The Mega Man Network's Interview with Keiji Inafune

Signing Mega Man 2!

Signing Mega Man 2!

As we mentioned a few days back, The Mega Man Network was able to schedule an interview with "the Father of Mega Man," Keiji Inafune, following his hugely popular panel at PAX Prime. We picked a number of questions that readers submitted, along with several questions about his new project,Mighty No. 9.   We alternated questions with Ryan King of 100,000 Strong For Bringing Back Mega Man Legends 3 as best we could, and sometimes we wound up combining our questions and posing various questions as follow-ups to each other's inquiries. The transcript below has some questions that were asked out of order, but we grouped them together in a more logical manner for the site.

Another huge thank you to Mark MacDonald of 8-4 Ltd. for helping to facilitate this exclusive interview, Ben Judd for being an amazing translator and all around cool guy, and of course, a huge thank you to the one and only Inafune for deliberately reaching out to the fans a whole day earlier than the interview sessions he will be holding with the larger gaming websites.

Read on to find out a juicy (non-)tidbit of Mega Man 9, how Mighty No. 9 will change the Japanese gaming industry, and his thoughts on bridging the gap between the Classic and series!

The Mega Man Network: My first question is kind of strange, we know a lot of Mega Man characters were named after musical terms. Was the character "Rush" named after the Canadian progressive rock band, Rush?

Keiji Inafune:  Actually, for Rush, there was a game Rush 'n' Crash that Capcom had made earlier that I liked a lot. For the name "Rush," there was not necessarily a musical reference.

TMMN: We know you are sort of limited in what you can talk about in terms of your work with Capcom, but do you know what the last secret of Mega Man 9 is, and if you do, could you tell us?

KI: Unfortunately, I don't know exactly what what that is. Even if I did, I wouldn't be able to talk about it because it was during my time at Capcom, but honestly I do not know what you are talking about.

TMMN: What was a concept you wish you had pursued in a Mega Man game but never had a chance? Were such concepts going to be included in the PSP remake series and/or will they find a place in Mighty No. 9?

KI: For Mighty No. 9, we are still in the conceptual phases. There are still a lot of questions that are still out there, and we are right now searching for the answers. Obviously, if it gets funded, then we'll get the chance to find those answers and delve and make something great. It can be said, without going into any specific game feature, that there's lots of things that I wanted to do in the Mega Man titles and did not necessarily get the chance, that now, with Mighty No. 9 and with fan support, I would love to put in as much as I can.

TMMN: Do you think production of Mega Man Legends 3 could be revived once there is some change at Capcom?

KI: *laughs* Unfortunately, you'll have to ask that of Capcom that question because it is their intellectual property. So whether they choose to use it or not use it, that is completely up to them. But so long as they have the rights to the IP, the potential for them to turn back and use the IP will always be there. I certainly would not say it is zero.

TMMN: Did you know or were you part of a long-ago decision for Mega Man to be included in Super Smash Bros. for the Wii U and 3DS?

KI: No, I had nothing to do with that at all, I learned about it at E3 with everyone else. When I saw it I thought "Oh, well that's great!" I'm a big fan of Smash Bros., and I'm happy that I saw that.

TMMN: What would you say was the greatest triumph and the greatest disappointment of your career?

KI: The thing that I am most proud of, my biggest triumph, would be when I first became head of R&D at Capcom. Capcom was not in a good place, and I was able to come up with some good ideas and some good games, basically make some key changes in the company to turn it around. Turning around a company, a publisher of that size, making it go from down to up is a major deal, so I'm very proud I was able to do that.

As far as areas in which I have failed, I've got tons of failures under my belt, no doubt about it. The one that is probably the biggest would have to be when I left Capcom. That last day, leaving the company-- there were a lot of memories, feelings that came with it. It wasn't of course, 100% according to plan, but having it end was probably something that did not happen the way I wanted it to, and that will be something that stays with me.

Comcept logo

Comcept logo

TMMN: It has been several years since you've left Capcom to form Comcept, partially due to what you called the "salaryman problem." How do you combat such complacency at Comcept?

KI: So, there is no 100% perfect solution to the "salaryman problem." What I have adopted as a method is to, on a weekly basis, have a team meeting and basically I share what my thoughts are. I share what I feel ought to be how they should feel about game design, how much they should love the projects they are working on and hopefully through my teachings it will lessen that issue. Of course, there will be some people that are too busy to attend these meetings and naturally may follow in that same problem. I would like to think that the time and energy I spend will help reduce that problem from happening.

TMMN: While Capcom may have issues with the "salaryman problem", would you be opposed to Capcom giving the Mega Man intellectual property to an outside team with a good track record, like WayForward?

KI: Whether you choose to take your IP and give it to an outsourced developer or not, it really comes down to the company, the publisher's, the IP owner's strategy. Now there are lots of different ways to think about production and development, but I would hope that if they were considering outsourcing Mega Man to another developer, like WayForward, I hope that they would pursue proper due diligence, and find out during the due diligence first and foremost if the love is there or not, because you'll know if the team is just doing it for money, or if they are doing it if they love it and you will be able to tell in the final product.

TMMN: In many games, there are hints of how the various Mega Man series link together. Was there a plan to link the various series more explicitly and/or permanently end a series for storyline purposes? [Note: GMOTM had a very similar question about the nature of Classic and X, and the answer to that is included as well. --Ed.]

KI: The Classic and X series are in the same world, just a few hundred years apart. There are many small tie-ups, such as we know that Zero was built by Dr. Wily, so you already know that the two series are tied together. Those are two series that stand on their own, and when you see a lot of cross-ups, something that people often say is "Oh, I'd really like to see Superman and Batman, or I'd like to see Aliens vs. Predator," and it is something in its very simplest form is a tie-up that people come up with.

But I think, as a creator, that if you feel the need to crossover your series that are not particularly related with the backstory and put them together in the same game, then you are kind of mixing things in a blender and that is pretty much the writing on the wall that you are jumping the shark [Warning: TV Tropes link. --Ed.]. Even if I stayed at Capcom, I would not have pursued such a crossover where you would play as X characters in a Classic series or vice versa. That would mean the brand would be dead to me.

TMMN: Was it frustrating to have to compromise on your visions for characters and games in the Mega Man series? Such as what you were discussing today about Zero not being the main character of the X series, how was it having some other design decisions made and influenced by higher-ups at Capcom? And how did you deal with such frustration?

KI: At the time... a truly mature creator is someone who realizes that you cannot always get what you want. You really have to pick your battles, but that you have to have your heart in the right place. Back then, my heart was in the right place; I wanted to do what was right for Capcom. So that would mean sometimes I would fight against upper management when they were doing something bad for Capcom, whether they knew it or not, and sometimes that would mean I would listen to them, even if it was not how I personally felt, if I thought that was going to be good for Capcom. So again, when you are a mature creator you sometimes push for things that are important and sometimes you are open to doing something that you would not have otherwise thought because it is better for the whole.

TMMN: Were some concepts that you originally intended to include in Mega Man 3, such as the Rush Drill and other concepts, going to find themselves in a PSP remake? Will such concepts find themselves in Mighty No. 9, or were they more centric to just MM3 or Mega Man as a whole?

KI: Yeah, back then, I was a different creator. I have gained a lot of experience and wisdom from the past several years and that sort of concept would fit games back then and would have made sense. But for something nowadays, it would not necessarily fit, so what I want to do with Mighty No. 9 is do something new and innovative that fits that sort of style of game.

TMMN: Across the various series, a huge number of characters were created. Which was your favorite character? [Note: GMOTM asked first about a Robot Master, we followed up with any character. --Ed.]

KI: That would have to be the first character I designed from the ground up, and that would be Elec Man. It's sort of the first person you fall in love with, and when it comes to the first boss you design you know it's something you'll never forget, and it becomes a part of you.

I guess if I had to open it up, if you would say any character in any of the series, it would have to be Zero, as I said today at the event. Actually, before I let Inti Creates create a game with Zero in it, I never let anyone at Capcom touch Zero's design at all. I was always the only person that could redesign or adjust or work with that character, so that's how much, how protective I was with this character I created.

TMMN: The Classic Mega Man series (and to some extent, the X series) is essentially run, jump, and shoot. Over time, you and your teams added new concepts incrementally, such as the slide, Rush, the shop, versatile weapons, etc. Eventually, you reduced the number of these concepts. How did you decide on which concepts to still include in the more recent installments?

KI: These are really two different kinds of questions. In terms of the charged shot and slide, we felt that Mega Man 1 and 2 were very pure in terms of the movement and controlling the character, the spacing and where you would be. Because you did not have these other tools at your command, you really had to control the character very well. You could not rely on the additional damage that the charged shot would do, you could not rely on being able to slide out of a situation. So it really made you rely on your base instincts like Mega Man 1 and 2 did, and that's what they wanted to focus on with Mega Man 9, to go back to the basics. In terms of the shop, if you consider what current gaming trends are, this would fit certainly with a retro-style game like Mega Man 9, which is why they made that choice.

TMMN: And the reduction in items in favor of weapons with dual uses?

KI: Yes, pretty much again we wanted to go back to the purest roots of what Mega Man was. And it wasn't about bells and whistles, even though the Rush stuff was not too much, the idea was to go back to what Mega Man 1 was, back to the roots and there wasn't anything like that. You just had the basic Master Weapons and a normal buster and there was no sliding or anything like that.

TMMN: During the development of Mega Man 9 and 10, were there any discussions about restarting the X series? And speaking of series development, some that think that Mega Man & Bass has some signs of being its own sub-series, was that ever an idea?

KI: We're getting into an area where I cannot answer. That does not mean there's some big conspiracy behind it, it just means that this was my previous job and I'll able to speak much more about my current work than things in the past.

We can do it!

We can do it!

TMMN: Switching gears, what do you believe will be the greatest difference between the Mega Man series and Mighty No. 9? If you had to pick one concept or a few concepts, should we be expecting to be wildly different between the two?

KI: This will probably not be the answer you were thinking, but for me, what makes Mighty No. 9 so different from Mega Man is while we did elicit boss designs and contests like that with fans for Mega Man, we have never really, ground-up made the game with fans. So what makes Mighty No. 9 unique is that he is your Mighty No. 9, he is the fans' Mighty No. 9. The fans are making it together, and that is not something that Mega Man has.

TMMN: What is it like to work with a lot of experienced team members who were there for some of the original games, such as Manami Matsumae (the music composer of Mega Man 1) and members of the IntiCreates team in making Mighty No. 9

KI: Honestly, being able to work with these classic members that I have worked with twenty years ago, being able to do that again is like putting on a comfortable old pair of shoes. It is really nice, they are able to bring the kind of nostalgic feeling of working together when we were younger, when everything was new and fresh and there is this sort of support that goes on between the older members of the team, so it is good to have that.

TMMN: And what do you hope to achieve with this game and with Comcept in general, especially in relation to the gaming industry in Japan?

KI: In terms of what this means and what I want people to take away from this, certainly the game industry, for me and for Japanese developers, they don't really know about Kickstarter. It is not something that is super-popular in Japan, but it is something they should know and take notice of, because it allows creators a lot more opportunities to make content that they know their fans will love. In an ideal situation, Kickstarter will get more and more popular in Japan, independent creators will take more and more chances, they will be able to get the money they need to create the experiences that their fans and gamers really want to play. That will create more game content, more game content that gamers want and more than what is available right now. There is a lot that can be created if this becomes more popular in Japan.

Mighty No. 9 fan art from rnn.

Once again, The Mega Man Network would like to thank Mark MacDonald of 8-4 Ltd. for setting up this interview, Ben Judd for translating, and Keiji Inafune, and his entire crew from Comcept for being gracious hosts. And thanks to all the readers for submitting so many great questions! And yes, maybe next time we'll ask if "Beck" is a reference to the musician. Stay tuned to TMMN to find out how you could get equipped with a copy of Mega Man 2 signed by Keiji Inafune.

---

James is a features contributor for The Mega Man Network. He is now back in the United States. Sometimes he updates his Tumblr.

The views expressed here reflect the views of the authors alone, and do not necessarily reflect the views of The Mega Man Network.

BitF Celebrates its Milestone with a Tribute to Mega Man

Online comic and Nintendo love letter "Brawl in the Family" has reached the milestone of 500 funnies. And as a special tribute, creator Matthew wanted to show support for his favorite non-Nintendo character: Mega Man. In fact, by Matthew's own admission, he'd planned on the tribute for a while but wasn't sure how to execute. With perfect timing, Mega Man joining Super Smash Bros. gave the answer.

That result is a charming and inspiring video portraying the history of the Blue Bomber and the hard times he'd fall upon, but nevertheless still comes through with the support of those who love him. How the events take things to the end is a very nice touch.

Thanks for sending word, Kapus and Andrew!

Super Smash Bros. Pic of the Day - Mega Buster, Go!

ssb711 Not that we're going to make this a regular thing every time Mega Man happens to show up on the official Super Smash Bros. website's daily picture (though those can still wind up making their way to the TMMN Rock Tumblr), but this one was too good not to put up front and center. After all, one of the coolest parts of the trailer announcing Mega Man as a competitor was when he began transforming the Mega Buster, so why not highlight it in mid-transformation?

A Peek at Yellow Devil in Super Smash Bros.

dailyThe Super Smash Bros. Official Site treats fans to a new screenshot everyday. Of course Mega Man has shown up here and there, but here's our first direct look at Yellow Devil (previously we only see him assembling at the end of the trailer). They really nailed his classic appearance, even with the shape of the hands. And just what is Kirby doing up there? Is he stuck in the Devil, or just clipping through? Or maybe he's even controlling the behemoth (unlikely, but neat idea). I've been curious what kind of role Yellow Devil plays in the game. I'm supposing he's probably a hazard that shows up in the Dr. Wily castle stage. But what do you think?

Thanks for the tip, KXN!

Sakurai Discusses the Reasoning Behind Mega Man's SSB Appearance

wiiu_smashbros_scrn00_01_e3.0_cinema_960.0 And just for the record: By "appearance," we don't just mean how he looks, but the rationale behind that and how he fits into Super Smash Bros. as a whole.

In a recent edition of his column for Famitsu (as reported by Polygon), Super Smash Bros. director Masahiro Sakurai explained his reasoning behind his choices for new challengers Villager, Wii Fit Trainer, and Mega Man for the upcoming Wii U and Nintendo 3DS fighting games. He points out that Villager was actually a consideration for Super Smash Bros. Brawl, only to be cut, and that "Something I think that people noticed in the movies and screenshots released is that the villager and trainer were not choices we made for the sake of cheap novelty," pointing out the unique attributes they bring to the game.

As for Mega Man, he wrote:

For Mega Man as well, if all we cared about was who we could get in the game, then he would just have regular old punches and kicks, like how he largely does in the Marvel vs. Capcom series. But Mega Man's most unique trait is how he gains new attacks from bosses. Working that fully into the game results in a more complete Mega Man that we can give you. That's why he's done up in NES-era proportions rather than something more realistic; that's why he's a little expressionless; that's why his jumping and damage motions and the way he can fire the Mega Buster while walking are all what they are. It's all in an effort to present the character.

Making a game by yourself is one thing, but if a lot of people are involved, retaining a unified direction is vital. Every member of the team has their own vision of Mega Man that springs to mind instantly when they think about it. However, as long as the original image you construct remains firm, then that can survive a few discrepancies without the character falling apart. So what's key in character selection is whether the guy dances out at you, and whether you have what it takes to portray that appeal.

For what it's worth, we think that they've portrayed Mega Man's appeal quite stunningly, and that he's going to not only dance out at people, but all over a lot of video game faces, too.

Gamers React to Mega Man in Smash Bros. Live

Won't lie. My reaction to Mega Man in Super Smash Bros. was pretty subdued. I had to watch it when I got up in the morning for work, hours after the announcement was made. In fact I chose to go to bed 20 minutes before the Nintendo Direct, because I had a lot to do the following day. It was all for your benefit.

Nevertheless, I've been growing more excited with each day since. And I've also taken up looking for videos of other folks reacting to the announcement live. I feel like I can enjoy their excitement vicariously when I watch.

Check out some more videos after the break. I will warn, some contain a bit of NSFW language. You might also want to be cautious about your volume.

Jump to 4:30.

Jump to 40:30.

Definitely the most NSFW.

Not a live reaction, but still shell shocked.

Jump to 2:00.

Jump to 2:10. Also watch until the end, because what the guy says is hilariously priceless.

I imagine a lot of your reactions were pretty similar! However, seeing some of these videos I have to say - if you plan on posting yourself on the internet, you may want to think about cleaning up a little!

"Getting Mega Man into Smash Bros. was Easy" says Sakurai

65801610 Since the announcement of Mega Man's much deserved inclusion in Super Smash Bros., some fans have been wondering just how the deal was brokered. Smash producer Masahiro Sakurai gives some insight in an interview with Polygon.

Sakurai says the addition of Mega Man to the Smash Bros. Wii U and 3DS roster is a reflection of the winnowing down of candidates. He brings features and characteristics, like his ability to use various Robot Masters attacks, to the roster that you don't see in other characters, Sakurai says. Mega Man's addition came about at the behest of fans as well. After Sonic the Hedgehog — who appeared in Super Smash Bros. Brawl — Mega Man was the most requested guest character, Sakurai said.

Getting Capcom's approval for Mega Man was easy, to hear Sakurai tell it.

"We approached Capcom with the idea and they were very favorable and open to it," he said. Sakurai and the teams at Sora Ltd. and Namco Bandai focused on the classic NES-style of Mega Man, a chunkier, less angular, less sleek version of the character. The Smash Bros. version of Mega Man focuses more on his ability to absorb others' powers, de-emphasizing punching and kicking. Mega Man's mega uppercut, which Sakurai says was inspired by the character's appearance in Marvel vs. Capcom, is one of his few melee attacks. "The approval process, in terms of how we're representing Mega Man, was actually really smooth and went really quickly."

I know there's been some consternation that Capcom really didn't care about Mega Man getting into Smash, but it looks like they were happy to get behind it all this time!

Via GoNintendo

So, How Does Mega Man Figure Into the Adventure Mode Story of Super Smash Bros.?

3DS_SmashBros_scrnNew02_02_E3Well, to put it simply: He doesn't. Now, before anyone goes flying of the handle about this, hear us out: In an interview with Polygon, director Masahiro Sakurai explains that the forthcoming Super Smash Bros. titles for Nintendo 3DS and Wii U won't have the same sort of Adventure Mode experienced in Super Smash Bros. Brawl, but that doesn't mean there won't be any fun had with the vast range of characters featured in the game's roster.

There will be a single player [campaign], but it won't be like the [Subspace Emissary] mode in Brawl," Sakurai explained. That game's adventure mode offered a series of unlockable movies that explained the Subspace Emissary plot. "One thing we can do with the Smash Bros. series that's unique to us — because we have all these different disparate characters brought together — is we can create that sort of fan-movie experience as a special gift. But now those things are posted on the internet, it doesn't really become a gift for people who played the game."

"What we decided this time around, we're just going to have [those movies unlocked] from the beginning," Sakurai said. "We're going to have a movie for Wii Fit Trainer, The Villager and Mega Man and they'll be viewable right at the beginning, you can watch those right away."

So we'll still be getting some fun videos featuring the characters interacting, but it sounds like the Adventure Mode might be more akin to what was seen in Super Smash Bros. Melee than the grand, sweeping epic of Brawl.

But which version would you prefer? Sonic was a late arrival last time, but there would have been plenty of time to feature him (should be make an encore appearance) and Mega Man this time out, had they chosen that path.

Source: via GoNintendo

Thoughts, Musings, and Other Ponderings on Mega Man in Super Smash Bros.

WiiU_SmashBros_scrnNew02_02_E3As you might have noticed, I don't tend to do many editorials on here, but after this week's events, I've just been compelled to just write and express my thoughts. Anyone who knows me knows that I'm a huge Nintendo fan-- not to such a point that I'll defend anything they do, but at least enough that I'm comfortable with theirs being my "main" console and others being by and large secondary. But in an E3 week that's shown us Super Mario 3D World (fun game, by the way), Mario Kart 8 (looks gorgeous), Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze, two The Legend of Zelda games, Yoshi's New Island, and more, not to mention an absolute killing by Sony at their press conference, my mind just keeps wandering back to one thing: Super Smash Bros. (which is more or less the full name, by the way; no "Melee" or "Brawl"-style addition) More than that, it keeps coming back to one particular part: You guessed it, Mega Man.

There's the video again, for those who want to follow along as I dissect it.

First, I'm sure I'm not the only one who suspected that the end of the other video wasn't really the end, not after Snake's reveal for Super Smash Bros. Brawl, and sure enough...

It was about the 13 second mark when it clicked. The hair? That could probably be any of countless characters' hair. But the limbs... they were different, but does anyone else really have those proportions? Anyone that would be likely to appear in a Super Smash Bros. game, anyway? Of course, as the unmistakable helmet appeared in a distinct yet different way only seconds later, I knew it had to be true.

That didn't prepare me for what came next, though, as Mega Man's eyes lit up in a way we haven't really experienced before.

tumblr_mo8k9d5VxL1qg4z5to1_400

If you follow The Mega Man Network's Rock Tumblr, then you probably saw the enormous image dump I made the other night as I finally had time to go through two pages' worth of posts (sorry about that, by the way). Of particular note is this reblogged post, wherein ClevelandRock said:

So, did anybody else know Mega Man’s eyes are actually screens? I didn’t. In fact, they remind me of CRT TVs. Didn’t they have LCD screens in 200X? Could Dr. Light not afford them? Personally, I would want only the best parts to go inside my son’s eye sockets.

As far as Mega Man's redesign goes, this is definitely an interesting aspect, as we've always known him to basically look more or less human whenever he's not all armored up. It works from a robotic standpoint, but I can see how some might be apprehensive about it, too. At the same time, you'll notice that the glowing is only in effect in the cutscenes, which is set at night. Perhaps it's a form of night vision? After all, he was just standing on the cliff with nothing at all lit up, and his eyes seem normal in all other shots.

In short, it's a cool touch, and probably nothing to read too much into right now. That said, I also dig that the crest on his helmet-- which has always appeared as little more than lighter-colored pieces of metal-- are now glowing as well.

tumblr_mo9oup0KXw1rwspqso1_1280

See more model-sprite comparisons here.
All said, I'm really enjoying this new design. I've seen some say that it throws out the years of evolution his design has had since the NES days, but I disagree. Rather, much like the modern Mega Man and Hitoshi Ariga's take on the character, I see this as a third, separate evolution from the same basic source. Capcom's official art elongated the limbs and made the design make a little more visible sense in how the parts all fit together, while Ariga's kept the more ballooned limbs and added lots of details such as vents, panel lines, bolts, and rivets.

Both have served the character well in the past, but moving forward, one might argue a change might be needed, if only for the prolonged survival of the series/franchise/character outside of our relatively little (and possibly dwindling) niche. Mario, Link, Samus, Sonic, Snake, and even (rather abruptly, intentional though that was) Pit have all evolved and changed over time. Mega Man, in his Capcom form? Not so much.

What's more-- and what possibly makes this better-- is that this might have been Capcom's doing.

People have been quick to write off Capcom as doing nothing but licensing merchandise while they've said they're trying to figure out how to proceed with Mega Man, and I'm wondering if this might be the first step in that-- the first clue towards what they're doing. To those believing Capcom just scribbled a signature on a piece of paper and just passed the whole thing off to Nintendo, Capcom Unity community manager Brett Elston had this to say on Twitter:

Nintendo doesn't "care" about Mega Man more than Capcom. Those are logos. PEOPLE on both sides made SSB happen. That design is collaboration

This quote may be very telling, as if you go over to the official Super Smash Bros. website and click on Mega Man's profile, you'll see the following picture that has been making the rounds:

WiiU-3DS_SmashBros_illuNew02_E3

What makes this significant is not only that it's hand-drawn (or not a 3D model rendering, at least) is the text below it:

Illustration / Ryuji Higurashi(CAPCOM)

For those unaware, Ryuji Higurashi is an artist who has been working on Capcom for quite a while, and on Mega Man in particular. Previous titles he's created art for include Mega Man X5, X6, and Command Mission, the PlayStation Portable versions of the two Mega Man Legends games released exclusively in Japan, the Mega Man Battle Network series, the first and third Mega Man Star Force games, and most significant and relevant, the PlayStation Complete Works versions of Mega Man through Mega Man 6, as well as Mega Man 9.

It's not conclusive how big his role is, whether this image is all he did or he was helping out from the ground floor on up until now, but the simple fact is that this is the guy who has been drawing the modern version of Mega Man for over a decade. If there was a person to help update the design while sticking to what he's become, then he seems like a good choice.

Furthermore, director Masahiro Sakurai had this to say about the inclusion of third-party characters into Super Smash Bros. in general when asked by IGN about Namco Bandai characters making an appearance as a result of their part in developing the game:

Just because the game is being cooperatively developed with Namco Bandai involved, that doesn’t at all mean that they’d be given any special consideration for having characters in the game. Smash Bros. can still be considered as an all-star collection of Nintendo characters. Just like with Mega Man or any other third-party character, it would have to be a very special situation.

Adding third-party characters should be considered a very special case. In the last game, when we added Sonic and Snake, there were lots of different hoops to jump through as far as getting approvals and making sure all the parties involved were happy with the way things went. You can consider it a very special circumstance for that to happen. Even in cases like adding Pokemon characters, there are a lot of parties involved and there’s a lot of wrangling. It’s much tougher than people can imagine. I know lots of people have requests and their own ideas about third-party characters that would work, but I want people to understand that adding a third-party character like Mega Man is a very special situation.

Another thing we know is that there is a certain reverence towards the NES games, Mega Man 2 in particular, both inside and outside of Capcom (to a fault, one might even argue). It's that version of the character which is considered most iconic, and it was that precise style of gameplay they attempted to recapture with Mega Man 9 and Mega Man 10.

Therefore, it's not at all difficult to believe that Capcom would like to be able to move the series forward in a way which resonates with today's audiences while still allowing the character to evolve to some degree. And this could be the result of attempting to reconcile the two; Sakurai himself even said that having him move as he did on the NES was a "top priority," though he didn't say precisely whose priority it was.

Or perhaps not. This is all just my own supposition, theorizing, and hypothesis. Until we see something more from Capcom or just get more details from Sakurai (who else is hoping we see "Japan Time" return?), all we can do is rationalize what we've been given.

Suffice to say, I think this design does a fantastic job of updating the NES Mega Man into something more contemporary, keeping his basic proportions and movements while assembling everything in a way that still works as well as some other designs, and perhaps even better. While I do like the previous designs, I will say that at least this one makes the wrists look believable.

Moving back to the trailer...

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At right about 37 seconds in, we see Mega Man charging the Mega Buster for a charge shot. One thing I like here, though part of it may be the camera, is the vibration involved as he braces his Buster; it feels like it's adding a greater sense of power, of "oomph" to the blast. Shortly after, we see the tide turn against Mega Man-- did you notice that he gets a special death animation, exploding just as in the games?

We've all heard the Mega Man 2 title theme, which has basically become Mega Man's personal theme, remixed plenty of times, as well as the Dr. Wily's Stage 1 theme from the same game, and both sound great here. What I personally enjoyed was at 44 seconds in, when we get a remix of the "Weapon Get" theme from it, too. It just works so well here.

48 seconds in, we get to the Special Weapons. In a clever touch, they chose to use the silhouettes with lit-up eyes for each of the Robot Masters whose weapons he'll be using. We probably won't see this much, if at all, in the game, but it is clever as it allows them to use existing assets in a fashion which complements the style of the new Mega Man without having to redesign and render each Robot Master. In other words, it's making the old art look like it belongs with the new Mega Man.

At 51 seconds, another great part:

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I absolutely love the way the Mega Buster transforms here. Over the years, this has often been something of a weak point when watching Mega Man in animation. In the Ruby Spears series (which actually kept true to the original designs in this regard), Mega Man's hand would simply pull into his forearm, and maybe a smaller barrel would come out (more often not).

In Super Adventure Rockman, there's a bit of glowing shape-changing during at least one point, with Mega Man sliding the forearm armor down past his hand, then pulling it back up with the barrel revealed. That was neat... and then in the next moment, the other arm just changes in the blink of an eye. Kind of lame, though you can't argue it doesn't fit the rapid changing of the games.

But this? I'll admit it, I'm a sucker for mechanical transformations like this. I love it in Transformers, of course, and wherever else it tends to show up. Heck, after seeing Man-at-Arms transforming his arm into a cannon in the 2002 He-Man and the Masters of the Universe reboot, I began using it for my own characters who had similar armaments in RPGs and such (including those that were Mega Man-based). To see it used on the original Mega Man in an official capacity is just terrific, in my view.

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If you didn't think this part was awesome, please check into your nearest medical facility: It's possible that you may not have a pulse.

The craziest thing is that watching Mega Man perform these attacks and basically just move around in action, I feel like I already know how to play the character. If he winds up being as intuitive to play as it feels like he would be by watching him now, I'm definitely going to have some fun.

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Again with the transforming Buster. I just love how detailed this all is, and by design. Sakurai even explained the reasoning for this particular transformation in this video:

The Spark Shot and Flame Blast will morph his hands into the Mega Buster, but he needs to vent it out since he will overheat if he uses both hands.

I do believe that is the canon reason for why Mega Man rarely ever uses both arm cannons at once, too. As always, Sakurai and his team's attention to detail is nothing short of marvelous (and helps better justify using D-Arts figure's two Mega Busters at once). Which brings up another point:

Ever since someone first thought of the idea of Mega Man ever appearing in Super Smash Bros., there has been talk of his ability to steal weapons from his opponents, with some claiming that would basically infringe on Kirby's gimmick. If we think about this in the context of Mega Man, the way they're doing it here makes more sense; after all, Mega Man gets his weapons by defeating robots and then copying the data from their weapon chips.

In other words, if Nintendo kept it true to form and tried to implement the Weapon Copy function, then-- looking at the roster of Brawl, just as an example-- he'd only be able to copy attacks from a whopping one character. Two, if you decide to be generous and count Samus Aran's Power Suit as something compatible. Everyone else is an organic being of some form or another.

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At the end of the trailer, we get this little teaser for a battle with the infamous Yellow Devil. Did you notice he's coming in from the top of the screen, rather than the sides?

One has to wonder just what his role will be in the game. Some are expecting a boss battle, which is possible, but look again: They're on Mega Man's Dr. Wily Castle stage, which-- as far as we can tell-- is a regular fighting stage. I see this as likely meaning one of three things:

1) Whatever Adventure Mode they include this time utilizes regular fighting stages, much like the ones in Super Smash Bros. Melee. I'm okay with this, to a degree, as while I liked "The Subspace Emissary" well enough, my biggest beef was that the vast majority of its stages didn't feel like they had anything to do with any of the characters' native worlds-- only generically so (Donkey Kong in a regular jungle, for example), if ever.

2) He's an Assist Trophy. This would seem a little odd, as the Yellow Devil's normal horizontal movements seem like they'd be more appropriate for that. Can you imagine trying to dodge?

3) He's a stage hazard. Remember the Metal Gear in Snake's Brawl stage, or those legendary Pokemon in another? This could be the Dr. Wily stage's version of that.

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So, that's more or less everything I have from the trailer specifically, though I still have some other thoughts.

For one, I'm going to have a difficult time choosing between Mario and Mega Man now. Mario's always been my "main," and I'd hate to just ditch him. I'll probably just use both, though a swap-out Marvel vs. Capcom-style tag team option would be great.

As it stands, there are three big mysteries left for Mega Man in Super Smash Bros.:

The first is the question of Assist Trophies: Who does Mega Man get? Sonic got Shadow, and Snake got Grey Fox, the Cyborg Ninja. Who do you think it should be for Mega Man? I've seen a lot of people say Bass, though I think Proto Man makes more sense; after all, he'll gladly fight or help Mega Man at the drop of a hat, though I suppose the same could be said of Bass.

The next is about alternate colors/costumes. Everyone has them, for better or for worse. Some only change colors to familiar schemes from the past-- something Mega Man has no shortage of-- but others change the character's appearance a bit more. Princess Peach can look like Daisy, while Wario can choose between his WarioWare biker and Wario Land classic duds. If Proto Man weren't an Assist Trophy, would you want him as an alternate costume? He and Mega Man are practically twins, after all, and their silhouettes wouldn't be so different that it should require much work.

Or would you rather it be alternate forms of the Blue Bomber? Mega Man? from Mega Man Powered Up, Quint, or even other Mega Men like X (who would likely appear a bit shorter than usual)?

Finally, what do you think should be Mega Man's Final Smash? Should they bring back Hyper Mega Man from Marvel vs. Capcom? Maybe allow Super Mega Man to fly around the stage like Super Sonic, using his Mega Arm to smash opponents off the stage similar to the Hard Knuckle's Meteor Smash? Call in a bunch of other characters like Duo, Auto, Tango, and Beat? Or is there a particular special weapon you think would do the job, like Astro Man's Astro Crush?

Consider the comments an open thread to discuss it, or anything else I've talked about here-- in other words, treat them as normal, I guess.

Whew, just shy of 3,000 words... no wonder I don't write these very often.

Fans Take to Miiverse to Celebrate Mega Man Coming to Super Smash Bros.

willThe last time we checked in on the Wii U's Miiverse community, fans were celebrating the arrival of the Blue Bomber on the Wii U Virtual Console with the release of the original NES Mega Man. Now that he's been revealed as a new addition to the roster of the upcoming Super Smash Bros. title for Wii U and Nintendo 3DS, we thought we'd check in again on that game's newly-formed community to see what people are saying-- or rather, drawing.

alex

by Alex

Avery by Avery

Angel by Angel

bob by Bob

Booty by Booty

BRANDON by BRANDON

Brandon1 by Brandon

carter by Carter

cade by Cade

chris by Chris

Jason by Jason

Danny by Danny

Crest2 by Crest

Crest by Crest

CPTN Kati by CPTN-Kati

Corvax by Corvax

Jcobra by Jcobra

Jcobra2 by Jcobra

Joey by Joey

johnj.r by John J.R.

Jose by Jose

Link by Link

Naldo by Naldo

Michael2 by Michael

Michael by Michael

Manolo by Manolo

madfoon by Madfoon

Lizzy by Lizzy

Nathan by Nathan

Nathan2 by Nathan

PaperMario by PaperMario

Nick by Nick

PK-ROCKIN by PK-ROCKIN

richard by Richard

Ricky by Ricky

Ryan by Ryan

Ryan2 by Ryan

Sam by Sam

shane by Shane

Stephen by Stephen

supermario by Super Mario

Tim by Tim

Victor by Victor

will by Will

Yourstruly by Yourstruly

Yourstruly2 by Yourstruly

Of course, this is only a mere sampling of the works on display in the Super Smash Bros. Miiverse community, stretching back about five hours from the time of this posting. Many more are there, and of course, many feature numerous other characters that people are either happy to see or want to see appear in the upcoming titles.

Mega Man Smashes Mario in this New Smash Bros. Footage (Updated)

Bet you can't get enough of Mega Man in Super Smash Bros, so here's some more! In this IGN video we see a demonstration of Mega Man in a one-on-one fight against Mario that goes all the way to the wire. And I don't know who is giving the play-by-play but I want him to be my friend.

Also of note, Mega Man appears to use a move yet unannounced at the very end of the fight (before sudden death). It appears to perhaps be Mega Man 2's Air Shooter or Mega Man 6's Wind Storm. Or perhaps it's just a variation on Top Spin. We'll get to know eventually, as I'm sure there will be plenty more footage and details down the road. You can also see this footage but with more of a lead-in here.

Thanks for the tip, Magnet_Man!

Update: Changed the video to a fuller, much clearer version of the same fight, courtesy of GameTrailers. --LBD

Some Mega Man-Based Super Smash Bros. Images to Entertain and Amuse You

WiiU-3DS_SmashBros_charNew02_E3By the look of things, many of you are excited to see Mega Man finally make his Super Smash Bros. debut. Gee, who would have imagined? But surely that one video, great as it may be, isn't enough to tide you over for the rest of E3, right? Right. As such, we've gone through and picked out all of the assets we could find from Nintendo's press packets featuring Mega Man, Rush, or even just fights on the Wily City/Skull Castle/Whathaveyou background, from both the Wii U and Nintendo 3DS versions (spoiler: There aren't nearly as many screens for the Nintendo 3DS version) so you can ogle them, analyze them, and dissect them to your heart's content (and hopefully share your findings in the comments).

Do note that these are only the Mega Man-related screens; there are many more, and we're sure plenty of sites will be carrying them. But for your concentrated dose of Mega Smash Bros. action, this is the place!

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There are also a few which didn't make the press kit here, on Mega Man's Super Smash Bros. website profile. As always, we'll bring you more as it develops!

Sakurai Demonstrates Mega Man's Moves in Super Smash Bros.

Want to see more of Mega Man in Super Smash Bros., following his debut trailer? Of course you do! In the video above, director Masahiro Sakurai takes us through the way Mega Man looks, moves, and attacks (including the previously-unseen Top Spin) in the upcoming title, as well as fellow newcomers Villager from Animal Crossing and the Wii Fit Trainer. If you're only interested in Mega Man, his part begins at 3:49 into the video. Thanks for the tip, Vhyper1985!

New Challenger Approaching: Mega Man Joins Super Smash Bros.!

megamansmashbros For one reason or another, Mega Man did not get to appear in Super Smash Bros. Brawl. This omission has now been rectified as Nintendo has released the official trailer for the game's Wii U and Nintendo 3DS iterations, which are slated for 2014. Joining the fray in the video is the Villager from Animal Crossing, but after the trailer ended on Nintendo Direct, we were treated to a second trailer after a familiar blurb appeared on the screen.

Mega Man is joining in on the action, and he is armed to the teeth! In addition to his Mega Buster and Rush, the Blue Bomber brings with him an arsenal which includes the Super Arm, Hard Knuckle, Metal Blade, Flame Sword, Slash Claw, Crash Bomber, Leaf Shield, Spark Shock, and Flame Blast-- nine special weapons in total. His background is Wily's castle from Mega Man 2, and it appears that the Yellow Devil will be on hand to raise some havoc as well.

No more information is given at this time, but you can see Mega Man's special portion of the trailer after the cut below, and follow SmashbrosCh on YouTube for more as it comes.

Support Mega Man in Smash Bros. via Fan Poll

I've been a little reluctant on this news, but we've received a number of tips about it, so we'll let you decide. Gaming fan site VG Tribune has been running a poll about third party characters fans would want to see in the next incarnation of Super Smash Bros. Currently Mega Man is in second place, behind The Legend of Zelda's Skull Kid. It's not much time, but you still have until tomorrow night to show your support. Personally, I'm a little skeptical about the effectiveness of this poll. VG Tribune promises to bring the results directly to Masahiro Sakurai, but I see no details about how that will be conducted or its apparent likelihood of success. Of course, there's really nothing to lose in giving support, just so long as you keep your hopes realistic. Don't get me wrong, I'd love to see Mega Man in Smash Bros. as much as the next guy!

Thanks to all who tipped us off about this one!

Image by Kevin X. Nelms

Super Smash Bros. Fans Bring X to the Brawl, Too

It was just about a month ago that we brought you word of a group of fans seeking to (unofficially) make many gamers' dreams come true by adding Zero to the Super Smash Bros. Brawl roster. To accomplish this, they would be using the model Capcom created for the Marvel vs. Capcom 3 games. To that end, we speculated that with Mega Man X revealed as a downloadable costume in Ultimate Marvel vs. Capcom 3, he might get the same treatment. And guess what?

Tipster Murkman, who brought us the last piece of info and pics regarding Zero, has informed us that X's model has been ripped from the game with plans for it to be applied to the bone-skeleton of one Samus Aran (Zero used Link's). He adds that "considerable progress has been made."

With that, Murkman also passed along a plethora-- that's right, a plethora-- of images showing the Mega Man X model in a number of different poses and colors representing weapons. If those weren't enough, he notes that they are going to try to pull a Wario, and "edit the model to include the possibility of giving X some of his armor upgrades from the games as alternate costumes."

Check them out below, click to enlarge, and see how many you can guess correctly.

Super Smash Bros. Fans Bring Zero to the Brawl

It has recently come to our attention that some Super Smash Bros. Brawl fans are working on some new characters to hack into the best-selling Wii title, and one of those characters is Zero. Now, this isn't anything new to the game-- people have been doing this for years-- and the results have often varied from neat to hilarious and/or terrifying. But this one looks to be a little bit different, as they are reportedly using the same exact character model seen in Marvel vs. Capcom 3. You can see it in its "Nightmare" color scheme at right (click to enlarge), with the black and regular versions viewable below.

And though it has not been said (that we've seen, anyway), one might assume that the same process used here could import the X character model from Ultimate Marvel vs. Capcom 3 into the game as well.

As for moves, previous attempts at including Zero have had him use Link's moveset. You can see an example of this in action right here.

If you're interested in learning more and following the project's progression, you can do so at this massive 60-page thread on the KC-MM forums.

Of course, with new Super Smash Bros. games coming for the Wii U and Nintendo 3DS, maybe we will get lucky and the Blue Bomber will make his way into the game in a legitimate form. Hmm, could you imagine if Mega Man's first (non-Virtual Console) appearance on the Nintendo 3DS wound up being in a Super Smash Bros. title?

Thanks for the tip, Murkman!

Click to enlarge.

Click to enlarge.

Surprise Character in Smash Bros De-make!

What do you get when you combine Super Smash Bros with the GameBoy...? Why, a retroesque, low-resolution, greenish de-make called Super Smash Land of course!

This PC fan-game, which has been in the works for quite a while, is now finally available free for download, featuring six playable characters, eleven stages, 4-player mode and more!

The character roster may be small for a Smash Bros game, but do mind that creator Dan Fornace finally fulfills the one wish that many fans had since the initial announcement of Super Smash Bros Brawl...

That's right, now you can smash your thumbs sore with the Blue Bomber... or should I say Shades-of-Green Bomber? Anyway, his inclusion comes complete with a fitting Skull Castle Stage.

Watch the trailer to see the game in action:

The TMMN Megacast #10 – Double Digits

Wow, another month go by already? I thought I was setting a pretty manageable pace with one podcast a month, but I'll tell you, these things creep up on you nevertheless. But hey, we're up to episode 10 now! This month the crew is joined by Daniel "Press Start" Wilson, who you might recall won first place in the MML3 PV contest (good job, sir!) but comes on for a different reason. Before getting to that, though, the gang takes a look at Mega Man: Dr. Wily's Revenge in this month's game club. Hopes were that it would be on the 3DS eShop by recording, but that has yet to come about. Oh eShop, why do you love to disappoint us Mega Man fans? Oh well, we talk about the game nevertheless.

However, it's after the break that the podcast is additionally joined by a late Andy and Ash to get into the real meat of the discussion: Mega Man in Super Smash Bros. A new one has been announced coming down the pipeline at some point on Nintendo's newest hardware. What can fans do this time around to try and assure Mega Man's inclusion in the game? And just how would Mega Man perform in it anyway? We're sure you have all your theories and ideas, but listen to OURS first! Be sure to also check out the promotional site Press has started.

Additionally, we have a musical break featuring work by our own Jesse "mainfinger" Gregory, "Bots of Rage," a song up for voting this week in OC Remix's Grand Robot Master Remix Battle. You can check out the competition's main page to get the whole track plus more.

And that's a month's worth of show! Enjoy!

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Many thanks to Kevin X. Nelms for the promo image.

Who Would Street Fighter's Producer Like to See in the Next Smash Bros.?

Fans of Mega Man who have wished to see their favorite Blue Bomber engage in some fantastic fisticuffs have found themselves disappointed over the past few years. Sure, MegaMan Volnutt got to make his fighting game debut in last year's Tatsunoko vs. Capcom: Ultimate All-Stars, but when it came time for Marvel vs. Capcom 3's roster to be revealed, producer Ryota Niitsuma just didn't see a place for Blue, and that left a lot of fans seeing red-- and we don't just mean Zero. But before all that, players were left a bit steamed at no sign of any Mega Man in Nintendo's flagship fighting party game, Super Smash Bros. Brawl. With the likes of Solid Snake and Mario's longtime corporate rival Sonic the Hedgehog appearing (along with their own stages and other members of their respective casts), fans were certain that some form of the Blue Bomber would be a shoe-in.

But in the end? Nothing.

We would come to find out that Mega Man's exclusion seemed to be a comedy of errors, minus the happy resolution. Keiji Inafune would reveal that he was never approached by Nintendo to use him, whereas Sakurai would explain that they had not been approaching others; Hideo Kojima wanted Snake in Super Smash Bros. Melee, but his request came too late in development to be included, whereas Sonic wound up being the most-requested character in a poll they had conducted (one suspects that negotiation of the Mario & Sonic at the Olympic Games titles might have helped play a hand in that, as well).

Nonetheless, there are those who carry a torch for the idea of Mega Man fighting Mario, Link, and maybe Snake and Sonic, too. And it appears that there are even those within Capcom who hold similar desires.

The United Kingdom's Official Nintendo Magazine (not to be confused with Nintendo Power, despite all the key similarities) recently put the question to Street Fighter producer Yoshinori Ono, "if Nintendo had chosen to pick a Street Fighter character to appear in the big brawler, who should it have been?"

And interestingly enough, Ono's immediate reaction was not a Street Fighter at all:

Personally speaking, expanding the roster out to the whole Capcom, I'd really like to see Mega Man in Smash Bros because I think Mega Man really fits in that whole world. He has a high affinity with the Smash Bros. world.

So, at least Mega Man has one supporter in Capcom. With any luck, whenever Nintendo gets around to a new iteration of Smash Bros., he'll go to bat for the Blue Bomber, assuming Nintendo hasn't already taken the hint themselves.

But as for the original question?

"If I had to confine it to Street Fighter it would definitely be M. Bison because I would like that mega villain to fall upon those Nintendo characters and cause complete chaos. That would be fun."