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Takahashi Meijin was born on May 23 1959, in Hokkaido Japan. He is best known for his “trigger finger”, which had the ability to tap a button 16 times a second. This gave him the alias 16 Shot. The game that brought his skills to public knowledge was the NES classic, Star Soldier. After being discovered as a button pressing athlete, he appeared in numerous TV ads and even a movie called Game King.

 

Working for Hudson, his talent and fame led him to star in the game “ Takahashi Meijin no Bouken Jima” (Takahashi Meijin's Adventure Island) in 1986. The game was previously designed with no intention of Takahashi taking the leading role, but later on Takahashi revealed that while demoing the game with the Hudson’s president, the president stated that since the character already looked like him it would be beneficial to add Takahashi’s star appeal to the game.

 

In 1988, “Takahashi Meijin no Bouken Jima” was ported to American and European shore’s and was renamed “Hudsons Adventure Island”. Some translation changes made it necessary to change the main character’s name from Takahashi to “ Master Higgins”. Due to this change, Takahashi is now affectionately referred to in the west as Master Higgins.

 

Takahashi’s biggest contribution to gaming culture was not as a celebrity with a fast finger though. Unknown to most, he pioneered the often overlooked feature on many gaming controller’s, the Turbo Button. He envisioned the idea to relieve stress on his fingers while demoing game’s at trade shows and events. He built a prototype controller himself, which soon after was noticed by Hudson’s president and borrowed (but never returned). After that he was commissioned to make 4 or 5 more of these controller’s for various people. After this, Takahashi noticed the appeal his simple and effective design held. Such was the birth of the Turbo Button, which shipped first with an 8 speed button, but later upgraded to 16 speed.

 

Takahashi Meijin, a man of many names, still resides in Japan and is the current executive of Hudson Soft.

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