No. 24

There’s a girl named Kiri-chan in Sootpolis city of
Hoenn region.
I wrote her message.

I wrote most of the message that appears when
she gives you berries, because that Kiri is
a special character for me.
Near the end of the game’s development, I asked
to include her without letting many people know
about it.

Kiri is the name of my daughter who was born in September.
That’s why I came up with that message,
with my hope for her.

At that time, Pokemon Ruby and Sapphire was almost complete
and we were mostly debugging the game, but
there still were decisions to be made.
And while I was beside my wife who was giving
birth to my daughter,
I would get mail on my mobile, such as,
‘The feature for yata-yata is going to be like this, OK?’
In many ways it was a tension-filled experience.

The message you want to deliver will not arrive
at its destination, and the message you didn’t mean
to send ends up being delivered.
It’s an interesting phenomenon, isn’t it?

Time flies and my daughter is now 2 years old.
So are Pokemon Ruby and Sapphire.

See ya.

No. 23

Today, I went to CESA Game Awards Ceremony.

We received ‘Award for excellence’ and ‘Best Sales Award.’
It’s such an honor.

In particular, winning ‘Best Sales Award’ means
that a lot of people played our games, so
it’s a prize that means the most to me as a director.

I think it’s a result of our efforts to achieve
the following two goals in one package;
a game that’s easy to play, and a game that
presents a new way of playing using the wireless function.
(These goals must have been very hard for our staff,
but they all did a great job.)

We think Pokemon FireRed and LeafGreen are the foundation
for our next games, Pokemon Diamond and Pearl.
If you haven’t played these yet, please try them.

In receiving these wonderful awards, I’m really grateful
for all of you who are always supportive of us.
Thank you very much!

No. 22

Today, I went to the Nintendo DS launch party.

Once again I realized it’s a piece of hardware that
expands the dream of gaming with many interesting features.
This machine is really cool.

As announced at the ceremony by Mr. Ishihara of
the Pokemon company, we at Game Freak are
in the midst of developing

Pokemon Diamond, and
Pokemon Pearl.

There is nothing I can say about these games
at this moment, but we are hard at work night
and day to make the ultimate Pokemon software.

No joking. It’s going to be really fun.

I’d like to ask for your support and encouragement!

See ya.

No. 21

In each of Pokemon Ruby, Sapphire, FireRed, LeafGreen,
and Emerald, we included a tiny bit of braille codes.

Today braille is found in many places.
Floor guides, elevators, restrooms, cans of beer,
and handrails on station platforms, etc.

But I suspect most people are unfamiliar with how
it works, much less capable of reading it.
In fact I had no idea either.

I first became interested in braille when
I saw an information board at Shimokitazawa station (in Tokyo).

As I saw a mass of people at the station,
I wondered how many of them had the knowledge
of braille and could read it.
Until then I had thought that braille was primarily
for the blind who read it by touching the dots,
and that it was OK if I had no idea of what it was.

But when I thought about it more,
I realized “you didn’t have to touch the dots to read it.”

So, we put in braille codes in some parts of our games
because I thought it would be nice if lots of people
who play Pokemon would become a little more familiar
with braille, even without knowing it.

We didn’t want to educate them, so we tried to let them
discover braille by themselves and be interested in it
naturally as they play the video games.
It’s an approach that doesn’t force them to learn it,
but that makes them want to learn it.

A society where people take it for granted that
most people have some knowledge of braille
and are capable of reading some of it.
A society where you can work and play together
with other people no matter who they are.

For us, such an ideal world forms a foundation
for Pokemon games.

I hope our players, even a small number of them,
will find it meaningful.

Braille is becoming popular in foreign countries too.
We have braille in our games we sell in North America,
Germany, France, Italy, and Spain, in their own languages.

Many thanks to those who cooperated in working on

See ya.