Sonic Mania Developer Shares Darkwing Duck Pitch
January 07, 2019
Capcom's Darkwing Duck for the Nintendo Entertainment System found new life for modern hardware in The Disney Afternoon Collection this generation, but many fans of the classic cartoon character hoped for a full-on DuckTales Remastered type of experience that could revitalize the brand. One of those fans, Simon "Stealth" Thomley from Headcannon who was part of the team behind Sega's acclaimed Sonic Mania, had the chance to discuss the idea with representatives from Capcom at a recent E3 and worked with his team as well as Darkwing Duck writer Aaron Sparrow and artist James Silvani on an example pitch for a new Darkwing Duck adventure that would bridge the gap between the end of the 1990s cartoon and the relaunched storyline from "The Duck Knight Returns" comic book series. Steelbeak, Taurus Bulba, and the Fearsome Five would have been featured as the game's villains. Unfortunately, Thomley met with dead ends and silence after that initial interest, but that didn't stop him from releasing the pitch as a free single level demo of a reworked take on Liquidator's sewer level from the original game. Check out these YouTube videos in which Thomley tells the story of the pitch and then plays through the entire level.
There are new elements in this pitch that set it apart from the original NES game. The most significant inclusion has to be Darkwing's grapple gun that was a fixture of the cartoon, but not seen in the original game. It's a shame that Capcom passed on this idea and that, accordingly to Thomley's sources, Disney is not interested in pursuing anything like this. With Darkwing now reworked as a fictional character within the world of its DuckTales reboot and the cancellation of Darkwing's monthly comic book set in the continuity of the original cartoon, I fear the old Darkwing is well and truly gone. That's a terrible shame, because I would have bought something like this without hesitation.