There’s no question that Sonic Mania and its respective follow-up Sonic Mania Plus are monumental throwback to the mascot’s old-school days. But that’s not the only bit of retro goodness that the developers at Headcannon were working on.
An interesting new pitch has emerged, indicating that the team also wanted to work on another favorite from the 90’s- Disney’s Darkwing Duck!
The team was apparently going for a similar “reborn” vibe to what WayForward did with its DuckTales Remastered game from a few years ago, utilizing gameplay mechanics but throwing them into a more sophisticated side-scrolling adventure.
The footage features about five-something minutes of gameplay. And, honestly, it looks like the game would’ve been a lot of fun, even though Headcannon was going more for a Game Boy Advance style of visual filter, rather than the remastered visuals that DuckTales had.
Aaron Sparrow, who served as writer for Darkwing Duck, talked about the project on Twitter, explaining, “Last year, @SilvaniArt & I were involved with brainstorming a Darkwing Duck Video Game with @HCStealth. It would have had animated art by James, and v/o by as many of the original cast as possible. Sadly, @Capcom passed on it, but you can see a bit here.” (The video can be seen above.)
He continued, “It was conceived as a spiritual successor to the original NES game (unless Capcom wanted to go full DuckTales Remastered with it.) It was planned to take place between the show and The Duck Knight Returns, with Steelbeak, Taurus Bulba, and the Fearsome Five as the villains.
“Each character would be pixelated from James’ art, and each level would be bridged by a chapter break, presented in motion comic form, with full voiceover and sound effects. And yes, you’d have gotten to fight Wolfduck.”
He concluded, “@HCStealth and his team were great to work with; not only was I able to guide the story, but they even involved me in level design and gameplay mechanic discussions. It was truly one of the most incredibly collaborative experiences I’d ever been honored to be a part of.”
We’re not sure why Capcom would’ve passed on such a great project, unless it was unsure how Darkwing Duck would perform. But considering how well the original NES game did in the company’s Disney Afternoon Collection, maybe they ought to give it reconsideration. And for good measure, bring Jim Cummings in to voice him again!
Fingers crossed that the game gets a second chance. We need our terror that flaps in the night!
(Hat tip to Game Informer for the scoop!)