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Disney’s ‘Epic Mickey’ Goes Back to Mischievous Side of Iconic Mascot
by Chris Morris — Oct 30th 2009 at 1:34PM
Mickey Mouse is returning to the video game world in a big way. Disney has officially announced ‘Epic Mickey,’ a new Nintendo Wii game that’s aimed at taking the world’s most famous mouse back to his roots.
Due in late 2010, the in-game Mickey will be a far cry from the character many people are used to. Instead of the happy-go-lucky mascot, this Mickey will be more akin to the one Walt Disney introduced in the 1920s – mischievous, and not afraid to get in a fight.
“One of our creative problems [at Disney Interactive] was Mickey Mouse,” says Graham Hopper, president of Disney Interactive Studios. “He was one of the most popular characters in the world, but he had never reached his full potential in video games.”
‘Epic Mickey’ will blend several gaming genres to create an alternate cartoon world that lets the player decide what kind of hero Mickey will be – one that helps everyone around him or a scrapper who’s more interested in solving his own problems. The game puts The Mouse in an alternate cartoon world – a wasteland of sorts – where he can use a paintbrush to draw and erase (or, if you’d prefer, create and destroy) scenery. Chief among the inhabitants is Oswald the Rabbit, Walt Disney’s first cartoon creation – a forgotten forerunner of Mickey.
To escape, Mickey will need to defeat an enemy known as the Phantom Blot and earn the trust of his older brother, who resents the love Walt showed Mickey. Along the way, he’ll encounter forgotten friends and enemies, and steampunk versions of his usual friends, such as Donald Duck.
Famed game designer Warren Spector is on task to give Mickey a makeover. “I want to remind Mickey that he’s a hero – and to be a hero, we need to give him purpose,” says Spector. “We need to throw him up against problems worthy of a hero, not just trying to give Pluto a bath…” While there’s a deliberate effort to free Mickey from his current position as a politically correct icon, make no mistake: There is no Evil Mickey. No matter how you play, The Mouse will still be the good guy. He just might be one who’s more of a loner than a savior.
“It’s not enough to recall how Mickey is today,” says Spector “We want to take him someplace new.”