Luigi’s Mansion Dark Moon Interview; Is there hope for a sequel?

Just a few minutes ago, semi obscure gaming website Pixelvolt posted an interview with Next Level Games online, focusing on Luigi’s Mansion Dark Moon and its development.  But while you might expect such an interview not to share much, it does in fact hint at such interesting things as whether the likes of portrait ghosts were planned for the 3DS game.  So here’s some intriguing comments raised in the piece, along with my thoughts:

Pixelvolt: Were there any development decisions over which there was great deliberation?

Bryce: Of course! Collaboration is a key to developing such a large product, and with collaboration, there will have to be compromises. Some of these compromises (especially the subjective ones) can continue to irk you months after the game is released. For example, I still wish our basic ghost enemies spent more time invisible while stalking Luigi (similar to how the sneaker ghost behaves). I love how the ghost behavior ended up, but often wonder what it would feel like to explore around the mansion being trailed by invisible entities.

So in other words, the development team themselves wishes that the enemies were invisible for more of the time, kind of like the Sneaker ghost in the game itself.

That makes a fair bit of sense, the tense atmosphere created by your enemies being completely invisible for much of the time and you having no idea where they could strike from could indeed have made for a creepier game.

But there’s actually a far more interesting little ‘tidbit’ they bring up later in the interview.  Have a listen to this…

Pixelvolt: Looking back on the game, is there anything you would change?

Bryce: Personally, I thought the humanoid ghosts of the original Luigi’s Mansion were really lacking in fun and in cool factor. During early discussions, I shied away from championing designs I thought would lead us in that direction. When Dark Moon was reviewed, fans of the original were left wanting the gameplay loop (invulnerable ghosts whose puzzle must be overcome to make it vulnerable) these humanoid ghosts offered. In retrospect, I felt we should have had more puzzle enemies and less environmental puzzles.

So it was a deliberate choice to leave out the humanoid style portrait ghosts, due to them being seen as not fun to fight.

I see that.  In fact, as much as this might annoy some people, I agree with Bryce entirely here.

Think about it.  How many of the original game’s portrait ghosts literally didn’t bother to attack you at all?

Oh right, about a third of them:

  • Neville
  • Lydia
  • Floating Whirlindas
  • Maybe Shivers
  • Madame Clairvoya
  • Uncle Grimmly

Now ask yourself this.  How many of them basically came down to ‘pick up object in room, then fire it back at the boss to expose its heart’?  An absolute TON:

  • Chauncey
  • Bogmire
  • Nana
  • Slim Bankshot

And how many had just one attack to use?  Lots:

  • Melody Piantissima
  • Mr Luggs
  • Spooky
  • Bogmire
  • Biff Atlas
  • Miss Petunia
  • Nana
  • Slim Bankshot (sort of)
  • Boolossus (sort of)
  • Clockwork Soldiers
  • Sue Pea
  • Jarvis
  • Sir Weston

So while most did have interesting enough designs (with the obvious exception of Jarvis), they all pretty much had the ‘attack pattern’ complexity of a normal mook. Oh wait, that’s too generous.  They had about the same depth as your standard eye switch puzzle in a Zelda title, aka zero.

Contrast with say, the Possessors.  Each of these had at least two, often three different attack patterns in the same boss fight.  Heck, even the Big Boo boss in E-4 had more depth to its battle than most portrait ghosts!

But I can see why some people missed them.  So the solution?

Put both Possessors and Portrait Ghosts in the sequel!  The former could be mansion/world bosses, the latter could be level/mission bosses and mini bosses.  Then, just make sure the latter have more attacks and patterns (maybe having them break free and switch their patterns around at every 30 or so health could work here), and everyone’s happy.

But now we know their thoughts and regrets, how about their sequel plans?  Well…

Bryce: Luigi has a special place in fans’ hearts as a goofy reluctant hero they can relate to as a brother or buddy. I believe Luigi’s Mansion 2 gave people a chance to interact with him like they had not done before. NLG would love to stumble into a new adventure with Luigi when the time is right.

It’s possible. It’s just probably going to be a while off, since they’ve only finished working on Dark Moon and presumably want to work on a few different games first.  But it’s great the possibility hasn’t been discounted!

And that’s Next Level Games and their thoughts on Luigi’s Mansion Dark Moon.  Do you agree with them?  Do you want them to make a sequel sometime in the future?  Post your thoughts here regardless!



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