Not only is Mega Man: Official Complete Works chock-full of artwork, it's also filled to the brim with commentary from MM creators, too. Both enlightening and entertaining, their words offer a look inside the development of numerous games, characters and concepts; stuff that would make for good trivia.
After the break, I've compiled a small sampling of some of the more interesting comments the staff had to offer. For the rest of the lot, you'll have to buy the book for yourselves!
- Keiji Inafune on Mega Man's inability to 'crouch':
"I often heard people say, 'Mega Man can't crouch,' but we actually had a dot graphic of him crouching while we were working on '1.' On the NES, with only a split second to see the slight height difference, the player wouldn't really be able to differentiate between a projectile that could only be dodged by jumping, and one that could only be dodged by crouching. That was the reason why we decided to go with a jumping-only system for Mega Man 1and 2, and I think we did a good job refining it."
- Inafune discusses the decision of releasing Rockman and Forte on the Super Nintendo as opposed to a PlayStation or Sega Saturn release:
"When we made the shift in hardware to the PS and the SS, there were many children who couldn't play Mega Man 8 because they didn't own either of those consoles. As kids, they didn't have the ability to go out and buy consoles. Even though 'X' had opened its world up on the SNES, the original Mega Man series only went to '7' on that console. That's why we decided to bring out a new title for the SNES that was based on '8.' Even though trying to bring out a new title on the SNES was a little backwards at the time, we didn't want to make a halfhearted attempt at it. We decided to reexamine the game from the ground up and make it something that our players could really sink their teeth into."
- Hayato Kaji on Duo's design:
"I did the design for Duo, but he started off as a robot created by Cossack, so there's still a lot of Russian flavor left in him. The shape of his head was suppose to look like a classic Russian hat, and the circles on his chest were meant to look like coat buttons...but then he turned out to be a robot from space."
- Tatsuya Yoshikawa on Mega Man Powered Up's art style:
"The concept for these designs was 'toys.' We wanted cute designs geared towards little kids... the kinds of characters that you'd see hanging off of keychains and such. Not only that, I made sure to tell the designers not to skimp on any of the original Mega Man details. We wanted their proportions and movements to be accurately reflected in these designs as well."
- Inafune regrets Super Adventure Rockman, discusses the "no kill policy":
"To be honest, I feel I owe the players an apology for this one. There was a phase when the company was basically selling Mega Man to the lowest bidder, and I really feel like this title is the worst of the worst. The one who was responsible for the whole project quit rather suddenly, and it was pretty much dropped into my lap. By that time, though, it was at a stage where I couldn't really make an big changes to it. The ultimate unspoken rule about making a game that is geared towards children is that you simply cannot kill anyone, but here you have the military helicopters falling out of the sky and people dying in droves. If it had been up to me, I would have at least made it so they all 'got away safely' via parachutes or something. Then, as if that wasn't bad enough, Roll dies... and to top it all off, the whole world is destroyed! I was like, 'Did they really need to go that far?!' I will never let them do something like this ever again. If we, as developers, start getting confused about what 'safe for children' mean, we'd not only be betraying our players, but I'd feel like I was betraying every single creator that ever put time into this series."
- Hideki Ishikawa on boss submissions for Mega Man 8:
"I still remember how everyone had permanent smiles painted in their faces as we looked at each and every one of the submissions that came through. There were some that we came to expect, though, like 'Black Mega Man' and bosses with terrifying weapons. Poison was pretty popular... like poison weapons that could 'kill Mega Man with just one drop!' Yeah, we got a lot of those."
- Inafune and the "nightmare" of Rockman World 2 (GameBoy Mega Man II):
"We hired a different company to do 'World 2', and that was a total nightmare. They just didn't understand Mega Man like the company that did 'World 1.' This experience really made us realize just how important it is to ensure that the people working on Mega Man are people who really 'get it.' This aspect is reflected in the game itself, so I'm sure the players know what I'm talking about better than anyone."
For more staff commentary, pick up a copy of Mega Man Official Complete Work; it's on sale now both online and in-stores!