Hironobu Sakaguchi created Final Fantasy. Yoshio Sakamoto co-created Metroid. And in 1987, both worked together on a game with this lady, Miho Nakayma.
Game company Square was interested in doing an adventure game. But not any old adventure game, but one that used the telephone. Square was gung-ho for Nintendo's Famicom Disk System console, which used Nintendo floppy disks. Square even had a failed software label that published Disk System titles.
At the time, Sakaguchi was overseeing product development. When Square took the game to Nintendo, Yoshio Sakamoto suggested that the project feature an idol, because a popular idol would get players interested in the game. The final result was dating sim "Nakayama Miho no Tokimeki High School", which featured a score by famed game soundtrack composer Nobuo Uematsu.
Miho Nakayama was one of the most popular idols of the 1980s. In the game, players met a girl at their school that looks exactly like Miho Nakayama. Turns out, it is Miho Nakayama in disguise!
The game even had phone numbers that players could call to get hints or hear Miho's voice. Like in the U.S., a fad in Japan during the 1980s was toll phone numbers that enabled kids to hear messages from teeny pops or even toy characters like Licca-chan.
The game even gave players the opportunity to win a prize — a VHS tape featuring Miho.
In early December 1987, Nakayama Miho no Tokimeki High School hit shops. Later that same month, Square also released Final Fantasy. The rest is, as they say, history.
社長が訊く 坂口博信×坂本賀勇 [Nintendo]