Masanobu Endō joined Namco in 1981 and his first game, Xevious (1982), became a massive hit in Japan.
Xevious featured vertically scrolling gameplay and detailed, coloured graphics depicting a Peruvian landscape as seen from the low-flying spacecraft piloted by the player.
Aiming for a more realistic depiction of combat than the row formations of Space Invaders, Endō programmed the enemies to attack from both ground and air. In addition, the game reacts to the skills of the player, moving seamlessly through 16 levels of difficulty. Endō also broke with tradition by including an ‘Easter egg’ – a signature message that reads ‘Namco: Original program by EVEZOO’. Endō also designed Tower of Druaga (1984), a complex 60-level maze game comprising the first episode of Babylonian Castle Saga.
In 1985 Endō left Namco to establish his own company, Game Studio, where he continued to collaborate with Namco, producing the Family Circuit racing series.