Golden Age of Konami

Once a month, I get one chance to ask Tim Rogers what the Golden Age of Konami was. I get my third try when we record later today. I'm opening up the floor to guesses and reasoning. Maybe together we can crack this.


Lots of hits in the arcade and home.

It's 1987-1992

Starts in ‘85 with Gradius and ends in ‘01 with the release of MGS2. Arcade peak being ‘89 - ‘91 with both TMNT games, Simpsons and Sunset Riders. Konami cast a wide net with big titles in nearly every genre.

94-2001? a lot of good stuff in that run

  • - Castlevania: Bloodlines
  • - Contra: Hard Corps
  • - console tokimemo/tokimemo 2/drama series
  • - symphony of the night
  • - snatcher
  • - suikoden
  • - MGS+mgs2
  • - Nigel Mansell's World Championship Racing
  • edit: maybe extend that to '93 to get rondo and the earlier snatchers in there!

    I believe that there's the stipulation of a three-year window for each guess.

    My guess is 1991-1993. There's some real good stuff in that window that has aged very well. However, for all I know there could be a window in the late 90s/early 00s that trumps the late 80s and early 90s.

    Edit: Oh, yeah. My reasoning.

    Sunset Riders, TMNT: Turtles in Time, TMNT: Tournament Fighters, Super Castlevania IV, Legend of the Mystical Ninja, Axelay, Lords of Thunder, Batman Returns, Contra III, Castlevania: Rondo of Blood, Pop'n Twinbee, Rocket Knight Adventures. Probably a bunch more that I'd really have to look up but those are definitely in that window.

    1998 to 2003?

    That way you get Tokimemo 1-2, MGS 1-2 + Suikoden I-III + SotN + Silent Hill 1-3, both Zone of the Enders plus some interesting deep cuts like Contra: Shattered Soldier, Ring of Red and Shadow of Memories/Destiny. Seems like a solid bet!


    @“LeFish”#p76258 I believe that there’s the stipulation of a three-year window for each guess.

    That’s what I’ve done so far, but I think it was an arbitrary choice on my part? I don’t think Tim ever said 3 years. I already plan to ask him about that today.

    85-92, Gradius to Treasure leaving.

    @“Jaffe”#p76260 If it turns out that it's not a three-year window then make my guess 1989-'94 as that would also include Castlevania III, Snatcher and Tokimeki Memorial.

    In 2004, 2005 and 2006, the entire Insert Credit website and forums had a dedicated Fucking Konami Week – I vaguely remember it being possibly started by @Rudie around Valentine Day? – during which the entire site and community would exclusively talk about Konami games with dedicated threads and discussions and activities, etc.

    All of which were unabatedly gushing about the beloved publisher and developer named Konami. The concept – and the forums as a whole really – started losing steam and getting tired around the 2007 edition (I am not even entirely sure it officially happened). But the three good years required by @Jaffe are secured.

    In the context of this website, I don’t see how any other answer could better apply.

    The 90s Konami is unbeatable in every way.

    Fighting/Winning Eleven (proto-Pro Evolution Soccer), Parodius series, Toki Meki Memorial, Snatcher, Goemon series, Castlevania series... all on console.

    And then they changed the face of arcade with Beatmania and Dance Dance Revolution.

    But I can't say which three years cos that seems like such a short span. Any three years from the late 90s is good to me.

    What three-year chunks have you guessed before?

    1996/1997/1998 are pretty golden for the company.
    These years include development, release and initial engagement with the Yu-Gi-Oh! card game, and ‘98 is when Metal Gear Solid released on the playstation. Some say that game changed video games forever 🤷‍♂️

    It's not the right answer but October 2018 - September 2021.

    That encompasses the Rondo/SOTN release on PS4 and all their other recent collections (Castlevania, Contra, Castlevania Advance, Arcade stuff, etc).

    Goemon Kira Kira Douchu - 1995

    Maybe it was 2001, because Wai Wai Racing came out

    does BEMANI count as KONAMI, yeah

    well between Bemani and Yu-Gi-Oh…. I am just naming stuff no one else has named yet.

    I'm looking forward to anything resembling a real definition from Timothy because I don't think there is one...

    Golden Age implies that there was a Silver Age and a Bronze Age...

    Right now. They’re generating income from doing relatively little - the true aim of any business.

    I‘m just going to throw out there that (I think) tim hasn’t decided when this is either and you'll never get it right :3

    *I* would say the golden age of konami is '91-94 but it is possible as chaz suggests that it's in the early 2000s.

    In the Tokimeki review he specifically mentions the two eras of pre Tokimeki (when Konami were defined by Castlevania and Contra) and after Tokimeki, when they had a short blossoming into other genre with games like Suikoden and MGS. He also specifically says that era peaked with MGS2.

    Also @"exodus"#p76531 is probably right that he’ll never let you get it right because the thought experiment is too fun.

    @“fridgeboy”#p76634 tokimeki->MGS2 is a fair point, if “golden era” is defined by diversity and experimentation, which, it should be.

    I started Vandal Hearts recently and it weirdly feels to me like a thematic missing link between Suikoden and MGS1 in that all three games offer up realistic*, compelling commentaries on government corruption, militaristic oppression, injustice, and so on. Idk if that was intentional or what, but it was a powerful thread running through Konami at the time.

    So I'm gonna break the three-year rule and go with 1995 (Suikoden) to 1998 (Suikoden II and MGS 1), with Vandal Hearts chilling in the middle. Uh, in 1997 you can take a break from all the social commentary and just moonwalk on skeletons in SOTN.

    _*Realistic meaning in terms of/compared to what other games were doing at the time._