The background of Bomberman isn't set in stone.
FUJIWARA: I think of Bomberman's world as something unique to every
person. For instance, person A might think he's a human being, while person
B might think he's a robot. Therefore, I want to cherish each person's
individual view, and try not to push against the ideas people may have.
FUJIWARA: But there's more to a game than its universe, the game's
qualities are important. Although it's not the central focus, I like to
reflect modern trends in mini-games.
FUJIWARA: Super Bomberman 3 has the PK Bomber mini-game, which
came out shortly after the J.League soccer league began. And I couldn't
resist including the UFO catcher/crane game "Bomber Catcher" in Saturn Bomberman.
Where do you look to find that kind of information?
FUJIWARA: I read CoroCoro Comic. (laughs) The fold-out spread at
the beginning always has the latest information. I'll even play with these
toys myself, and sometimes I find myself pining for the prizes they offer
each month. I try to see things the way a child would look at it, and even
check out the toy sections in department stores.
And the demo kiosks too?
FUJIWARA: Yes. I'll pretend to buy games so I can overhear the kids'
discussions. (laughs) A child may be playing with extreme passion, and I
think to myself, they must be a passionate student too. Whether our games
are popular or unpopular, I want to make games children truly enjoy.
Do you read letters sent in from fans?
FUJIWARA: Yes, I do. Lots of them are from mothers writing their child's
opinions from them. It makes me happy.
When have you taken their suggestions onboard?
FUJIWARA: I omitted the 2-player co-operative mode in Super Bomberman
2. In response to that, I received a letter from a mother asking, "can't
both my children play?" So I brought it back in 3. (laughs)
The 2-player co-operative mode is also a chance for parents and
children to bond and communicate.
FUJIWARA: I think 2-player co-operative play is a chance to do
things you can't do alone. So in Super Bomberman 4, I put items in
places you couldn't access by yourself. While making the game I was
imagining... say, a child trying to get past a wall but they can't do it
alone, so they call in their mother for some assistance.
MIZUNO: I always say he's over-thinking it. (laughs)