Interview with author of the upcoming "Dreamcast Complete Guidebook"

Ho-ho-ho, so it seems Santa has come a little early this year! I'm sure, most of our readers are aware, but a Japanese Dreamcast fan by the name of Otsuka-san has been dedicating the last few months to archive every single Japanese video game released, as well as any obscure hardware and non-released items, for a new book he is publishing called "Dreamcast Complete Guide Book".

Seeing his dedication in creating such an awesome resource for the community, I felt compelled to help bring this to the attention of Sega fans overseas as a) It will be the most complete Dreamcast publication ever and b) Otsuka-san is just an average collector like the rest of us who just wants to ensure that the system's history is recorded. It's refreshing in this day and age in which multi-million dollar companies are profiting off of people's nostalgia by releasing half-ass products, to see that there are still quality, useful resources, being produced by true fans.

I had the opportunity to talk with the Otsuka-san about the book, his collection, and all things Dreamcast, which I hope will shed some background on the release and help you make up your mind on whether to make a purchase. The book comes out tomorrow (November 27, 2018) and is available from Play Asia and Amazon Japan for $24.99.

Please could you tell us a little about yourself and your connection with Dreamcast?
Hello everyone, my name is Yuichi Otsuka and I am the author of the "Dreamcast Complete Guidebook." I'm just an average person who loves the Dreamcast.
はじめまして。「ドリームキャスト コンプリート ガイドブック」を執筆した大塚祐一と言います。ただのドリームキャストが好きな一般人です。

Why did you decide to write the “Complete Dreamcast Guidebook”?
なぜコンプリートドリームキャストガイドブックを書くこ と を 決めたの ですか。
In January of this year, a publishing company called Sansai Books released the "Not for Sale Game Software Guidebook" and I collaborated with them on that to produce the Dreamcast pages. Later on in June, they asked if I would be interested in producing a complete guidebook to coincide with the 20th anniversary of the Dreamcast's release. The "Not for sale Game Software Guidebook" features hibaihin Dream Passport related software.
今年の1月に三才ブックスさんから発売した「非売品ゲームソフト ガイドブック」と言う書籍があるのですが、この書籍のドリームキャストのページを私が協力をしていて、その縁で三才ブックスさんから6月頃にドリームキャスト発売20周年に合わせてコンプリート本を書きませんか?と相談されたのがきっかけです。「非売品ゲームソフト ガイドブック」には非売品のドリームパスポート関連のソフトを掲載しています。

How did you first come across the Dreamcast?
From the news. It was May 21, 1998 and I was a student at the time, but the announcement of Sega's Dreamcast was a big deal in Japan, so much so, that it was all over the news.

Are all of the items featured in book from your collection?
No, not at all. In fact, I had the support of a lot of people in writing this book. For the section on the visual memory units, Japan's top collector helped me out and such in this section I was able to feature images of a VMU that was limited to just 10 units. I also had the support of some of Japan's top collectors for the hardware and as you can see from the cover, in-addition to the well-known systems, the book also features information and images of systems which were only available at select retailers, and which have never been introduced in other specialist magazines.

How many games do you have in your collection?
I only collect those Dreamcast games released in Japan, and I have every regular and limited edition title. I also have quite a few doubles with the not-released (hibaihin) and demo versions, but all together there are probably around 300 titles in my collection. Actually, when I decided to make the book I planned to include a lot of pages featuring the non-released and demo version. Originally, there were going to be 160 pages, but with the inclusion of the different VMUs, consoles, and accessories we ran out of pages and so decided to increase it to 200 pages. 


What is your favourite Dreamcast game?
It's Seaman. I really played the Japanese version on Dreamcast a lotApologies if I'm wrong, but I I believe there's a function on the system that records your game history, and with that Seaman once yelled at me, "Oi, you've been playing Sonic Adventure haven't you!" which really surprised me. It was so different to any game I'd ever played before, and such a revolutionary title that would change how games are valued.


Which game was the hardest to get?
I have it now, but the one that took me the longest to get hold of was, "Seaman hand down management Okawa flow". I'm still looking for some of the "School Net Experimental" editions, but I doubt I'm going to complete it now as they are almost impossible to track down.
今では所有しているのですが、「語り継ぐ経営 大川流」は手に入れるまでに時間がかかりました。現在でも探していて、たぶんコンプリートは不可能だと思っているのは「スクールネット エクスペリメンタル」のシリーズは今後も手に入れられそうにないですね。

Does the book have any information or pictures for Dreamcast hardware like the Divers 2000, Control Unit, or Fish Life?
書籍はDivers 2000、コントール機やフィッシュライフ機についての情報や画像はありますか。
Images and some information on the CX-1 are featured. The Fish Life is not covered. It is featured in the "Not for Sale Game Software Guidebook" but I thought it might not be that appropriate for a Dreamcast book so I didn't include it.
CX-1は画像、情報ともに掲載しております。FISH LIFEは掲載していません。「非売品ゲームソフト ガイドブック」では掲載しましたが、ドリームキャスト本には不適切かな?と言う理由で載せてはいません。

The Dreamcast has lots of interesting peripherals as featured in your book, which is your favourite and what was the hardest to track down?
I like the Samba De Amigo controller. I love that sort of rattling noise and it's still my favourite accessory. All of the accessories that were originally released by Sega through their Dreamcast Direct online site were pretty hard to find.

What was the most expensive item in your collection?
 As I mentioned above, "Seaman hand down management Okawa flow" was the most expensive. I have a few of the "School Net Experimental" editions and these were also pretty pricey too.

上でも書きましたが、「語り継ぐ経営 大川流」が一番高かったです。「スクールネット エクスペリメンタル」も数種類所有しておりますが、こちらも高かったですね。

Why do you think the Dreamcast is still so popular?
There are still a lot of core fans even in Japan. Sega are still releasing merchandise with the Dreamcast logo all these years, and as a fan you want to collect them. Looking at the games themselves, I had to play a lot of titles to make this book, and visually it's still fantastic, and there are  a lot of exciting titles which I'm sure helps maintains the system's popularity.

Shenmue wasn’t very successful in Japan, why do you think it has a bigger following overseas?
In Japan, "Shenmue Chapter 1: Yokosuka" was released on December 29, 1999 which was also the date of the release of "Dragon Quest 7" on the PlayStation. 

Dragon Quest 7 wasn't originally supposed to be released on this date, but it was delayed and then went on to become the biggest selling title on the original PlayStation in Japan. RPGs are also extremely popular here, and people weren't that familiar with 3D open-word games like Shenmue. Still, there were a lot of players that were amazed by the visuals in Shenmue and as someone who lived in Yokosuka at the time, it makes me really happy that people overseas were also able to experience the same feelings through playing the game.
実は日本で「シェンムー 一章 横須賀」の発売日である1999年12月29日は元々PSで発売された「ドラゴンクエスト7」の発売日でした。この「ドラゴンクエスト7」が延期になったため、12月29日に発売されました。この「ドラゴンクエスト7」が日本のPS市場で一番販売本数の多いタイトルです。


Do you have any message to the people who have pre-ordered your book?
I want to say a big thanks to all of those who have ordered from overseas. Every single title released in Japan is covered and with images. The pages on the console and visual memory units are of high quality. The release of the Dreamcast Complete Guidebook will be the first time many of these games or accessories have been published, and I hope you will enjoy it.

For those who haven’t yet decided to purchase it, where can they get it from?
At, the moment it is only being published as a physical book so you should be able to find it on Play Asia and Amazon Japan.
今のところ、書籍のみの販売のため、play asia やamazon japan が良いかと思います。