Skip to main content


The sad -and somewhat stupid- story of Hatsue and Yozo

Fecha de la publicación: 06/03/2023

It has been almost 20 years, so I apologize if some details are fuzzy, or I get some of them wrong.

This went down during 2004, at Gen Con Barcelona. I think this was the last event to carry the Gen Con brand in Spain. Barcelona, along with Madrid, was one of the oldest hubs of OP activity for L5R, with a very active community, and an experienced team of TO’s. The official Spanish distributor at the time was Millennium and they got a storyline tournament for us to run. It was a huge thing for us! By now, I really don’t remember if this was a single day thing, or a 2 or more day event, with qualifiers and main event.

At the time, the Diamond arc was developing, with Iuchiban causing a lot of trouble, while the Gozoku was still just a budding plot thread in the background. The storyline was about the location of the Hidden Heart of Iuchiban, which would eventually play a part on the defeat of Iuchiban. The organization of the tournament took a lot of preparation. We were experienced but we had never done anything of this scope before. May L5R players from around Spain and Europe would be coming, and we wanted everybody to have an enjoyable event! Honestly I don’t remember a lot of details of what went into it; my own specific responsibility was taking care of the side events, the idea being that, at any moment, players that were out of the main event were able to pick new games.

Of course, we went very early to the event venue, which was a large sports court. When we got to Millennium’s convention stall, they presented us with stack after stack of promo cards, in their Spanish-language version. Most of these promos where already know to us, as they had been officially spoiled in the forums, or the website. However, there were several that were completely new and unknown to us! Among these, were Hatsue and Yozo. There were a few others, too, that I don’t remember right now, for reasons that will became clear by the end of this. (And, just to be clear, The Wasting Disease XP was NOT part of this batch).

Anyways, we explained this to the Millennium person in charge. “Are you sure these are OK to release? Keep in mind they are completely new. Maybe they need to be held for a later date.” He gave us explicit instructions that EVERYTHING needed to be given away, completely, by the end of the event. So all these promo cards were extra prices that we weren’t counting on when we started the day, and we HAD to give them away. Because we already had all kind of prizes for winners in the main event, we decided that a good way to make sure everybody had a easy chance to get their hand on these cool promos would be to use them as prizes for the side events.

So, the main tournament started and, has rounds advanced, people started dropping out once they had no chance to make the cut, and they came to play on the side events. To make sure everything was spread fairly, instead of a few players hoarding the cool cards, we changed the format of the side event and we settled on 8-player pods, with a single elimination format. The moment you lost a game, you were out, and you just had to wait a few minutes until there were other 7 players ready and start another pod! Once this started, and as people kept droping out of the main we got people playing non-stop in the tournaments, and there were several of these going simultaneously! Everbody was having fun playing.  It was hectic, and even the AEG European representative, who had come to the tournament, took part in these side events 20 years later, everything is a blur. It was an exhausting event, if very rewarding! We got only positive feedback from the tournament and we considered it a success!

Then, as weeks, then months, went by, some of these new promos did eventrually appear in English, too. In the end, everything was released… everything but poor Hatsue and Yozo. The arc legality changed, and for whatever reason, there was never an English release of them.

So, let’s jump forward about 10 years, give or take 2 years. During a board conversation with a French player, he starts to give me hell, angrily accusing the Barcelona TO team of having caused the non-release of Hatsue and Yozo. Apparently, the not-so friendly AEG European representative had been badmouthing us on the French boards, explaining that the complete English run of these two cards had been destroyed to punish us for spoiling these cards.

Of course, this didn’t make sense then, and still doesn’t know. To start with, the AEG guy could have easily nipped it on the bud by letting us know these were not to be given out. when there were only maybe half a dozen out of the bag. Instead, apparently, he took the time to participate in these side events, but keeping is mouth shut at the time. Then, what kind of stupid punishment is one that the punished doesn’t even know is being dished out? And, who is being punished, exactly? The TO’s, that have done their work, and who don’t even know there is some punishment going around (at least not until 10 years later)? Or the overall community? Were these two cards destroyed because of a stupid tantrum? Maybe this guy did sabotage out good standing, hoping to benefit from our supposed «loss of face».

At the time, I don’t know what made more angry, the stupidity of the idea, the two-faced attitude of the European representative, or the rude French guy on the board.

…and that’s the sad, stupid story of Hatsue and Yozo.

We got eventually a version of Yozo as a Celestial card (Celestial as the card type, not the arc), as another promo card named «Yozo’s Inspiration». However, we never got any information about Hatsue.

    Tu cesta
    Tu cesta está vaciaVolver a la tienda