by Press Start
In 1994, Mega Man 6 was released in North America, and it featured the only two official Robot Masters to have original designs by North Americans. 20 years later, we catch up with one of those designers to ask about his unique experience.
Mega Man boss design contests have been held by Capcom ever since Mega Man 2's development began, but they typically were only advertised in Japan. Most North American fans had no idea such contests existed until the September 1992 volume of Nintendo Power. In the Player's Pulse section of the magazine, Nintendo Power revealed the existence of Japanese boss design contests, and also asked readers to submit their own boss ideas to Nintendo Power's headquarters. These submissions would then be passed on to Capcom for consideration in a possible future Mega Man title.
This was a golden opportunity for North American fans to take part in the development of their beloved series, and it resulted in Nintendo Power being bombarded with letters filled with robot designs. The January 1993 volume of Nintendo Power featured some of these entries, and thanked readers for their dedicated participation. One of the many entrants who was not featured in that section was a young Canadian Mega Man fan by the name of Daniel Vallée.
Q: How did you first find out about the contest?
Daniel Vallée: I read about the contest in Nintendo Power, which I was subscribed to at the time. I was, and still am, a huge Mega Man fan, which is why I jumped at the opportunity to participate.
Q: How many robot designs did you draw for the contest?
DV: Wow. That was a long time ago, and I sadly mailed off all of my original drawings and did not keep copies for myself. But, I do remember having made enough robots for eight whole games. I used a pen to draw everything and then colored everything using coloring pencils.
Q: Do you remember the names of your original designs, and if Knight Man's was different?
DV: Knight Man was his original name. Among others I can remember, there was Samurai Man and Wave Man. When I saw Wave Man in Mega Man 5, I thought I had won then, but it was just another design which happened to have the same name as my design.
Q: Did you feel confident that Capcom would use one of your robot designs?
DV: I was pretty confident; I mean how many other contestants would send enough ideas for eight games' worth?
Q: How did you find out that your Knight Man design had been chosen?
DV: I first saw that I had won on the pages of Nintendo Power, which was a bit of a surprise because as I previously mentioned, I thought I had already won with Wave Man. Much later, I received a letter and package from Capcom telling me that my submission had won and would be featured in the game Mega Man 6. I received that package much later than I should have due mostly to my sloppy handwriting.
[Editor's note: In the credits for Mega Man 6, Knight Man's designer is listed as “Daniel Vallie”. Daniel Vallée believes this is a result of his handwriting being misinterpreted, which also resulted in the delayed arrival of his prize package.]
Q: What did Capcom's package contain?
DV: I received Capcom markers, a T-shirt, and a clock with Knight Man on it. The markers and T-shirt both died off a long time ago, but I still have my clock with my character on it.
Q: What was your reaction to Capcom's take on your Knight Man design?
DV: There were some slight differences in design. If I recall, the crest on his head on my version was just a series of spikes, and Capcom decided to make it an actual crest instead. The "armored skirt” bits were also part of my original design. All in all, aside from a few cosmetic changes, I guess the biggest difference is that they redrew it in manga style.
Q: How did you and your family react to winning?
DV: My mom took the Nintendo Power article to the local newspaper, which resulted in an interview. My parents have always been proud of me for that. They got a copy of the newspaper article and had it laminated. It is still hanging up on the living room wall to this day.
Q: Were you able to play Mega Man 6 and fight your creation?
DV: Sadly, I never played Mega Man 6. I could not wait for it to come out so I could rent it, but alas, that's the exact moment all video rental stores in my town decided to switch exclusively to Super NES games. I have no idea how the game is, but someone I met once told me my character is hard and really frustrating to beat!
Q: What are your thoughts on the current state of Mega Man?
DV: Inafune left Capcom and is now making Mighty No. 9... need I say more?
Q: Thank you for sharing the details of this rare and exciting experience! In case today's fans have further questions, is there anywhere they may get into contact with you?
DV: Well, you can always contact me at kalajel [at] hotmail.com, or on Skype and Steam with the username “kalajel”.
Newspaper article translation:
Daniel Vallée of Sainte-Julie creates "Knightman", a character from "Mega man VI" from Nintendo
It's a young Julievillois who created the character Knightman from the game "Mega man VI" by Nintendo. Indeed, Daniel Vallée aged 17 participated last summer in the contest "Mega man needs your help" from the company Capcom in Osaka, Japan (a subsidiary of Nintendo), which consisted of creating a character for the game.
Thousands of submissions, from all over the world, were made to the company which retained only eight. Daniel, an enthusiast of Nintendo games and very talented at drawing created Knightman which can be seen below.
Daniel's picture, accompanied by his description as well as his character, were published in the magazine "Club Capcom". And so, when you'll see Daniel Vallée's name appear in the “Mega man VI” cartridge's end credits, you'll now know that he is a Julievillois.
[Translator's notes: The newspaper journalist incorrectly believed that Capcom was a subsidiary of Nintendo, and that Mega Man belonged to Nintendo. A “Julievillois” is the name for an inhabitant of Sainte-Julie. The picture of Knight Man included in the article was drawn by Capcom.]
Press Start is a member of The Mega Man Network's User Content Submission System, and the views expressed here reflect the views of the authors alone, and do not necessarily reflect the views of The Mega Man Network.