Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
Gunpei Yokoi, also seen as Gumpei Yokoi (横井 軍平 Yokoi Gunpei, September 10, 1941 - October 4, 1997) is one of the most important figures in the history of Nintendo, a Japanese video game company. He was the creator of the Metroid and Kid Icarus video game franchises, as well as a driving force behind the development of the Game Boy and other pivotal Nintendo technologies.
While at Nintendo, he developed the hugely successful Game & Watch games and the Game Boy handheld game console. He also created the D-Pad, the cross-shaped directional input device found on most modern game pads, and he was the producer of many hit games such as Donkey Kong, Mario Bros. and Metroid. He was also a producer of Tetris Attack (scored by Masaya Kuzume ) and Fire Emblem: Seisen no Keifu (scored by Yuka Tsujiyoko). The low point in his career was the commercial failure of the Virtual Boy. Fire Emblem: Seisen no Keifu was the last game Yokoi ever worked on.
Before Nintendo decided to focus solely on video games and consoles, he also created the Nintendo tumbler puzzle.
In 1997, Yokoi was killed in a car accident. He was riding a car driven by Etsuo Kisō, a businessman from Kyoto. Kisō and Yokoi pulled over to examine the damages of two automobiles on the side of the road that had already been in an accident, and then a car driven by Iwao Tsushima of Yamanakamachi , Ishikawa Prefecture, slammed into the two men. Yokoi was killed, Kisō endured two broken ribs, and Tsushima and his wife were mildly injured.
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