I am lucky enough to be in a position to talk to the big man at Nicalis Inc., Tyrone Rodriguez. I’ve known the man for a few years now, and had the chance to sit down with him for an interview concerning Cave Story on WiiWare. Mr. Rodriguez also got us some answers from the man that created Cave Story, Daisuke Amaya (Pixel). Check out the interview below for details on the translation, including Pixel’s involvement, music, gameplay, and more.
RMC: How exactly did you go about securing Cave Story for the Wii?
TR: Like most people who have played the game, I was introduced to Cave Story by a friend a few years back and always thought it was amazing, freeware-or-not. Playing the game made me curious as to why no company had ever attempted to create a commercial port to any console. That led me to draft an e-mail to Amaya-san introducing myself and asking what he thought of the idea of a commercial port. After that initial e-mail and his response, we continued to correspond pretty regularly. A year’s worth of communication later, we both decided that it would be a good idea to bring it to Wii.
RMC: How involved in the project is Pixel?
TR: He’s extremely integral to the project. Cave Story is his his idea, his design and his game. I wouldn’t feel comfortable at all bringing the game to Wii if it didn’t have his blessing. Obviously it does, but more importantly he’s deeply involved with the process. We run pretty much everything by him. In fact, I’m going to see him in a week so we can meet about a few things.
RMC: Will the WiiWare version offer something for people that have played through the freeware version?
TR: Yes. But everyone will just have to wait and see what it is.
RMC: Is the gameplay going to be significantly changed from the original?
TR: I love the game as-is and I think the general consensus is the same. So, to answer your question, there are no significant changes in gameplay from the original.
RMC: What is the control scheme going to be like? Will there be motion controls, or Classic Controller support?
TR: It’s about what you’d expect on the Wii remote. It has enough buttons to cover all the major inputs necessary to play properly. And, no, we don’t have motion controls–the game doesn’t really warrant them, but we do support the Classic Controller. Going back to Amaya-san’s involvement in the game, he personally chose the button configuration for the Classic Controller.
RMC: Is there a rough timeframe of when we can expect the game on WiiWare?
TR: To bite off another company’s line, we’ll release it when it’s done. In all seriousness, we don’t want to rush the game for the sake of release. The game deserves whatever time necessary to get it just right.
RMC: Why did you feel that WiiWare was the best platform for this release?
TR: There’s something about Cave Story that seems perfect, specifically for a Nintendo platform and also for WiiWare. On top of the fact that Nintendo has been 100-percent supportive of this project.
RMC: How long have you been working on the port?
TR: As far as actual code production on the port, we started earlier this year. As I mentioned before, we’ve been working with Amaya-san figuring out details before any work was done on the port, though.
RMC: Is there anything in the PC to Wii port process that caused issues?
TR: This will be answered at a later date
RMC: Will Cave Story support 16:9, DLPII?
TR: There probably won’t be DLPII, but we’re trying to support 16:9. Increasing the amount of viewable screen can create some issues in parts of the game, however. We’ll have some other surprises, too.
RMC: What can we look forward to as far as music? Will the old songs be retained, or will there be something else?
TR: The WiiWare version of Cave Story features all-new music rearranged by Yann van der Cruyssen. He’s worked with Nicklas (Nygren) in the past and we’ve really liked working with him. We’ve paid very close attention to stay as faithful as possible to the original music. Each track is passed off while in-progress state to Amaya so that he can review and approve it.
Yes, the old music and graphics will both be retained via a switch. You’ll also be able to mix-and-match audio and visuals. So, if you like the old art and new music, or vice versa, you can do it. Cave Story has a huge fanbase, we’re aware of that and want to make sure that it’s true to what they expect and Pixel-approved. If they don’t like the new art or music, we won’t be offended and they can play the game in its original state.
RMC: How do you feel about working on this project?
Pixel: Working on this project is like a dream come true; sometimes it feels like it’s too good to be true. And I feel very lucky because Cave Story has the support of such a strong fanbase.
RMC: Did you think Cave Story would ever get so big?
Pixel: I had confidence that it would do okay as a freeware game. However, I didn’t think that it would so popular outside of Japan.
RMC:How do you feel about Cave Story heading to WiiWare?
Pixel: I don’t know enough about WiiWare, but I’m really looking forward to the reaction on the part of players and fans.
Huge thank you to both Tyrone Rodriguez and Pixel for taking the time out to answer our questions!