After Capcom revealed the upcoming retrotacular Mega Man 9, fans began to clamor for some specific old fashioned gaming goodness. Would the game respect the technical limitations of the original Nintendo Entertainment System hardware? Would sprites flicker when the screen fills up with too many enemies? Would the action slow as the console became overtaxed? Could Capcom produce a limited edition working Mega Man 9 NES game pak just for kicks? Gamasutra recently sat down with Capcom's Hironobu Takeshita and asked all kinds of questions about the little technical details behind creating a modern NES game.
This couldn't fit on a [NES] cartridge. It's too big. It's too much for that. It's really emulating the old style of games. But we're hoping that when people play, they feel the same nostalgia that they have when they play the original games.
There were some things, like you couldn't have more than three enemies on the screen at once, so we had to make sure that that's how it stayed in our game. In the part with the dragon with the flame, [there should be] flickering, and whatnot. In the options of this game, you can adjust that, unlike the old games. We purposely put some of those old-school bugs into this game, so it does recreate that feel.
I always thought the collectible game pak was a long shot, but I am glad to see that the old fashioned quirks of the original game engine will be an optional element. While the slowdown and flicker would be a fun and memorable moment at first, it wouldn't be long until the annoyance and irritation set in.