Mega Man 9 Special Stage Q&A

Capcom producer Hironobu Takeshita takes us through the inspirations for Mega Man 9 and talks about the new DLC stage.

You can't keep a good Mega Man down. In the recently released Mega Man 9, the titular hero battles eight new robot masters, providing more than enough challenge for even seasoned Mega Man series fans. Earlier this month, the first downloadable content pack--Proto Man--was made available, and the second set of DLC is due to arrive next week. To learn all about the so-called Fake Man, and to learn more about the creation of the new characters in MM9, we chatted with the game's producer, Hironobu Takeshita.

Mega Man has returned to kick your gaming skills into the gutter.

GameSpot: Considering that this is the ninth Mega Man game and that there have been dozens of other Mega Man titles, how difficult was it to come up with eight new robot masters?

Hironobu Takeshita: Each title's development involves unique challenges and dilemmas. The biggest challenge with Mega Man 9 was the challenge of bringing the franchise back to its roots to create a true NES-style game, keeping boss designs to its simplest form while bringing out distinct personalities of each character. [Keiji] Inafune-san designed two bosses and directed the design process for the other six bosses. There were many instances when we all thought we nailed it. Inafune-san didn't agree with what we came up with and further refined the designs. Voila--simpler, very NES characters were born. It was quite an inspirational experience for all of us to refine a design by simplifying it to its limits.

GS: Can you run us through the main robot bosses in the game and tell us what inspired them?

HT: Plug Man and Splash Woman were designed by Inafune-san. Inti Creates' designers designed the other six bosses.

Plug Man
He was designed by Inafune-san. His intention was to guide young designers in the design team toward a certain direction by Inafune-san's leading example. He showed them how to create a Mega Man boss with simple but characteristic features. Plug Man literally embodies a plug and is very simple in his appearances with controlled color variation. He also taught us not to put too much emphasis on the head.

Splash Woman
The planning team asked Inafune-san to design a woman boss. "Are you going to have me fail?" That was Inafune-san's initial reaction. But he quickly turned around and said he would make it happen. He immediately started to brainstorm character designs. Originally, Hornet Man was to be a woman, but he came up with an idea of bringing in a woman on the ocean stage as a mermaid. That's how Splash Woman came into being. Head designing is always difficult, but for Splash Woman, her helmet looks like a bobbed-cut hair. It's one of the parts we all love most about her. We had a lot of fun designing the series' first woman character.

Magma Man
We started off with the color of magma: red. The color and the Air Man-like design for its firepower were combined together to get the end result. The designing process for this character went fairly smoothly from there. Though a volcano was the design motif, we later realized he looked just like Needle Man. (We didn't tell anyone and pretended like there was no problem!)

Concrete Man
This is one of the characters we had a hard time designing. He uses concrete as his weapon. His arms and legs are big and bulky, which associate with a tank of a cement mixer truck.

Jewel Man
We tried to make him look as sleazy and gaudy as possible with a lot of gems. Originally, he was much more eccentric, so we made him move and behave in a very strange way. But now he acts "normally" in the actual game.

Capcom is supporting Mega Man 9 extensively, with one DLC pack available and more on the way.

Tornado Man
Most of the bosses associated with wind had propellers in the past. We tried to think of a unique design, such as propellers on its head. We finally came up with the design that had arms that would open up and turn into propellers.

Hornet Man
He is just a Honey Bee Robot. Isn't that way too simple? He was originally to be Honey Woman--a woman robot--but through many redesigning stages, the Honey Bee Robot became a man, and Splash Woman became the first and only woman in the series so far.

Galaxy Man
How are we going to visualize a concept of galaxy? It was such an abstract idea that we all struggled with. Yet, once we came up with [a UFO enthusiast and photographer George] Adamski-type UFO as a motif, everything followed. He is our designer's favorite of all.

GS: Are there any robot masters that didn't make the cut that you can share with us?

HT: I don't mean to evade your question, but there is one boss we'd love to introduce to the fans in this occasion. His name is Fake Man. He appears on the special stage available in downloadable content. He also makes a small appearance in the main content. This is a big hint! Some of you might have already gotten it by just telling you this. The special stage will be very challenging for most of you, and you may not be able to see him often. Don't be discouraged. He is waiting for you, to battle you!

GS: Did you feel like you had to stick with the old elemental-style template (Water Man, Fire Man, Electric Man, and so on)?

HT: Well, since this was going to be the latest version of the franchise, the design had to inherit some elements from the past bosses. This installment was themed to return to its roots. We tried to make the design resemble that of Mega Man 1 and 2 by making it as simple as we can.

GS: Why do you think the boss formula still works after all these years?

HT: I hate to think you might get bored by me telling you this, but I have to repeat myself because this is what we believe. The formula works because the game design is made extremely simple: visual design, gameplay, attacks, and other movements. All of the elements are simple and fit well together. Simplicity never fades away.

Fake Man is the latest boss you'll take on as the Blue Bomber.

GS: Do you think the series is ready for the kind of reinvention we've seen for the other big Capcom franchises (Resident Evil, Street Fighter), or do you think Mega Man works best as an old-school game?

HT: Old school or reinvention, either one will work. Our decision of going with the old school was right for the ninth installment of Mega Man. We've been hearing that the approach and style has been received well, and that proves our challenge was worthwhile and it was correct. Until now, video development was on the path to make more high-end titles. MM9 was the game NES fans long waited for. We would love to see this particular style of games to be ultimately established as a distinct genre and to see more games of this style.

GS: How long until we get a Mega Man 10?

HT: This can be answered only by fans' passion. We have come this far with the fans' support. If they continue to support Mega Man, we will answer their request by any means. We'd love to hear from you.

GS: Thanks for your time.

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Discussion

45 comments
UlfSaar
UlfSaar

I used to play megaman titles on nes , but i sucked at it , when megaman 9 came i out i decided i would beat it , and i did. I'd love another game like this. retro-style gfx in a new and complicated game,just perfect. Please make megaman 10

jigokunobaka
jigokunobaka

i gotta agree with eslamm the old style games are awsome and still rock but its time for something new

eslamm
eslamm

hey capcom wats wrong with u ... i love megaman games and u can make great megaman game to ps3 and u do this freakin' ungraphixed game, shame on u

Rust_Stiletto
Rust_Stiletto

How about a new Double Dragon game ala 8-bit style. Does ANYONE here remember American Technos? Long live the beat-'em-up!

AgentDan
AgentDan

I'm with nick, DLC that just unlocks already on disc content is fail. Shame on Capcom for doing this.

nick0091
nick0091

Every DLC for Megaman 9. 108 kb... I said this would happen several months ago, that Megaman 9 only took this long to come out because the intial release was the game with stripped content. Appears I was right, and which is why I won't support Capcom for this game.

Simianjohn
Simianjohn

[This message was deleted at the request of a moderator or administrator]

Geostrike
Geostrike

Yes, I hope they start making Mega Man 10 soon, it's awesome to see something like this get so much support. Long live Mega Man!!!

DastardlyD
DastardlyD

I was thrown off by the fact the main series took two generational steps back. But when I think about it, MM7's sprites were friggin' huge (although the game was great and the battles against Bass and Treble were awesome), and even with MM8's cutscenes, the game felt like it was missing the fire the series once had. The only ones that got it right were the original six. In saying that, I don't think you can call a game a sequel when you strip away characters and abilities. This series has a somewhat established storyline, and people - like myself - have longed for a conclusion to the first half of Mega Man's existence. With the direction that the series is taking now, we may not see that. Maybe they'll wrap it up in Mega Man X-O: Matrix Zero-Gravity Extra Super Retro Pheonix Saiyan Recharged Card Battle Network Sword... XII. Lizard and Squirrel Version.

aikimagicjedi
aikimagicjedi

With all download content this game is close to $20, Capcom is doing a looooooooooooot of money with MM9. This just means we'll have a MM10 pretty soon.

Molezzi
Molezzi

Awesome!! i love Mega Man!!!! Brings me back to my childhood! But i hope this is a free download???... LoL! Cant see myself paying ACTUAL money to play this. Haha!

xboxaficionado
xboxaficionado

This is good news, I understand they wanted the old school look and feel, but why not go with the style of Rockman Mega World? nonetheless I hope they keep 'em coming!

AtlanticRock
AtlanticRock

People who are asking for the slide and Mega Buster; Proto Man has both. I would love to see a Mega Man 10, 11, 12, 13, 14... keep going if Final Fantasy could do it... Mega Man sure can.

Skycosis
Skycosis

what about megaman x x.x what ever happened to him

elozl
elozl

how about an option of having the slide and mbuster?? like a separate way of playing the same game...

siLVURcross
siLVURcross

I wish people wouldn't demand for slide and charge buster. The idea of MM 9 was to go back to it's roots in MM1 and MM2, which didn't feature either slide or charge buster. As such, it wasn't included. Besides, as the MM series grows, it got easier because of slide and charge buster, I'm glad they didn't add it in 9. More of a challenge.

X_CAPCOM_X
X_CAPCOM_X

Capcom already had a custom level designer in Rockman Rockman or Megaman powered up on the PSP.

TeabagChampion
TeabagChampion

It would be pretty cool if Capcom made some kind of level design tools for the fans so that way they can make levels and share them. Somewhat like Little Big Planet.

X_CAPCOM_X
X_CAPCOM_X

Ugh, people are such sheep with Capcom. If I wanted to play an 8-bit Megaman, that's exactly what I would do. I would get the NES parts, hook 'em up, and play the damn game. I would like to see something new. It was very exciting to see the new incarnations of Megaman. I remember when Megaman X4 released; it blew me away. Please, Keiji Inafune and other Capcom devs, put your creative skills to work and surprise us fans with an all-new Megaman game. To understand where I'm coming from, imagine if the new Castlevania games went back to the NES style gameplay. It would be bland compared to what they are and what they could be.

GatCloudX
GatCloudX

if you make another 8bit atleast put slide and charge buster in there

Pfilosophy
Pfilosophy

If Megaman 10 releases, please DO make it another 8-bit game.

X_CAPCOM_X
X_CAPCOM_X

If Megaman 10 releases, please do not make it another 8-bit rehash.

Verno77
Verno77

How could there be a Mega Man 10? any upgrade to the game could probably fit in a DLC for Mega Man 9. It's not like they would improve the graphics.

Cbot
Cbot

old-school gaming forever!!

Cbot
Cbot

me want mega man 10!!

wiifan001
wiifan001

I for one am one of those Megaman supporters that is right all the with the desire of Megaman 10 in the distant future :D:D:D

Toro_Nev
Toro_Nev

LOL I agree with King9999 I wish all the DLC was just included with the game itself.

King9999
King9999

GS: How long until we get a Mega Man 10? HT: This can be answered only by fans' passion. We have come this far with the fans' support. If they continue to support Mega Man, we will answer their request by any means. We'd love to hear from you. Time to hit up Capcom's forum...

aikimagicjedi
aikimagicjedi

I'd love to see new MM X games and MM 10. They can keep the NES look for the classic megaman and go wild with the x series.

MacBrother
MacBrother

I hope Capcom gives new sequels to Strider and Final Fight.

BMWPro77
BMWPro77

Hi Gamespot and **** I would like to let you know I am a Mega Man NUT. I remeber and stillhave my original Mega Man with the original Box. I actually have almost every Mega Mna Game made for home systems (I don't own a game boy or DS). I will continue to buy these games for as long as I can pick up a controller. You have done a wonderful job. Please keep up the good work. I would love to see a Mega Man 10.

japanesegoth
japanesegoth

yay even more stuff that should've been included in the first place!! by the time you buy all the DLC you will have spent $50 on this trash.

galduke
galduke

"GS: Do you think the series is ready for the kind of reinvention we've seen for the other big Capcom franchises (Resident Evil, Street Fighter), or do you think Mega Man works best as an old-school game?" Anyone else think this question was pointless? It's like they completely forgot the 6 other "reinventions".

Ra-Devil
Ra-Devil

Capcom did the Maverick Hunter X game, another style of a remake. It's essentially an update, whereas this is a retro style game. I like them both a lot, and almost wish they would do some more retro titles, for instance, remaking Megaman 7 and 8 into 8-bit games. Or continuing the Maverick Hunter X series. I really enjoyed MHX, it was really well done. A perfect example of Megaman working with 3D graphics (unlike MMX7 and 8). Megaman 9 was awesome because it's great retro gaming that will never get old. It's the design; it's unique. Even Mario or Zelda didn't have the same bright color pallate or themed rhythm music; Megaman just stands out well. I'd love for Capcom to do Megaman 10, but I'd like them to hold another "Character Contest" for it, where fans get to submit their ideas for new characters. It's really a way of letting your fans feel like they helped make a game. That's what I really liked about Megaman 8; it was a cast of Robot Masters entirely designed by fans. The basic ideas anyway, Capcom ran them through some touch-up and theme filters, but the original fans artwork looks a lot like the finished product. It's just a cool thought, and everyone can make a Megaman character. Even if it's just 2 of the 8, that would be fine I think

LordelX
LordelX

Fake Man gets his own stage? Sweet. You can already fight him in Endless Attack mode.

Dinotron214
Dinotron214

So is that Fake Man in the picture there? I'm gettin' that fo sho!

Yo-gan
Yo-gan

Id love to see if the made a new megaman X game instead of another NES megaman game

oscaromarjp
oscaromarjp

Are there more achievement points with the dlc..?