Last Resort / Akira
Image: SNK /

If you've played the cult classic Neo Geo shooter Last Resort, then you'll almost certainly have noticed that the opening level's cityscape is very similar to the one seen in Katsuhiro Otomo's seminal 1988 anime, Akira.

It's one of the many instances where popular media has inspired video game designers, but until now, it was never officially confirmed that there was an actual connection between the two.

Speaking to Time Extension in an exclusive interview, former SNK artist Mitsuo Kodama reveals that Akira was indeed the inspiration for that Last Resort background art – and that he had paid tribute to the movie in one of his earlier titles, Irem's Air Duel:

You assume correctly; I am a huge Katsuhiro Otomo fan. I handled the art for the sunken city in Air Duel and I referenced the film Akira. I intended for Air Duel to have an image of decadence and decay, and Last Resort's be more modern.

Kodama would later direct The King of the Fighters '94 and has also worked on titles such as Ghost Pilots, Last Resort, Strikers 1945, Tengai, and Sol Divide.

He founded the studio K2 Co. in 2000, where he still works.