Worlds Unite Prelude Preview and Interview (Update: Make That PreviewS, Plural)

Worlds Unite Prelude Preview and Interview (Update: Make That PreviewS, Plural)

We mentioned earlier that this Saturday, May 2nd will be Free Comic Book Day, and Archie Comics is taking part with a special "flip book" featuring some lead-in material to the upcoming Worlds Unite crossover event.

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Interview with Mega Man 2.5D's Peter Sjöstrand (Part 1/2)

Interview with Mega Man 2.5D's Peter Sjöstrand (Part 1/2)

While most news these days revolves around Mega Man's spiritual successors, fans of the original Blue Bomber have been busy with "Mega Man 2.5D", an unofficial labor of love that features not just Paper Mario-like perspective but a 2-player cooperative mode that we once only dreamed about. The Mega Man Network recently sat down with Peter Sjöstrand, the game designer of "Mega Man 2.5D", to discuss the background of their project and features new with their upcoming Beta 3.0 release.

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New Mega Man #37 Cover with X, Plus Exclusive Destructoid Interview

New Mega Man #37 Cover with X, Plus Exclusive Destructoid Interview

Hot on the heels of this reveal, Destructoid has had the opportunity to sit down with Archie Comics writer Ian Flynn and editor Paul Kaminski to discuss their upcoming four-part crossover event, "Dawn of X", which will kick off in the 37th issue of the ongoing Mega Man comic book series.

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Exclusive Twitter Interview with Makoto Tomozawa

Exclusive Twitter Interview with Makoto Tomozawa

One of our readers, OKeijiDragon, conducted an interview with composer Makoto Tomozawa via Twitter last year.  The interview was posted on Dash Republic (now defunct), and later his Tumblr account. The interview wasn't getting much attention, so he was kind enough to send it to us. You can check out some highlights from the now re-edited and expanded interview after the cut.

 

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Interview with Mega Man Unlimited's Philippe Poulin (Part 1/2)

mmu-titlescree-screenshot-bigAfter five years in development, the fan game "Mega Man Unlimited" was released last month and has become as critically successful as it is insanely difficult. Styled like Mega Man 9 and 10 in faux-NES trappings, "MMU" has taken the fandom by storm. Philippe Poulin, aka MegaPhilX, helmed the project by designing the levels, programming much of the game, and creating the bulk of the original art and music. Recently, he took a break from designing the new 1.1.0 version and sat down with The Mega Man Network to answer some questions.

Note: Some content is NSFW beyond the "MMU" section of MegaPhilX's site. Mild spoilers are featured below the fold.

The Mega Man Network: Why did you and your team decide to make a full Mega Man game from scratch?

MegaPhilX: The project actually started after I made a little flash animation showing fake gameplay of the Tank Man Stage and Rainbow Man Stage. Starsimsuniverse and N64Mario approached me to actually make the game. Originally, it was made using N64Mario's Mega Man engine in Multimedia Fusion. However, after a while, the project was slowing down. Gabriel was working on the same project as me at work back then and he offered to try and start working on an engine for the game while I was on vacation. When I got back from vacation, he had already made the basic stuff.

So, after asking N64Mario if it was okay to switch engines, we switched over to Gab's engine, which is the one used in the game now. When Gab moved to another company and wasn't all that motivated, I contacted one of my childhood friends, Jean-Simon, and together we finished all the enemies, bosses, and systems. Gab then came in to help us package and ship the game.

The reason why I wanted to make everything from scratch is because I thought it would be way more interesting than re-using too much. I wanted to actually design an entire Mega Man game and see if I was up to it. I wanted to have fun making the game I wanted to make.

TMMN: To you, what classic Mega Man games were the best? The worst?

MPX: The best to me was Mega Man 4, because it's the first one that made me like the series. I know some of the bosses are a bit questionable but it's my favorite among the Classic ones. The music is amazing. Mega Man 9 because it's the best-balanced. Mega Man 10 because it has a lot of features. (Three playable characters, challenges, Endless Attack, Special stages, etc.)

I didn't particularly like Mega Man 5 because I think it lacks something different. It felt a bit bland, and the Mega Buster was just too powerful and the weapons became sort of useless to me. Mega Man 6, although I love the graphics, the music, and the overall boss designs, I thought it felt bland. Probably because it was too easy.

TMMN: Which games influenced and inspired "Mega Man Unlimited" the most and the least?

MPX: Mega Man 3, Mega Man 9, and Mega Man 10 were the games that inspired the most. There is a reference to most of the Mega Man games in "MMU," but I'd say the ones that influenced it the least were probably Mega Man 7 and 8. Not that I don't like them, but I wanted to stick more to the classics.

mmurelease-screenshotglueman01TMMN: The Mega Man series is sometimes called one of the more insular series, at least in terms of design. "Mega Man Unlimited" definitely seems to follow in that tradition, but did any games outside the series influence "Mega Man Unlimited"?

MPX: There are references to other games and media (Metal Gear Solid 3, Ranma 1/2) in the game, but not really in terms of game design. I'd say the most remote influence doesn't go much further than Mega Man X5... Oh yeah! One of the enemies (the full screen-damaging blue enemy) is inspired by a similar enemy in Faxanadu on the NES.

TMMN: Back in the day, Mega Man 9 and 10's exclusion of the slide and Mega Buster caused a fair amount of heartburn amongst fans. Why did you include the slide but not the charged shot in "Mega Man Unlimited"?

MPX: Because I thought the slide was a great mechanic to use in a Mega Man game. And I grew to appreciate the lack of a charge shot in Mega Man games. Even now, I play MM4, 5, and 6 without charging up the buster. I know it might come as a surprise from a fan of the X series, but to me, the Classic series is better without a charge shot, because it's what makes the special weapons interesting and useful.

When you constantly charge up the buster, you have no reason to switch to a special weapon because you're going to waste the time you took to charge the buster and also, because the buster is just more powerful than the weapons (well, in many of the official games, anyway). That charging sound effect becomes a bit annoying, too, and you end up not really hearing the music. I dunno, to me the Classic series is better without a charge shot. Leave the charge to the X-Buster. ^_^

TMMN: What was the most difficult level to design? The easiest?

MPX: None of the levels were particularly hard to design, but Wily Stage 4 was definitely the one that gave us the most trouble and was constantly getting revisions. The teleporter system gave us a lot of gameflow/checkpoint bugs and also, there are three end bosses to this stage with a lot of stuff happening all the way through. This was a very laborious stage to develop and test.

Every stage had its particular problem-maker, but the easiest stage to develop was probably Jet Man's. Things just went very smoothly with that one... except for the boss, which, well you know why. (: *cough*Jet Man Landing*cough*

TMMN: Having designed so much of the game, you had to have had a particular level that you really liked. And while we're at it, what was your favorite weapon and boss?

MPX: My favorite level would probably be Jet Man's. I just love the ambiance and the music. My favorite weapon is ... wow... kinda hard to pick one. I really like the Rainbow Beam, it's quite useful. Yoku Attack is one of the cool-looking ones. My favorite boss... If we're talking Robot Masters only... I'd pick Comet Woman. She just looks cool and I thought I had a great idea with her attacks.

mmu-screen2-jetman mmu-cometwoman-screenshot-big

TMMN: Did any level design just flow naturally and required little revision, or were all of them constantly revised?

MPX: Most of them were constantly revised. That's just the way level design works. You can't get it all right on the first try in any game. ^_^ Originally, the "YOKU" letters were to be found on the main path of a stage and no alternate path was even designed. It's just that, at some point, I was waiting for new features to be coded in and I had some free time, so I designed alternate paths for the "YOKU" letters. The shortcut in Glue Man's stage is an idea of Jansim's whereas it would require the Nail Shield to get through a sticky conveyor belt ceiling area.

But yeah, all the stages got revised all the time. None of them were done so quickly.

TMMN: How did you decide on the Special Weapons for this game?

MPX: Based on variety between each weapon and also based on how the behavior of each weapon would be useful as a weakness against each boss. For example, Yo-yo Man jumps around a lot, so the Jet Missile fits. Glue Man is fast but moves along floor and walls, so the Yo-yo Cutter fits, since it crawls on the floor and walls perfectly to hit him. Some weapons like the Nail Shield and Tank Arsenal and very similar to how I imagined them as a kid.

Using the Yoku Attack in Captured Skull Castle 2TMMN: I had to askwho thought of the Yoku Attack?

MPX: I did. At first I thought of having a screen-clearing attack like the Centaur Flash, but instead, Yoku Blocks would appear on the enemies to crush them to death. But I just thought that it would be more useful to have a homing attack that can do a lot of cool things. Since Yoku Man is the master of illusions, I thought it'd be nice to shoot out little shadow Mega Men that punched and kicked enemies along with gathering energy for you. Also, since the boss is optional, secret, and hard to beat, I wanted to make sure his weapon was a nice reward for all the trouble you have to go through to get it.

TMMN: "Mega Man Unlimited" v.1.1.0 was just released, adding an easy mode and Insta-Death Mode. Are Endless Mode and Time Attack modes on the way in future version releases?

MPX: Not really. For now, we are ramping down and taking care of our personal lives. We have a few things in mind for the game, but not an Endless Attack Mode or Time Attack Mode. Time Attack would probably not be too hard to do but Endless Mode requires a lot of work in terms of graphics and design.

TMMN: Besides renaming the game and Nitro Man, were there any other aspects of "Mega Man Unlimited" that had to be changed because of Mega Man 10?

MPX: No, not really.

TMMN: Did anyone from Capcom approach you to make this an official game, a la Street Fighter x Mega Man?

MPX: No. I know some fans talked about making the game official on the Ask Capcom forums, but Sven said Capcom had no such plans. While I would definitely be interested to work for Capcom, I didn't really make any effort to approach them for "MMU." They ended up using some of my assets on their official Mega Man 10 website and compensated me for this by inviting me to Captivate 2010 in Hawaii, but even then, they didn't approach me regarding "MMU" there either.

"Mega Man Unlimited" comes highly recommended and is available now. Stay with The Mega Man Network as we continue to cover "Mega Man Unlimited" with the second half of this interview in the coming days!

All screenshots except Yoku Attack courtesy of MegaPhilX.

Submit Your Questions for Keiji Inafune!

This, sadly, did not happen.A few days ago, we reported that Keiji Inafune will be making an appearance at his own panel and signing event at the Penny Arcade Expo in Seattle later this month, and we have been invited to an interview with "The Father of Mega Man." We will be joining Mark MacDonald of 8-4 Ltd., Tony Ponce of Destructoid, Ryan "Phreak" King from 100,000 Strong for Mega Man Legends 3, and others for interviews with Inafune following his panel. While the other outlets may focus on his frequent criticism of the modern game industry or his appearance in a dating sim, we will be focusing on–- what else? -–the Blue Bomber.

The TMMN staff as a whole are coming up with questions for this interview, but since this is such a rare opportunity, we wanted to get some questions from our readers. We have a limited time to ask our questions and some topics may simply be off-limits for official comment, but it never hurts to ask. So submit your questions as a response to this story and we will consider their inclusion in our interview at the end of the month!

"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

An Interview with Mega Man Music Legend Manami Matsumae

250px-Manami_Matsumae_-_04A short while back, we reported to you about the development of World 1-2, a gaming inspired music album headed by Mohammed Taher, and bringing together a number of big names from game music, including original Mega Man composer Manami Matsumae. Recently, Mohammed got to sit down with Ms. Matsumae and had a pretty lengthy conversation with her. They go over details such as how Manami got her start in music, her work in joining Capcom and scoring Mega Man, returning again for Mega Man 10, and the tune she's making for World 1-2. It's a very fascinating read, especially those interested in the people behind game music.

Thanks for sharing, Mohammed!

Image via Videogame Music Preservation Foundation Wiki

An Interview with the People Behind Rockman Xover, Plus Potential Boss Character Contest in the Works

interview_rockmanxo_20130109_07 A short while back, Cap Stone, the official site for Capcom's sound team, posted an interview with some of the production team on Rockman Xover. It includes the producer, Takeshi Tezuka, the director, Mr. Matsuura, and two members of the sound team, one going by Mr. X (who worked on the original Mega Man X) and Masahiro Aoki (of ROCKMEN fame).

Since Cap Stone is a site for the sound team, the interview largely centers around the main theme song of Xover, written by Aoki. However, it does delve into some interesting stories of inspiration, both for this game and for the original X. Also, after a bit of schilling, the prospect of a potential character boss contest is mentioned. Perhaps future Xover updates will include fan-made bosses?

Anyway, it's a fairly lengthy interview, but please enjoy!

DJ Sando: To start, let's have the producer Mr. Tezuka introduce himself.

Tezuka: I entered the company in 1990, making arcade machines originally. Arcades, then consumer games, and now I'm in charge of mobile titles. My background is arcades, but I had an aspiration to be in charge of Rockman on some platform. I got to be be engaged in the Rockman series for the first time, so I've finally become a member of the Capcom family (laughs).

DJ Sando: Woah! That's awesome! You've been at it for some 22, 23 years now. You're pretty much a living chronicle of the game industry! Anyway, continuing we have the director Mr. Matsuura. Introduce yourself please!

Matsuura: Mm, Rockman Xover. Unlike Mr. Tezuka, I was working at another company, but I joined Capcom in 2008! Now, under Tezuka's authority I could lend a hand in Xover. It was my dream to make a Rockman game since I was a boy! As a fan myself, I don't want to get the fans angry. (laughs) That's my motto.

DJ Sando: You clutched your childhood dream. More or less a success story! (laughs) Thank you, Mr. Matsuura. Continuing on, we have a legend of composers, Mr. X.

Mr. X: I joined the company in '92. I was a composer going on 10 years. Lately I work to support the developers. I was the main composer for Rockman X!

DJ Sando: I'm overcome with history. With time comes fine age, be it wine or Rockman! Alright, next is the composer Mr. Aoki. Please!

Aoki: OK! I came on board in 2008 fresh out of college, and was in charge of the Sengoku Basara series from 3 on. Honestly, I came in saying "I want to make Rockman!" at my job interview.

DJ Sando: So essentially your dream came true with this crossover! By the way, I heard that you made a preview.

Matsuura: We made a preview for the Tokyo Game Show. In the process of making a preview, a main theme song is vital... you'd think! But actually, I forgot about making a theme song!

DJ Sando: Say what! Should you even admit to that!?

Tezuka: That slipped my mind, too. (laughs) I mean, there are a lot of social games that don't even have sound. I was convinced this needed a theme song during the development process. But with the short development time I just forgot.

Mr. X: Yeah! The sound team received the offer for a song, and I thought that Aoki, the newcomer, would like to take a swing at it.

DJ Sando: You had such a passionate guy on hand!

Aoki: Yeah! At last my time to take charge of Rockman came, and (laughs) I was delighted!

DJ Sando: Well, let's take a look at the preview! (video) Oooh, nice! I heard the response to the preview was incredible, too! It has a ton of views!

Matsuura: We had loads of feedback with all different opinions. (laughs) We got to know how much the Rockman series is loved by fans. The weight of 25 years is impressive.

Tezuka: A quarter of a century. It really weighed down on me The biggest challenge was whether or not the fans' expectations could be answered, and if they'd accept this.

Matsuura: Of course the response from fans wasn't all good, you surely know. I think our challenge now is to change those impressions as much as we can. Rockman fans, please keep your eyes peeled!

DJ Sando: Next up, How about we hear about the theme song? I've been playing it myself, but really it's getting around all over.

Aoki: Ooh, that's nice of you to say. (laughs)

DJ Sando: You got a new guitar for this!?

Aoki: Yes, eight years ago. (laughs) I'd say the keyword to Rockman X's music is rock. I made the tune racking my brain over how to express a fresh sounding rock song while thinking back on the Rockman made 19 years ago.

DJ Sando: Amazing! Just awesome! No matter how much I hear it I can't get enough. It's like a delicious bowl of of udon that you can eat anytime! Is there some kind of trick to it!?

Aoki: I'd say so. I worked as hard as I could to keep the composition from getting simple; even having the sound drop out at points. But the melody has one constant part throughout.

DJ Sando: I heard you changed out the strings of this guitar with high quality ones for this too! While we have Mr. X here today too, please tell us about the Rockman X from back then!

Mr. X: At that time, we wanted to go forward with something all new as a fresh title in Rockman. We planned for the story to have a certain firmness, but also sadness. I had the challenge of making music I wanted to convey the struggle and the pathos of the Reploids, but at first I troubled being unable to express that sadness and tension. And then, while riding my bicycle along the banks of Yodokawa, I saw the sunset and, with that, came up with the melody for the highway stage.

DJ Sando: What a great story! I bet that highway was the Hankyuu Express! Going back to the story of the preview theme, Mr. Aoki, you've loved Rockman since you were a child, right!?

Aoki: Yes. (laughs) At four years old I had Rockman 2, and would play up to the Wily stages.

DJ Sando: Four! Rockman X is completely engraved in your DNA! And all that is loaded up in this one song!

DJ Sando: Alright, to go out with a bang for Rockman's 25th anniversary, I'd like to hear what you have to say about Xover.

Tezuka: Well, I'd like to explain what I think Xover's best "selling point" is. It's that all of the Rockman series up until now have their presence. The contents can be enjoyed from adults in their 40s like us to children of the generation that experienced Ryuusei no Rockman. I think a wide range of generations will enjoy it. For Xover, I hope it will also connect with people who play games casually on their iPhones, and people who've watched anime but never played games.

DJ Sando: Basically a Rockman festival!

Tezuka: It is the 25th anniversary, so in my ability I want to produce a grand jubilee; perform a dream collaboration.

DJ Sando: Fantastic! Continuing, Mr. Matsuura. I've heard this game has some kind of Battle Memory function. Please tell us about that!

Matsuura: In Xover, the hero is a new Rockman we call OVER-1. He has a feature where he can get stronger by equipping cards called Battle Memory. The Battle Memory cards have tons of characters that have appeared in all the Rockman series up until now, and I think that's made it a nostalgic production for series fans.

Aoki: I have mine here.

All: Ooh.

Tezuka: You're pretty far along. (laughs) Any desired variation can be put together depending on the player. For example, gathering only Battle Memory from the Rockman X series. There are many ways to play. It's not an exaggeration to say there are as many ways to enjoy the game as there are people playing it.

Matsuura: I agree. A chance to have all the characters of Rockman assemble doesn't come twice.

Tezuka: Like the title indicates, we wanted Xover to represent a world view of all the series blended together.

Matsuura: Being a social game, there are parts in the game's components made to express this simply. I think the meaning of Xover, henceforth, is having the players enjoy while imagining a "Xover'd" world.

DJ Sando: I see! I feel I've heard how that world view can be fully enjoyed, and the points that set it apart from other social games.

DJ Sando: Now I happened to overhear, but even now there are Battle Memory cards appearing with all new artwork!?

Matsuura: Of course! I have good news for those reading this article. We have an original art piece by Hitoshi Ariga, who's well acquainted in the world of Rockman manga. This limited edition Battle Memory is available now until the end of the month. Don't miss it!

DJ Sando: That ought to get players from the Bonbon era especially excited! That's some great news indeed. Thank you!

DJ Sando: Also, Aoki, aren't you a member of ROCKMEN right now!? Don't you have something you'd like to say!? (laughs)

Aoki: Oh right. (laughs) The ROCKMEN team has been busy, and to congratulate the 25th anniversary, we've released "We are ROCKMEN! 2"! This album has the full version of the Xover theme song.

DJ Sando: A version you can't hear in the game! If you want to hear more, you have to buy the CD!

Aoki: This time, we've arranged music from Xover, as well as the Famicom series, X series, and even the EXE and Ryuusei series! Moreover, it also has an arrangement of the Flutter VS Gesellshaft theme by guest composer Makoto Tomozawa, who made music for Rockman DASH. And more still, it has the specially made new track "TIME AGAIN" by Takashi Tateishi of Dimension. It was prepared by a shockingly rare sound source.

DJ Sando: Sweet! A real dream collab, no!? Hoping for 2013 to be the year of Rockman, fans of Dimension, fans who want to get more immersed in Xover's music; just all Rockman fans! That's because all things Rockman are starting with this.

Matsuura: Also, buyers of the CD can get a special code for the "8-Bit Rockman" Battle Memory!

DJ Sando: Need to buy that right away! For yourself or for a friend!

Matsuura: And I think we're still just getting started. Sorry, Aoki, but don't you have a recital coming up!?

Aoki: It's not like I'm singing or anything! (laughs) On January 13th, the ROCKMEN will be performing live at the Tower Records in Yokohama. We've planned to present an unrecorded track by Mr. Kitagawa for purchasers of the CD there!

DJ Sando: This is seriously a full plate. Is there any other good news!?

Tezuka: Well, I have one last thing to say! It's not set in stone right now, but I'm thinking I'd like to have a boss character contest. When you think Rockman, you think boss character contest, after all.

DJ Sando: That's a huge expectation. When you think Rockman, you think boss character contest!

Tezuka: It's still on the drawing board, but I definitely want to make it happen.

DJ Sando: Thank you very much. We'll be looking forward to it!

DJ Sando: Well now, Xover is really building up! You can get immersed in its world, listen to the CD, get special items, it just gets better and better! And we got to hear some amazing stories. Thank you everyone!

All: Thank you!

IGN's Interview on Worlds Collide, Beautiful Covers Revealed

Continuing the Worlds Collide hype, IGN sits down for a short interview with Ian Flynn and Paul Kaminski on the coming together of Archie's "Worlds Collide" concept, and what the future may hold for other crossovers. See the interview over here. You can also check out the first issue's cover and its variants, as well as the awesome issue four cover spread shown above. News Credit: Mega Man Monthly

Capcom Unity Chats It Up with Ian Flynn at NYCC 2012


Watch live video from Capcom-Unity on TwitchTV What happens when the company behind one of our favorite video game franchises and the writer behind one of our favorite comic books converge on the same convention? Well, if you guessed that they'd meet up... well, you're right. What are the odds?

Pretty good when it's Capcom Unity and Ian Flynn, writer of Archie's Mega Man comic book, and now you can check out the live community chat they had earlier today in the viewer above. Our own Tabby even got to ask a question (though we're not sure whether it made it in or not), so keep an ear out for that!

Catch GMOTM's Live Interview with Reika Morishita

Last month, artist and singer Reika Morishita graced us with wonderful new arrangements of her Mega Man Legends theme songs, "another sun" and "Your Wind Is Blowing." And now she will be speaking live to the folks who've been working over a year now to bring Mega Man Legends 3 back. Coming from GMOTM HQ:

We will be conducting a live interview with Reika Morishita this Sunday, October 14, at 9am EST to discuss her newly rearranged Legends songs! Things may be a bit slow, since we'll be assisted by a translator for communication with Morishita-San, but nonetheless, this is going to be something you won't want to miss!

It's a bit early in the morning for some, but if you're a Morishita fan or a Legends 3 backer you ought to try and check it out. Even Morishita-san herself is excited about it. You can check out the live interview on GMOTM's streaming channel when the time comes this Sunday!

Thanks Skybane Zero, and the GMOTM crew!

The Mega Man Network Interviews Archie's Ian Flynn on Mega Man/Sonic Crossover

When the announcement was made that the Blue Bomber and the Blue Blur would finally be teaming up officially (rather than simply shaking hands in some cross-promotional artwork), we-- like many of you-- had several questions. So naturally, we leaped at the first opportunity to get some answers, which have now finally arrived! With that, we are proud to present to you the first interview conducted by a fan site about the upcoming Mega Man/Sonic the Hedgehog crossover, "When Worlds Collide." Others, such as Kotaku, MTV Geek, and Newsarama (twice!) have taken their respective stabs at it, and now it's our turn. As part of the all-seeing eye that is the Mega Man fandom (and we like Sonic, too), we've done our best to avoid any of the repetition you might have seen in some of the other interviews to bring you the details which interest you the most as die-hard fans and collectors.

Do note that there are not any heavy story spoilers here; some appearances and absences, yes, but as for plot-based spoilers? Well, that info will come in time, and they likely wouldn't say too much, anyway. So with that in mind, we went for questions we hoped would net more solid answers, and we think we were successful in that regard. With that said, enjoy!

The Mega Man Network: This crossover is something it seems most fans have predicted ever since it was first announced that Mega Man would become an ongoing comic book published by Archie. However, we don't think as many people expected that it would take place so soon; was there any particular reason the trigger was pulled to do it now?

Ian Flynn: Capcom and SEGA initiated the project. When the stars align like that, you don’t stop and question it. You strike while the iron is hot!

TMMN: One debate we've noticed among fans is how the story is going to take place; that is to say, will this be in the same vein as the "Another Time and Place" stories which take place apart from Archie's regular Sonic continuity, or will this be set in "Mobius Prime," and likewise with Mega Man and his potential equivalent?

Flynn: This was something of a sticking point when we were constructing the whole arc. I was of a mind to keep it non-canon, while editor Paul Kaminski wanted it in-canon. There was a lot of back and forth, and what we came up with was a happy medium. Fans of the Sonic series will already have an idea how we’ll be going about that.

TMMN: Can we expect to see appearances by comic-exclusive characters, such as Mecha Sally, Rotor, and Nichole? Or will the story keep to the traditional SEGA Sonic cast known from the games?

Flynn: A story this big is going to be attracting a lot of fans who only know the characters from the games. Plus, between the SEGA Sonic and Mega Man cast, we’ll be filled to capacity anyway. This story arc is focusing on characters everyone will recognize and enjoy, and the long-term comic fans will get the comic-exclusive cast back when we resume the regular storyline.

TMMN: Another concern we've seen regards how the story will be placed in their respective books, with some concerned that the crossover will interrupt or otherwise "mess with" the then-current storylines going on. One example given is how "Genesis" popped up to celebrate 20 years of Sonic at a pivotal moment; will this be handled in a similar manner, or differently?

Flynn: “Genesis” didn’t derail things too badly. For the casual fan, it was a fun, continuity-light story. For the devoted fan, there was this ever-present tension over whether Sally’s resurrection would stick, or if the heroes would remember the “real world.” One way or the other, it flowed to some degree. Likewise, “When Worlds Collide” will take a break from the main storylines, but shouldn’t derail the momentum when we pick up where we left off.

TMMN: On that note, can you tell us whether there will be any lasting effects as the result of this crossover? Or is the story meant to be more self-contained?

Flynn: It will definitely have an effect on a lingering plot point left over since the end of “Genesis.”

TMMN: In a previous interview, it was noted that the milestone issues for Sonic the Hedgehog (#250) and Mega Man (#25) will overlap with the event; will these be the issues that kick off the event, wrap it up, or just occur somewhere in between?

Flynn: The milestone issues will happen within the crossover, but they’ll be key chapters. Sonic Universe #50 will be a special, unrelated stand-alone event we haven’t announced yet.

TMMN: It's been said that the story will span 12 issues across four months; have considerations been given to how these will be collected for trades? It seems a straight collection of Mega Man, Sonic the Hedgehog, and Sonic Universe's parts would be confusing.

Flynn: I can’t get into those kinds of details right now – way too early! But we’ll be making sure it’s as easy as possible to follow events both monthly and in collections.

TMMN: One picture seen at Kotaku shows Shadow the Hedgehog standing with Bass, who hasn't been introduced in the comic yet. Is this merely promotional art, or will Bass have an actual part to play in the story?

Flynn: Bass will be appearing, and in a big way. It won’t be derailing our long-term plans for the Mega Man series, though.

TMMN: Which world should fans expect more time to be spent in? The long-established (some 300 or so issues and 20 years worth) world of Mobius? The newly-laid setting of Mega Man? Or, perhaps given that this is going to span a whopping 12 issues, plenty of both?

Flynn: Everything will be equal – no hero will be overshadowing the other.

TMMN: Obligatory: Will we see anything to do with Mega Man X in this crossover, or is it all strictly the original Blue Bomber?

Flynn: Mega Man Classic only. There’s no room for X!

TMMN: Finally, we've seen a few characters in Sonic show off some rather Mega Buster-like arm cannons over the years. Without saying too much, was this considered at all for some sort of moment in this story?

Flynn: No, those are unrelated.

TMMN: Thanks for taking the time to answer these questions for us!

Flynn: Always a pleasure.

Stick with The Mega Man Network for more info as it is announced as we approach the 2013 release of "When Worlds Collide!"

Game Center CX Interview with Inafune Translated

Back before Keiji Inafune worked on games where giant spaceships wore his face, and magician's pulled their spines out of their mouths, he was a high up guy at a certain company called Capcom. One of the games he was known for was this game Mega Man. Maybe you've heard of it.

The above video is from one of the original episodes of Game Center CX back in 2003, when Arino focused more on game companies than game challenges. Inafune pops up pretty much from the start, and they get to talking about Mega Man right away. Topics are covered like how Inafune got started and moved up, inspirations behind Mega Man, and of course his love for Zero. The episode is split into four parts, and you can see the rest on Shady0311's channel, where Inafune goes into talking about what games are to him.

One of the most interesting things to me was, for the time, how much Inafune saw Mega Man as strictly a children's game, seemingly. Too bad this translation was a bit late; the staff of this site never got the memo.

Thanks for the tip, Magnet_Man!

MTV Geek Interviews Archie Mega Man Artist Ben Bates

MTV Geek has just posted a new interview with none other than Ben Bates, one of the more popular artists for Archie's Mega Man comic. For those who aren't keeping track, Bates was the artist for the "Return of Dr. Wily" story arc, which adapted the game Mega Man 2 for issues #9-12. He also provided the earlier "Villain Variant" cover featuring Fire Man, and his work can once again be seen on the cover of the upcoming 15th issue, which features Rush, Pharaoh Man, and Quake Woman, among others. As one might expect, the interview itself should be of particular interest to those with an affinity for art. Questions range from the best place to start when drawing a comic panel to the most difficult panel he's had to draw to date (and the unexpected result), whether Mega Man himself is a good character for amateur artists to start with to what the most difficult part of rendering the Blue Bomber is, and whether it was difficult to decide whether to model the characters on the earlier games' art style or that of the later ones, and more.

You can check it all out in the full article here. And for those who are more interested in simply looking at art than making it, there is plenty of eye-candy as well, with lots of developmental line art and even the full finished cover for issue #15!

Thanks to Wilyman for the tip!

Yet More Mega Man Talk from SFxT's Ono

Getting to be kind of a Street Fighter x Tekken weekend here on TMMN. We've been downing donuts and pizza the whole time, getting into the "Mega Man" spirit.

Above's a COIN-OP interview with Yoshinori Ono and Seth Killian. Around the 3:40 mark, Ono begins to talk about Pac-Man and Mega Man. This time, he alleges that he originally intended to use the classic style Mega Man, but when trying to clear it, Keiji Inafune challenged him to do something new. It's also nice that Ono refers to Mega Man as Capcom's mascot character.

Admittedly, as sincere as Ono is, I can't help but feel there's a lot of effort to defer "Bad Box Art" onto Inafune, who is no longer with Capcom. Even as the truth, it reads like passing the buck for the fans who are angry about the decision. Might just be me though!

Thanks to Magnet_Man and Clown Prince of Crime for the tip!

TMMN Talks to The Score's Arda Ocal About Mega Man

Canadian fans of wrestling-- WWE in particular-- are probably familiar with Arda Ocal (@arda_ocal on Twitter), who not only co-hosts the post-Raw and post-Smackdown show Aftermath on The Score Television Network, but also the weekly podcast version, which has developed a worldwide following.

Being such a fan myself, it didn't escape my attention when the show went on the air and Arda was seen sporting a Mega Man t-shirt (seen at right; click to enlarge) for the second time in recent memory. That, plus a tweet during the recent Royal Rumble pay-per-view ("I was playing Mega Man 3 and I thought it would be nerdy and cool to let people know I was"), prompted us to catch up with and talk to the man who has given our favorite Blue Bomber (sorry, Winnipeg-- you're second, if anything) some much welcome exposure.

The Mega Man Network: When did you first get into Mega Man?

Arda Ocal: My first experience was Mega Man 3, so I guess I got into the game later than some. After that, I discovered 2 (for some reason it took me a while before I could find and rent 1), and followed along until 5 when SEGA Genesis came along for me.

MMN: Are you just a fan of the old school NES Mega Man, or do you like newer games as well?

AO: I'm a big fan of the original 6 Mega Man games for NES... any given day, if I'm bored at home I'll just pop in any one and play them. I've always been a fan ever since I was a kid... It was the perfect game for me, and I think it's because I have ADD and at least the first part of the game doesn't restrict you to one level you have to beat before getting to the next, which I think has always been one of the best part about the series. (This is before I learned about cycles and what not.)

Later I downloaded 9 and 10 for Wii and enjoyed those a lot as well.

To be honest, I'm not a high level player - you'll never see me posting Time attacks on YouTube of trying to beat the game over and over, but they are tremendous fun to play. I think my absolute favourite part of the series is the music - I would put the music in the game against any music in any video game... the melodies are off the charts. I actually downloaded a medley of them all and it's part of my MP3 rotation #ProudNerd

MMN: Any favorite games from the series?

AO: I liked all the games for different reasons - I thought it was funny Mega Man 1 had a points system which in so many video games doesn't even really matter all that much. Mega Man 2 was the one that started it for me so it will always have a special place in my heart, and Air Man is probably my favourite level music (other than Dr. Wily Stage 1 in Mega Man 9).

Mega Man 3 got rid of that annoying involuntary semi-slide after you stop moving (that Mega Man 1 and 2 had) which was welcome, and was probably the hardest one in terms of levels for me. Mega Man 4 was fun because of the weapon charge. Mega Man 5 definitely had my favourite charge up, because the range was bigger. Mega Man 6 had "Yamato Man" (i.e. we may be starting to run out of ideas).

MMN: Do you like Mega Man Legends? (Sorry, folks; I just had to ask this one)

AO: I actually haven't explored this yet but I think I will soon - I bought Mega Man Anniversary Collection for Xbox a couple years ago and kind of got into Mega Man 7 and 8 (but prefer the 8-bit graphics, which is why I was happy to see that going into 9 and 10), and the two 2D fighting-style games the collection also came with.

Shamefully, I haven't explored Mega Man X or Zero or any of the other games in the series, as much as I should. I typically stick to 1-6 and 9-10.

MMN: Which character is your favorite?

AO: To play, Mega Man for sure... my favourite boss is Wood Man, just because he made leaves into a fierce weapon... who woulda thought!

MMN: Any thoughts for Mega Man's upcoming 25th anniversary?

AO: Just that he's the best and I proudly wear a Mega Man shirt on national television. :) And I would be a happy kid at heart if Mega Man 11, 12, 13, 14, all the way to 50 were made with 8-bit graphics and awesome cheesy campy music!

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Our thanks go to Arda Ocal for taking the time to talk with us about Mega Man; keep wearing that shirt proudly!

If you're in Canada and have cable, you can catch Arda (with and without Mega Man) on Aftermath Tuesdays at 6-ish pm EST and Friday nights at 10pm EST, as well as on Aftermath Radio Monday nights from 11:05pm to Midnight, EST. You can also find Aftermath on Facebook, while the Baltimore Sun hosts his column.

Ucchy Asks 11: TOM-PON no Saigo!?

For many months, Capcom's Ucchy-san has been posting video segments of an interview with Naoya Tomita, AKA TOM-PON, a legendary Capcom staffer who was working on Mega Man back at the beginning. However, today things finally wrap up with Capcom Unity's posting of translations of the final segments.

In the new videos (the latest one above), you can learn about things like TOM-PON's stint in voice acting, the origin of enemy names, and developers' love for American action movies. You can also browse down the list on CU to see all the previous videos in the series. Don't forget to click the CC button to see the subtitles!

Many thanks to TOM-PON and Ucchy-san for all the info and laughs!