Mega Man fans have long been a creative bunch, and the dedicated fans behind "Mega Man 2.5D" are no different. The unofficial game is both gaining a growing fan base online and a seeing a new beta release tomorrow. Recently, The Mega Man Network was able to sit down with Peter Sjöstrand, the lead designer of the project, to discuss the background of the project and the new Beta 3.0 release. Be sure to see the first part of the interview for more background information on this awesome project!
The Mega Man Network: The Giant Suzy mini-boss in Quick Man's level is awesome. How did you guys think of that?
Peter Sjöstrand: Glad you liked it! Since the Quick Beams are such an important part of Quick Man's stage we wanted to make use of them for the miniboss fight. So we started from there, and then looked at existing Mega Man enemies to see what might be a good fit for it.
TMMN: You weren't kidding when you said there were callbacks to Wave Man and Bubble Man in the Splash Woman level. Both the Cooperative and Single-Player versions of that level felt like a perfect mix of the three. Was that always the plan or did that sort of come up as you were creating that level?
PS: There were several reasons for having callbacks to Wave Man and Bubble Man in Splash Woman's stage. One is that we're aware that at least Bubble Man is a more popular water stage than Splash Woman, so we wanted to at least have something from that stage. Another reason is that our stages are longer than the stages in the original games, the co-op stages in particular. So where the original Splash Woman stage in Mega Man 9 takes place mostly underwater (except towards the end), we wanted to try and keep the stage interesting by switching back and forth between underwater and out of water sections. Because of that choice we needed elements that suited the out of water parts, and so it seemed like a good idea to borrow some things from Bubble Man and Wave Man.
TMMN: This beta features an achievements system that incentives both finishing all the levels and finding secrets. What other achievements are you planning on having in the future?
PS: We haven't thought about it too hard. In the previous versions we had two types of achievements, one for beating the stages under a certain amount of time (this one will most likely make a comeback), and an achievement for clearing a stage without jumping more than a certain amount of times. I wouldn't be surprised if we ended up lifting some of the achievements from Mega Man 9 and Mega Man 10 though, we really liked some of the achievements they had in those games.
TMMN: Any hints out there for the location of the secret room in Splash Woman's level?
PS: There's light at the end of the tunnel.
TMMN: The inclusion of the secret character is pretty cool-should we expect more unlockable characters?
PS: We definitely have more planned, though we don't want to fall into the all too common trap of just throwing every character imaginable into the game for the sake of fan-service. Although we will for sure have more unlockable characters, we'd also like to have other types of unlockables as well, perhaps even something like an unlockable stage.
TMMN: There's already a number of videos on YouTube featuring the misadventures of gamers making their way through the cooperative mode, and Quick Man's level is sure to increase their number. Do you have a favorite video? Any tips for going through the co-op mode?
PS: This is one of our absolute favourites, mostly because it's so great to see the reactions while they're playing it (editor's note: video uses language NSFW). As for going through the co-op mode, one thing that makes a big difference is to try and tackle the bosses in the right order, since starting with Beta 3.0, we've implemented boss weaknesses towards special weapons.
TMMN: This is definitely a game made by people who really love the classic Mega Man series. What games are most popular among the team members?
PS: Well, we all have different favourites, personally I'm a big fan of Mega Man 2 and Mega Man 3, though I also really like both Mega Man 9 and Mega Man 10. Ontikarus is also a big fan of Mega Man 9, while Edgar prefers Mega Man & Bass and Mega Man 2.
TMMN: Although the latest Beta is about to be available, I know we here at TMMN are already looking to the next release. What's the release schedule from here going to look like?
PS: Our plan is to try and have Beta 4.0 out in November, featuring two new robot masters, so 2 new single-player stages and 2 new co-op stages. We think it's doable, and hope that people will like what we've got planned for those stages. One of them will have a couple of callback to one of the Mega Man games for the Game Boy.
The Beta 3.0 of "Mega Man 2.5D" comes out this weekend, features new Splash Woman and Quick Man levels for both single and cooperative play, and comes highly recommended. Thanks go to Peter and the rest of the team for answering our questions and more importantly, making another fantastic fangame that is definitely worth your time.