DUBAI: ‘Clockwork Aquario,’ a Japanese action-platform video game that was in development since 1992, received the Guinness World Record for the “longest time between a video game project start & final release.”
After more than 28 years, the game was finally officially released at the end of November 2021 in Japan and Europe, and mid-December in the US on PS4 & Nintendo Switch.
Speaking exclusively to Arab News Japan, Nishizawa Ryuichi, creator of Wonder Boy and Monster World series said about the record is and honor and comes as an inspiration for everyone involved in the development and launch of the game.
“We knew that this project was going to be a daunting task from the beginning, given that we were trying to restore a game that was created 29 years ago and make it work on the latest gaming platforms,” Ryuichi said. “When we actually began development, we were met with a number of challenges, and I’m sure the engineers in charge had a tough time. I am truly humbled by the conscientiousness of those in the development team, who did not let adversity hamper them in completing the project. I would like to take this opportunity to thank them.”
The creator said the team had to recreate images with their data lost during the restoration process. He added that even the title screen and the backgrounds of some boss battles were missing.
“To restore them, we called in the original designing staff and spent many months constructing the images pixel by pixel with the same touch as back then. This ended up being more difficult than we thought, much like restoring a centuries-old painting that had deteriorated over time,” Ryuichi explained.
“I would be remiss if I didn’t mention Dennis Mendel, who was the real driving force behind this project, propelling it to completion and its launch worldwide. So strong was his passion for this project that he was able and willing to bring to fruition this seemingly reckless endeavor. His love for games, which echoed in every inch of his body, could even be felt poignantly by us here in Japan,” he added.
Shinichi Sakamoto, Monster World & Wonder Boy series composer, also spoke to Arab News Japan about the win.
“This really, really should be seen as an amazing achievement in the gaming world. Because this really is something great and to see it recognized as a Guinness World Record makes me so happy, congratulations,” he said.
Sakamoto explained that in 1991, the performance of home game consoles was competing with that of arcade systems, and household consoles with CD drives were already at the top in terms of memory.
Clockwork Aquario was rejected due to poor results in arcade center location tests, he said. “But this time, we were able to release the game in a way I never thought possible.”
“This game is truly as it was, a so-called time capsule of a game,” Sakamoto added.