Feature Article

Street Fighter 5's Yoshinori Ono on Picking Pokemon, Raising Sheep, and Kissing Kojima

We ask the producer some tough questions.

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Yoshinori Ono, the always upbeat producer of Street Fighter V, has been on a worldwide press tour discussing the latest entry in Capcom’s storied fighting game franchise. More specifically, he’s been promoting the game’s story mode expansion which, as previously announced, will be added in as free DLC in June.

On January 27, we published a lengthy, insightful interview with Ono-san. During it he discussed Street Fighter V, reflected on his past, and looked to the future. It’s a great piece that you can read here.

Given the opportunity to interview him again, we decided to ask him some harder questions. The stuff that people really want to know about the man who revived one of the most iconic video game franchises of all time. Here’s what he had to say.

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GameSpot: There’s a heated debate happening online about whether bread and eggs should be stored in a cupboard or the fridge. Where do you keep yours?

Yoshinori Ono: Actually I don’t have a preference. That’s because when I buy them the entire family eats them so fast that they don’t get to go in the cupboard or the fridge.

Did you pick Bulbasaur, Squirtle or Charmander as your starting Pokemon?

It wasn’t part of the original three but I chose Chikorita, which is grass type.

What is your favourite Pokemon?

Hmmm. Mew. I like Mew. That Pokemon is legit now, but back in the day it was something you got by doing tricks like pulling the cartridge out or cable out.

You are forced to choose between looking like Blanka or sounding like Blanka for the rest of your life. Which one do you pick?

I’d rather look like Blanka. If I sounded like him for the rest of my life I’m pretty sure I’d never be able to pick up girls ever again. But if I look like him there’s a good chance there might be some ladies out there that are into it.

Can you do a Kara Raging-Demon on an arcade stick?

Of course! I actually find that harder to do on a controller.

Have you heard of Hot Ryu?

Oh yes. Why do you think I’ve grown a little beard? [Ono points at his small goatee] That’s the whole point of it. I’ve been on a press tour for a couple of weeks across Asia, North America, and Europe and no one has pointed out the fact that I’m clearly referencing Hot Ryu’s beard.

It looks more like Dictator’s beard.

[Laughs] Oh.

His beard looks just like that. It glorious.
His beard looks just like that. It glorious.

Is his name Charlie Nash or Nash Charlie now?

I think it’s Charlie Nash.

Do you think Cammy’s outfit makes fighting incredibly uncomfortable?

I think the outfit is one of her weapons. She can entrap guys like me into being entranced by her appearance and then she takes us out with one powerful attack.

Do you prefer FIFA or Winning Eleven (PES)?

I probably shouldn’t say this as a Japanese person, but the last few years I think FIFA has been better.

Who is your favourite rapper?

I don’t know how people will react to this, but I really like Eminem.

Which Persona 4 character is coolest out of Chie, Kanji, and Teddy?

Ahh, that’s a hard one. If I had to pick just one it’d be Chie.

What would you say to people that are upset that Street Fighter 4 won’t be at EVO 2016?

We announced in December that we’ll be switching over to SFV and we’re very grateful for the many long years of support fans have shown us and Street Fighter IV. The intention with the new game is to have a reset and let everyone stand on a new starting block at the same level. We have heard what you’re saying and we know how you feel, Capcom does listen to you, but for the time being I hope you can understand our reasons for switching.

Who is the most famous person you’ve met?

If you count who I’ve seen up close, rather than literally met, it’s David Hasselhoff while I was in America once. He was probably filming something around there at the same time. I was thinking “who’s that familiar looking old guy over there.” It was Hasselhoff. Ah. Will GameSpot’s readers even know who that is? I wonder how many of them have seen Knight Rider. I don’t think Francesca knows what Knight Rider is.

[Capcom PR Francesca Brown simply laughs in a manner that doesn’t reveal whether she does or does not know what Knight Rider is.]

Pictured: The Hoff
Pictured: The Hoff

Would you rather go on a date with Gootecks or Mike Ross?

Oh that’s a hard one. I think I’d probably prefer Mike Ross. I think I might take a beating from Gootecks for saying that.

What’s on your perfect pizza?

Oh I like to keep it simple: Salami, onion, plenty of cheese.

If you could have any character in Street Fighter who would it be?

I’d love Street Fighter to crossover with Dragon Ball and get Goku in the mix.

What was your favourite TV show as a child?

I really loved Star Trek. I watched a lot of that.

If you could have a farm with 100 of one animal, what animal would it be?

Easy: Sheep.

If you could have one mythical creature which one would it be?

I’d like a living skeleton warrior because even if they’re defeated and in pieces they can rebuild themselves and carry on fighting.

You’ve clearly thought about this before.

I’d use my skeleton warrior to look after my 100 sheep. He’d be undefeatable.

Can you tell the difference between 900p and 1080p?

Honestly? No.

Most people can’t.

[Laughs]

Have you ever secretly insulted an interviewer but let your interpreter cover it up for you?

No but one interviewer mistook me for Bandai Namco’s Harada-san. I wasn’t offended, I just pretended to be him for the whole interview and answered on his behalf. I talked a lot about Tekken that day. [Ono sighs]

What does Harada-san smell like?

He smells pretty great. He smells like a fresh spring flower. I’m pretty sure his wife has told him off in the past and is now making him use some pretty fancy soap or something.

What is your favourite game of all time?

Castlevania.

Interesting. That has skeleton warriors that keep reforming after they’ve been defeated…

Exactly.

What’s in your pocket?

At the moment nothing because I always use my pockets to keep Blanka in there.

[Ono raises his iconic Blanka figure and smiles at it]

What’s the strangest thing you’ve eaten?

The durian fruit. It smells like shit but it tastes like heaven.

Harada. Miyazaki. Kojima. Which ones would you kiss, marry, avoid?

I’d kiss Kojima-san.

Like you, he’s rocking a nice little beard now too. I bet that’d feel pretty good.

Oh yes, yes. Great beard.

Pictured: Hideo Kojima, Andrew House, and their beards
Pictured: Hideo Kojima, Andrew House, and their beards

Yup.

I could definitely marry Harada-san. In fact we’ve already agreed between our two families that we’re spending our retirement together, so we may as well get married. I’ve never met Miyazaki-san, so I guess that leaves avoid for him.

He’s a nice guy. Also a tiny bit scary.

[Laughs] I’ve never met him.

Do you believe in aliens?

Yes. I also believe in the Loch Ness monster.

Are there any conspiracy theories you believe in?

You still get people discussing Elvis being alive. I’d really like to believe that.

Do you like PewDiePie?

I don’t know him.

Probably for the best. What game are you most looking forward to playing this year?

The Division. I think we may have finally got to the point where I won’t be betrayed by Ubisoft on this one.

Did you like the beta?

Yes. I think the game is looking good.

Is Detective Pikachu a real detective?

If he says he is, then I believe him.

If you could wake up tomorrow as any other person who would it be?

Brad Pitt. I bet he gets a lot people falling over themselves to see him on the streets. I’d love to experience that.

Aren’t you basically the Brad Pitt of fighting games? You kind of have that experience at EVO, right?

I do, I’m pretty popular at EVO, but it’s nothing but old guys. I don’t get much attention from the ladies.

Can you give me a good weight loss tip?

I wish I could. I need one too.

You’re beautiful as you are.

[Laughs]

If there was one thing you could change about the games industry what would it be?

I’d love to be able to protect PSN from hacking forever. It feels like they get hacking attempts every Sunday. I’d like to be able to protect them from that.

What would you rate Street Fighter V’s story mode out of 10? Please be careful with what you say here, people will remember it and remind you about your response once it’s out.

It’s a 10/10. I hope everyone is looking forward to it. I look forward to seeing you again at E3 and if you don’t think it’s a 10/10 I will grab you by the collar and make you explain why. If you do then I hope you’ll tell people about it because you have to respect what I said.

At Paris Games Week I asked whether we could get Skullomania in the game. Can we get an update on your efforts to make that happen please?

I’ll have to give you a politician’s answer and tell you that I’m still looking into that. The EX series’ characters are some of the trickiest to add back in.

Pictured: The great and powerful Skullomania
Pictured: The great and powerful Skullomania

Skullomania is worth your time and effort.

I think there are also other great EX characters worth chasing.

No. Let me explain to you why Skullomania is the best.

[PR: You don’t have any time left]

Listen. Skullomania is just an ordinary man. He’s working a dead-end job as a under-appreciated salesman. Then one day he decides to break out of the cycle and dress up as a superhero to prove his worth as a salesman. He nailed it. He was amazing. And something clicked in him. He realised he could be better than what he had been for the years before. He decided to become a vigilante crime-fighter, and just did it. That’s a powerful thing. He shows us that a person can be anything they want as long as they try hard and really want it. Whether that’s a game developer, fighting game champion, or crime-fighter. He is an inspiration to us all.

Ok.

Thank you.

[Ed. Note: Please consider signing this Change.org petition to get Skullomania added to Street Fighter 5 as a DLC character. With your support, we can make this happen. Believe.]

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tamz

Tamoor Hussain

I am your OG and I will be respected as such
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