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According to series producer Yosuke Hayashi, the Snow stage was directly inspired by the Castle stage from Virtua Fighter 4. The Beach stage is also inspired by the "beautiful rendition of water" on Jeffry's stage from Virtua Fighter 3.
Contributed by DrakeVagabond
The King of Fighters '94
During the planning phase of development, the development team originally wanted to include a bonus stage in the game:

"We asked the planner to come up with 100 different kinds, and he actually did it. But a lot of them were very out-there, like having Bonus Items fly in from the sky that you would have your character destroy. At that time, the general thought was that Bonus Games were essential for fighting games, but our conclusion from having thought of 100 different kinds was that we didn’t need one after all (laughs). So we quickly decided to cut the Bonus Stage from KOF’94."
Contributed by DrakeVagabond
The King of Fighters '94
At one point in development, the Ikari Team would throw hand grenades as their projectile attack, but in the end the developers thought "having grenades blowing up in a fighting game was a bit distasteful", so the idea was scrapped.
Contributed by DrakeVagabond
The King of Fighters '94
Attachment
Kyo's girlfriend, Yuki, appears in the background of the Japan stage along with his motorcycle. The game was initially going to feature an intro sequence of Kyo where he would drive through the streets on his bike and an animation sequence where Yuki would appear when Kyo is defeated. These ideas were not featured in the final game.
Contributed by DrakeVagabond
The King of Fighters '94
The game was initially going to re-use sprites from Fatal Fury Special and Art of Fighting 2 during early development. However, they ultimately decided to create original assets for the game.
Contributed by DrakeVagabond
Castlevania: Dawn of Sorrow
In a Reddit AMA with Shutaro Iida, he revealed that, for him and his team, the most insufferable thing about developing this game and for the Nintendo DS was strict demand from higher ups "to use the touch [screen technology] as much as possible" during their development.
Contributed by PirateGoofy
Console: Wii
Retro Studios, according to one of it's developers Bryan Walker, were at first extremely concerned about wanting to develop for Nintendo's upcoming Wii system due to the console's mediocre specs compared to the competition. However, being among the first westerners to see a prototype of the unique controller for the console, they were immediately won over by the gaming machine's groundbreaking motion-control gimmick.

“...And we were a little concerned to be blunt, and then, ta-da: they rolled out the Wii Remote. Kind of in unison, the whole team went, ‘Ohhhhh. Ahhhh. Okay.’ Everybody was watching at E3 where the Wii was rolled out and the stampede when they opened the door of people running right past the Sony PS3 display to get in line with the Nintendo display to play the Wii. We were like, ‘Ah okay. We understand now. We’ll be quiet.”
Contributed by PirateGoofy
The idea for Lei-Fei was inspired by series creator Yu Suzuki's trip to China:

"In 1993 or 1994 I went to China and met a famous Shaolin monk, and so I wanted to create a Shaolin monk fighter for Virtua Fighter."
Contributed by DrakeVagabond
Donkey Kong Country Returns
Retro Studios dev Bryan Walker recalled in an interview how unexpectedly understanding Shigeru Miyamoto was to him and his team's vision for the project in the planning stages and how considerate and mentorlike he was with their pitches and ideas. When the final moments of the collaboration were almost done, however, Walker recalled that Miyamoto said something in English to them that stuck with them forever: "Please take care of DK. He is my friend."
Contributed by PirateGoofy
Dynamite Headdy
According to a 1994 BEEP! Megadrive magazine interview with the game's producer/designer Koichi Kimura, he was asked where the idea for Dynamite Headdy came from? He responded:

"The biggest reason for making Dynamite Headdy was that our team wanted to create something original. 2 I’ve been a part of many game developments, but almost all of them were either based on pre-existing characters, or plans that were handed to me from above, which I then adapted and revised. I thought Dynamite Headdy would be a more fun and fulfilling development. Having worked in game dev for 5 years now, I thought it was high time to make something of my own creation. I knew that if I wanted to make my own game, I needed to make something that looked convincing from a commercial sales perspective, and I put a lot of effort into the initial design and conception of Dynamite Headdy along those lines."
Contributed by ProtoSnake
Castlevania: Symphony of the Night
In a 1997 interview with the game's director Koji Igarashi & designer Toshiharu Furukawa, they were asked how they came up with ideas for the game's huge assortment of weapons and items. Igarashi stated that they used a variety of different references, books and other materials, and tried to include things that had never been used in a Castlevania game before.

Furukawa added that each of the staff members had a special attachment to a different kind of blade, so they ended up using a good variety of blades in the final game. However, this bias did result in the developers' favorite weapons being overpowered, adding that "Not realizing that no one liked shields was a bit of a blind spot…"
Contributed by ProtoSnake
Early promotional images for the game features Kasumi in a different, more revealing, costume. Her final design were be changed to white and have underclothing. And her previous design became her alternate costume.
Contributed by DrakeVagabond
Marvel vs. Capcom 2: New Age of Heroes
According to the game's director Tatsuya Nakae in a 2000 Arcadia magazine #3 developer interview, he was asked if he could comment about the three new original characters: SonSon, Amingo and Ruby Heart in the game. Nakae stated that until now, Norimaro had been the only original character in Marvel vs. Capcom series, so he wanted to add more new characters in the game from the start. When Nakae asked the game's lead character designer Katsuhiro Eguchi for some designs, Eguchi told Nakae that he wanted to revive someone from a classic game and sent him a design that reinterpreted SonSon as a girl; Nakae stated "it was interesting and had a lot of impact" and put the character in the game.

Nakae then stated that Amingo was designed to fulfill the missing role of a non-human Capcom character that was "capable of really crazy movements", and that Ruby Heart was designed to be the leading character of the three newcomers (in a marquee role similar to Ryu and Cyclops) and as a new challenge to create a "cool, female character", the kind of which had not commonly taken center stage in games released at the time.
Contributed by ProtoSnake
The game was originally going to be titled "Polygon Fighter" during its prototype phase of development. The title was then changed to "Ninja Fighter" before finally settling on "Dead or Alive" because of the pressure Tecmo placed on the game's success.
Contributed by DrakeVagabond
According to Tom Lee, Diego was created largely to give representation to the Hispanic community in America as well as appeal to American sensibilities.
Contributed by DrakeVagabond
In a 2001 interview with the game's director Jun Kobayashi featured at the game music column of allabout.co.jp, he was asked who his target audience for the game was. He responded:

"At first, I was thinking of a game for people who liked club music, something they could enjoy without actually going to the club."


"However, after mulling it over, we finally decided on targeting people who are new to video games with Rez. I mean people who maybe bought a Playstation 2 and watch DVDs on it, but hardly play any games. Or people who think “games today are too difficult, I can’t play them.”"


"By the way, I’ve been playing games since the Famicom era, so for most games today I don’t need to read the instruction manual, I can just start playing. That’s all good for people like me who grew up with and experienced the evolution of Famicom, Super Famicom, Sega Saturn, and Playstation… but Rez was aimed at those who don’t have that experience, the kind of people who have just bought a PS2 for the first time. The PS2 may be their first experience with a video game controller, and I wanted to create a game that even those new users could enjoy."


"With Famicom games you have a directional pad that moves a character, and when you press a button your character immediately jumps or attacks. I’m very familiar with those kinds of controls. Most games today are released for people like me, who are familiar with those kinds of controls, and developers then try to take that formula further and do more refined things with it."


"Consequently, people whose first video game console is the PS2 see these more complex games and have no idea what’s going on. The buttons are too complicated and the appeal of the game is lost on them. Of course with a player like me, I prefer those kinds of games, but with Rez I wanted to immerse new players in a different world: one where a brand new sensation has been added to the traditional formula of “aim and shoot the enemy”-type games. "
Contributed by ProtoSnake
Street Fighter II
In a 1991 interview with the game's composer Yoko Shimomura published in vol. 62 of Gamest magazine, she was asked who did the voices for the game's characters. She stated that the team asked people at Capcom to perform them, and had about 30 different employees record their voices. She described it as a "kind of a chaotic jumble", and the team chose the best takes from the recordings, but at that point she had forgotten who voiced who. She also stated that the pronunciation for the English voices needed to be correct, so the team asked some non-Japanese people to voice them. In particular, E. Honda's “dosukoi!” line was originally voiced by a foreigner, although the team ended up not using it. They also tried having a man voice Chun-Li's “Spinning Bird Kick!” in a falsetto voice, but ultimately picked something different after more people auditioned.
Contributed by ProtoSnake
Street Fighter II
In a 1991 interview with the game's composer Yoko Shimomura published in vol. 62 of Gamest magazine, she stated that she almost wrote all the songs in the game based on how she pictured each different country in her mind, and also tried to match the music with the stage backgrounds.
Contributed by ProtoSnake
Marvel vs. Capcom 2: New Age of Heroes
According to game's director Tatsuya Nakae in a 2000 Arcadia magazine #3 developer interview, he was asked how they were able to realize the support for the game's online matching service network (established in collaboration with Japanese telecom KDDI). He responded:

"In the beginning, Funamizu asked us if it’d be possible to add online battles as a major selling point, and after discussing it internally and determining that it might be feasible, we decided to approach KDDI with the idea. Thankfully, KDDI was on board and got to work on making it a reality; we didn’t have a ton of time for development, but thanks to the hard work of KDDI, we were able to make it happen."
"At first, I was worried about lag during online matches, but when we ran in-house tests, the lag didn’t feel as bad as I feared it would and we were able to comfortably play online, so we rushed to finish the game. People who’ve never tried it tend to think “online play, I don’t know…” and shy away from it, but those people are the ones who are the most impressed when they finally try it for themselves, so I’d really urge you to go hands-on for yourselves."
Contributed by ProtoSnake
Marvel vs. Capcom 2: New Age of Heroes
According to the game's director Tatsuya Nakae in a 2000 Arcadia magazine #3 developer interview, he was asked why the team included two Wolverines in the game, one with bone claws and the other with adamantium claws. He commented that the team wanted to focus on the bone claw Wolverine, but the directive from Marvel was that both had to be included in the game. This made it difficult for the team to differentiate the two characters as they look almost identical, so they had to think of where and how to add pronounced, yet subtle differences.
Contributed by ProtoSnake
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