Cubed3's Adam Riley: To start with, why did you choose to update Rygar from the PS2 on Nintendo's Wii?
Keisuke Kikuchi: Last year I developed "Pangya! Golf with Style" for Wii and what I felt during its development was that it is quite fun but difficult to design a game for the Wii remote. When I was thinking what sort of game would be the best for the Wii remote, I came up with Diskarmor from Rygar. It is not a sword, nor a gun. You use it like a Yo-yo to defeat enemies and conquer various stages. I thought that would enhance the action performance of Rygar progressively, so I decided to develop it.
AR: When are you aiming to release the game, and is Tecmo likely to team with Nintendo again as it did with Pangya for a European release?
KK: I cannot tell you the release date until I see the completion of satisfactory swing actions in sight. We are negotiating with several European publishers that are very much interested in this title and can also maximise the sales potential. It would be great if Nintendo would be the one.
AR: What sort of feedback have you received from the recent showing of the game at the Tokyo Games Show?
KK: I heard the same comment from various people including editors from North America after they saw the trailer. They all said, "It looks really cool and fun. I want to try the playable now!" I believe you will never understand the appeal of Wii games unless you actually swing the Wii remote, so I would like to complete the playable version as soon as possible.
AR: How long has the project been in development and have there been any particular problems faced during the development process? Or even any positive surprises from working with Wii?
KK: I started developing Rygar half a year ago. It has been taking time to build the graphic system for Wii. It happens to me every time I develop a Wii game, but, a new idea of a game comes into my mind while I'm swinging the Wii remote. Actually I came up with the idea of Rygar while I was developing Pangya, and then I hit on another action game during the development of Rygar.
AR: How will the Wii's motion control set-up be used in Battle of Argus and will players be able to use the Classic Controller or a GameCube pad if they prefer more traditional controls?
KK: Rygar is compatible only with the Wii remote because the Wii remote is indispensable to achieve the concept of Rygar that is "to feel action". Players need to change the way they swing, depending on the game mode. By swinging the Wii remote horizontally, vertically, or pushing a button while swinging it, player can change the way of an attack. In Gladiator Mode, swing speed is directly reflected to the power of an attack. Therefore powerful play is required.
AR: Can you please clarify for our readers just how in-depth this remake will be? Many are worried that if they have played the PS2 version they will not need to buy the Wii edition.
[ KK: We evolved the game by updating the design of the main character, adding new characters and adjusting the location of enemies while the stages and the story line are taken over from the prequel. Those changes are made to revive Rygar as a more powerful game and now every element is designed for players to enjoy Wii remote actions the most comfortably.
For example, main character's colour in the previous title was orange to match with the background in order to highlight its world-view. This time we have chosen white and silver so that people can distinguish him easily from the background. Moreover, players can see the direct effect of their Wii remote operation with the character's actions clearly.
In the prequel, lots of small enemies come at you. This time, we have prepared human-shaped enemies and larger enemies for players to enjoy the feel of attacks and the impact visually. I want anyone who has complaints about the actions of the PS2 version to try this one.
AR: Can you explain what Gladiator Mode is all about, please?
KK: It is a game mode that focuses on battles that are the essence of this game. The rule is players beat enemies in each stage and move on to another stage. That sounds pretty simple but since players' swing speed directly affects the power of attacks, their physical energy will be tested. Players compete with their scores obtained by fighting battles skilfully.
AR: How long is the game likely to last and will there be anything included in terms of extras to unlock?
KK: While we have cut down the travel time between maps and assigned more time for battles because Wii remote is used. So, the total time including Conquest Mode, where you follow the storyline, is same as the prequel, so consequently, it will get longer by the time for Gladiator Mode. We have not determined about the unlockable elements yet.
AR: For all those fans eager for more Rygar on their Nintendo systems, would you consider bringing a new sequel to Wii or even a potential remake of the NES game?
KK: The series of Rygar is one of the most important games for TECMO. Therefore, there might be other variations for them later on, but right now I would like to develop it one by one carefully.
AR: We have already seen other Tecmo classics appear on the Virtual Console, but how about Rygar from the NES