Staying True to Metal Gear


Filed: Community, Games, Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance, PlatinumGames

Hey. I’m Kenichirou Yoshimura, a former designer at PlatinumGames who recently turned freelance. I designed enemies and side characters in Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance.

Three days before I was about to leave Platinum to go freelance, without much left to do, I strolled over to the nearby Rising team to see if they needed any help. “I could design something small, if you wanted,” I said. Then I saw their designs – the art style could not have been further from the Metal Gear universe. Immediately, I slammed my fist on the director’s table. “You cannot put this in a Metal Gear game!” I told him. Before I knew it, my last three days at Platinum turned into over half a year.

I’ve played through the entire Metal Gear series and I share the same impressions as so many other fans – Shinkawa-san does unbelievable character and mech design. I collect all the art books like everyone else, (not to mention that I love Z.O.E., too.) so if you had told me I was going to be working on a Metal Gear game someday, I never would have believed you. Joining the team, I was as excited as I was terrified.

The first character I designed was Raiden’s rival, Sam. The director asked for “something samurai-like”, so I roughed out a few ideas.

A rough design for Sam.

A rough design for Sam

A rough design for Sam.

A rough design for Sam.

Another rough design for Sam.

Another rough design for Sam.












He looks pretty naked in the first sketch here. In the second version of the sketches we’ve got him battle-ready…

The near-final rough design.

The near-final rough design.

After thinking over some different styles, we finally settled on going in the direction of that second pass. The key points to look at here are:
-Asymmetrical design. His right arm has been enhanced for faster blade drawing.
-The top of the sheath is structured like a gun from the inside out, again for enhancing blade drawing speed.

I argued with the director for a long time whether to have his base color be black with a white right arm, or be white with a black arm. I wanted the black body/white arm personally, but we opted to go with a white body/black arm to contrast with Raiden’s black color scheme, which I think was the right decision in the end.

Usually we’d be close to the final design at this stage, but to have things be true to Metal Gear, we needed to add that extra layer of detail. Once I got into it, all I can say is the detail is insane! (Every single part has it’s own specialized warnings and labels!) But even going through that process, I can’t say I was an expert on what it meant to be truly “Metal Gear.” I had to keep trying and failing, but by keeping all those Shinkawa-san artbooks close at hand, I was able to accomplish what I set out to do.

Sam's final design.

Sam’s final design.

Sam's final design - waist up.

Sam’s final design – waist up.

Sam's final weapon design.

Sam’s final weapon design.

Sam final design detail.

Sam final design detail.

Sam's weapon "saya" final design.

Sam’s weapon “saya” final design.

The sheath was designed by Platinum’s military buff, Muneyuki “Johnny” Kotegawa.

With these designs, my first priority was making sure that when a fan of Metal Gear plays Rising, they would feel they fit right alongside Shinkawa-san’s. I wanted what I designed to be deserving of the Metal Gear name.

So while Konami gave me the green light on most of my work with their initial check, next in line was always a meeting with Shinkawa-san, where he would tell me his opinion of my work directly (which, of course, scared me to death).

“You’ve set my mind at ease,” he said. I was elated.

The Metal Gear staff work hard to stay true to the Metal Gear world; PlatinumGames works hard to ensure quality gameplay. The chance to work with these two different sides of the project has taught me a lot. I’m truly honored to have been a part of this one!

All that’s left now is hoping you guys pick up the game and have a great time.
Until then… Farewell!

A picture of Sam that Shinkawa-san drew for me in an artbook during our meeting!

A picture of Sam that Shinkawa-san drew for me in an artbook during our meeting!

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PG Break Episode 06


Filed: Anarchy Reigns, Community, Games, PGTV, PlatinumGames, Vanquish

PG Break returns from a week off with Anarchy Reigns character announcements, Vanquish figures, and general stupidity. Also, Hideki Kamiya’s head.

Show Notes:

– Around the World –
The Crimson Dragon sisters join the cast of Anarchy Reigns! Check out their character clips here!
The Vanquish Play Arts Kai figures are out! Pick up Sam or Bogey (Zaitsev).
The amazing Anarchy Reigns team battle video (in Japanese)!

From JP’s Twitter:

A follow-up to the team battle vid – The goal is to kill the other team commander. Classes are assigned based on your individual kills. Classes are re-assigned during the course of the match to top players on team. You can be Squad Leader, Spec Ops, or Medic. Each has buffs.

Feel free to hit up “Kaiser” Taura (@pg_taura) for tips and tricks. Or just to call him pretty.

-Community Spotlight-

Win a Vanquish figure! Make JP laugh the hardest and get your choice of Sam or Bogey. Just post using the #PGLIVE hashtag to win. The rules are simple – Make it something you can tweet, make it safe for work, and preferably make it PlatinumGames related. The best tweet that takes JP’s mind of impending E3 crunch will get a toy for their trouble! If you have any questions, ask them on the forums at

Young Nicholas was wrong. Kenji Saito’s favorite Metal Gear is MGS1 because of the awesome characters.

The great Japanese Max Anarchy site is coming in English.

– Interact and Follow –

Join the PlatinumGames Community
Like us on Facebook

Follow us on Twitter for all the latest updates!

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The Secrets of Bayonetta’s Models (Updated)


Filed: Bayonetta, Community, Games, PlatinumGames

Hi. I’m Kenichiro Yoshimura, Bayonetta’s modeler.

Well… Since Bayonetta is now in everyone’s hands one way or another (released in Japan, and the demo is out worldwide), I thought I would pinpoint a few things on the models I created.

First of all, I wanted to go into the differences between Bayonetta and Jeanne.

Even though the bones (the joints needed to make the model move) are shared between the two, and their bodies share the same basic balance…


…Jeanne’s got smaller boobs!

…And a smaller butt, too!


If you lay them on top of each other, this is what it looks like.

It also seems like Kamiya-san is partial to Jeanne. I’m with Bayo on this one.

Next up is Sapientia.


I took the liberty of throwing in some of the things I like and added a liberal amount of mecha elements that weren’t in the original concept design.


These are the exhausts. I airbrushed on some clear blue and some clear orange to give it that distinctive “scorched” look.


The wings are a brake and clutch setup. When Bayonetta summons the Infernal Demon Madama Butterfly, this is what the demon uses to take hold of Sapientia. (At least, that is how I justified it in my head.)


Part of the head is the command bridge of a warship. There is probably an Applaud at the helm with a crew of Affinities manning the ship. (Again, how I justified it in my head.)


There are caution marks around the body. On the wings, it says “NO STEP.” (But you can’t really read it) The wings are structurally weak, so you can’t stand on them. (Another justification off the top of my head.)


The writing above the heads on each of its legs has meaning. This one says System-E in our angelic font. System-E is the successor to SEGA’s System 16 arcade board. (Or so Kamiya-san devised…) I guess you could say that our mecha-angel Sapientia is powered by a SEGA arcade board.

UPDATE: Sorry! The thing about System-E is actually mistaken!! System-E is apparently the arcade version of the SEGA Mark III (Master System)! What I meant to say was that written on Sapientia’s head (now pictured above) is SG-1000000, which Kamiya-san’s set up as the theoretical follow-up to SEGA’s SG-1000 game system. Never the less, Sapientia runs on SEGA hardware. (And the legs are on Mark III…)

So now you have an idea of some of the small details that I was particular about putting in. If you pay close attention to these sorts of places when playing the game, you might find even more new details. Bye bye!

(NOTE: Higher resolution versions of the concept art in this post can be found on the PlatinumGames Inc. Flickr Page)

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