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NEWS: John Kirby, Namesake of Nintendo's 'Kirby' Character, Passes Away at 79




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Unknow0059



Joined: 23 Mar 2019
Posts: 22
PostPosted: Mon Oct 07, 2019 2:00 am Reply with quote
Damn. Well...

Rest in peace.
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MarshalBanana



Joined: 31 Aug 2014
Posts: 3568
PostPosted: Mon Oct 07, 2019 4:18 am Reply with quote
I thought he passed away a few years ago, it is getting hard to keep track of who is still with us and who isn't.
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LadyKuzunoha



Joined: 18 May 2011
Posts: 48
Location: United States
PostPosted: Mon Oct 07, 2019 12:06 pm Reply with quote
^ You may be thinking of Mario Segale, who was reportedly the inspiration for renaming Jumpman to Mario when Nintendo was working on Donkey Kong back in the day. He passed away last year.
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Fred Lougee



Joined: 01 Oct 2018
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PostPosted: Mon Oct 07, 2019 1:47 pm Reply with quote
The original Donkey Kong arcade game came out when I was in high school...yes, I am that many years old..and I think that if Universal had won that lawsuit things would have gone much differently.

The entire console game industry tanked in 1982 when one of the game companies released a very poorly conceived game based on the hit movie E.T.: The Extraterrestrial for, IIRC, the Atari platform. The consensus in the business world was that home console gaming was history, never to return. People were going to arcades for video games, the PC was invading people's homes bringing games with, first text adventures like Oregon Trail, then games with 8-bit graphics. But some people didn't give up on the home console idea. Sega released it's Genesis platform which sold well initially, until the NES hit the market because it had something which the Genesis didn't: A battery in the game cartridge which allowed for the player to save game data. Immediately Nintendo owned the home console market and was not challenged until Sony released the Playstation several years later.

But back that up. If Universal wins the lawsuit what happens? They probably start demanding a huge slice of the profits from the Donkey Kong arcade game and any future use of the name. Yamauchi-Sama says "I'll be sunbathing in January in Sapporo before that happens." and cuts his losses, sends the R&D squad to make another hit arcade game. Whether they do or don't, it doesn't matter because the research capital that went into designing the NES came primarily from Donkey Kong. It probably would have been Mario Bros. anyway, but that would have pushed back release of the NES for three years and given Sega a better chance to lock the market. Also would have given someone else, perhaps Atari, to come out with a console which allowed the player to save game data.

Speculating of course, but I believe that Kirby's actions did more than just save Nintendo a few million dollars. It pretty well provided them a huge boost which they deserved.
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BadNewsBlues



Joined: 21 Sep 2014
Posts: 3872
PostPosted: Mon Oct 07, 2019 2:28 pm Reply with quote
Fred Lougee wrote:
But some people didn't give up on the home console idea. Sega released it's Genesis platform which sold well initially, until the NES hit the market


Sure you didn't mean to say Sega Master System?

The Genesis didn't hit the market until 88/89 The NES had already been out for 5-6 years by the time the Genesis hit. And even then the Famicom had released first in 83 while the Master System didn't come out til 85/86/87 for the Japanese, American, & European Markets.


Fred Lougee wrote:

Whether they do or don't, it doesn't matter because the research capital that went into designing the NES came primarily from Donkey Kong. It probably would have been Mario Bros. anyway, but that would have pushed back release of the NES for three years and given Sega a better chance to lock the market.


Apparently the Master System wasn't terribly popular when it launched in it's home market. And did no better anywhere else (bar Brazil). Not helping was Nintendo preventing publisher's from making ports of their games for other systems at the time in addition to the system being poorly marketed.

Fred Lougee wrote:

Also would have given someone else, perhaps Atari, to come out with a console which allowed the player to save game data.


With Atari being one of the key players responsible for the crash I don't think anything changes for them regardless.
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MarshalBanana



Joined: 31 Aug 2014
Posts: 3568
PostPosted: Mon Oct 07, 2019 4:20 pm Reply with quote
BadNewsBlues wrote:
Apparently the Master System wasn't terribly popular when it launched in it's home market. And did no better anywhere else (bar Brazil). Not helping was Nintendo preventing publisher's from making ports of their games for other systems at the time in addition to the system being poorly marketed.
It did do very well in Europe, it was the first games console i ever played.
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Northlander



Joined: 10 Feb 2009
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PostPosted: Mon Oct 07, 2019 8:12 pm Reply with quote
Aw man, it wasn't that many years ago since I read the article about how this guy served Universal Studios a big piece of humble pie on Nintendo's behalf over Donkey Kong.
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Dessa



Joined: 14 Jul 2004
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PostPosted: Mon Oct 07, 2019 10:21 pm Reply with quote
I read on twitter an interview that said that Kirby wasn't directly named after him, but that "Kirby" was on the short list for names for the character, and between his actions and the "cuteness" of the name, they went with it.
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Fred Lougee



Joined: 01 Oct 2018
Posts: 104
PostPosted: Tue Oct 08, 2019 1:54 pm Reply with quote
BadNewsBlues wrote:
Fred Lougee wrote:
But some people didn't give up on the home console idea. Sega released it's Genesis platform which sold well initially, until the NES hit the market


Sure you didn't mean to say Sega Master System?

The Genesis didn't hit the market until 88/89 The NES had already been out for 5-6 years by the time the Genesis hit. And even then the Famicom had released first in 83 while the Master System didn't come out til 85/86/87 for the Japanese, American, & European Markets.


Fred Lougee wrote:

Whether they do or don't, it doesn't matter because the research capital that went into designing the NES came primarily from Donkey Kong. It probably would have been Mario Bros. anyway, but that would have pushed back release of the NES for three years and given Sega a better chance to lock the market.


Apparently the Master System wasn't terribly popular when it launched in it's home market. And did no better anywhere else (bar Brazil). Not helping was Nintendo preventing publisher's from making ports of their games for other systems at the time in addition to the system being poorly marketed.

Fred Lougee wrote:

Also would have given someone else, perhaps Atari, to come out with a console which allowed the player to save game data.


With Atari being one of the key players responsible for the crash I don't think anything changes for them regardless.


Master System...

Gah, it's been years so things get blurred. Yeah. That's what I meant.

I did some research on RKO, the studio that made, well, not the original King Kong movie, but the iconic one starring Faye Wray. The original was a silent from the '20s which is interesting only as an historical footnote. Mostly got what I already knew from the Wiki page, that the studio had been one of the big players in the heyday of the "Studio Era", from the beginning of "talkies" through the war years.

Where they began to get into trouble was when Howard Hughes bought the operation. Hughes was notoriously an obsessive/compulsive with his fingers in too many pies who micromanaged everything. He made Citizen Kane starring Orson Wells as a personal affront to newspaper magnate William Randolph Hurst, it's regarded as one of the greatest movies ever by some people (not me) but everything else that came out of the studio during his ownership was substandard. In the early 1950s he sold the studio the General Tire. There were in the process of building a broadcast empire, lots of radio stations, it eventually became the Mutual Radio Network. Ho hum, another day in corporate America. The bosses at General Tire decided that the studio was unsalvagable so they closed it in 1958 and sold the property. RKO General was the company which existed to manage the copyrights for the intellectual properties of RKO Pictures. Probably just some guy in an office in the HQ of General Tire wearing three other hats.

The Universal came along in the late '70s with a blockbuster remake of King Kong, directed by Dino De Laurentis, starring Jessica Lange and Jeff Bridges, with the big ape climbing the World Trade Center. Now that I think about it, that might have been the first time Jeff Bridges had a beard for a role, so genesis of "The Dude" right there. If whoever was running things at RKO General had better lawyers, or more money for better lawyers, then Universal probably would not have gotten away with a judgement that King Kong was public domain. At the least, RKO General would have been able to collect a nice lump of the box office gross. Who hoo...one corporation taking from another, color me enthused. Or not.

But then it would have been RKO General coming after Nintendo for copyright infringement. Know what? Some old guy in an office somewhere, has no idea what the heck arcade video games are. I think Yamauchi-Sama would have settled out of court for $2M, the guy at RKO General would have walked away like he'd just won the lottery.
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BadNewsBlues



Joined: 21 Sep 2014
Posts: 3872
PostPosted: Tue Oct 08, 2019 6:06 pm Reply with quote
Fred Lougee wrote:
Where they began to get into trouble was when Howard Hughes bought the operation. Hughes was notoriously an obsessive/compulsive with his fingers in too many pies who micromanaged everything.


Rather ironic for a germaphobe :S

Fred Lougee wrote:

He made Citizen Kane starring Orson Wells as a personal affront to newspaper magnate William Randolph Hurst, it's regarded as one of the greatest movies ever by some people (not me) but everything else that came out of the studio during his ownership was substandard. In the early 1950s he sold the studio the General Tire. There were in the process of building a broadcast empire, lots of radio stations, it eventually became the Mutual Radio Network. Ho hum, another day in corporate America. The bosses at General Tire decided that the studio was unsalvagable so they closed it in 1958 and sold the property. RKO General was the company which existed to manage the copyrights for the intellectual properties of RKO Pictures. Probably just some guy in an office in the HQ of General Tire wearing three other hats.

The Universal came along in the late '70s with a blockbuster remake of King Kong, directed by Dino De Laurentis, starring Jessica Lange and Jeff Bridges, with the big ape climbing the World Trade Center. Now that I think about it, that might have been the first time Jeff Bridges had a beard for a role, so genesis of "The Dude" right there. If whoever was running things at RKO General had better lawyers, or more money for better lawyers, then Universal probably would not have gotten away with a judgement that King Kong was public domain. At the least, RKO General would have been able to collect a nice lump of the box office gross. Who hoo...one corporation taking from another, color me enthused. Or not.

But then it would have been RKO General coming after Nintendo for copyright infringement. Know what? Some old guy in an office somewhere, has no idea what the heck arcade video games are. I think Yamauchi-Sama would have settled out of court for $2M, the guy at RKO General would have walked away like he'd just won the lottery.


Good thing fate had other things in mind.
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