Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Sakurai Talks Mega Man's Design in Super Smash Bros.


Since the announcement of Mega Man's much deserved inclusion in Super Smash Bros., there's been a lot of debate in regards to the look of the robot. Some fans welcome this modern take on the character's design, others not so much. I've seen some say that it throws out the years of evolution his design has had since the NES days, deeming it a "deevolution" or a "relapse."

In all, there is one thing both sides can agree on: Mega Man looks different. But why?



In a recent editorial with the Official Nintendo Magazine, Smash Bros. director Masahiro Sakurai has provided an explanation why Mega Man looks the way he does. It all hearkens back to Sakurai's desire to provide players with a "complete" representation of the character. There's a certain image Mega Man has, and Sakurai and worked to ensure this immediate recognition.

"Mega Man's most unique trait is how he gains new attacks from bosses," he said, referring to how most of his attacks are abilities drawn from the Mega Man series itself, like Metal Man's Blade, or Hard Man's Hard Knuckle.

"Working that fully into the game results in a more complete Mega Man. That's why he's done up in NES-era proportions, rather than something more realistic; that's why he's expressionless, why his jumping and damage motions and the way he can fire the Mega Buster while walking are all what they are. It's all in an effort to present the character."

Sakurai's pretty committed to designing characters with recongizable traits. Personally speaking, I feel this is the best method they could go with Mega Man. Here we have the character in his most basic, most well known form and everything about him is here. It's a very "compact" design, combing concepts from numerous sources like Ariga's take on the character (all those little details like vents, rivets, and panel lights). I like it.

Anyway, Sakurai has plenty more to say on the methodology behind characters. You can read up on those details, among other topics, at ONM.

Thanks for the tip, Eric.

20 comments:

  1. As much as I am a fan of the 8bit look I love this new look.

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  2. Sakurai and his team really did a good job designing Mega Man for Smash. It is a completely modern redesign that emulates the nostalgic 8-bit concept and style. It's literally perfect.

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  3. I really do love the design. I didn't even notice the blank expression until I saw people point it out, but really, is it that big of a deal when the game is going to be zoomed way out most of the time? Plus, I'd rather see his face blank than angrily frowning or even creepily smiling. Blank is fine.

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  4. I really like the new design myself. My biggest complaint is the expressionless bit, but even that isn't so bad, because it's not completely expressionless, more like very subdued expressions.

    But that's nothing compared to how happy I am to see the character in Smash. The work and effort put into including this character is clear. I appreciate both from Sakurai and his team.

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  5. Among all Mega Man fans, many prefer the 8-bit version the best rather than the later versions, which are 7 and 8, even Mega Man & Bass. I'd rather wanted his pose that he mostly used in the later versions, but since Mega Man X uses that, I think the NES style is better enough. Besides I like his new designs which resembles to Ariga version's, its a lot more cooler and detailed than simple. Expressionless is fine...but I wonder what will his voice be? Will Sakurai add voices for him or will he be just a muted character like R.O.B.?

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  6. Your friendly, neighborhood Metool. Forever in 8-bit.January 14, 2014 at 10:53 PM

    Sad that classic MM seems to just be about NES-talgia nowadays. Megaman 10 being 8-bit, both it and 9 removing moves from the previous series, this interview. Maybe it's just me, but it feels like people want certain sub-series to be locked to certain eras.

    I'm probably wrong, but hey whadda I know? I'm just a Met.

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  7. His proportions creep me out and remind me of Captain N. Everything else is great.

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  8. His expression (at least to me) seems to try to emulate the NES sprite much like the rest of him in Smash, so I don't see the problem. Devolution...... So you mean to tell me Mega was devolved in the NES games? And he just miraculously started gaining the ability to express himself in the later generation of games? Gimme a break.

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  9. I love this redesign, I'd like it better if it had "modern" proportions like 7, 8, MVC, the comics, etc. But the "chibi" style fits him well, and he looks like a robot instead of a boy in pajamas, I'd love this design reused in more gams.

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    1. Apparently this design was thought out by a Rockman series artist at Capcom and not Nintendo. So that's something.

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  10. I don't agree with the fact that Rock was designed with retro styling in mind when every other character in smash bros. is heavily updated. This 8-bit design thing of Rock is irritating me beyond my patience. Why not use MM8 evolution of the character? This is absurd.

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    1. "when every other character in smash bros. is heavily updated..."

      Mr. Game and Watch.

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    2. Personally, I kinda wish they would do this with more characters than just Mega Man. I vastly prefer Pit's original look to his modern "bishie-shota" look.

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    3. I feel the imposed 8-bit styling is due to the fact that most of Mega Man's Nintendo history takes place on the NES and Game Boy (where the original MM sprite was featured).

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    4. Mr. Game and Watch says hello. In addition, you can only really update to the most recent iteration i.e. Samus to Other M, Link to Skyward Sword-esque etc.

      And that's when you remember 9 and 10 were the most recent entries since Megaman Universe didn't happen and he didn't appear in MvC3.

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    5. Except that totally didn't stop them from using Pit's "most recent iteration," which would of been the GB game, and instead they came up with a completely new design that doesn't really represent the character's then appearance, but rather what they decided to change him into (for better or for worse).

      To me, this just again shows that people only seem to want to do things with Mega Man when it's 8-bit styled, which is exactly why the series is at a standstill; it's great for random throwbacks (I loved 9 and 10, however, I would've loved some new HD and/or hand-drawn sprites so much more) and fond memories, but when everything that wants to come out limits itself to the days of NES, then the series, quite simply, has no future.

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  11. Damn people know always how to complain, but they dont know how to be happy of a "megaman in smash bros"....
    The design is ok for me. Retro or not retro, it's pretty good anyways!

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  12. What the hell is wrong with him?! This is EXACTLY how I imagined him in an SSB game! He actually looks better than his NES design. The NES sprites make him look like a child. And the detail on him is top notch. Why is everyone complaining about it? One thing, though, If Chris Cason actually IS going to be his final VA, then I really hope he will not screw him up, after seeing that he was the voice of the God Awful MM1 American Box art Megaman in SFxT. I'm sort of expecting him to sound like Sonic.

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    1. he is a child. hes supposed to look that way.a robot boy. look at all the japanese artwork for rockman since its inception. this design is adequate but it definitely makes him look more like a robot than a boy. his design is similar to astro boy/mighty atom who is the original inspiration for mega man

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  13. I can thankfully say that they have done a great job with mega man. However I would actually like to see how he actually plays in gameplay. Also what his final smash would be.

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