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The Cave Story/Kero Blaster/Gero Blaster connections

2:30 PM on 05.30.2014 // Jonathan Holmes

Daisuke 'Pixel' Amaya tells all

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 them each to take the spotlight when necessary, while remaining unified in a common purpose.

It's similar to how a master storyteller may use vocal tone, script, hand gestures, and facial expressions in unison to create a whole that is larger than the sum of their parts. Unless someone were able to perfectly mimic the thinking behind Pixel's particular choices in musical phrasing, priorities in enemy behavior, and character design idiosyncrasies, it's unlikely that they would be able to create something that felt like it came from his mind.

That's part of why Pixel's fans are so passionate. His games offer something that you can't quite get anywhere else, except for another Pixel game. It feels like all his games are connected, even when that's not the intention. In this, our final installment of a two-part mini-interview with Pixel, we ask how Cave Story and Kero Blaster might be related, if anything from Gero Blaster made it into Kero Blaster before it was canceled, if he was worried that Cave Story fans might be disappointed with his later games, and more. Check out part one here. 

What are the biggest differences between Gero Blaster and Kero Blaster?

It became a completely different game. The only bits left over are the Frog as the protagonist, some characters, and some controls, but the weapons, maps and story are all completely different. Many apologies to those who were looking forward to Gero Blaster. But I didn't decide to change the name until the announcement on April 1st because I was worried about completely losing the name recognition I had gained with Gero Blaster.

Is there anything about Gero Blaster that you really wanted to fit into Kero Blaster but just couldn't get it to fit?

In Gero Blaster, I had this missile-looking projectile and some really eccentric boss characters that I wanted to use a lot, but if I added too much, it would really disrupt the game's balance, so I just left them out. Also, I had this umbrella-esque item that would allow you to fall slowly from the air, but I left it out for the same reasons. The umbrella was really cute so if I get the chance, I'd like put it in the games to come after this one.

Seeing that Kero Blaster is your biggest release since Cave Story, did you feel pressure to deliver something specific to Cave Story fans? Were you afraid that people would be disappointed that the game is focused more on action and less on exploration and story?

I was worried about that issue for a long time. Even when I re-played Cave Story, I would think of how great it turned out and think there's no way to do better. However, when I finally decided to remake Kero Blaster, I had this really clear vision of what I wanted and then I wasn't afraid of anything. I was just excited and felt like I really wanted everyone to get their hands on this game as fast as possible.

Is there any relation between the frog doctor and nurse in Cave Story and the Blue and Pink medical team in Kero Blaster?

There's no relation. They're completely different worlds.

Thanks for the insights. We can't wait to see what you come up with next. 

Jonathan Holmes, Bad Joke Uncle
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