Clever Capcom Unveils Supposedly Lost Dark Void Zero
December 22, 2009
Capcom has been one of the more clever third-party publishers this generation and has rarely failed to disappoint (honestly, for the last time, Bionic Commando was really good), and one would think that releasing titles such as Super Street Fighter II Turbo HD Remix, Bionic Commando: Rearmed, and Mega Man 9 would fill the company's quota for old-style gaming in the current generation. Apparently growing tired of reviving older games, Capcom is now conjuring up new old games to revive. Consider the latest pairing of new game to old game with Dark Void (for Sony PlayStation 3, Microsoft Xbox 360, and PC) and Dark Void Zero. Capcom's announcement press release tells us the legend of the supposedly lost Dark Rift adventure:
As the ‘80s were drawing to a close, the developers at Capcom began work on a top secret project that aimed to set new standards for the platformer genre. That game was called “Dark Rift”, and it blended the intense shooting action of Section Z™ with the latest innovations in platform jumping from Mega Man. In order to properly fulfill the producer’s vision for Dark Rift (later renamed Dark Void), the hardware engineering team at Capcom was enlisted to design and produce an all-new chipset that would be included in every cartridge, enabling huge numbers of sprites and never-before-seen special effects to be displayed on the aging NES® platform and the PlayChoice-10 NES arcade cabinet.
Alas, time waits for no man and game developers are no exception. The dawn of the Super Nintendo Entertainment System® made the additional hardware requirements for Dark Void redundant. Capcom suspended development on Dark Void as it began to evaluate the SNES. Before long, the game was shelved and drifted into the annals of gaming history. Even the internal tape-based archives were lost due to an unfortunate magnet incident which even today is best left un-discussed. Dark Void became a legendary “lost project” at Capcom…until now.
Nearly twenty years later the next gen version of the game, Dark Void, is back on the Xbox 360, PS3, and PC! But to commemorate the game’s humble origins, Capcom has commissioned this recreation of the original 8-bit classic, now re-titled “Dark Void Zero,” on the DSi platform. You play Rusty, the first human born in the Void, who must take on the Watchers in a quest to stop their domination of Earth. With the aid of Nikola Tesla, and his state-of-the-art rocket pack, Rusty must take down the Watchers and their minions across three intense levels of action and intrigue.
Of course, there was no Dark Rift game back in the old days to be lost, but let's not spoil Capcom's fun. I love the idea of creating a retro-style adventure to compliment the new big budget title, but I think it's odd for the tie-in to appear as a Nintendo DSi exclusive. Is there much crossover ownership between the DSi and Dark Void's platforms? Is this Capcom's attempt to throw a bone at the Nintendo-exclusive audience who would otherwise miss out on the Void franchise? I hesitate to pick apart the logic too much, as the whole concept behind this little game is almost too clever for its own good. To totally capture the old NES experience, for instance, players must blow the "dust" off of the virtual game pak by huffing and puffing into the DSi's microphone before playing. How can you not find that charming?