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Mega Man creator storms Kickstarter with spiritual successor

Mega Man creator Keiji Inafune has taken to Kickstarter to fund Mighty No. 9, a "spiritual successor" to Mega Man series of games that began in 1987.

Mega Man creator Keiji Inafune has taken to Kickstarter to fund Mighty No. 9, a "spiritual successor" to Mega Man series of games that began in 1987.

(Credit: comcept)

In 1987, a little game that you may have heard of launched, starring a transforming humanoid robot bashing enemies and stealing their powers over six side-scrolling levels that could be played in any order the player wished. Although that game — called Mega Man — didn't sell hugely well, it went on to spawn a massive series spanning over two decades, with 10 main games and a plethora of spin-offs, totalling over 50 titles; one of Capcom's best sellers.

The most recent Mega Man title was in 2010. But apparently Keiji Inafune, who designed the original Mega Man and had a significant role in the development of many of the titles (and also produced the Onimusha and Dead Rising series), feels that there's life in ... well, maybe not Mega Man, but ... well, Mega Man.

A new Kickstarter headed by the developer has launched for a game by a team of Mega Man developers. Called Mighty No. 9, it's a side-scrolling action adventure starring a humanoid robot who blasts enemies and steals their powers over six levels, which can be played in any order the player chooses.

That sure does sound familiar. But there's an important point of difference, the Kickstarter page says: the ability to fully transform, rather than just his arm: "For example, his limbs might become giant magnets, enabling him to walk up walls or rip away enemy shields... Or maybe extendible spring-loaded hands would allow him to activate far-away switches or work as a grappling hook... Or he could have a tank-like body, easily crossing over spikes and pushing objects around the levels... These are just a few possibilities we're considering (the game is still in the design phase), but you get the idea!"

The name of the game comes from the robot protagonist himself. He is the ninth in a series of super-powered robots, originally created for industrial purposes, but grown strong in a robot battle arena. Guess who Nine — also known by his given name, Beck — will have to take out?

And the rest of the team — that is, what little has been revealed — looks fantastic. Naoya Tomita, level designer on many of the original Mega Man series; Kimo Kimo, former Capcom character designer whose work includes Street Fighter Alpha 3, Darkstalkers 3 and Red Earth; Manami Matsumae, who penned the soundtrack for the original Mega Man game; Shinsuke Komaki, former Capcom art director; Takuya Aizu, CEO of Japanese indie developer Inti Creates; and director Koji Imaeda, formerly of Capcom.

After only a few days, the game has already reached its initial funding goal of US$900,000, and is well on the way to its stretch goal of US$1,350,000, at which point the team will create Linux- and Mac-compatible versions of the game in addition to the original PC version. If the game hits US$2.5 million, versions will also be created for the PlayStation 3, Xbox 360 and Wii U.

A pledge of US$20 will get you a digital copy of the game, with an estimated delivery date of April 2015. Head on over to the Mighty No. 9 Kickstarter page for more information.