Friday, June 14, 2019
Exclusive: Cancelled Mega Man Star Force 4 Concept Art and Story Details
What you see up there is concept artwork from a title that, until today, you had no idea almost existed: Mega Man Star Force 4. It’s not fan-art. It’s not a fake. It’s the real deal.
This illustration -- drawn by series artist Shinsuke Komaki -- is from the cancelled fourth entry in the Star Force saga. It was supplied to Rockman Corner by an extremely reliable source: our old friend “The Shadow.” (click the link for a refresher)
According to our source, Mega Man Star Force 4 entered production roughly 10-years-ago, sometime between 2009 and 2010. Unfortunately, coupled with poor sales of Rockman EXE: Operate Shooting Star (>60,000 units) and lower-than-expected sales of Mega Man Star Force 3 one year prior (between 174,426 ~ 210,000 units in Japan), Capcom ultimately chose to close the book on Mega Man Star Force 4 halfway in development.
To the best of our source's recollection, Mega Man Star Force 4 aimed to be more tonally "mature" than previous entries to attract an older demographic. It would have starred a slightly older, more hardened Geo Stellar (redesigned with new clothes and a new Visualizer) and a brand-new character named Kazuma (pictured on the left). Kazuma was a genius hacker and a direct descendant of Lan Hikari's family. The general premise of the game involved Geo and Kazuma crossing paths and becoming outlaw hackers. The dynamic duo would eventually be sought by the Satella Police. Reward for their capture was a hefty 8,000,000 Zenny a piece.
"Hacking" was intended to be the theme or gimmick of Star Force 4, comparable to Star Force 3's "Noise". How hacking would have contributed to gameplay, among other things, is beyond our source's recollection. It was a long time ago.
And that, really, is all we have to share on this ill-fated project for today. It took me a little while to wrap my brain around it but there it is: Star Force 4 was almost, almost a thing. It wasn't just a concept; it was in active development.
From Mega Man Universe to Mega Man Legends 3, you can go about your day knowing that Star Force 4 now exists in that grand ether where all other cancelled Mega Man projects go. And hey, maybe one day Capcom will revisit it. The Mega Man franchise is in far better condition than it was back in the early 2010s. The "dark era" is over. You never know what the future may bring.
For now, though, let us dream and wonder about what nearly was. And, please, whip up some cool fan-art while you’re at it.