MIGHTY BOSS DAY: Mighty No. 7!
Mighty Beckers, assemble!
Welcome to our final (...?) boss design breakdown -- the one many of you have been waiting for, the boss : Mighty No. 7!
You might have seen glimpses as far back as the Kickstarter campaign video… You may even have seen some full designs this past week...OR DID YOU?! (Dun dun daaaaa!)
Well we don’t want to be the ones to spoil the surprise… Better let director Koji Imaeda and lead character designer Kimo Kimo take it from here:
PHASE 1: RED HERRING
Imaeda: First off I want to apologize to all our backers -- we made every effort to keep the design for Mighty No. 7 absolutely secret, but somehow it ended up leaking during our Kickstarter campaign… We even gave Inafune a fake Mighty No. 7 to show off at his speech last week at the D.I.C.E game design summit to try and throw everyone off the trail, but now it’s finally time to come clean -- without further ado, here he is, Mighty No. 7!
That’s right: He’s the raddest, reddest Mighty No. of them all!
To be honest we were a bit apprehensive at first at the idea of a single boss with such a strong “fruit” motif, but when we saw how much attention and love the early leak got from our community, the entire team got behind the idea. Inafune especially loved his crimson coloring and felt a special bond with him right from the start; he only had a few notes on refining the design wi--
Kimo Kimo: Um...Imaeda? I think that’s enough...
Imaeda: Just kidding! :D
Actually, after we talked about Mighty No. 7 being colored red, a fan did this apple-shaped design as a joke. Something about it just rubbed all of us here the right way, so Kimo Kimo and Inafune ended up giving him the full treatment. Sometimes messing around and playing with little inside jokes like this can be fun, right?
But enough of that for now -- let’s get back to business with the REAL Mighty No. 7 design!
(REAL) PHASE 1: CUT DOWN
Imaeda: No. 7 actually started with an early idea Kimo Kimo came up with before we had any solid direction or backstory for the character.
Kimo Kimo: Beck’s design had just gotten approved -- I was so happy! In my excitement, I went ahead and designed a “brother” robot for him on my own. I wasn’t even assigned to work on boss designs at this point!
I was aiming for something cool, but the end product actually made people giggle… Still, I liked the idea so much that I told the team, “If you end up needing a red-colored guy, you have to let me design him!”
PHASE 2: LUCKY NO. 7
Imaeda: Later, as we were settling on the parts that each of the Mighty Nos. would fill in the overall story, Inafune specified one of them to play an especially important role. That’s when No. 7’s unique aspects became more defined: Inafune wanted a sword-wielding robot that fans would really respond to.
Kimo Kimo: Around this time we were working on the silhouettes for all the bosses (Ed: see also Phase 3 of the design for Mighty No. 5 for more about this!) There was a role for one very cool boss with an awesome backstory… Then it hit me -- I could re-use that red guy I made before!
A sword-wielding robot, with distinctive dual blades that can flip back behind his arms, and a cutter blade sprouting from behind his neck that looks almost like a sash or something!
In retrospect, though, there’s something a little off about his mask…
The scene in our original Kickstarter pitch video where Inafune visits my desk I was actually showing him this initial No. 7 design. I’m lucky that the rest of the video wasn’t just him standing there yelling at me! (laughs)
PHASE 3: DOESN’T QUITE CUT IT
After thinking on Kimo Kimo’s design, Inafune sketched the direction he’d like to see the character go:
Inafune: Why not have the mask around the collar jut out more, to make it easier to see? And the sash behind his neck -- maybe some hair or a scarf would work better. Overall I want this character to have a cooler, “sharper” feel to him… Let’s also give him more typical swords he carries in his hands.
PHASE 4: LIVE BY THE SWORD, DIE BY THE SWORD
Kimo Kimo: So the design was very close and we knew what was left to fix, but it still would end up taking us two months to bring No. 7 all the way to final approval!
The biggest challenge turned out to be his weapon: all the other Mighty Nos. have weapons as part of their bodies -- even Beck has his hand transform when attacking -- but No. 7 carries his more like a real person. Why is that? The more I thought about it, the more no swords felt just right, no matter how many different ones I designed for him.
Taking some more advice from Inafune, I drew No. 7 in a variety of poses, moving him around in an attempt to give myself clarity on what his personal style would be like.
Around this time I struck upon another bit of inspiration -- Bruce Lee. Not that his personality or personal history are related to No. 7 at all, but I’m a long-time fan.
Soon the sword evolved into a more scissor-like design. I also got more requests from Inafune, including one that he carry the swords on his back when not in use, almost like butterfly wings.
PHASE 5: RED HOT
Kimo Kimo: Finally, after sorting out all these various issues, Mighty No. 7’s design was complete!
I’m sure Imaeda will find plenty of opportunities in the game and such to show off how cool he is, and why he wields his swords with his hands...
He was the first design I worked on -- not including Beck -- and the last one I finished, so it’s probably the result of our long struggle together, but No. 7 became the character I’m most attached to. I hope everyone likes his design!
We’ll see you back here on the 19th for another update --
until then, (￣^￣)ゞ
-Dina (Mighty No. 1046), Koji Imaeda (Mighty No. 610), KimoKimo (Mighty No. 299), Mark (Mighty No. 84), and the Mighty No. 9 Team
Here is a fellow Kickstarter that will warm any hardcore game-fan’s heart: Area 5, the same folks that brought you the 1UP Show, Co-op, and other awesome gaming videos like the making of The Last of Us and the Street Fighter 25th Anniversary, are putting together a documentary series on the people and culture of videogames: Outerlands!
But don’t let us sell you on it -- head over there and check out their sample video yourself, and look in the updates for more good stuff (including a fascinating look at old gaming magazines and the very first Super Mario Bros. review!). If you like what you see, give ‘em a Mighty pledge!
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