In January 1997 interview with Yuji Naka and Naoto Ohshima published in the Sega Magazine about their early days working for the company, he was told by an interviewer about the game (specifically talking about the original Japanese version based on Fist of the North Star) being a masterpiece on the Master System. He asked Naka if he was asked to make it? He responded:

"No, I didn’t. To tell the truth, Hokuto no Ken wasn’t really my thing. The reason why is really stupid, but in high school I had good friend who I had a falling out with, and this friend loved Hokuto no Ken… so after that experience, I just couldn’t get into it.

I joined Sega when I was 18, and before long they asked me to make Hokuto no Ken… I was like, "seriously?" But I did the programming all the same, and I also created the bosses and henchmen too. The planner gave me a rough outline of what kind of characters they were, and when I got really lost, I would read the relevant parts of the comic. “Oh, I see now… he’s like this.”

So I understand why people think I must love Hokuto no Ken, but that wasn’t the case."

Ohshima commented on Naka's response, that he had never heard that story before and it made him think "ah hah, so that’s why he wouldn’t let me do the musclemen type characters I’ve wanted to draw for so long."
Contributed by ProtoSnake