MIGHTY BOSS MONDAYS: Making Mighty No. 3!
Greetings, Mighty Beckers!
And happy Monday! ...What? Well it is now, since we’re back with another new Mighty No. boss debut!
It’s actually a national holiday today in Japan, and a stormy one at that, as here in Tokyo we’re being battered by a typhoon, but we all headed into the office with big smiles on our faces, because today we’ve got something really special for you: probably our favorite boss design yet!
We’ll let director Koji Imaeda and lead character designer Kimo Kimo take it from here...
PHASE 1: THE INITIAL SPARK
Imaeda: First and foremost, as you’ve probably noticed if you’ve glanced down the page...Mighty No. 3 is female! Her core design theme is “electricity,” and her personality could best be described as “frenzied.”
Like many similarly-themed characters, No. 3’s fundamental attacks involve using electricity in some form, but for this game we wanted to mix things up a bit, so we requested a design that involved having lightning rods placed in the environment beforehand, which could guide or redirect the electricity through the stage, adding variety to her attacks.
This is the kind of approach we’ve been taking for all the Mighty Number bosses: take an easy to understand motif, then add new ideas to it to make for a fresh, fun experience. Making the designs simple and easy to understand is one of Inafune’s guiding principles, whereas adding in a twist to keep things interesting is a part of my overall vision as director.
Kimo Kimo: Taking Imaeda's requests for electricity, a wild personality, and a purple color scheme, I got to work on the design. In Japan, electricity is associated with the god of thunder and lightning, known as "Raijin" or "Kaminari-sama." But I figured this might not be familiar to all of our overseas players, so I decided to incorporate everyday electric appliance elements into No. 3’s design: power cables, outlets, lamps -- that sort of thing. In the above-right illustration, her body itself is a lamp.
PHASE 2: INAFUNE PLUGS IN
Inafune: Her hands look like they may end up getting in the way, and her face could stand to be a little more scary than cute. Try making her legs slimmer, too, so it almost feels like she's floating. In general, try to bring her a little closer to my overall style; something like this:
Kimo Kimo: As you can see in the rough sketch Inafune provided above, normally, her face would remain hidden (left), but when she goes into her frenzied state, her face pops out (right). It’s a style of imagery often found in Japanese horror movies.
PHASE 3: IDEA OVERLOAD
Kimo Kimo: Using Inafune's idea as a base, I reworked the design:
(above) Some of the sketches here showcase potential attacks and actions No. 3 might perform. The little circular drum conductors can be utilized in a variety of ways, from sticking to the walls or ceiling to redirect electricity, to acting as a shield to guard against attacks.
(above) Kimo Kimo came up with variety of different potential cloak designs.
Kimo Kimo: I initially made two versions of the arms, one where they look like little drums (that actually serve as lightning rods), and one where they're electrodes. Her cloak is designed to resemble a vinyl umbrella. When she uses her electricity attacks, her body lights up and can be seen through the cloak.
Inafune: Let's combine the cloak patterns from #1 and #2. This current design looks like she doesn't have hands, but it would be better if she did. How about if she holds her arms behind her back?
PHASE 4: THE SHOCKING (?) CONCLUSION
Kimo Kimo: I went ahead and implemented Inafune’s requested cloak design and added real hands, and the final design for Mighty No. 3 was just about complete. I thought an image of clawing off faces went well with her wild personality, so I drew sharp, elongated claws. Also, I made her arms look a little like coils that could conduct electricity:
Imaeda: Hmm, it’d be nice if we could show the face-clawing in the game somehow. Maybe the front of her cloak could open so she can put her hands out?
Kimo Kimo: Already got it covered. That's why I drew a line on the front of her cloak! Here’s the completed design:
And that’s it for this week’s edition of Mighty Boss Mondays, folks! What did you think? Are you as big a Mighty No. 3 fan as all of us here? Definitely let us know -- as always, we welcome any and all feedback, so sound off in the comments here, on Twitter (@MightyNo9), and/or on Facebook! And remember to tell your friends and keep spreading the word about Mighty No. 9! We’ve got just over two weeks to go, and are closing in on those console versions!