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2:30 PM on 05.30.2014

The Cave Story/Kero Blaster/Gero Blaster connections

Daisuke "Pixel" Amaya (Cave Story, Kero Blaster, Ikachan, Guxt) has a unique style that would be hard for anyone to convincingly counterfeit. His music, visuals, stories, and designs complement each other in ways that allow t...

Jonathan Holmes


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Cave Story creator on wanting to quit, working with publishers photo
Cave Story creator on wanting to quit, working with publishers
by Jonathan Holmes

[Kero Blaster art by Paul Veer]

Cave Story is one of the most influential games to see release in the past ten years. It showed the world that one person can make a videogame that is as good if not better than works from major studios, and without asking for a dime. That's a tough act to follow for the game's creator, especially seeing how long Cave Story was in development. Daisuke "Pixel" Amaya had put years of work into the game before it was released. There was even a completely different version of Cave Story, now known as the Cave Story Beta, that had to be almost entirely reworked before it became the classic that it is today. 

A similar thing happened with Kero Blaster, Pixel's latest game. It was originally called Gero Blaster, and had a completely different story, premise, level design, music, enemy design, items, and just about everything else. After months of production, Pixel had doubts about what Gero Blaster had become, so he scrapped nearly every aspect of it, despite being very close to wrapping development. Instead, he took "cat and frog" premise of Gero Blaster in a whole new direction for a whole new game called Kero Blaster (and its semi-prequel Pink Hour), which was released on Playism and iTunes earlier this month.  

In this first entry in a two-part mini-interview, we asked Pixel about what it took to remake Cave Story and Gero/Kero Blaster, and if he'd ever want to work with Sony or Nintendo. His answers may surprise you. 

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Review: Kero Blaster photo
Review: Kero Blaster
by Jonathan Holmes

Kero Blaster stands directly in the shadow of not one but two other games by creator Daisuke "Pixel" Amaya. First is Gero Blaster, the original build of Kero Blaster which was announced back in early 2013. Gero Blaster was based on comics that Amaya drew in college about himself as a frog and his girlfriend as a cat. The cat is kidnapped by cyclops aliens and the frog must head off to rescue her. The game looked to be a lot of fun, and was quite far along before Amaya  reportedly scrapped the whole thing and rebuilt it as Kero Blaster

The other game that Kero Blaster has hanging over its head is Cave Story. Released in 2004, Cave Story changed the way many people viewed independent game development. It took Amaya five years to develop the game, and he released it for free. Later, it would receive enhanced ports for WiiWare, DSiWare, 3DS retail, 3DS eShop, and Steam. Fans of the game will tell you that it's one of the greatest Metroidvania titles ever made.

Seeing that Kero Blaster is the first action-platformer that Amaya has released since Cave Story, expectations are understandably high. Ironically, it's diehard fans of Cave Story who may be the most disappointed with Kero Blaster, as they are in for a much shorter, less ambitious experience. That's not to say it's any less worthwhile. If Cave Story is a rock opera, then Kero Blaster is an album of energetic, perfectly paced pop songs. As long as you don't go into one expecting the other, there's no reason you can't enjoy both in equal measure.

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6:00 PM on 04.20.2014

Cave Story explores European eShop this May, Australia someday

Cave Story makes its way to the Nintendo 3DS eShop in Europe on May 1, Nicalis recently revealed. The publisher also confirmed plans to bring the title to Australian shores at some point in time. Daisuke Amaya's mag...

Kyle MacGregor

12:00 PM on 04.15.2014

Kero Blaster stars a frog businessman

So Kero Blaster is apparently pretty much finished, despite Daisuke "Pixel" Amaya (Cave Story) originally scrapping the entire project (known as Gero Blaster) and doing the whole game over. It stars a businessman frog and hi...

Steven Hansen

9:30 PM on 03.31.2014

Kero Blaster coming to PC and iPhone in May

A couple of days ago, we showed you the first trailer of Kero Blaster (formerly known as Gero Blaster), the new game from the creator of Cave Story. It turns out that trailer was leaked so we were asked to take it down, like...

Jonathan Holmes

3:00 PM on 12.20.2013

Nicalis teases with Cave Story toys

This ought to perk up the ears of Cave Story fans. The Twitter account for Nicalis recently posted the above image showing toys based on characters from the indie darling and asking if people would like to have a set of ...

Conrad Zimmerman

9:00 AM on 10.29.2013

Nicalis pondering physical release for Cave Story on 3DS

Nicalis is considering a physical release for Cave Story, it seems. The studio posed a question to fans yesterday, inquiring as to whether a corporeal copy of the Nintendo 3DS eShop version is something folks would be in...

Kyle MacGregor

6:00 PM on 08.02.2013

Good Friends Bundle now available on Steam

Steam now has the Good Friends Bundle on sale for $24.99, and if you've been living under a rock, you may want to get in on it. Some of my favorite PC games of all time are a part of the bundle, including Bit.Trip Runner 2 (w...

Chris Carter

5:30 PM on 07.08.2013

Cave Story and Psychonauts crossover coming to Runner2

Gaijin Games have announced a game-changing load of DLC for their latest masterpiece Bit.Trip Presents: Runner2 Future Legend of Rhythm Alien. Seven "well-loved" videogame characters will make their way into the game this Th...

Jonathan Holmes

5:00 AM on 05.31.2013

Cave Story creator Daisuke Amaya delays Gero Blaster

Sad news, Cave Story fans. It might be a while longer before Daisuke Amaya delivers his next game, Gero Blaster. The prolific Japanese indie developer has announced the sidescroller is being delayed to make the game "mor...

Kyle MacGregor





11:00 PM on 03.08.2013

Gero Blaster: The new game from the creator of Cave Story

Daisuke "Pixel" Amaya has new game coming out in a matter of months. That news alone is sure to give fans of the illustrious one-man development team a strong case of the vapors. His latest creation is Gero Blaster, ...

Jonathan Holmes

3:00 AM on 03.01.2013

Sing along to the Cave Story theme... WITH LYRICS

Recent rumblings indicate that Internet funnyman brentalfloss has only just discovered the magical indie darling Cave Story. How dare he not be 100% on top of every major gaming wave the second it breaks! Revoke his Internet...

Tony Ponce



Exclusive: Cave Story+ O'ween, Aban Hawkins update & more photo
Exclusive: Cave Story+ O'ween, Aban Hawkins update & more
by Jonathan Holmes

[Update: Added a very special Halloween illustration by Nicalis artist Linzb0t.]

Due to some technical issues, we may have some trouble getting you the full re-run of last Sunday's Sup, Holmes any time soon (though the podcast version is on iTunes.) It's a shame too, as our guest Tyrone Rogriguez, President of Nicalis, was quite generous with the exclusive news drops. At the very start of the show, we got the first official announcement of the Cave Story+ Halloween update/sale for Steam, which is literally the greatest thing ever.

Every character and background has been redrawn to celebrate the holidays, with redesigns that range from the appropriately spooky (knife wielding frog-man becomes Chucky from Child's Play) to the appropriate (Cthulu becomes... Cthulu) to the unexpected (fishing Mimiga becomes Darth Vader, ) to videogame related (Curly Brace becomes Samus Aran). There are too many horror film, videogame, and Halloween related references here to even begin to list, but if you really want to get spoiled, check out some of the sprite sheets provided by Cszuslik and see for yourself.

Not one, but two Darkstalkes references? Amazing. 

That was just the beginning of the news cavalcade. We also got to hear about potential updates for Cave Story eShop, the latest on the development of Aban Hawkins and the 1,001 Spikes (now planned for more consoles!), Cave Story creator Daisuke "Pixel" Amaya's new project, the chances for Yatagarasu going online, a launch window for the DS/3DS version of Ikachan, and more, all provided for you below in convenient bulletpoint form. 

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2:45 PM on 10.28.2012

Sup Holmes gets spooky with Nicalis' Tyrone R.

[Destructoid's Director of Communications Hamza Aziz asked Jonathan Holmes to make a show called 'Sup, Holmes?' so that Destructoid could later sell a t-shirt that says 'Sup, Holmes?' on it. This is that show. Subscribe...

Jonathan Holmes



Review: Cave Story (3DS eShop) photo
Review: Cave Story (3DS eShop)
by Jonathan Holmes

For those of you who have lost count, this is the third time that I've reviewed Cave Story, and the second time I've reviewed it on the 3DS platform. That may sound like a lot, but I've actually been slacking. This eShop-specific version of the game marks the fifth time that publisher Nicalis has put Cave Story (WiiWare, DSiWare, Steam/iTunes, 3DS retail, eShop) up for sale.

The more cynical among us may scoff and say that Nicalis is just milking Cave Story for the big money it brings in. That's not the case. Nicalis could get a lot more potential profits from spending time on publishing games that people don't already have access to.

No, the reason that Nicalis keeps re-releasing Cave Story is that the company's CEO Tyrone Rodriguez really loves Cave Story. I think he wants to marry it. For real.

There's good reason for that. Cave Story is one of the most re-playable, continually enjoyable games I've ever encountered. This new release is among the best, if not the best, version released yet.

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