Well, it’s been the day I’ve been dreading for the last few months. Mushroom Kingdom Fusion, the massive video game crossover fan game that I’ve long since supported as the best fan game ever made, has now officially been cancelled by its development team.
It’s been a long ride (it was announced back in 2007, five whole years ago), but today both ex developer JudgeSpear and current developer Lars Luron have formally announced that the game has been discontinued for good and that the source code should be released sometime in the foreseeable future, for those people out there who feel they’ve up to the challenge of finishing what the team couldn’t.
Here’s the topic about it on affiliate site Fusion Fangaming:
So what was the game? What got it cancelled?
Well for the first point, it was a giant crossover game which was loosely based on the Mario series and featured characters from such varied universes as Mega Man, Sonic the Hedgehog, Metal Slug and Halo. You can see a full trailer below, showing just how much variety was present in this fantastic work:
The sheer amount of work was just incredible. Sprites and tilesets from hundreds or even thousands of different titles across nearly every gaming system ever released, completely custom work drawn and made to fill in the gaps, a soundtrack for the ages and some of the most impressive level designs in gaming history to boot. Basically, it was what the Subspace Emissary in Brawl should have been.
And a lot of people covered it too. Cracked wrote a great article mentioning it (along with the other Fusion Fangaming project, Mega Man Day in the Limelight):
Destructoid wrote an article about it here:
Heck, we even called it one of the best fan made projects ever and said it rivaled official games (and I stand by those statements)!
So that’s the game’s quality, legacy, etc. But the question has to now be raised; why was it cancelled?
Over ambitiousness mostly. Too many things were added in (stages, characters, etc) and so many ideas were brought up and considered that actually pulling it off with an all volunteer team was pretty much impossible. It’s why most crossovers tend to be cancelled, with stuff like Super Smash Bros Crusade falling into the pits of development hence and Brutal Mario simply falling apart because the ideas aren’t technically feasible on the hardware/too much for one man to handle.
Developers losing interest did a lot for it being a goner too. Can’t blame em, it’s been enough years and development work that nearly anyone would have lost interest way earlier, especially with a project you’re not gotting paid for.
All in all, it’s a bit of a shame it had to end this way, but it’s not that unexpected given the game’s development history and really lofty goals. Goodbye Mushroom Kingdom Fusion, let’s hope someone else in the fan game community continues you and releases the game as it was meant to be.