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Keiji Inafune

Azure Striker: Gunvolt photo
Azure Striker: Gunvolt

Azure Striker: Gunvolt footage looks just stunning


Debuting in Japan this August
Jun 29
// Kyle MacGregor
New footage of Azure Striker: Gunvolt, the upcoming Nintendo 3DS project from Mega Man creator Keiji Inafune and Inti Creates, has made its way out in the wild.  The side-scrolling action platformer appears to be s...
Mighty No 9. photo
Mighty No 9.

This new footage for Mighty No. 9 is looking great


Can't wait!
May 30
// Chris Carter
Spring 2015 seems eons away. That's probably because I want to get my hands on the final version of Mighty No. 9 as soon as possible, and this new trailer isn't helping. It shows off some new manuevers, including the st...
Inafune photo
Inafune

Keiji Inafune will hold a Q&A at Anime Expo in LA


AX2014
May 27
// Chris Carter
Heading out to LA from July 3rd to the 6th? Well you might get a chance to see the legendary Keiji Inafune in person, over at Anime Expo 2014. The site has revealed that he is attending as a Guest of Honor, and will hold an a...
Soul Sacrifice Delta photo
Soul Sacrifice Delta

Here's a trailer to remind you Soul Sacrifice Delta launched today


Reminder that it's also digital only
May 13
// Brett Zeidler
I was never able to really get into Soul Sacrifice when I played it around this time last year, which probably had something to do with Monster Hunter 3 Ultimate still getting plenty of attention from me at that point in tim...
CENSORSHIP!!!!!! photo
CENSORSHIP!!!!!!

Azure Striker compromises appeal to boys 10-14, adds braid back


Gravure liker
Apr 17
// Steven Hansen
Keiji Inafune's other not Mega Man game is Azure Striker: Gunvolt. Its main character, Gunvolt, was viciously censored for the planned Western release, as you can see below. And by viciously censored I mean his designed was c...
Azure Striker Gunvolt photo
One of my most anticipated 3DS games of the year
Keiji Inafune and his superstar development collective are hard at work with creating Mighty No. 9 for every platform under the sun -- but who knows when it's actually coming out. As confirmed to us at BitSummit 2014, we...

Soul Sacrifice Delta photo
Soul Sacrifice Delta

Soul Sacrifice Delta may be coming to the west


According to a Spanish retailer
Apr 02
// Chris Carter
Soul Sacrifice Delta, an expansion/semi-sequel of sorts for the original PlayStation Vita game Soul Sacrifice, is apparently coming to the west, according to a listing from a Spanish retailer. According to the listing the fo...
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Inafune: Mega Man has indie roots, and those remain with Mighty No. 9


From his GDC talk
Mar 19
// Dale North
In Keiji Inafune's GDC talk, titled "Meanwhile, In Japan...," he recalled that the feeling around the first Mega Man game was comparable to that of indie game making today.  "Mega Man was the first original total that ca...
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Does Keiji Inafune still believe that 'Japan is over' now?


From Inafune's GDC talk
Mar 19
// Dale North
Keiji Inafune's GDC talk, titled "Meanwhile, In Japan..." opened by addressing a comment he made a couple of years back during another GDC talk. He was quoted as saying "Japan is over" back then. Today he was asked if he stil...

First details on Azure Striker: Gunvolt

Mar 07 // Dale North
Story In the near future, a new type of psychic power has evolved, and those with the powere were initially feared. A large conblomerate known as the Sumeragi Group took it upon themselves to round up those that posess these powers to bring order to the world. But it turns out that their shelter was actually a concentration camp for those with the powers, and that experiments were being conducted daily on them. A group called Feather was formed after learning of these concentration camps, and they work together as a human rights organization to protect the psychics. One member of Feather, a 14-year-old boy named Gunvolt, sets out on his first mission to assisinate Lumen, a virtual pop star. Characters Gunvolt -- Gunvolt is a nickname -- his true name remains his secret. His power, Azure Striker, allows him to control lightning. He starts out as a member of Feature, but he leaves when he meets a girl named Joule. Joule -- Joule is a 13-year-old psychic created in a lab by the Sumeragi Group. Her power lets her enhance the power of other psychics through song. She is rescued by Gunvolt, and they begin living together. Lumen -- Lumen is the most famous pop star in the country. She's actually the avatar of Joule. The Sumeragi Group is using her as sonar to find other psychics to capture them. Lumen claims she only reflects the person Joule wants to be deep inside. Combat Conductor Gun -- Gunvolt has a rapid fire gun that doesn't do much damage. Holding down the fire button allows for continuous fire. This gun can be used in conjunction with the lightning ability to lock onto targets to increase its damage power. Lightning -- By activating lightning (by pressing R button), Gunvolt can generate a protective ring that works as a shield. It also does damage to any enemy that comes in contact with it -- they'll slowly lose their health while touching it. Offensively, lightning lets Gunvolt lock onto enemies to damage them, and that damage can be increased up to three times by continuing to hold down the R button. This ability can be aimed at several enemies, and this allows for attack chaining, which helps the player reach higher scores. Lightning also lets Gunvolt levitate, giving him a platforming advantage. Instead of falling down pits, Gunvolt can ease down while shooting. He can also float upward, allowing him to get in more shots than he would with jump shooting. Platforming and gameplay Gunvolt can jump and double-jump, as well as dash. Used together, he can perform mid-air dashes. Beyond these moves, he'll learn new ones as the game progresses. We only saw one of his special abilities: Voltic Chain. By tapping on a touch button on the 3DS bottom screen, this attack sends giant chains across the screen, and then he charges them with electricity to do damage to enemies. Enemies Daytona — Fire is Daytona’s psychic ability, and it allows him to create explosions. His slide and leap attacks make him difficult to dodge. Melac — Melac is able to create wormholes, and his attacks are unpredictable and hard to dodge. He is able to send an attack through one wormhole and have it come out another. His special attack lets him send laser beams through several wormholes at once. 
Gunvolt details photo
Characters, powers, and story
We were among the first to get our hands on Keiji Inafune's / Inti Creates' new 3DS side-scrolling action game, Azure Striker: Gunvolt here at BitSummit 2014 in Kyoto, Japan. We now have the first details on the game's story, world, and characters, straight from the developers.

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Here's the first video for Azure Striker: Gunvolt


Inafune's new game on 3DS
Mar 07
// Dale North
We will have more images and details coming from Keiji Inafune's / Inti Creates' new 3DS game later, but we wanted to be sure to share this band new trailer right away.Azure Striker: Gunvolt looks absolutely stunning in person. Don't get me wrong: this trailer looks great, but the real deal is wowowowoowow. Enjoy.

Inafune's new game: Azure Striker: Gunvolt first hands-on

Mar 07 // Dale North
In the near future, a new psychic power has emerged, and a group called the Sumeragi have emerged to make sense of these powers, taking to supervising those that possess it. But it turns out that they're actually running a concentration camp, and are holding experiments on those held captive in it. A group called Feather has risen up against them, and our hero, Gunvolt, is given his first order to carry out. Inti Creates calls this a high speed, high action 2D side-scrolling action adventure game. I call it my next obsession. I couldn't stop playing. I felt bad hogging the only 3DS kit at BitSummit that the game was on, but didn't feel as bad after hearing that the guy before me had played it five times already. Gunvolt is a 14-year-old boy that can control lightning. This power works as a secondary weapon and a power-up, as it allows him to wear down the enemy slowly with its power, or it can tag up to three enemies to focus his primary gunfire (which is continuous with the button held) from his Conductor Gun onto. It's like a sweep to set up to three auto targeting points. For quick kills, a single enemy can be tagged three times with lightning to turn up the damage. Aside from attacks, this charge can also disarm enemies, release traps, unlock doors, and much more. When not in use as a lock-on trigger, the stored charge can be used as a shield against enemy attacks. The lightning power has a gauge that depletes during use, and will recharge when dormant. Successful gameplay involves keeping this power in check, using it when you need to to turn up attacks against enemies, but also setting enough aside to take care of other matters. Skilled players will use it to turn up the heat, while novice players might forego using the power to keep defenses up. Lightning also plays a role in platforming. Aside from the previously mentioned unlocking ability, it also allows Gunvolt to levitate. And floating while shooting is just as cool as it sounds. This might sound like a lot to juggle for one ability, but it comes together beautifully. Getting the hang of lock-ons, shielding, and levitation can have your score flying high. It took me a second play of one of the demo levels to get there, but when I did, it felt good. It felt really good. Gunvolt's gameplay has some solid Mega Man roots, as you might imagine from the development team lineup. There's dashing and jumping and... well, dash jumping. Jump shots were the name of the game in the stages I played. There's everything you'd hope for in this kind of game: wall jumping, crazy platforming, and plenty of ultra-challenging, asshole-ish enemy placement. The level designs in the two demo stages I tried had me grinning -- brilliant layouts around every corner Any Mega Man fan would be pleased. I really enjoyed a forest stage where I had to use lightning charges to force tree branch obstacles away to clear the way for platforming. Swarms of insects would create a cloud that wiped across the screen, forcing Gunvolt to use his lightning shield as a defense. The end of the stage brought me to a multi-tiered flower boss battle where I had to dodge slow floating pollen orbs while wall jumping to make sure I could hit it enough times to have it opening up. Once open, I mashed a touchscreen button to use a saved special attack, sending a barrage of chains across the screen to kill it off. Even the producer was impressed with my battle! I was impressed by Gunvolt's visuals. Inti Creates has the 3DS singing with crisp, beautifully animated visuals. This is console- quality stuff on the 3DS. And I know you won't believe me, but the 3D looks outstanding -- easily the best I've ever seen on the system. Again, I had to apologize a couple of times for hogging the only system here at BitSummit to play Azure Striker: Gunvolt. I grew so attached to it in 20 minutes that I threatened to run off with the system. They laughed. I wasn't joking. Inti Creates has given us a wonderful game to hold us over until Mighty No. 9 comes out. But Azure Striker Gunvolt is so good that it's really its own main event. This isn't some appetizer. From what I've seen, this game looks done and ready to go. But it's not. unfortunately. Inti Creates told Destructoid that only three stages are done so far, and that they're currently working with Nintendo to get the game finished quickly for both Japan and North America. Our friends in Europe might have a bit longer of a wait, though. Azure Striker: Gunvolt is scheduled for release this summer.
Gunvolt photo
Keiji Inafune's new 3DS side-scroller
At BitSummit today, Inti Creates and Keiji Inafune announced a brand new side-scrolling adventure called Azure Striker: Gunvolt. It's coming this summer to the 3DS via Nintendo's eShop. Listen up, Mega Man fans: Keiji Inafune...

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Keiji Inafune talks Mighty No. 9, shows Mighty No. 7


Mighty No. 7 final design shown
Feb 06
// Dale North
Comcept's Keiji Inafune came to D.I.C.E. Summit 2014 today to talk about the potential of crowdfunding and how the games industry might change for the better through the freedom they provide. But he also took the opportunity ...
Yaiba: Ninja Gaiden Z photo
Yaiba: Ninja Gaiden Z

Zombies make out in this Yaiba: Ninja Gaiden Z video


Also, see the Mighty No. 9 skin in action
Feb 01
// Wesley Ruscher
Yaiba: Ninja Gaiden Z looks disgusting; over-the-top; insane; and unabashedly offensive, yet I still can't wait to give it a go. The latest trailer above sheds some light on a few of the game's more interesting costumes, and let's just say the school girl outfit is not quite what one would expect. Will you be picking up Yaiba: Ninja Gaiden Z when it drops this March? 
Inafune's game photo
Inafune's game

Inafune's pirate game, KAIO, delayed into 2014


Still coming for the 3DS
Dec 10
// Chris Carter
Hey remember in 2011 when we told you that Inafune's adorable pirate game KAIO: King of Pirates was coming in 2012? Well he heard that you like delays, so he put a delay in his delay, and now it's dropping in 2014 -...
Mighty No. 9 photo
Mighty No. 9

Mighty No. 9 opens up official site and backer forums


It's happening, guys
Nov 21
// Chris Carter
If you backed Mighty No. 9, you should be getting an email soon with your login information for the new website, which has officially launched. Right now there isn't a whole lot you can actually do on it, but news updates wil...
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Yaiba: Ninja Gaiden Z gets a Dark Horse digital comic


Print version slated for game's launch
Oct 10
// Dale North
Dark Horse Comics have teamed up with Keiji Inafune and Team Ninja to create a digital comic to introduce fans to the world of upcoming game Yaiba: Ninja Gaiden Z. Writers Tim Seeley and Josh Eamons and art from Rafael Ortiz ...
Mighty No. 9 photo
Mighty No. 9

Mighty No. 9 funding closes with over $4 million raised


All stretch goals hit!
Oct 01
// Hamza CTZ Aziz
Keiji Inafune's Might No. 9's Kickstater is over, and as of closing (combined with PayPal donations) has reached $4,046,579 in total donations. The Kickstarter began at PAX Prime 2013 last month, asking for just $900,000. Aft...
Mighty No. 9 photo
Mighty No. 9

Mighty No. 9 will rock the PS4 and Xbox One


Make it RAIN!
Oct 01
// Tony Ponce
THREE. POINT. THREE. MILLION. DOLLARS. GOD. DAMN. I was honestly worried for a while there, but the PS4 / Xbox One stretch goals were met with just a day left to go! The Unreal Engine-powered Mighty No. 9 is making people hap...
Mighty No. 9 photo
Mighty No. 9

Here's a test video of Mighty No. 9 on Unreal Engine


Inafune's latest is getting the Guilty Gear Xrd treatment
Sep 30
// Tony Ponce
No time to rest! The Mighty No. 9 train keeps right on rolling through the final day! Choo choo! The Monday update brings word that Mighty will take a page out of the Guilty Gear Xrd playbook and run on the Unreal Engine. A ...
Mighty No. 9 photo
Mighty No. 9

Mega Man 2 composer joins the Mighty No. 9 team


Manami Matsumae and Takashi Tateishi unite!
Sep 29
// Tony Ponce
With just two days left before donations close, the Mighty No. 9 Kickstarter is exploding with all kinds of tasty treats. I hope you remembered to vote on your favorite Call design! Here's another bit of wonderful news: We we...
Mighty No. 9 photo
Mighty No. 9

Vote on Mighty No. 9 support character Call's design


What do you want Beck's online co-op partner to look like?
Sep 28
// Tony Ponce
Good news, everyone! The Mighty No. 9 Kickstarter received a sudden boost in its donation rate. We've cleared $2.75 million, which means we are getting online co-op! Yay! Now that we'll be able to play as Beck's partner Call,...
Mighty No. 9 photo
Mighty No. 9

Vita/3DS goal added to Mighty No. 9 Kickstarter


Physical copies and documentary video as well
Sep 27
// Jordan Devore
The heat is on. With four days left before its Kickstarter ends, Mighty No. 9 is now looking at PlayStation Vita and 3DS versions as a possibility -- but it's not going to be easy. The new goal for these ports is priced at $...
Mighty No. 9 photo
$2,200,000 in the bank, son!
You better believe I've had my eyeballs on the Mighty No. 9 Kickstarter like a vulture. I wanted to spread the news as soon as the console port goal was finally cleared. That's right! Mere minutes ago, the donation amount cro...

Mighty No. 9 PS4/Xbox One photo
Mighty No. 9 PS4/Xbox One

Inafune's Mighty No. 9 adds PS4 and Xbox One goals


You know what? It could reach that $3.3 million requirement
Sep 09
// Chris Carter
Keiji Inafune and the folks at Comcept have been taking the internet by storm recently, raising nearly two million dollars of funding for Mighty No. 9 -- Inafune's spiritual successor to Mega Man. While the gaming is coming t...
Soul Sacrifice Delta photo
Soul Sacrifice Delta

Soul Sacrifice Delta anounced for Vita, coming March 2014


Will be playable at Tokyo Game Show
Sep 09
// Kyle MacGregor
Soul Sacrifice Delta is coming to PlayStation Vita in Japan in March 2014, Keiji Inafune announced at the Sony Computer Entertainment Japan press conference today. The title features a myriad of additional elements, including new monsters, items, magic, and a third neutral faction. Soul Sacrifice Delta will be playable at Tokyo Game Show.
Mighty No. 9 photo
Mighty No. 9

Rock and piano covers of the Mighty No. 9 theme


Since we can't call him 'Blue Bomber,' how about 'Mighty Mauler'?
Sep 07
// Tony Ponce
Is anyone else playing and replaying the Mighty No. 9 Kickstarter video and jamming out to the theme song? Because that is totally what I'm doing. It's so great to hear Mega Man 1 composer Manami Matsumae hard at work again,...

Keiji Inafune dropped mad Mega Man secrets on me

Sep 06 // Tony Ponce
Sitting all cool and collect in the corner of the room was Inafune, and at his side to serve as interpreter was former Capcom head of localization, Ben Judd. Filling out the room were various others project associates as well as a film crew capturing my every awkward second on camera. Oh God, if any of that footage shows up in the Mighty No. 9 making-of documentary, I will shut myself in a hole for weeks. I could feel my breakfast churning; I willed it to stay down. I naturally was wearing my limited-numbered Mighty No. 9 T-shirt, handed out to attendees of Inafune's panel the day prior. To say that everybody there was surprised by his Kickstarter reveal would be the understatement of the year. The room erupted like Mount Vesuvius when the plucky android Beck made his grand debut. That ball started rolling just this past spring. As Inafune recalled, "It really was a culmination of... everywhere I've gone in the past, after I left Capcom, fans would come up to me or media people would talk to me and they'd say, 'Oh, I loved Mega Man!' or, 'I loved Onimusha!' I don't know whether they were just being nice, but they really felt extremely passionate every time they'd say that. I'm sure they knew I wasn't at Capcom anymore and couldn't make it. It still stood that, obviously, their feelings were that they wanted something new but that had that classic feeling, and they wanted it out of me, but obviously there weren't many opportunities. "However, when I learned of Kickstarter, it seemed a great way that I could first and foremost connect with the fans who were the people that kept talking to me about, 'Hey, you should do this! You should do this! You should do this!' This would allow me to eventually bridge that gap and do it with them directly, number one. Number two, the best thing about Kickstarter is you can launch something and you can see what the reaction is, and if the reaction isn't good then, you know, maybe that was just a few remote individual cases of people saying that." The immediate reaction was beyond positive -- the Kickstarter goal was already half met by the morning of my interview, and it was fully cleared not long after that. "By seeing the overall fan reaction, obviously that's not the case. The people that I met with up until now were a cross section of a larger group of people that really want something like this." Seems like a lesson Capcom ought to take to heart! Speaking of Capcom, Inafune was a bit hesitant to discuss his former employer and the treatment of the franchise he helped build. "Honestly, I created a policy after I left Capcom that any Mega Man games that would come out I would not play, because the second I play them, I'm going to formulate an opinion, will probably get very emotional, may not be in a good way. So sometimes ignorance really is bliss when it comes to how your creations are used after you no longer have control of them." I of course had to ask if he was aware of Rockman Xover, to which he responded in the affirmative. He hasn't touched it per his self-imposed policy. That's for the best, don't you think? Outside of Capcom, we have ambitious fans working hard on unofficial titles, like Mega Man Unlimited and the demake of Mega Man Legends 3: Prototype Version , many of which rival the quality of Capcom's own efforts. Considering how Mighty No. 9 and the Legends 3 project were both conceived as a way for developers and fans to work together towards a common goal, I gauged that Inafune would greatly admire fan game makers' efforts. "If you are a fan and you really want to make something like that that you love, then I think you should make it. Obviously that's going to be what makes you happy." Fairly decent response, but it's what he said next that I found extremely admirable. "But if I was an IP holder and I saw that there was somebody that was that impassioned to work with the content, that they were willing to dedicate their own time and energy and potentially money to make it, then I think the smarter approach would be to contact them and see if there wasn't a way to do a project with them, very much like Kickstarter, get them somehow involved in it so that it really is you as a creator being [able] to make sure that you're controlling the quality and direction and stuff like that, but also getting lots of good fan input and really finding a perfect blend between fan and creator to make something very unique." To Capcom's credit, the support of Street Fighter X Mega Man demonstrated some of that joint interaction. Also consider SEGA's recent Sonic CD and Sonic 1 remasters, which were spearheaded by members of the Sonic fan game community. Inafune sees the benefit of such close relationships with fans, and I hope this attitude spreads even further throughout the industry. This line of action of course stems from Inafune's dissatisfaction with Japanese game companies, leading to no shortage of damning remarks. But whether you think he's blowing smoke or has legitimate concerns, we can at least agree that his words are fueled by a desire to see the Japanese industry regain some of the influence and might it lost over the past few years, hence why he aims for evolution and innovation through his companies comcept and intercept. Rather ironic that two of his current projects are a Ninja Gaiden spin-off and a Mega Man spiritual successor. But to be fair, he seems to believe that there is just as much room for innovation in the development process as there is in games themselves, which would explain the unorthodox foundations lying beneath Yaiba: Ninja Gaiden Z and Mighty No. 9. By the way, you may remember another project that Inafune is heading: the high-seas 3DS adventure Kaio: King of Pirates. Though the game was originally scheduled for a 2012 release then later pushed back a year, its current status is a mystery. Is it vaporware? According to Inafune, the situation is out of his hands. Publisher Marvelous has not announced a strategy for the game, thus any inquiries concerning Kaio would have to go through them. This situation reminds me of Yuji Naka's Rodea the Sky Soldier and its extended period of silence. Publisher Kadokawa recently re-confirmed the game's existence, so I have hope that Marvelous will make a similar statement in the near future. Inafune may have harsh words for his Japanese brethren, but he's still supportive of those companies that attempt something a little more offbeat. Like, say, using his real-world likeness in a rather significant capacity. I'm talking about Idea Factory and the inclusion of Inafune as a laser-spewing summon in the Hyperdimension Neptunia series and as the main character's uncle in the visual novel Sweet Fuse. More bizarre than the typical cameo, no? "We got this idea," Idea Factory said to him. "We kind of like you to be in the game as a character." They didn't think he'd agree to it, but Inafune was so pleased by their wild initiative that he responded with an emphatic,"Sure, let's do it! Why not? Sounds crazy and fun and new! At least we're doing something new!" Is that innovation? Inafune believes so, but I don't think anyone else would say the cameos aren't at least bizarrely entertaining. I also took a moment to inquire about his thoughts regarding PlatinumGames, considering their shared history at Capcom. "I think that they are a very talented group of people," he mused. "I've known them when they were all at Capcom and we were working together, so it's really hard to say what their strengths and weaknesses are, certainly in an interview like this. But I think that they have their own style and they're really good at that style. It's different from how I would necessarily build out or develop a game, but I think it certainly works for them and allows them to create something that's very unique and cool for sure. "I guess if I was going to say there's one area for improvement, maybe it's on how they produce things. They're great at building out great games, but they never really seem to hit the sales marks that they need to, so that gap needs to be decreased, shortened by stronger producers, etc. That will make their games hit a wider audience." By this point in the interview, I was ready to pull out the big guns and seek answers to some long-standing Mega Man mysteries. I didn't get to ask as many of your questions as I would have liked, but I guarantee you'll be amazed at some of these responses nonetheless. One of the weirdest things about playing NES games was how staff was listed by nicknames in the credits, and Inafune in particular was known as"Inafking." Where did that name come from, and why were some of the other names so strange? "There was a series called Moomin. It was an older series from a long time ago, and there was a character named 'Snufkin' in it that's this cool character. So 'Snufkin' and 'Inafking,' they're kind of like, oh, we're both these cool characters, this is how I like it! "Back then, of course, all the more talented programmers, artists, etc. could have been headhunted, so the one internal rule was you have to come up with a name that is different enough that people won't know what your real name is. So long as you fulfill that criteria, you can be as crazy as anything, so everyone just went crazy and made whatever name they wanted to." Regarding names, there has been confusion over whether the robo-dog Rush was named after the famous Canadian band. Inafune put the confusion to rest: "People think that most of the names were some sort of music-based names, but really Rock and Roll were only the key ones that were based on musical terms. If you think of Dr. Wily and Dr. Light, that's got nothing to do with music. "I'm sorry to disappoint the fans, but actually Rush was not based on the band, Rush was based on a Capcom game called Rush & Crash [known as The Speed Rumbler outside of Japan -- Tony] that I really liked. Actually, the word 'Rush' sounds kind of like 'Lassie' [pronounced 'Rasshu' and 'Rasshi']. Back then, Lassie was a very popular movie about a dog, of course, so it just fit as far as the phonetic flow of the word." Videogame character designs of yesteryear were often the result of hardware limitations. Mega Man was no different; the "exclamation mark" protrusion on his helmet was one such element born of Inafune trying to draw around those constraints. "This is probably a little known fact... it's true that I did not design Mega Man, but what happened was there was a planner [confirmed to be Akira Kitamura, credited as A.K. in Mega Man 1 and 2] that whenever they made a Famicom character, they had to look at it on the screen and see how it popped, whether it was visible, whether you can play as it and it would pop off of the background. This planner put together a pixel character that really had good read against the Famicom backgrounds, then went to me and said, 'Okay, I want you to make a character that looks like [a] Famicom graphic could have come from that character.' "So it was like a reverse character design, the fact that Mega Man's birth came from this pixelized character that the planner initially created, but the actual animation, the rendition of him as a character I did create. But I had to look at the pixels and try to envision what that would look like as a character, and all you can see from the pixels was that, okay, this was where the helmet was, then it looks like there's a line. And that's all you can really tell. So when you're going to design a character, I literally could have put a triangle here or a square or an equal sign, it could have literally been whatever. So I just put what I thought matched well with the line, but it wasn't intentionally meant to be an exclamation mark or anything like that, unfortunately." Some designs elements have more cultural origins. You may have noticed that many Mega Man series characters hold up this odd "W" hand gesture in the official art. This is Inafune's signature flourish, but no one really knew why he chose to draw hands that way... until now! "First of all, doing this [throws up the hand gesture] looks cute! If you look at Disney characters, a lot of times they have three fingers or bigger fingers that makes them look kind of cute. In Japan, 'four' is a bad number, it means death, even though all of us as humans have four fingers [excluding the thumb]. Doing something like this which shows three makes it a safe number... "There's some sort of weird prejudice that comes in... some bad meaning if you have four fingers instead of five. But by doing it this way, it would look kind of Disney-esque and cute, but you could still say that it was a perfect normal hand, they've got five fingers. Technically, it could have been these two fingers [index and middle] spread out like this or the end two fingers if you can do that, but doing it in the middle is just better balance wise." After that final question, I nervously pulled out my boxed copy of the original Famicom Rockman, had him sign it, and made my way out the room in what I hope was the most natural way possible. It probably wasn't, but I can only maintain some semblance of professionalism for so long. Keiji Inafune, guys. Guys. Keiji Inafune. His brutal honesty about the game industry may not sit well with everyone, but c'mon! He's Keiji Inafune!
Keiji Inafune interview photo
I met the legendary Inafking once more for an unforgettable interview
Keiji Inafune, are you Kamen Rider? "As a child, of course, I watched lots of Kamen Rider, so I love that show, but I unfortunately cannot definitively say that I have experience being the masked rider. But I may at one tim...

Keiji Inafune @ PAX photo
Keiji Inafune @ PAX

Watch all of Keiji Inafune's 'mighty' PAX panel


Sorry, no T-shirt for you
Sep 06
// Tony Ponce
Keiji Inafune won PAX Prime 2013, no contest. If you attended PAX and didn't go to his panel, you missed out on being able to personally witness the biggest middle finger to ever be waved in Capcom's general direction. Of co...