Demastering The Mummy on episode 142

Inside WayForward's 16-bit metroidvania homage, plus a look at Mega Cat Studio's all-new retro creations.

Hey, it's another episode about a movie! No, wait, come back. We barely even talk about Universal's recent (and rather unsuccessful) attempt to bootstrap its very own Marvel Cinematic Universe-style film franchise around all the old horror flicks it bought the rights to over the years. The Mummy was not all that good, from what I've heard. The game based on the movie, on the other hand — well, it had some shortcomings, but there was a lot to like about the game. With the recent release of a re-balancing patch, now seemed the perfect time to publish this interview with director Austin Ivansmith and designer Tomm Hulett, recorded at the WayForward offices the same time as our Shantae episode.

Since this conversation was recorded back in December, it discusses the balance patch in potentia, as it were, but nevertheless I think it provides some pretty interesting insights into the process of creating a licensed game. It's kind of tough to line up conversations with the folks responsible for actual 8- and 16-bit licensed games these days, but The Mummy Demastered channels the spirit of those works and seems extremely relevant to the Retronauts experience as a result.

The backup segment for this episode switches over to a conversation with Zack Manko of Mega Cat Studios. You may not know Mega Cat's games, but if you've been to a classic gaming convention, you've probably seen them. Mega Cat specializes in making brand-new NES and Genesis software — not ROM hacks, not re-licensed obscurities, but actual honest-to-goodness new creations that run on original hardware. They tend toward the extremely challenging side, and most of them have a heavy emphasis on multiplayer (though I'm most fond of the Lolo-esque Little Medusa). But what does it take to create and publish software for vintage consoles? Zack lays out the details for us this week.

Retronauts Episode 142
The Mummy Demastered and Mega Cat Studios
MP3, 51.0 MB | 1:45:42

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Episode description: Jeremy visits WayForward's offices to speak to Austin Ivansmith and Tomm Hulett making a modern-day licensed "16-bit" platformer with The Mummy Demastered, then chats with Mega Cat's Zack Manko about his studio's modern-day home-brewed NES games.

All music in this episode comes from The Mummy Demastered, naturally.