This is a interview about the game, completed shortly after the game was finished.
What made you choose to do a Fissure Reboot?
There was just this absolute amount potential for this character and everyone just didn’t really get it. Like, there were all these redesigns with Unten with a hoodie and I’m going no, no! [laughs.]
There was one redesign of Unten that YoshiEgg did for a Fantendo Smash Bros game. He didn’t finish it obviously, but the design just came off as really good for me, or at least some aspects of it.
So I started doing all these character redesigns after a pretty bad one that I felt was sort of homogenizing the character to be this sort of average guy character. It was Dreamboy. Got some positive responses so I did some more. There was this sort off-hand comment I guess but it was basically “why don’t you go do fissure?” and I thought about it. And then I realized I could do Fissure in this way nobody else had thought of. Everyone was trying to shoehorn some stuff together. There were a lot of great stuff in some of them but nobody really had a basic concept for Unten. And I decided, hey, it’s time for that to change. I drew some stuff up. Broke in some concepts I guess, dig my way into this world that doesn’t really exist yet.
And how did you do that?
I had some on and off concepts before I was making this game, like Midas Unten and Fanti. I added Unten to Fighters of Lapis based off this appearance I made with him in Fantendo Smash Bros. Mercury and that basically evolved to this sort of headcanon I guess. That was his starman. Nobody really rejected it.
I wanted to make a new mascot for Fantendo after some talk came up. So I came up with this slug thing as a basis and it never went anywhere. Somebody, I think it was BrockDilley actually did this art where he was in 3D and I just ran with that for Fighters of Lapis 3 as a trophy and this was shortly after Zerita and so this character basically was part of that universe. You wouldn’t know unless you read that article though, or if you read “Final Strike”.
So I already had some stuff down and I just decided, well, let’s keep the first installment basic. No need to do this huge epic plot for the first game in a trilogy. You don’t want to make it too dark or too light but you also want it to have it’s own feel. So it’s basically Sonic the Hedgehog in a way, except I wanted the character to be deep since people put him up as a hero but how is he a hero? You don’t want him entirely perfect either, that’s pretty much dropping a complete character on somebody. There’s a point, I think, where a character gets old and you can’t do much without derailing them onto a new track and that’s completely jarring. You got to have this extent where a character has some flaws, but nothing huge or major that completely turns you off from them, but they can still improve.
So Unten basically became this hero that doesn’t do a ton of winning. He fails to save a princess, he doesn’t even really damage the main villain that much, and then you have this guy he let pretty much die. He’s helpless, and he’s not much of a help either. He relies on this outcast to do basically the same powers he has. You have Zerita who watches from basically the sidelines and you get this feeling that she could easily do Unten’s job but she’s too busy taking care of a village of two.
And then you got Mondo. He’s just an asshole. [laughs.]
Why did you make these new characters?
Every “new” Unten game has some characters that weren’t there before and they don’t ever share them. I dunno if it’s some Wizard of Oz shit or something but they never do. Obviously I didn’t do this becuase I added the Horseman from Unten, the game.
But I felt like if I was really going to flesh this out you needed more than Beorns and Doomulus so I came up with a lot of weird stuff like mutants and giant insect things. It would have been way, way, way darker than it was originally. I think there had been a nuclear war before the game and people are still recovering from that?
But that’s really not the series was ever about. I think in a way it’s about becoming a hero in a coming of age sort of thing. You don’t start being a hero people praise and worship and you don’t always win. You can’t. You gotta screw up at some point.
So I put Unten in Mario’s sort of story, just for a couple minutes. Mario’s gotta go save the princess, and this evil turtle’s trying to stop him. After going to the wrong castle like, 7 times, he goes to the right one. He beats Bowser and it’s the end. And then you have Unten, who’s gotta save the queen of this kingdom and this evil sorcress is trying to stop him. He doesn’t have to fail 7 times before going to the right tower but he doesn’t save the Queen. She’s dead. The villian gets away.
That’s a huge part of the game. Unten barely wins. Those factories have very little impact on a world-wide empire, that queen doesn’t get saved at all, and the chief dies. He does very little to really stop this world-wide problem, even though he really is trying. Can people see that? No.