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Friday, 29 April 2011

A Mystery of Gran Turismo 5 - Who Is Picture Exclusive Man?

WHO IS THIS MAN?
On Gran Turismo 5, I recently spent Cr.5,260,000 on a 1991 Mazda 787B racing car, and decided to take a few pictures of it in a Japanese setting (called "Kyoto - Gion"). The man here is leaning against a bridge looking at the small river below, occasionally looking towards you so you can take his photograph. I've noticed him before, but not really paid any attention to him, but this time I decided to take his picture. As it turns out, doing so - provided you press Square to 'AutoFocus' on his face - unlocks a Hidden Trophy called Picture Exclusive. The description reads: Take a picture of a special someone as he stands in Kyoto's Gion district. The thing I want to know is, who the hell is he?

*UPDATE*  I have been told who he is. See here!

I can say with a feeling of certainty that it isn't series creator (and thus my personal gaming God) Kazunori Yamauchi. In fact, it doesn't even look like someone Japanese, which makes me doubt that it is someone else who works for Polyphony Digital, which is based in Japan and part of Sony. One thought is that it could be a Sony higher-up, but who?

The next logical thought is that he must be a racing driver. Gran Turismo is a racing series after all, and one that appeals to serious petrolheads and motorsport fans. I like to think that if he was a significant Formula 1 driver, I would recognise him. With both Sony and Polyphony Digital being Japanese organisations, he could be an ex-Formula Nippon or JGTC/Super GT driver, but in that instance, he would likely be Japanese himself, which he does not appear to be. Wherever there is a "GT5 Hidden Trophies" thread, this question gets asked at some point, but never answered. Surely if he's a "special someone" then he must be of significance to at least one group of people?

Well, one idea that popped up in one or more threads is that it is yet another instance of Gran Turismo being better than real life. First there was the ability to race the previously-never-raced Jaguar XJ13, drive the too-valuable-to-drive Lamborghini Miura P400 Bertone Prototype (prototype 1 of 1) and the ability to witness Formula 1 with no boundaries (Red Bull X1). Now, according to some, we see what could have been were it not for a tragic race in 1994. Apparently, this man might be a 50-year-old Ayrton Senna.

Can you see the resemblance?
I hesitate to agree with this. I suppose the shape of his eyes are similar, and he's in suitable physical form for an ex-F1 driver, especially one as great as Senna, who would've been 50 years old in March 2010, the year this game was released (and the month that it was going to be released in, but this Gran Turismo we're talking about here...). The eyebrows may look similar, but I fear I'll have to get another angle of him to be certain. It would certainly be nice if it was meant to be Ayrton Senna, who tragically died at the height of his career during the San Marino Grand Prix in 1994. He was taken from us too soon, and left a permanent mark on motorsport, partly because of the tragedy of it, but also because of the huge advances in safety rules and devices that have come about as a result. He remains the last F1 driver to have died in a race, arguably as a result of this. Now his ghost (potentially) is overlooking the next generation of racing fans and drivers as they enjoy 'The Real Driving Simulator'.

For now, it's the closest to an answer that there seems to be, but I'm not closing my mind yet...

I leave you with a couple of pictures of the Mazda 787B I was snapping when I found him. Enjoy!






The Mazda 787B is the only Japanese car to have won the 24 Hours of Le Mans, as well as the only rotary-engine car to win Le Mans, but I think I'll save a full explanation for later.

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