Did you work at all with feedback from fans and what they've been wanting for years? Did you work with any old comments from when the series was still active on the Famicom? How did you incorporate fan desires in this game?
HT: We're always keeping track of the fans' comments and what they say about the games, and we pay attention to that when we are making the games. For this one, Mega Man 9 wasn't so much about getting feedback for making this game.
The past comments did impact the decision to make this game, and now that we have Mega Man 9, once we put it out, we want to see the fan reaction to this, and that will give us an idea of where to go from here.
Who do you think is the audience of this game? I was 10 when the original Mega Man came out. I was a really big fan of the series on the NES, and now I'm 31. Am I the audience for this game, or are kids who are 10 now the audience for this game, or is it both? And how does that affect how you make the game?
HT: Well, if I had it my way, I'd like to reach both the age groups, but really, this is for the people who played it back then. Now they're older, of course, but this game is for them. We hope they can remember the fun they had when they played it in their childhood, and that by playing it now, they recall that, and it's still just as fun to them.
Now there's a lot of gamers in their 30s and they probably have kids of their own, so we hope that maybe Mega Man becomes a family experience for them. The parents can introduce the games they played to their children.
And you're able to rerelease the old games at the same time. Mega Man 1 and 2 are coming to the Virtual Console. It's a whole way of reawakening the brand. The current, new Mega Man games, especially Battle Network and Star Force, are quite different than what we remember, so this brings the series back to its roots, I guess.
HT: Yeah, there are plans to bring Mega Man 1 and 2 to the Virtual Console. We're not exactly sure when that will happen, but we want to do that. With this and Mega Man 9, hopefully it brings Mega Man back to the fans, and it's something a new generation can also enjoy.
Koji Igarashi, who is in charge of the Castlevania series, is a very strong believer in 2D gaming. He also likes to make sure he can cultivate these design techniques in his staff so they're not lost. As we talked about, this game features design that hasn't been done for some time. Do you think it's important to keep the classic style of designing games alive? Do you feel there's something intrinsic to that that is important to preserve and continue alongside things like next-gen games?
HT: I like to think of it not as an 8-bit style, but more of an artistic choice, if you will. It's another type of creative expression, because nowadays, everyone wants surround sound and 3D graphics and things like that, and they get too caught up in that.
I don't think it should be that way, because you could do an 8-bit game. You can do a 16-bit game. You should do whatever is creatively expressive and what you want to do.
I think that will open up the whole gaming world in general, by being able to have these creative outlets.
One thing I noticed is that your T-shirt has ironically bad artwork on it. I don't know how long you've been at Capcom, but when American games used to have bad artwork on the cover that was different from the Japanese art, what did you think about that?
HT: That art was very terrible. (laughter) It was atrocious. I'm happy that gamers back then were able to look past that atrocious art and find these good games and were able to enjoy them. We appreciate that.
Looking back, that stuff is 20 years old now, so we can look at that art and laugh at it. Even us in Japan, we laugh at it too. We thought about it and were like, "Yeah, let's do something like this." So Capcom of America came up with the design for us, and then we made these shirts in Japan.