Konami

From the Audiovisual Identity Database, the motion graphics museum


Background

Founded in 1969 as a jukebox rental and repair business, but later making arcade games in 1973, Konami is a game publisher based in Japan known for their franchises such as Frogger, Silent Hill, Metal Gear, eFootball, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (until Ubisoft acquired rights to the franchise, which would later be given to Activision), Castlevania, Gradius, Yu-Gi-Oh!, Contra, and Dance Dance Revolution. They would also venture into the gambling industry, producing pachinko machines in Japan and slot machines in the United States, as well as online slot games.



1st Logo (December 1981-July 25, 1986)

Visuals: Over a blue background is the text "Konami", with a tail on a "K", scrolls up fast. As it settles to the center, the text "SOFTWARE" with a line above appears below the logo.

Variants:

  • On Arcade and Famicom titles, the still logo appears in title screen.
  • On 1984-1985 MSX titles, "VIDEO CARTRIDGE" appears below the logo.

Technique: Real-time sprite-based animation.

Audio: The opening theme of the game or none.

Availability: Seen on early arcade, MSX and Famicom titles by the company, such as Track & Field 1, Magical Tree, Sky Jaguar, and Hyper Sports 3.

2nd Logo (September 18, 1986-1998)

Visuals: On a black (or blue or white) background, two curvy ribbons, one orange and one gold (or in white on the blue background version; in gray on the white background version), are seen arranged diagonally with "KONAMI" written below. The ribbons scroll up. Below it is the title screen.

Technique: Real-time sprite-based animation.

Audio: The opening theme of the game or none.

Availability: Seen on Konami games for NES, MSX, and the arcades such as Contra.

3rd Logo (December 21, 1990-March 19, 1998)


Visuals: Against a black background, a spark draws a line at the top of the screen. It moves downward until a dark blue outline of the Konami logo from before is shown. Colors fill the Konami logo (the top ribbon orange, the bottom ribbon red, and "KONAMI" silver) and textures as the background fades to white. The end result is a beveled version of the Konami logo.

Trivia: This logo is based on the Konami Video logo.

Variants:

  • Depending on the video game system, the line drawn by the spark is in a different color.
    • Purple on Super Famicom/Super NES games
    • Green on Sega Genesis/Mega Drive games (this can also be spotted on Sega CD games, such as Snatcher)
    • Blue on NEC PC Engine/TurboGrafx-16 games (this can also be spotted on TurboGrafx-CD games, such as Gradius II)
  • On the Super NES/Super Famicom version of Gradius III, the logo is shown after the familiar cross hatch screen seen when an arcade game is turned on. There is no copyright info.
  • A still variant exists when region lockout occurs on the Sega Genesis/Mega Drive.

Technique: Sprite animation.

Audio: A digitized rendition of the second half of the Konami Video logo music, which is an ascending/descending bell-like synth sound as the color appears (which sounds different depending on the game/system); otherwise silent.

  • Sega Genesis: The music is done on an electric piano.
  • Super Nintendo Entertainment System: The theme is done using synth chimes.
  • NEC PC Engine/TurboGrafx-16: The theme is done on a synth-organ.

Audio Variants:

  • On Metal Warriors and the Super NES version of Zombies Ate My Neighbors, the sound "reverberates" more.
  • On NFL Football for Super NES, the music sounds more muffled.
  • On Tiny Toon Adventures: Buster's Hidden Treasure for Sega Genesis, the music is fast.

Availability:

  • Seen on all Konami releases for Super NES and Sega Genesis/Mega Drive (and the Sega CD/Mega CD add-on), as well as some for TurboGrafx 16/PC Engine. It was last seen on Jikkyou Powerful Pro Yakyuu Basic '98 for Super Famicom.
  • The logo is preserved on Castlevania: The Dracula X Chronicles for the PlayStation Portable and Wii Virtual Console versions of Konami releases as well as the Anniversary Collections for both Contra and Castlevania on PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and Nintendo Switch.

Legacy: This is considered an iconic logo by the 16-bit era gaming community.

4th Logo (April 19, 1991-July 23, 1993)


Visuals: Over a black background, two blue laser bars scroll around the screen, revealing the Konami logo after they intersect. The laser bars move out as the background fades to white, the Konami logo is briefly seen shining and "KONAMI" in the usual font wipes down below.

Technique: Sprite animation.

Audio: The chime from the 3rd logo, arranged depending on the game and sound hardware used.

Availability: Seen on Namachuukei 68 and the X68000 ports of Detana!! TwinBee, Parodius Da!, Gradius II, and Akumajou Dracula (Castlevania).

5th Logo (Sunset Riders custom variant) (September 1991)

Visuals: On a black background, a lens flare appears. As it dies down, the two ribbons from the 2nd logo zooms and flips out. As it settles to the center and they became 2D, a flash appears, and the Konami text from the 2nd logo appears.

Technique: CGI.

Audio: The synth bell and "Konami" voiceover from the Japanese commercial tags, but higher pitched.

Availability: Seen on the arcade game Sunset Riders.

6th Logo (June 26, 1992-1998)

Visuals: Just the text "KONAMI" in white scrolling up against a black background.

Variants:

  • On arcade games and later NES games, the logo is still over the title screen of the game.
  • On Bakuchou Retrieve Master and Yu-Gi-Oh! Duel Monsters for Game Boy, the text becomes unitalicized.
  • On some games like Koukiatsu Boy, the text is black on a white background.
  • On Racin' Force, the logo begins with the camera flying over a 3D-rendered hexagonal checkerboard pattern. Then, the camera flew over a messy-looking text, which then zooms to a top-down perspective (revealing the proper-looking logo).
  • On Polygonet Commanders, the text is rendered in 3D.

Technique: Real-time sprite-based animation.

Audio: None or the opening theme of the game.

Availability:

  • Seen on later games by Konami for Game Boy and NES, such as Contra III: The Alien Wars and Tiny Toon Adventures: Cartoon Workshop.
  • Also seen on arcade games such as Bucky O'Hare.

7th Logo (December 3, 1994-April 1, 1999)

Visuals: Against a black background with a white floor is the Konami logo from before, but rendered in 3D, walking across the screen from right to left, with the silvery text "KONAMI" following behind. The text then stops in the middle and the logo walks off-screen. The logo then walks in ahead toward the screen, pushing the text along with it until the floor turns to the front and both the text and logo, along with a floor, turn into 2D (but in more solid colors than the 1st logo).

Technique: CGI.

Audio: A series of synth chimes as the logo walks around, followed by a synth fanfare (sounding similar to the chime from the Konami Video logo) as the logo is fully formed.

Availability:

  • It is seen on almost all Konami releases for PlayStation and Sega Saturn in Japan, such as Dance Dance Revolution and GuitarFreaks.
  • It made its first appearance on the Japanese release of Gokujou Parodius Da! Deluxe Pack and last appeared on Tokimeki Memorial Drama Series Vol. 3: Tabidachi no Uta.
  • It was also seen on a Japanese promotional tape for the PlayStation.
  • In North America and Europe, it appears on Fisherman's Bait: A Bass Challenge and World Soccer Winning Eleven 3: Final Ver.. A majority of Konami titles overseas from this period went with the tenth logo.

Legacy: A memorable logo for many Asian video game players thanks to the familiar CGI and whimsical music.

8th Logo (Still variants) (December 14, 1995-June 27, 2003)

Visuals: Just a still of the ribbons logo.

Variants:

  • Beginning in late 1998, the "KONAMI" text is now rendered in an un-italicized, bold font. The logo might often be seen with a border surrounding it.
  • On some arcade games, the logo appears in a small white box over a black background.
  • There have been a few post-2000s games that had the older logo with the italicized text, including Metal Gear Solid.
  • On the arcade version of Jurassic Park 3, Silent Scope EX,, and Thrill Drive 2 (as well as Xtrial Racing), only the white text on the black background is shown.
    • Similarly, on Boxing Mania, Silent Scope Fortune Hunter, only the "KONAMI" text on the white background is shown.

Technique: A still, digital graphic.

Audio:

  • For console or PC releases, none or the game's theme.
  • For arcade releases, the chimes from the Konami Video logo (albeit with low marimba notes and the string chord) are used.

Audio Variants:

  • On Metal Gear Solid, there is a 12-note synth vocal jingle based off of the Policenauts theme song.
  • On Tokimeki Memorial 2 and 3, female seiyuus from the game would say "Konami!".
  • On Tokimeki Memorial Taisen Puzzle-dama, a brief, echoed voice clip from the game plays.
  • On Dance Dance Revolution Solo Bass Mix and Solo 2000, the arcade versions of Dancing Stage featuring DREAMS COME TRUE and Dancing Stage featuring TRUE KISS DESTINATION, and Gachaga Champ, a low-tone variant of the arcade jingle is used.

Availability:

  • Seen on some games from Konami, such as Metal Gear Solid, Yu-Gi-Oh! Forbidden Memories, Konami Arcade Classics, and Evolution Skateboarding.
  • Can also be seen on the company's arcade games of the time, including early titles under the BEMANI series (beatmania IIDX, DanceDanceRevolution, pop'n music, GuitarFreaks, and DrumMania).

9th Logo (March 1996-1998)

Visuals: Against a black background, the two bacon strips in a segmented fashion rotate 180 degrees until they stop and form; below is "KONAMI" in 2D flipping in. The logo's background turns grey or white and the text "KONAMI" turns gray.

Variants:

  • Some games have the logo convert into plain 2D instead of remaining in 3D.
  • On Fighting Bujutsu, the Konami logo moves from left to the center, almost in warp speed.
  • On Gradius IV, the finished logo has the border design with it.
  • On Hang Pilot, the logo appears on both screens of the arcade setup with its background kept white.

Technique: CGI.

Audio: A chiming synth at the beginning with a whoosh, then the remixed chime with a reverb effect (this time sounding more like the one featured in the Konami Video logo).

Audio Variants:

  • A shorter version of the music can be found on later games such as Hang Pilot and Gradius IV, which is 4 seconds long and comes with an ascending string section ending with a more MIDI-ish chime sound.
  • Some games, like Operation Thunder Hurricane and Racing Jam: Chapter 2, feature an orchestral rendition of the chime sound.
  • Solar Assault features another arrangement of the chime, with a longer tail end.

Availability:

  • Seen on some Konami arcade games released from 1995 until 1998 starting with Midnight Run: Road Fighter 2 and ending with Racing Jam: Chapter 2.
  • The Hang Pilot (a.k.a Gradius IV) variant can be found on Gradius III & IV Collection for PlayStation 2 and other compilations of Gradius games.

10th Logo (April 4, 1996-November 30, 1998)


Visuals: Against a swirly dark blue sky looking similar to the northern lights is some boulders rising from the ground. The word "KONAMI" in steel flips up from underneath. The logo zooms out, and this ends with the two strips flipping up to the screen really fast. The screen quickly shifts to white, with the logo in slightly lighter colors and a registered trademark "®" symbol.

Technique: CGI.

Audio: A dramatic tune with boulders crumbling (sounds more like explosions), a jet-like sound as the strips fly forth, and an orchestral "hit" as the logo is formed.

Availability: Seen on pretty much all Konami games for PlayStation and Sega Saturn released in North America and PAL territories, such as Contra: Legacy of War, Castlevania: Symphony of the Night, Kensei: Sacred Fist, and select sports games from the company.

Legacy: Though not as popular nowadays as the 7th logo, this is still remembered by many North American and European gamers who have played Konami's 32-bit era titles.

11th Logo (December 20, 1996-December 4, 1998)


Visuals: Against a black/blue gradient background, the three pieces of the Konami logo flip in, the orange ribbon coming in from the left, the red ribbon coming in from the right, and the company name in gray zooming out. When they join together, the screen turns white. The logo lacks the registered trademark "®" symbol from before.

Technique: CGI.

Audio: Just a chime when the logo comes together.

Availability: Seen on Mystical Ninja Starring Goemon and other Konami games for Nintendo 64 from 1996-1998 until Rakuga Kids. Later Konami games for the console use the 8th logo instead.

12th Logo (June 25, 2003-)

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Visuals: Just the word "KONAMI" in a much different font on a red knife-shaped banner. This takes place on a white or black background.

Variants:

  • Starting in 2013, the knife-shaped banner is removed, so it's only the text.
  • Beginning in 2018, the logo's colors are inverted; now it's white text displayed on a red background.
  • A split-screen version of the logo with the trademark text appears on the English dub of the Yu-Gi-Oh! anime series.
  • A small in-credit version appears on slot machines manufactured by this company. The logo usually is on the bottom left corner of the title screen and glows white.
  • On online slot games, the logo glows white against a black background and a loading indicator is seen below.

Technique: A still, digital graphic.

Audio: Usually none. On arcade games, a tune is heard which just a little bit sounds like the Capcom jingle.

Audio Variant: Early releases use the Konami Video chimes.

Availability: Seen on all Konami games since 2003.

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Konami
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