Saturday, January 30, 2021

Maximo: Ghost to Glory Storyboards - Part 1

Back in 1999-2000, I was working as a game designer on Capcom's game Maximo: Ghosts to Glory. The game had already been in production awhile (It might have been as long as two years as the game was "restarted" when it was "moved" from the N64 to the PS2) but the framework of the story and the game's main characters were in place by the time I arrived.

One of my first jobs on the game was to help get the story into shape. I have an education in screenwriting and had been storyboarding since I was 15, so I was eager to help tell the story of Maximo - a king who is betrayed by his magical advisor and (seemingly) Queen and comes back from the dead to avenge himself. 

The character designs for Maximo, Sophia, King Achille and the Demon Monster (seen at the end of the game) had already been created by Capcom Studio 8's director David Siller and drawn by famed Fatmitsu cover artist Susumu Matsushita - which is why you will see photo-copied images of Matsushita's drawings used in some of these storyboards. 

If you've ever wondered why the lips in the cinematics don't match the English dialogue, it's because the characters were animated by a Japanese team. The characters in the cinematics are all speaking Japanese! The game's budget prohibited us from going back to re-animate the characters speaking English!

On to the storyboards!

1. The opening of the game. Maximo bursts in and gets killed. One of the things left out of the final cinematic was the "knowing look" between Achilles and Sophia. I wanted to indicate that something was already up between these two and that the audience wouldn't catch it unless they played through the game and then watched it again. Also note, that Achilles shoves Sophia. The Japanese animators turned it into the "pimp slap" in the final game.

2. Having been blasted by Achille, Maximo ends up in the underworld, where he meets the Grim Reaper. Grim offers him a deal to help him take down Achille.

I hope you enjoyed this behind-the-scenes look at the storyboards for Maximo: Ghosts to Glory. I'll be posting more soon and you can watch the final Cutscenes Here!

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