Part 2 of an English translation of the recent EXE developers’ interview from inside-games.
Rockman EXE’s development was actually very troublesome?!
EXE had a variety of wonderful works, but to say the least that the series had a new entry on a yearly basis was really something. Was the switch to the Game Boy Advance development environment a smooth one?
Ishihara: The Game Boy Advance was a good game system. First, you have the Super Famicom-like graphical performance in a handheld device. Then we have the form-factor of the system, which was designed fit for kids. Development was also easy to do. We [at Capcom] have made many 2D arcade games, so we were able to leverage that know-how.
Eguchi: Because it was a launch title, the schedule was a mess. We definitely could not delay it. Even though the game was releasing in March, we went home late on the previous year’s December 31st and came back to work in the morning of the January 2nd. Somehow we defended our new year’s day tooth and nail (laughs).
In any case, EXE2 was released in the same year as EXE1!
If the schedule was like that, did you develop those side by side?
Eguchi: No, as EXE1’s development ended, we started on EXE2 soon after.
Ishihara: Talking about schedules— EXE4.5’s was also quite tight, huh?
Eguchi: It was dreadful!
Matsuda: That one was definitely rough! Really…
Eguchi: [While pointing at the EXE4.5 box] This guy was done in half a year.
Ishihara: Ah— I can say it now, but those schedules were honestly terrible. Afterwards, EXE5 as well!
And EXE3 had a Black version afterwards, right?
Eguchi: The 2 versions boom had arrived.
Why did Rockman EXE end at 6?
Was it decided from the start that EXE6 would be the final work?
Eguchi: Actually, it was decided during the development.
Ah, is that why the graphics were renewed?
Ishihara: That was because of a staff member’s tenacity who became the new leader. The PET screen and such were all remade with feeling. We made it all feel fresh but soon after, it was decided that this would be the conclusion. The result is a work that’s one of a kind.
After it was decided that it would be the finale, was the story modified?
Ishihara: Was the moving house arc decided because we were concluding [the story]?
Eguchi: That was planned from the start, but the circumstances around it were changed, you know? The point was to have activity in a new environment, then have the ending be like a reunion.
By the way, when planning for new titles, we think about what should be next. However for EXE6, we were also thinking “this might be the end” .
Now, how did this become the conclusion?
Eguchi: EXE had been with the Game Boy Advance since its inception. Before EXE6, we had decided that “when the hardware changes, we’ll create a new Rockman.” Ever since the announcement of the DS, this had been our objective.
By the way, EXE6 was no. 1 in our survey of “Best [battle] system in a numbered entry”. As for me, it was the perfect system to conclude on.
Eguchi: EXE6 was incredible, right? I was at the tournaments commentating, but my commentating couldn’t keep up with EXE6. There were things happening I couldn’t even really understand. It was like “You can do that?!”.
English translation by HeatPhoenix
Edited by MidniteW