Chris Tang

From Sega Retro

Chris Tang
Place of birth: Honolulu, Hawaii, United States[1]
Date of birth: 1976[2][1] (age 47-48)
Employment history:
Tengen[1] (1990[2] – 199x)
Hitsparks Games[4]
Role(s): Designer, Translator, Voice actor[5]
Twitter: @strikeharbinger

Christopher Ryu Tang, often known as simply Chris Tang, is an American video game designer and former Tengen and Capcom designer, translator, and voice actor. Notable for his involvement in the design of the Sega Mega Drive games Gauntlet IV and Rampart[5][1], and for winning Sega of America's Rock the Rock competition[2][5], Tang remains active in the video game industry and is currently developing the upcoming rail shooter Strike Blazinger.[6]

Tang also commentates a number of gaming competitions, and is the originator of the meme Boom Tetris for Jeff.[7]


Born in 1976[2][1] in Honolulu, Hawaii[1], Chris Tang has always had an affinity for video games. When the Nintendo World Championships arrived in his native state, he joined the competition and was eventually crowned Hawaii State Champion. After moving to California, he would also become the 1990 Los Angeles City Champion[8] - something he attributes to helping get him into the industry.[9]

From a young age, Tang immersed himself in his passion for games.

Chris Tang began his employment at Tengen in 1990[2], when he was only 14 years of age[1], and worked on a number of the company's popular games. Particularly, his involvement in Gauntlet IV was one of the first times a passionate American gamer had direct influence on the production of a Japanese-developed title. As with the later Rampart, Tang's involvement was specifically highlighted in the game's Japanese manuals as a novel and fascinating collaboration between an American gamer and a Japanese development team.

Tang was also intimately involved in the development of the Primal Rage series, working on the first game and serving as a primary game designer on the infamously-cancelled Primal Rage II.[8] After his time with Tengen, Tang moved to Capcom Japan, where he would work on a number of popular arcade fighting games (like Marvel vs. Capcom: Clash of Super Heroes). Following Capcom, he would work on the Transformers franchise with Genazea/BAM and the Tetris franchise for Bullet Proof Software.

Tang's experience with the Tetris franchise and his outspoken passion for the game eventually saw him become the host of the Tetris World Championships in 2010[9] - a role he still serves to this day. In 2016, Tang was invited to join the U.S. National Video Game Team, and in 2017 was inducted into the International Video Game Hall Of Fame.[8]

Chris Tang's accomplishments and visibility, particularly by winning the 1994 competition Rock the Rock, resulted in him becoming a minor celebrity within the game industry. He occasionally cameos in film and television, such as an appearance in Ecstasy of Order: The Tetris Masters, and is even seen cosplaying in Entourage.[9] In his personal life, Tang is a professional cosplayer with over 40 cosplay awards.[9]

Rock the Rock

Tang being awarded his $25,000 check for winning Sega of America's Rock the Rock.
Main article: Rock the Rock.

Tang is also known for his participation in the October 1994 Sonic & Knuckles competition Rock the Rock. After winning the local San Francisco, California invitational tournament, he was invited to compete with 54 other contestants in the main tournament - held in the city's famous Alcatraz Federal Penitentiary.[10] After achieving the second-highest ring score of any contestant, Tang and co-finalist Mark Guinane proceeded to the final match.

Placed in a specially-designed head to head kiosk, the two were again tasked with collecting as many rings as possible, with Tang beating his rival by a margin of 30 rings to win the tournament.[11] Later that day, in a special Sega of America press conference, he was awarded with $25,000 in the form of a large novelty check presented by Tom Kalinske[12], and every product the company made for the next two years.[13]

Production history



Main article: Photos of Chris Tang

External links