Mighty No. 9 Developers Talk Mega Man Influences And Comparisons

By Ishaan . October 1, 2013 . 12:32pm

Keiji Inafune, who many regard to be the father of the Mega Man franchise, is designing a spiritual successor to the series he helped nurture back in the days of the NES and beyond. Titled Mighty No. 9, the Kickstarter-funded platformer aims to combine retro design sensibilities with newer ones, to create something that is clearly inspired by Mega Man, but at the same time, has an identity of its own.


“You can’t be too bound by the conventions of old games,” Inafune shares in a developer diary video for Mighty No. 9. “Games from 20 years ago have values which are 20 years old by now. There are a lot of good things about retro games, but if we’re too bound by them, I think we’re doomed to fail. Still, if we fail to understand what makes retro games good and make it into a purely modern-style game, that won’t be any fun either.”


“So I think the big challenge is how to mix the “old” and “new” fun and present that mix to the player as a new gameplay experience.”



The reason Inafune feels that this mix of design sensibilities is achievable for Mighty No. 9 is that the game’s development team includes a number of staff members that worked on the original Mega Man games at Capcom alongside him, but also includes younger staff that were the target audience for those games back in the day.


“It’s not just older guys,” Inafune says. “These are guys I worked with back in the day, and there are younger people who were our target audience once. So we all have similar memories, although from very different viewpoints. That kind of mix helps keep us old timers engaged, while we can teach the younger set what made past games so good, too.”


Mighty No. 9 assistant director Tobuto Dezaki adds, “Even if we say, ‘It’s not Mega Man,’ the game will still be compared to Mega Man. And yes, we do share some basic concepts—but in the end what we’re after here is not just to reboot or refine that same idea. We want to go beyond that concept to a side-scrolling action game that only Inafune—the Inafune of today—could think up.”


Prior to establishing his new studio, Comcept, which is working on the design for Mighty No. 9, Inafune worked at Capcom, where he helped spearhead a number of the company’s flagship titles, including later Mega Man efforts. When he parted ways with Capcom, Inafune claimed it was because he was never given the extent of creative freedom he would have liked to have, despite his contributions to the company.


“I’ve been involved with a large number of big-game series in the past but I don’t have any kind of rights to any of them,” Inafune says. “Even now, people say to me, ‘You should go back and work on those games!’ But I have to say, ‘I’m sorry, I don’t have the rights.’”


However, Inafune adds, “It really bothers me that I can’t respond to fans’ expectations… But with my own IP, I’m free to answer that demand. If they said ‘We don’t want this,’ I don’t have to keep making it, and if they ask me for a sequel, I’m free to create it.’ I’m free to expand the series out like that.”

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  • Pinwheel

    That’s a pretty nice perk to having a smaller studio with people with nice work under their belt. Creative freedom and it’s a far easier process to make decisions regarding IPs.

  • Arcana Wiz

    Playable call stage reached!!!!!!!
    We can do this, let’s make this kickstarte rreach 4 million!


    • Arcana Wiz

      ops wrong page… this was supposed to be in the OT, sorry.
      But yay! now call is playable for one stage, cant wait to see what they are going to do with her, i think that a roll based robot being finally playable shows how they can mix the old and new too ;D

      • J_Joestar

        awesome! have they finished the polls for Call yet?
        *hoping for F/Roll Call*

        • Poll closes once the Kickstarter does.

        • Arcana Wiz

          they will announce it today! In the Kickstarter special ending update!

        • Arcana Wiz

          they will announce it today! In the Kickstarter special ending update!

        • Symbol de Au

          Hahahaha Roll Call.

    • Speaking of this, there shall be finalist designs who’ll undergo another round of voting, yes?

      • British_Otaku

        Yep, the top three were revealed with the percentages attached and their artist (which wasn’t hard to guess).

        You can watch the announcement here (start at 2:15:00 for the Call vote stuff, banter about their favourites, Inafune’s design and so on): http://www.twitch.tv/comceptusa/c/3019760

        I recommend watching the whole thing though, given how much you get to hear and the amount of heart shown through it.

        You can only vote between the main three in a month or so if you backed the project.

        • And through directly Kickstarter, right? Sadly, I only pledged or backed via Paypal. So guess my vote is out. :<

          • British_Otaku

            I don’t know if you had to back it through KS instead of PP, but I have the impression that you had to donate before it ended for some reason.

            If some Kickstarters still give the rewards for PayPal pledges, I don’t see why they can’t fix you up with an account to you can vote for your final pick…

            On that note, who was your favourite? Mine were B (Arale from Dr. Slump esque) or C (Unicorn, Cutman, Centaur stuff), but I’m probably going to go for H for the finals unless I hear about the Aero design making a comeback.

          • Yes, I pledged some weeks ago when Comcept introduced the optional Paypal system for those without credit cards.

            I managed also to cast my vote on the Call design preliminary poll.

            F for favorite. ;)

    • rekka_zan

      Please tell me that dual-wielding blonde twintail red armored beam swordsgirl with visor is NOT a fanart D:

      Damn it, if she’s Mighty No. 0 I’ll shit bricks. She looks way better than this one, that’s for sure : http://img20.imageshack.us/img20/7257/grbq.jpg

  • Go2hell66

    Yea it was a great documentary, i wish all gamers had an appreciation for classic gaming like inafune does

  • NightzeroAX

    “There are a lot of good things about retro games, but if were too bound by them, I think we’re doomed to fail.”

  • I always get sad when developers like Keiji, Hironobu, Shinji etc are no longer with their respected series. Especially when the series starts to decline in quality. Its like seeing a child taken from their parent. But then I get happy hearing they have new projects or in this case a spiritual successor coming out.

  • Jake_Indiman

    Just backed this. Just because the man deserves my money. He gave me a lot of great childhood memories. Now if you will excuse me I need to go replay Dead Rising 2.

  • Mighty No 9: Heart of a Hero, Legacy of a Legend.

  • 60hz

    hmm character designer at 9:15 was a influenced by attack on titan a smidgen.

  • Sergio Briceño

    Siliconera, was it really necessary to include de ML3 picture? T_T

    • Bigabu Beaze

      It still hurts! :[

  • icecoffemix

    He’s got the heart at the right place, now it’s depend on how well they execute it.

    I have my faith in you, Inafune-san!

  • Zangetsu777

    Now that Mighty No. 9’s future is secured.

    How about we show some love for…

    Shantae Half-Genie Hero



    Major Nosebleed in HYPER LIGHT DRiFTERS direction.

    • British_Otaku

      I saw Hyper Light Drifter ranking pretty highly and just had a look down that page and that there is going to be some sort of crossover with WayForward’s Risky Boots… >_> I don’t have enough money to support this as well enough to get anything I want, so I’ll have to just wait for it to get done and admit, Hyper Light Drifter sounds REALLY good.


  • IkouKuhn

    “and if they ask me for a sequel, I’m free to create it.’ I’m free to expand the series out like that.”
    Let’s ask a “legends” sequel of Mighty no.9!

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