Capcom, you failed us all.
Footage of a prototype for a platformer based on Drake Mallard, the character behind Darkwing Duck, popped up online recently. It was put together after Simon Thomley, who has worked on Sonic Mania Plus and ports of the original Sonic games for mobiles, had some supposed conversations at E3 with representatives from Capcom.
The idea was to make Darkwing Duck as a spiritual successor to Capcom’s original NES title, with each level finished off by a comic book chapter break. Darkwing himself would have a rechargable pistol as his basic attack, as well as a limited-use grappling hook that ran off a supply of gas.
Best part: when Darkwing runs out of ammo, he makes the quack sound from the ancient versions of MacOS. (It’s a little reminiscent of the Duck Game quack, too.)
Anyway, Thomley explained in a video below that after showing some initial interest at a chance meeting at E3 – or at least not saying no outright – Capcom USA failed to respond to multiple emails and messages for an elevator pitch. Thomley and some colleagues then started putting together a single level to present to Capcom, but after more unanswered emails, Thomley was eventually told privately that “Disney wouldn’t be interested in that sort of thing right now”.
With little chance of the game getting greenlit in the near future, Thomley uploaded footage and the level itself online. You can try the demo for yourself via the link in the video description. Thomley also explained how the whole prototype came together, including his interactions (or lack thereof) with Capcom in a commentated playthrough here.
It’s a bit of a shame someone at Capcom just didn’t say no earlier. That said, fan projects have come alive from far less.