad would be shown a few times a minute.

Finally, on to why I was in Tokyo – Hashimoto and I were there to appear on a live internet Game TV show called Ge-cha. The original plan was for me to give them a “Super Play” demonstration, but I don’t know if that now the game is out and I’ve been freed from my obligations, that I’ve also been abandoned by the gaming gods, but I kept making a series of basic mistakes and taking damage, but I really ended up crashing and burning… Now that Bayonetta is in everyone’s hands, I think that there will be many ‘Super Players’ coming out of the woodwork, so I won’t have to play Bayonetta in public anymore. At least, I hope so! LOL.

But putting that aside, recording the show itself was really a lot of fun. My deepest thanks to all those on the staff and those who appeared on camera.

Speaking of live shows, I have announcement to make… Producer Yusuke Hashimoto and I will be appearing live on a Nico Nico Live broadcast! Maybe I’ll be playing live…? Even if I screw things up, please be kind to me… Until next time!!

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Picture: Since I went to Shibuya, you know I had to have a Windows 7 Whopper at Burger King. I ended up leaving three of the beef patties behind…

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Miscellaneous

Bayonetta

Filed: Bayonetta, Community, Games, PlatinumGames

(NOTE: This post appeared on the Japanese Bayo Blog on October 28, 2009.)

Hideki Kamiya here… I bought an iPod touch thinking, “I can use this to screw around on the internet while laying in bed!” So I hopped into bed all excited only to find out that it doesn’t support the security settings on my router, and I am too lazy to change the settings. Thus, I am in bed laying like a sea otter with my heavy laptop on top of me. BTW – Why is the theme to Ōedo Untouchables (Ōedo Sōsamō) so damn cool? I’ve got it on heavy rotation.

It seems that silver members can finally download the Bayonetta demo, so I think lots of people are playing it now. However, lately I’ve been hearing a lot of comments that say “skipping these cutscenes is a pain in the butt!” We put selecting skip into the pause menu to make sure someone wouldn’t accidently skip the cutscenes, but there is also a “Quick Skip” in the game as well, so those playing over and over can access the skip function faster. (Please figure out the command yourself though.) Also, I’ve been hearing people say that the “Item Window” when you get a new item is annoying. The thing is, you only see it the first time you get that item, and there aren’t that many items that even trigger that window, so those of you who are going to play the hell out of the game don’t have anything to worry about in the final version.

What else… Oh yeah… There have been a lot of questions about secrets in the game. I’m sure that if we revealed all of these before the game came out, it would have a positive knock-on effect for sales of the game (LOL); however, for all of those looking forward to playing the game themselves, let’s keep the secrets of the game secret.

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Tokyo Game Show

Bayonetta

Filed: Bayonetta, Community, Games, PlatinumGames

(NOTE: This post originally appeared on the Japanese Bayo-blog on October 13, 2009.)

Been a long time, huh? Kamiya here, pleased that I was able to turn my recently purchased CD box set of the latest Beatles digital remasters, 20 years since they first appeared on CD, into MP3s. However, you know I’d really love to hear them on an excellent stereo system.

A little while ago, on the PlatinumGames homepage, our CEO Tatsuya Minami spoke about the PS3 version of Bayonetta. We’ve also received many opinions from users via the comments field. What I can say with complete conviction is that we want to tell you as much as we can as best we can, and above all, we want you to play our games. The demo of the game was also released on October 8 in Japan. Since we first revealed the game, I’ve always been talking about the “feeling of the game.” I never say, “I want you to buy our game.” Instead, I keep saying, “I want you to try our game!” I sincerely hope that everyone experiences what it feels like to play Bayonetta, and then make your decisions from there.

This is the only way I can broach the subject, so my apologies on that. As for this blog, there are plenty of things to cover, so let’s go through them one by one. First of all, there was Tokyo Game Show. I was busy with many things, so the novelty of a TGS report might have worn off; however, I still think I’d like to take a crack at writing one in obscurity.

Along with Hashimoto, I went to TGS for all four days, both the business days and the days open to the general public. Kai-san already mentioned it in his entry, but the Bayonetta booth was an incredibly success! Once the doors opened to the hall, there was already a 2 hour wait and the accompanying queue-controls, so there must have been tons of people who said “I came to check out Bayonetta, but I didn’t get the chance.” I really feel bad about what happened. While I was happy to see long lines, on the other hand, I really wanted everyone who wanted to play to get the chance, so I felt sad over this situation.

This TGS also holds a special place in my heart. Last year, we showed off the first gameplay footage of Bayonetta in a trailer only presentation, so there obviously wasn’t a Bayonetta booth proper. Even I didn’t really have a place to hang out, so I would just loiter around the show floor and then get dragged up all of a sudden. When we were on our way back, Hashimoto said to me, “Next year, we are going to make TGS Bayo’s.” I nodded broadly in assent, and this idea struck me as I pondered where we would be a year later.

So that brings us to this years TGS. Bayonetta had her own booth with a huge banner furled out for all to see, along with rows of demo stations lined up within. There was an indescribable feeling when I realized that this day had finally arrived.

Of course, I went to TGS to see people playing Bayonetta with my own eyes, but I also had a lot of media requests to take care of. To see so many people paying attention to Bayonetta, an original title, is something to be truly thankful for.

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Picture: A shot of the chaos at the Bayonetta booth. The booth was placed right at the entrance to the hall, with a huge screen showing the Bayonetta trailer for all to see, so perhaps many people got their first dose of Bayonetta from walking by.

We did some press with media personality Hatsune Matsushima, who came by the booth to do a booth report with Hashimoto and I providing commentary. (This was for Famitsu Wave DVD.)

It was a bit out of line, but I thought to myself, “I know she is kinda… No, she’s really cute, but having to put up with giggling girls who play around while knowing nothing about games is a pain in the butt.”(Sorry!) So I ended up letting Hashimoto do most of the commentary while I stood in the back and watched. When the game started up, she was recommended to go for Easy Automatic, but Matsushima-san brushed that aside and said, “I’ll play on Normal.” I looked over at her with disdain and thought, “You can’t handle that…” (I’m really sorry about all this…)

…Then she played. Once the game started up, Hashimoto gave her a quick controls tutorial, and then Matsushima-san unleashed tons of combos without any problems at all. Then she starts trying to dodge enemy attacks and pull off “Witch Time!?” Once she pulled off Witch Time, the fight actually tightened up, and the enemies in the game pushed her to the brink of death – one more hit and she was a goner. But she got through it beautifully! Then Beloved, the stage mid-boss, appeared and Hashimoto and I were all sweaty palmed with excitement thinking this might be the end after such a wonderful fight. But then right in front of us, Matsushima-san pulls off Witch Time over and over, with the end result being Beloved’s defeat. She didn’t even take any damage!

I found out later on that Matsushima-san is actually rather well versed in games. So well versed that she calls Okami “god-like,” and seems to know quite a bit about me. The fact that I kind of mocked her left me on my hands and knees in a fit of apology and soul-searching. I’m sorry… I’ll go ahead and get in the Iron Maiden now…

You can check out her blog entry (in Japanese) at the link below…
http://ameblo.jp/matsushimasu/entry-10350064567.html

Comedian duo America Zarigani both stopped by to play Bayonetta, but I was handling a press request so I wasn’t in the booth to actually say hello. However, when I came back their filming was over and they were taking a break, so I took that chance to chat them up. I’ve been really looking for an opportunity to speak with Yanagihara-san from the group. Reason being is that Yanagihara-san picked Okami as one of his favorite games in a Famitsu interview series with celebrities that took place quite a while back.

I thought… I just have to say thanks! Which led to my first near miss with Yanagihara-san at last year’s TGS. He walked right in front of me, but since he was filming at the time, I didn’t get the chance to try and talk to him. My second near miss came on the first business day of this year’s TGS. I was trudging my way to a meeting room for an interview when I saw Yanagihara-san right in front of me! But I was so flustered to suddenly see him that I just let him walk on by… I ended up going back to the hotel beating myself up for being such an idiot…

Which brings us to the second business day of TGS: I finished up the interview and came back to the Bayo-Booth where, miraculously, I was finally able to make contact with Yanagihara-san. Yanagihara-san was incredibly kind to me, even though I walked up to him all weird introducing myself all of a sudden as, “I’m Kamiya, the director of Okami.” Thanks so much, Yanagihara-san!

Besides Bayonetta, there was also another fun event to report. It was the stage event for Ghost Trick, by the Ace Attorney series’ very own Shu Takumi (AKA Takushu). Takushu and I know each other because he joined Capcom at the same time I did, and we were both “brought up” by Shinji Mikami in the old Production Studio No. 4. Takushu got ahold of me personally, and I ended up being a guest for the Ghost Trick stage event. The stage event was held once a day for each of the two public days, and each time, I ended up getting excited talking about all sorts of memories that I have no idea if they ended up helping the game or not. (LOL) Since I was a surprise guest, I wasn’t able to make an announcement about things ahead of time; however, I suppose a few of you figured it out and came to see me, right?

While I often go out for drinks, and hang out with Takushu in my private life, standing officially on the Capcom Stage really stirred up some deep emotions, and I came away with strong feelings of hope Capcom and PlatinumGames can strength this sort of relationship and do something interesting together in the future. Thanks to Takushu for asking me to be a part of this, as well as a special thanks to producer Hironobu Takeshita and all the people who gave it their all to make the stage event happen.

As for Ghost Trick itself… It would seem disingenuous of me to heap praise on it here, so I will spare you details (for those, check out the game’s official homepage), but what made me very happy was that our game, Bayonetta, and Takushu’s game Ghost Trick, were both announced as winners of the Japan Game Awards 2009 Future Awards at TGS this year.

We were so thrilled, that during the awards ceremony, Takushu and I agreed that we should take our trophies out with us for the next stage event. Well, they engrave the logo of the game onto the trophies, so they are the kind you have to give back after the ceremony, but kind of overdid it a bit and borrowed them for a while. Takushu and I then took the trophies out with us for the Ghost Trick stage event that took place right after the awards.

The Future Awards are given to titles that haven’t been released but are on the show floor and have garnered the greatest amount of anticipation. This year, the award was given to 12 titles, including our game. I’m not really all that interested in awards; however, when you are going out there with an original game, what becomes truly important is that first step of getting people to know the product. To receive this kind of an award, and possibly have even more people be aware of the game, is something I am thankful for.

Even though the award is labeled “Future,” of the 12 games to receive it this year, only 3 were original titles. It is indicative of the present and future of the games industry, and it makes me feel very sad. Thus, for Bayonetta and Ghost Trick to hold on and be included in the limited number of original titles make both Takushu and I happy from the bottom of our hearts. When I was on stage with Takushu holding our trophies together, I was almost moved to tears. I held out though, because if I would have cried right in front of Takushu it would have ruined my reputation. LOL.

Since our game, Bayonetta, is already a part of the defined genre of 3D Action, I think that labeling Ghost Trick as a game of the “Future” is truly appropriate, as everything in the game feels completely fresh. As a fan of the Ace Attorney games, I’d feel like I’d love to see another Takushu Ace Attorney game, but since he is one of the few creators to be able to come up with something strong enough to establish a brand, I want to look forward to his new game, and I want to put my hopes in… No, I want to support Takushu himself, as a strong willed creator who will look after the future of the game’s industry. .

http://www.capcom.co.jp/ghosttrick/

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Picture: Kai-san mentioned it on his blog, but I (went rogue) and made an original t-shirt which I wore on stage. Kai-san was picky about the pose to make sure it was a show of love to the original that inspired it, and Shimazaki was picky about the logo to make sure it was a show of love to the original that inspired it. I printed it out, and had my Dad iron it on to a t-shirt for me back home. It is a treasured “original Kamiya.” My Dad decided that he wanted one too, so we made an extra.

I met lots of other people at TGS as well, like Masahiro Sakurai, who stopped by the booth. We chatted for a bit, and he gave me some words of support. Thanks so much!

The famed “Koba,” now on the Sengoku Basara and Devil May Cry series, along with Devil May Cry 4’s Hideaki Itsuno also stopped by the booth. Koba told me that, “Hideo Kojima has something to talk to you about regarding Bayonetta.” I was worried that he was going to give me a lecture and I’d get depressed, so I didn’t end up going to say hello. (Sorry…)

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Picture: Bayonetta in the background with Hiroyuki “Koba” Kobayashi. We will do something together one day.

At the SEGA booth, I was able to have a chat with Shuntaro Tanaka from Valkyaria Chronicles. He was showing his latest game, Valkyaria Chronicles 2, at the show, but I was surprised to hear that he went to college with Takushu! Shuntaro-san and I talked about lots of things, but they will have to remain secret for now. (LOL) Shuntaro-san, I’m not the kind of guy to say narrow-minded crap like “Well, the world’s are different, so I’m not so sure,” so if the users will have a good time, let’s put that plan into action!

http://valkyria2.jp/

The girls filling the role of “booth companion,” helping players through the demo, also seemed to take a liking to Bayonetta. I thought it might have been just lip service at first, but then I was asked for my autograph, which got the cherry boy in me excited. Basically, when a girl lends me words of support, I want to believe they are true. Guys are like that. Now if only I had written my email address along with my autograph…

But the thing that left the most lasting impression was getting to get in touch with with all the fans who took time to come to the booth. This is the best part of the show! Since I don’t really have a chance to talk to everyone except at these kinds of events, but getting to meet face-to-face and hear everyone’s words of support is a really big source of encouragement. It also my reward for sacrificing my youth in the service of all the games I have made over the years. (LOL) And taking pictures with female fans, you know I wrap my arm around their shoulder… Hehehehe…

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Picture: A bottle of adult beverage I received from a fan. It’s called “Kamiya”!? I also got lots of tasty treats from other fans.

Well… There were lots of great things that happened, but I was so wrapped up in Bayonetta’s appearance at the show, that I didn’t really taken many pictures. Kind of a waste, huh… But for a game show that spawned so many memories, there is no way I could forget it. I don’t know how many years it will be until I get another opportunity to go to the show with my title having its own booth, but for now I just want to ruminate on the memories of this year’s show and look forward to Bayonetta’s release.

So that wraps up my TGS report, but there was something else I want to bring up. The day after TGS finished (September 28), I was asked to record a web radio show called Gaming Diner Table, so I went along with Hashimoto-san to the recording. We were joined by host and media personality Tomomi Isomura-san (AKA Isochi), and we got to cover lots of topics regarding Bayonetta, so I hope you are looking forward to listening to the show. Blogs tend to end up being some kind of stiff reports, and since I want to be as close to our fans as possible, I try to speak like you are here with me, whether it be this radio recording or otherwise. Whether it was Isochi-san creating an environment where it was easy to talk about things I don’t know, but I think I might have been a little too direct. (LOL)

The first airing is on 10/8 and it will be broadcast for 4 straight weeks. Even I’m looking forward to it.

http://game.biglobe.ne.jp/colweb/shoku/

One more thing. I wanted to tell you about the In-Store Demo we held on 10/3. Starting on this day and continuing forward, you’ll be able to play Bayonetta around the country at various in-store events. Since it was the first day of the series, Hashimoto-san and I decided to check out four stores in the Tokyo area to see how things were going. First up we visited Sakuraya in Shinjuku, along with Bic Camera and Yodobashi Camera, both also in Shinjuku. It seemed like it rained in the morning, but even so, a great many came to the events and they were very lively.

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Picture: We first went to Sakuraya. Here is what it was like. It was actually raining a bit during the event, but thankfully, it didn’t rain too hard. It was lunchtime, so maybe that is why people seem sparse, but right after this a nice line formed.

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Picture: And here is what Yodobashi Camera was like. It was around 3PM, so more people were out and about on the streets. People walking by would stop and watch what was happening on the screens.

In the evening, we went to Kasai, and a local game store there called Games Ma-ya. Games Ma-ya holds a really special place in my heart because they also held an in-store demo for Okami. With Bayonetta, it is a much easier game to grasp the concept of, and it is highly anticipated, so there are many stores participating in the in-store demos; however, with Okami, there were only three stores that signed up. Games Ma-ya paid attention to Okami back then, and gave it a really big push at retail. That’s why these days, I could never ever turn my back on Kasai.

Ma-ya did a wonderful job of supporting Bayonetta for us. During Okami, only 2 or 3 people came to check things out, so I was able to watch them playing quite carefully (LOL), but this time, the Bayonetta event was so crowded that I wasn’t even able to get near the monitors because of so many people in the shops. The inside of the store was covered with Bayonetta posters and Bayonetta displays, which kind of made it seem like the day was another place where we “made it Bayonetta’s.”

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Picture: Hashimoto gazes on the Bayonetta display. It looks like he is having an emotional experience. There were also Bayonetta flags.

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Picture: One side of the store was all Bayonetta! There were tons of people inside as well. Thanks so much to everyone at Games Ma-ya.

On the same day, there was also an event in the Kansai region of Japan (Western region which includes Osaka/Kyoto/Kobe). Sofmap’s Namba Saurus No.1 store held the event, which unfortunately I was unable to attend. But members of the Bayonetta team did sneak-in incognito to check things out. It seems like there were tons of people at this event, too. Getting to experience these things personally is a really emotional event for the staff involved. These events are, of course, for our users to have a good time; however, they are also a source of excitement for the development team as well.

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Picture: This was the event in Osaka. If you pre-ordered at these events you got a special mouse pad; however, there were so many people that it seems some stores ran out. My sincere apologies to those who weren’t able to get one.

There was so much I had saved up to write about that this blog ended up incredibly long. It’s now October, and the release of Bayonetta is knocking at our door. Of course, we’re getting really excited here too. If there is anything new I can report, I will try to do it as quickly as possible. Well, that wraps it up for now.

P.S.: I forgot to mention the train station ads that are up in the Kanto region (Eastern Japanese region including Tokyo/Yokohama). They are up in 36 stations along the Yamanote train line for a total of 44 ads! They will be up from 10/1 until 10/31, so I absolutely want you all to take the chance to see them for yourself! (Actually, I haven’t even seen them yet, so I will check them out the next time I am in Tokyo on business.)

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Picture: The model we used in the ads is a Ukrainian model named Olena. She is devoted to her studies, so once her job here was over, she returned back to her hometown in the Ukraine. Maybe it was because working as Bayonetta was excruciating… I don’t think so, at least.

P.P.S: I went back home before TGS, so I figure I’ll give a little promotional time to Shinshu.

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Picture: The inside of Matsumoto Station. This is the Soba noodle shop on the Ooito Line platform. Inside they do have seats, but I like standing at the counter and slurping my noodles while feeling the Shinshu breeze.

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Picture: I picked the tempura and egg soba bowl. The uneven thickness of the noodles give the food a rich texture that really piques one’s appetite.

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Picture: Which is why I ordered another bowl.

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Picture: A meal from Tenhou, a shop in Matsumoto that tends to its student clientele. Vegetable stir-fry, gyoza pot stickers, a half-boiled egg, soup, kimchi, and rice all for only 680 yen!

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Picture: A Swiss-style cream-puff from Masamura. I eat this every time I return home. The down-home plate that my Mom used to serve this really brings back nostalgic memories for me.

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Very Easy Automatic

Bayonetta

Filed: Bayonetta, Games, PGTV, PlatinumGames

Hi all. Bayonetta Director Hideki Kamiya here. At long last, here we go! Gameplay video of Very Easy Automatic Mode (AKA Mommy Mode)! Writing a ton of words would be a disservice, so instead, check out this video.

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This blog content is intended for mature audiences. Click more to verify your age and view the video.

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A Notice

Bayonetta

Filed: Bayonetta, Community, Games, PlatinumGames

Hi everyone. Miss me? “I’ll-take-soba-over-udon-any-day” Hideki Kamiya again. A few days ago I had an interview with Famitsu and we covered a wide variety of things. To have media take this thing that people (at the very least most likely) think of as that weird Bayo-something game from that Platinum-something-or-another company (LOL) and push it worldwide is something that makes me extremely happy. . We may be doing this blog on our own in relative obscurity; however, no matter how good a product you create, without the help of people to spread the word, it is never going to end up in user’s hands. Once we get people to get their “heads around” a game, then we can get them to get their “hands around” a controller. Then they can make their own decisions. We want to keep working hard to make that happen.

By the way, what we talked about really wasn’t limited to just Bayonetta, but instead ended up being more about my thoughts on action games as a whole. I ran my mouth sounding all high and might on a litany of topics (LOL), but what I really hope is that you feel where I am coming from even a little bit, and that it translates into some interest in Bayonetta.

I know I promised that my next blog would be about Easy Automatic mode; however, that one is going to have to wait until next week. I’m going to use a gameplay movie to show you what I mean, but I was a bit busy so I didn’t have time to record it… I’ll make sure to put it out before the Feel Bayonetta event we are holding in Japan, so if you were selected to be there, you can take a look at the movie and then give it a try for yourself if you feel so inclined. …Of course, I bet everyone who applied to the event is probably a pretty hard-core gamer. (LOL)

Anyways, I mentioned in my last blog that I filmed a TV show, and now that the air date has been decided, I can share it all with you:

(This show will air on Japanese TV)
BS11 TV Lecture Series “THE WALL OF GAME”
Aug 22, 10:30PM – 11PM
http://www.bs11.jp/hobby/

Sorry to keep pushing these appearances! (I’m so happy about it, I even told my mom to make sure to watch!) We don’t really cover Bayonetta as much as my over all experiences in making games. What was difficult. What was fun. It brought back a lot of memories to discuss. I’ve also got the chance to give a pep talk to people who want to join the industry, so if you want grab your family and everyone watch it together!

That about wraps it up for now!

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Bonus Cackling Image No. 1:
Alright! Time to make you 3D, too! This is the cross-view version.

ベヨ立体_平行法
Bonus Cackling Image No. 2:
And here is the parallel version. Give it a shot!

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