SNK Wiki

NAZCA (ナスカ) was a development studio for video games. It was composed of former staff members of Irem and they eventually became a side party for SNK. Their first game with SNK was Neo Turf Masters but they are best known for developing Metal Slug. The company and its team was supposedly integrated into SNK to continue the Metal Slug series but broke up after SNK's bankruptcy. Some Nazca members reunited for the sixth title and supported the appearances of Ralf Jones and Clark Still.

R-Type II's graphical style bears great similarity to what this team is known for. However, it is generally thought their first game was Air Duel; they would later make games such as Armed Police Unit Gallop, Undercover Cops, Pound For Pound, Ken-Go, and Kaitei Daisensou. Their final game for Irem was Geostorm, after which they left and created Nazca, creating Neo Turf Masters and Metal Slug; the latter shares many stylistic similarities to the previous Irem works. They were seemingly absorbed by SNK thereafter, and would make the second and third Metal Slug games and possibly Neo Geo Pocket Metal Slug 1st Mission and The King of Fighters R games. It is believed the team disbanded after SNK filed for bankruptcy in 2001.

Nine of the original Nazca staff (including Meeher, Akio, Susumu and development manager Kawai) answered questions from an undated text interview that was translated and included in Metal Slug Anthology.

Because the common use of pseudonyms in arcade titles to avoid rivalry between corporations, details of its staff remains scarce. One known key member is composer Takushi Hiyamuta (credited with names such as "HIYA!" and "HIYA-UNIT"), responsible for composing nearly every game listed here, in whole or part (he did not compose for Kaitei Daisensou; also, although he did not compose for R-Type II, he did for Super R-Type). He was considered part of SNK's in-house band, the "Shinsekai Gakkyoku Zatsugidan". He was interviewed for the Metal Slug Complete Sound Box released in 2008. It is likely that he went freelance, though the only work he is credited for since Metal Slug 3 is Yuusha 30.

Kazuma Kujo, credited as KOZO, went on to form Granzella Games after leaving both Irem and SNK, but has refused to comment on the status and identity of key staff members including lead designer Meeher and graphic artists Akio and Susumu.

Atsushi Inaba, formerly of Capcom and producer at Platinum Games, was a member of Nazca (after leaving Irem) doing income management then SNK after its acquisition, rekindling his interest in video game development. Although details were never delved, Inaba stated he did programming work on a Samurai Shodown title and was unhappy with his experience at SNK.