Monday, February 8, 2021

BOSS FIGHT!!! Ghastly Gus (from Maximo: Ghosts to Glory)

 In which I take a deep look at some of the Maximo bosses I've helped create:

Probably my favorite thing to design for a video game is a good boss fight. By my count, I have designed a couple of dozen of these fights. In my experience, the best boss fights are comprised of the following components:

1) A memorable looking character

2) Interesting/funny/threatening behaviors

3) A perceivable pattern to those behaviors

4) A clear method for the player to defeat the boss

When I joined the Maximo team at Capcom, one of the first things I tackled were the boss fights. Some of the themes of the levels had already been determined - such as the opening graveyard level, which was a homage to the first level of the classic game Ghosts n' Goblins. 

Design lead Bill Anderson had created an environment in which the battle was to take place. Collapsing terrain was a big part of the graveyard levels and the thought was to have the same thing happen in the boss fight. This was the map he gave me.

My task was to create who would be the "boss" that Maximo would fight. Since the action was in a graveyard, I came up with a "gravedigger" character. 

Sadly, the arena didn't work out (If I remember correctly, it might have been due to either AI issues or camera issues) but the design of Ghastly Gus, the Gravedigger boss stayed. These are the designs used to create this boss fight.

You'll notice that this design wasn't exactly what was used in the final game. Several elements were changed to save time and coding effort: The big gravestone was removed as it caused collision problems. The Skeleton coming out of the grave was deemed too much work for such little bang during the boss fight. Gus getting dizzy wasn't pro-active enough so I came up with using the downward smash to hurt Gus' exposed toe. Only once the big dope falls to the ground can the player hurt him. And because Gus is much more fit, than my design, he dies from sword attack rather than heart attack.

As with all of Maximo's character designs, after I had figured out what they might look like and how they behaved, my designs were sent to Susumu Matsushita in Japan - who painted the character's final look. 

Under Matsushita's pen, Ghastly Gus went a "Peter Lorre-type" to a more traditional "Frankenstein-type". It was fun to see Gus later created into an action figure from this design.

I hope you've enjoyed this look at the creation of Ghastly Gus! More Maximo bosses to come!

1 comment:

Unknown said...

Wow that is epic, Made my Childhood :)