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Go behind Epic Mickey’s story with Warren Spector

I don’t need to tell PAX 2010 attendees, but Warren Spector is a remarkably fascinating guy to listen to. And while I missed the man’s keynote speech this year, I have been lucky enough to chat with the guy a couple of times regarding Epic Mickey, a game we’re both extremely passionate about. So believe me when I say that when the dude talks, you should listen. As in, Right Now:

Even if you have no interest in Mickey’s resurrection (And what’s wrong with you, BTW?!) the video above basically elaborates onSpector’s overarching gaming philosophy, and fundamentally, he’s talking about the same storytelling principles that have held previous projects, like Deus Ex, System Shock, and Thief: Deadly Shadows, aloft in the hearts of so many gamers for years. If you share any reverence for the aforementioned titles, you really owe it to yourself, to see how Junction Point team is adapting those core principles into invigorating one of the longest standing legacies in the history of American culture.

Above: Tomorrowland's Astro Orbiter along with Space Mountain in the background!

Readers who know me, obviously know I care a great deal about... to put it in terms everyone can understand, “old Disney shit.” To me Epic Mickey’s every bit as life affirming as Marvel: Ultimate Alliance is to comic fans, only it’s less about piling on characters and more about taking a company’s legacy and renovating the fourth wall in order to tell a story within its history, that’s actually about its history. (Marvel fans: It’s like The Sentry saga, had he actually been created decades before, forgotten, then confronted by Spider-Man.)

Here’s the reality: Having lost the rights to Oswald the Lucky Rabbit, Walt Disney performed one of the most remarkable rebounds in the history of anything, and almost immediately created Mickey Mouse. That really happened almost a century ago. Now imagine that these two as real characters having to meet and resolve their sibling differences.

Forgotten trio of onlookers, from right:A mischievous apparition from"Lonesome Ghosts" (1937), Pluto's Devil from"Mickey's Elephant" (1936), and Peter Pigin his"The Band Concert" (1935)regalia, who oddly enough made his debut in"The Wise Little Hen" (1934)as did another character strangely absent from Epic Mickey...Donald Duck

They’re not enemies, yet Mickey has created strife in The Wasteland, Oswald’s forgotten cartoon sanctuary, and something has to be done. However, from what we've played thus far there’s no character or thingthat needs to be overthrown or defeated, just fixed, and the player’s own morality gets to dictate how exactly Mickey will go about making amends in an interactive, animated dystopia rich with unpredictable consequences.

Above: More concept art to make the Disney nerds swoon

Not only is this the first time in forever Mickey’s been the star of a game not made exclusively for babies, it’s a far deeper experience than almost every other platformer available on any console.Click hereto read more. To see how adaptable Disney animation is to RIGHT NOW, please watch this amazing newDonald Duckremix featuring the greatest cartoon character of our day: Glenn Beck!

Oct 4, 2010

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