DuckTales Remastered is a remake of a 1980’s video game that is tied to a TV show that hasn’t aired for over a decade. I still own a DuckTales NES cartridge, so I was psyched to see the remastered version. At the same time, I was curious why Capcom and Disney decided to revive DuckTales because kids probably aren’t familiar with the show. Producer Rey Jimenez confirmed that was the case because while Capcom was focus testing DuckTales, Uncle Scrooge was called “Grandpa Duck.”
How did the Ducktales Remastered project get started? The Ducktales IP has been sitting in Disney’s vault and Capcom hasn’t been able to do anything with Ducktales since then.
Rey Jimenez, Producer: It’s been in both of our vaults forever and we were well aware of that. We actually heard every time we ask people what would you like to see redone again and Ducktales has come up a lot. We were definitely listening to that. Within Disney and Capcom, there are a lot of old school fans that love this game as well. It took a little bit of luck going back and forth for years with us pitching it and them pitching it to get the product together to really make sense. We scouted a developer together and here we are. Once we started development on it we’ve been non stop.
Why was WayForward selected as the developer? They’ve done a lot of sprite art and I remember Capcom published Shantae a long time ago, but what made them stand out for Ducktales?
I think from the beginning, we wanted to do a hand drawn sprite style and really they’re the best guys on the market that are doing it right now, out of all the studios out there. You can see the results of what we’re doing here. The animation done on these guys [points to the screen] is extremely well, this is Disney quality stuff. We have Disney helping very closely with us to approve the look and make sure everything feels right. And actually, WayForward was a suggestion from Disney. When we signed the project and decided to look for a developer, Disney suggested them and we checked them out and decided they were the guys to do it.
How did you get Alan Young who voices Scrooge McDuck to come back? Isn’t he over 90 years old?
94. So, is June Forary who does Magica [De Spell]. Actually, she’s older. They still do work for Disney. Scrooge McDuck was in Kingdom Hearts and the voice actor Alan Young still does work for Disney and so do all of the other voice actors. This was something Disney put together for us because it wasn’t in the original scope of the game to do voiceovers, but Disney felt it would enhance the game and it really does. They were able to pull together the original Launchpad, Magica, and Scrooge. Everyone else they were able to get the official voice actors that do the voices now. Everyone on here is provided by Disney as the official actor. Everything is going to sound very authentic and true to the show. This game more than anything is a tribute to the show itself.
A show that perhaps we grew up with, but I don’t think many kids these days know who “Unca Scrooge” is.
They don’t. They absolutely do not and that is no joke. We did focus tests when they played the game. They had no idea who the character was and didn’t know what Ducktales was.
What did kids say during the focus tests?
They go, who is this “Grandpa Duck?” They didn’t have a real connection to him apart from him being part of the duck family in Ducktales.
Did they get the pogo stick mechanic or was that too old school for them?
It’s pretty old school for them. The kids we focus tested with are Disney fans. They appreciate Disney as it is. They find the barrier for entry is easy enough for them, so they enjoyed the game. But, the concept of a 2D platformer starring this person is very foreign to them.
We did a lot of tuning within it. There was some frustration among kids because they’re not used to playing a game like this, which can be hard if you’re not used to playing a platform game. Easy mode has a lot of tuning and features that were pulled out of these focus tests to make easy mode more accessible for players that aren’t as used to 2D platform games as older games are.
What about the secret passages? Ducktales is full of them. Did kids figure that out?
Kids nowadays do not think that way. That’s why we needed to have a cutscene in there to explain you have to look in the walls for a secret.
How much content is brand new in Ducktales Remastered?
When you’re in a level you’re only going to find minor tweaks and changes in the level layout, item placement and what you’re actually going for. Other than that, we have three new areas. A beginning tutorial level and also introduction to the story. We also have a last level that leads up to the final boss. As well as, in between that there is a new hub level that serves as the area where you select the different levels you want to go to and the gallery where you can open up archive material and the music. There is also the Money Bin where you can dive and swim in the Money Bin.
Yeah, I heard about that. Does it grow when you collect more coins?
Yes, it absolutely does. Scrooge can do a hop and dive in it. Every time he dives in he spits coins out.
Is the original NES game an unlockable?
No, it is not. I know there are a lot of requests for that. If there was something we could’ve done we absolutely would have, but there are limitations to that kind of thing and it was not possible.
What about the PC version? There has been discussion about that too.
The big message to take away is that we know fans want a PC version. If we can make it happen we will.
Are you considering to remaster other Capcom Disney games like Darkwing Duck or Chip ‘n Dales: Rescue Rangers?
We’re always thinking about the future, but right now what we want to do is make sure Ducktales is the biggest success it can be.
The amount of fan service in this game is immense. There are little nods to the show and comic book throughout the game.