EX-Rare talks Killer Instinct - KI SNES sold over 3 million, KI2 for SNES...

Ex-Rare staff making the new indie shooter, Fusion: Genesis recently talked to Eurogamer in a pretty awesome interview.

But of course, the really awesome stuff is about KILLER INSTINCT:

Phil Dunne: There are still an awful lot of fans of Killer Instinct.

Eurogamer: Are there really, though?

Phil Dunne: I remember meeting the Bungie guys over at SIGGRAPH, and a couple of them were like, oh no way! Killer Instinct! That's so awesome! You worked on that!

Chris Tilston: I bet that made you feel really old.

Phil Dunne: Yeah.

Chris Tilston: You'd have to update it and reinvent it. You couldn't do what they've done with Street Fighter. Killer Instinct wasn't designed for the home. It was designed to go into the arcades and be loud and be brash and be in your face for the arcade market. It was never a home game. It did well when we ported it to SNES.

Eurogamer: How well did it do?

Chris Tilston: 3.2 million it sold. That was something they said we could never do. Some guys at Rare said you'll never be able to chop the detail down. Tim said, yeah we can! I ended up taking 80 per cent of the animation out. It was a bastardisation of the arcade thing. But if you hadn't been to the arcade, it gave you a taster.

We actually had Killer Instinct 2 in development for SNES. That was quite far along. There were more frames and it was looking decent. Obviously the Nintendo 64 then came along and we released Gold for the N64.

Eurogamer: Street Fighter does well. Mortal Kombat did well. New Tekken, new SoulCalibur, Street Fighter x Tekken, Ultimate Marvel vs. Capcom - it's like the nineties again.

Chris Tilston: We've definitely got ideas of where it should go. It's almost like you need to do a World of Warcraft to it. You can't just have the traditional thing. It's like, how can you make it more accessible in a way.

Eurogamer: That's a dirty word.

Chris Tilston: Yeah I know. You're on the tightrope between the hardcore Killer Instinct fans and new audiences. Maybe we'll leave that one to somebody else.

Eurogamer: If Microsoft asked you to make it would you do it?

Chris Tilston: Yeah. We'd consider it, yeah definitely. But they've got a team of guys at Rare. There's nobody from the original team left. That's the thing. But yeah, I'd love to revisit it. But you'll probably all chase me down and string me up based off what we'd do. It was designed for the arcade and that's it.
Full interview can be found here:



Not bitter, just unsweetened
make it more accessible? thank god you're not working on a potential future KI

accessibility is a death trap, and usually (read: almost always) makes a game from good to complete and utter shit
KI 3 is the only game ever that will make me get a 360 again (in the sad case it's exclusive to that console). I grew up playing KI at the arcade and no other fighting game (maybe Samurai Shodown II) has provided me with so much enjoyment and fun.
A landmark title due to the tech in the cabinet and the graphics and a decent game overall, but with the original team scattered it'll be bastardized if a new game were to come out.
DopeyFish said:
make it more accessible? thank god you're not working on a potential future KI

accessibility is a death trap, and usually (read: almost always) makes a game from good to complete and utter shit
Smash Brothers says otherwise. All moves easily accessible from the get-go, and game is incredibly deep. It can be done and many would argue a good game design philosophy is to say it's important when you apply a move, not how you input it.
Those are recent characters, but back in KI days, we were in full Shinkiro mode and even Capcom had god tier design with Darkstalker... And the awful plastic doll renders didn't help the ugly art.
You know, everyone bags 'new Rare', and shits on Microsoft for what they've done to them, and everyone whines about KI3 not existing...

Yet you get this guy who was with Rare from almost day dot, and left only 2 years ago saying KI should almost become like an MMO and yet everyone talks about "old staff are gone from Rare, Rare will never be the same"

Well this is an 'old staffer' who wants to turn KI into an MMO?!

Yeah right. Clearly new Rare have more of an idea than old Rare if Banjo, Kameo and Viva Pinata are anything to go by.

Even when they are forced into Kinect projects, Kinect Sports is a good title. Maybe the old staff are the problem. If this team was allowed to do what it wanted, maybe they could do a really good 'hardcore title'.
Megadragon15 said:
Wouldn't an arcade port of Killer Instinct have Nintendo (Ultra 64) in the intro and copyright screens? If not, then it would seem like a tragic ommision.
What? It's really no different from what they done with the Banjo Kazooie/Tooie remakes.
I have a soft spot for the strange, pre-rendered characters in Killer Instinct. If there's ever another game I hope the graphics are just as weird and out there.

Kai Dracon

Writing a dinosaur space opera symphony
In terms of characters and art direction, KI could work today if it went fully in the direction of dark, dystopic cyberpunk.

The original games sort of went in that direction but muddled it with time travel, aztec stuff, etc.
I don't want current day Rare working on any of their past franchises. They'd do nothing but ruin them.

I'd love to see what the SNES version of KI2 looked like. Would be awesome if we could get a leak...
Never particularly cared for Killer Instinct since I've always been a bit shit at fighters outside of Smash and Street Fighter, but if KI counts as 'bad art' (and I feel when a lot of people make this statement they purposely ignore what would of gone behind it; kind of like how PIXAR's early shorts way before TS are pretty horrific looking at times), then it only stands to reason Mortal Kombat is too. They're practically identical visually and stylistically, besides the difference in pre-rendering techniques, but I doubt as many people would be as quick to jump on MK for the same flaws than something which has been dead for over a decade. Guess it doesn't help it came out when Western entertainment was still largely in its 90's GRIM DARK phase.

Fucking awesome music tho
Criminal Upper said:
Compared to what?
I'm not going to hate on Killer Instinct - it's a game I can't stand, but it's not for me and that's fine - but trying to defend the game's characters designs (which really are terrible) by insulting the awesome Ash? No, no, and no.
Sad to hear that the original KI team has broken up - A reboot would have been an excellent inclusion in the fighting game mini-renaissance we're currently experiencing.
I would love to see Killer Instinct reinvented, Microsoft should be able to look at the success of MK reboot to see it would be a good move. If not then just give it to NR like I've always said.
The only thing bad about Ash's character design is that there's nothing really visually that indicates to me that he's a transvestite; he just looks like a tomboy girl they decided in retrospect to go the Poison route down with. That aside he's visually pretty neat and seems a lot less overtly sexualised than your typical fighting game girl/transgendered charccter looks.
I haven't played any of the recent King of Fighters so please don't skeletonise me if it's handled a lot better than what I've said

At least with Bridget half the point behind his story was that everyone including the player was meant to think he really was a girl.
Astrosanity said:
The only thing bad about Ash's character design is that there's nothing really visually that indicates to me that he's a transvestite;
He's not.

He's not trying to look like a woman at all.

Japanese male characters just often look like that.
I would love to see Killer Instinct come back....but I'm deathly afraid of it being on a Microsoft console. I would suspect they would try to make it a fighting game that uses Kinect, not what it should be on the 360 (like the Mortal Kombat reboot).

I really would rather see it on the Wii U (that's not much better than on Kinect though but it would get people buying a Wii U)...unless Nintendo doesn't own the rights to it and the rights are Rare's.
Rights are almost definitely Rare's, though it may of been owned by Nintendo at one point. I know a couple other of Rare's franchises like Banjo at the time were legally just as much Nintendo-owned as Mario, so they might somehow have some (but probably only a tiny amount) stake in it.