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Noboru Sugimura

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Noboru Sugimura (杉村 升 Sugimura Noboru?, June 28, 1948 - February 27, 2005) was a Japanese screenwriter who worked on various television series and video games. Sugimura passed away at the age of 56 from an unspecified heart condition.

Career

He debuted in 1974 as a writer for the detective drama Taiyō ni Hoero! ("Bark at the Sun!") as an assistant to the show's main writer, Ei Ogawa. During the later half of the 1980s, he was employed by Toei Company and began working primarily as a writer for various live-action tokusatsu programs. Sugimura was the main writer for the Metal Hero franchise from 1989 (Kidō Keiji Jiban) to 1991 (Super Rescue Solbrain) and the Super Sentai franchise from 1992 (Kyōryū Sentai Zyuranger) to 1995 (Chōriki Sentai Ohranger). Afterward, he moved to writing scenarios for video games and become one of the founding members of the Capcom division Flagship, where he wrote the scenarios for several Capcom games, beginning with Resident Evil 2.

Contributions to the franchise

On the recommendation of Capcom production supervisor Yoshiki Okamoto, Sugimura was brought into the Resident Evil 2 development project in early 1997 (then in its "1.5" stage of development) to assess Hideki Kamiya's script. Finding the plot generally unsatisfactory, he offered to write up an entirely new script. The conspiracy subplot where Police Chief Brian Irons is found to be accepting bribes from Umbrella was added to give more flavour to the story, with Irons becoming gradually more sadistic. As Okamoto had hopes for a Resident Evil franchise, Kamiya's definitive ending was replaced. Umbrella, which was already closed down in Kamiya's script, was resurrected in order to justify more sequels. While the company was always intended by producer Shinji Mikami to close down, Sugimura and Flagship were hired to write more and more stories set in the time between Resident Evil 2 and that event.

Sugimura was then brought back shortly after Resident Evil 2's release to write the scenario for Resident Evil Zero; CODE:Veronica and Resident Evil 4 (then in its "Stylish" version). These games were effectively a trilogy revolving around the Progenitor Virus (a retcon of Kenichi Iwao's "Clay Virus") and the three Umbrella founders. These three went under significant re-writes: Resident Evil Zero was nearly cancelled but later remade for the GameCube, with Sugimura (having already forgotten Flagship's Story Bible for Raccoon City and the game script itself) writing in a cameo of Raccoon City Underground Laboratory despite geographical impossibilities.[1] CODE:Veronica was altered to replace Jill Valentine with Claire Redfield as protagonist thanks to Kamiya's addition of Leon's end-line to Resident Evil 2 forcing in a sequel.[2][3] The freedom of Jill allowed her to appear in Aoyama's Resident Evil 3: Nemesis. The first Resident Evil 4 script written by Sugimura introduced a new protagonist who would explode Lord Spencer's castle; this spun-off into Devil May Cry. A second script became "Castle" Resident Evil 4, written with the assistance of Resident Evil 3: Nemesis author Yasuhisa Kawamura. This featuring an infected Leon S. Kennedy investigating Spencer's estate. Sugimura's script was ultimately rejected when Shinji Mikami took over production.

Sugimura also wrote two shorter games that were to better explain the Resident Evil universe without the use of the "main" cast. Resident Evil Survivor delved into Umbrella's world views on their Mediterranean island colony, Sheena Island. Another game, Resident Evil: Dead Aim, introduced Leon's colleague Bruce McGivern - both working for US-STRATCOM - and introduced bioterrorism resulting from Umbrella's impending collapse.

Sugimura also wrote a number of non-Resident Evil games, the result of Resident Evil 2's success advertising Flagship's skills to other Capcom producers. While not present for the first game in the series, Sugimura was the head writer for Dino Crisis 2; Dino Stalker and Dino Crisis 3. These three formed an interconnected trilogy featuring rogue computers and androids but with no direct story continuity. For example, the "Caren" androids in Dino Crisis 3 are created based on the work done by the son of Dino Crisis 2 protagonist Dylan Morton, who built the androids seen in that game. Dino Stalker reveals that the loss of the Noah's Ark team of Dino Crisis 2 was caused by a rogue computer system - MTHR - which went on to genetically modify dinosaurs for its own purposes. This computer is a counterpart to the MTHR computer of Dino Crisis 3, which creates a number of dinosaur-like creatures upon the deaths of the ship's crew.

Works

Game Year of release Role
The Masked Rider: Kamen Rider ZO 1994 Screenplay writer[4]
Resident Evil 2 1998 Scenario writer[5]
Resident Evil: Survivor 2000 Scenario writer[6]
Dino Crisis 2 2000 Scenario writer[7]
BIOHAZARD 4D-EXECUTER 2000 Executive Supervisor
Resident Evil CODE:Veronica 2001 Scenario writer[8]
Onimusha: Warlords 2001 Scenario writer[9]
Devil May Cry 2001 Given "special thanks"[10]
Resident Evil Zero 2002 Scenario editor[11]
Onimusha 2: Samurai's Destiny 2002 Scenario writer[12]
Clock Tower 3 2002 Screenplay writer[13]
Resident Evil: Dead Aim 2003 Scenario writer[14]
Dino Crisis 3 2003 Scenario writer[15]
Onimusha 3: Demon Siege 2004 Screenplay writer[16]
Haunting Ground 2005 Draft scenario writer[17]

Uncredited

Game Year Role
BIOHAZARD 4 (Cancelled) 2000 Scenario Writer
Biohazard 4 (Castle Ver) 2002 Scenario Writer

Sources

  1. Twitter feed: PG_kamiya, dated 18 Oct 2011. Accessdate: 2014-09-18
  2. Twitter feed: {{{user}}}, dated 3 Dec 2013. Accessdate: 2014-09-08
  3. Twitter feed: {{{user}}}, dated 4 Sept 2012. Accessdate: 2014-09-08
  4. The Masked Rider: Kamen Rider ZO credits - MobyGames
  5. Resident Evil 2 (PS) credits - MobyGames
  6. Resident Evil: Survivor credits - MobyGames
  7. Dino Crisis 2 (PS) credits - MobyGames
  8. Resident Evil - CODE:Veronica X (PS2) credits - MobyGames
  9. Onimusha: Warlords credits - MobyGames
  10. Devil May Cry credits - MobyGames
  11. Resident Evil Zero (GCN) credits - MobyGames
  12. Onimusha 2: Samurai's Destiny credits - MobyGames
  13. Clock Tower 3 credits - MobyGames
  14. Resident Evil: Dead Aim credits - MobyGames
  15. Dino Crisis 3 credits - MobyGames
  16. Onimusha 3: Demon Siege credits - MobyGames
  17. Haunting Ground credits - MobyGames

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