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Weirdness: Resident Evil Creator Shinji Mikami Got A Copy Of Willow On The NES When He Joined Capcom

Posted by Damien McFerran

That's some incentive

Shinji Mikami may now be working hard on The Evil Within at his new studio Tango Gameworks, but he made his name creating titles for Capcom — most notably Resident Evil.

He's been speaking to Famitsu about how he got started in the game industry, and has revealed that he was given a rather unusual gift when his employment was confirmed with Capcom: a copy of the NES (or in Mikami's case, Famicom) title Willow. Based on the 1988 Ron Howard fantasy epic starring Warwick Davies and Val Kilmer, the game was apparently offered to new starters.

In the interview, Mikami explains that he didn't see himself as a games designer to begin with, and his first connection with Capcom was when he visited a company buffet-style presentation with a friend in the hope of getting a free meal. Intrigued by a speech given by Capcom's president Kenzo Tsujimoto, Mikami decided to take an entry exam in the hope of scoring a job:

All the results, including whether you were hired or not, were announced the same day you took the test. It was a very unorthodox system. At the very end, people who were hired were given a copy of the NES game, Willow, but I didn't get a copy.

Mikami went away dejected, but reveals that he later got a phone call telling him that he had indeed secured a job at Capcom — and his copy of Willow was in the post. The rest, as they say, is history.


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User Comments (23)



arronishere said:

I was reading and got to the part were he didn't get a copy of Willow and was gonna comment that the title was wrong until I go to the last sentance.



Zach said:

I was going to comment that I was reading and got to the part were he didn't get a copy of Willow and was gonna comment that the title was wrong until I go to the last sentence until I got to the third comment



Nintenjoe64 said:

I am pretty sure I had Willow on C64 or Amiga and it was nothing like the NES one which looks surprisingly good.



Giygas_95 said:

Hopes of a free meal lead to one of the most well known video game franchises around!

I guess that's sort of fitting when you consider zombies are always trying to get a free meal...



banacheck said:

The arcade version was good, it was different to the Nes version but for its time it was quite good.

I cannot wait for The Evil Within, what I've seen of that looks good.



Captain_Gonru said:

That, and Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves, are two NES games I point to when anyone brings up the "movie licensed games are always bad" topic.



WaveGhoul said:

Ahhh, Mikami. One of my favorite game developers along side Miyamoto, Inafune ect. I'm not too familiar with NES-willow, but i was pretty heavy into the Arcade release. I'm still a little PO'd that they're not releasing The Evil Within on the Wii U....

Just imagine using pointer controls to aim OR using the Gamepad's 2nd screen in fun & unique ways...I'd be extremely interested and open to the idea rather just whipping out another traditionally controlled 3D survival horror game...



Ryno said:

What do Shinji Mikami and I have in common?

Answer: A copy of Willow!



micronean said:

I only remember the movie. It was so-so. It was like the Ewoks, but without the cute fur. And Val Kilmer. And an ugly magic wand.



MadAdam81 said:

Willow is one of the better fantasy movies out there, people always go on about Lord of the Rings or Game of Thrones etc, and most of those rarely actually read or watch much fantasy and have no idea that there are much better stuff out there.
It's still no Discworld, but Willow is pretty good, and a good family movie as well.



IceRod said:

Willow for NES is actually a great game that has aged very well. I still own my boxed NES copy and have beaten it several times. It is still playable now and has a Zelda feel to it. I actually loved the arcade version as well, although I really loved the movie, so I am probably a little biased.

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