The Blue Bomber is Mega Man’s nickname – but that iconic color is only one of many in his arsenal. Diehard fans know that the intrepid little robot can steal enemies’ powers and become every color of the rainbow in the process. Today we’re excited to reveal vivid, gorgeous new artwork by Udon Entertainment showcasing the splashy colors of Mega Man Legacy Collection 2. The fresh new artwork is featured in a PS4 theme you can get by preordering the game now. To mark the occasion, we spoke with Udon Entertainment artist, Jeffrey “Chamba” Cruz, about his role in creating this stunning new artwork.
Chamba has been creating beautiful artwork at Udon Entertainment for more than 10 years. Before that, he spent his childhood drawing colorful illustrations of dinosaurs, Transformers, and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. Chamba admits that despite not being great at Mega Man’s challenging platforming, he was captivated by the series’ catchy soundtracks and striking character designs.
“I was always a fan of the designs of the characters,” says Chamba. “They were so appealing and unique, while carrying a uniform feel throughout. Even with [simple graphics], each character felt larger than life and had very distinctive eyes and features that were immediately readable.”
Mega Man Legacy Collection 2 is a four-in-one celebration of the evolution and retro revolution of the series, including Mega Man 7, Mega Man 8, Mega Man 9, and Mega Man 10. To showcase all four games it was important to represent memorable Robot Masters – the fun, themed bosses – from each game in this compilation piece. Capcom worked closely with Chamba to nail every detail of the colorful characters and also convey a particular mood in the new artwork.
Front and center in this artwork is Mega Man, of course. The hero looks capable and resolute, but his posture and half-raised Buster communicates that he’s up for a daunting challenge – and he knows it. Both Mega Man and his fans have been battling through challenging stages and villains for decades, and that means keeping your eyes sharp and standing your ground – like Mega Man here in this artwork. Chamba says he wanted to convey “…a hero ready and prepared to face off his foes. I was trying to convey determination and strength.”
Looming above it all is the infamous Dr. Wily, the persistent villain behind the schemes of every original Mega Man title. Wily’s raised hands convey a man who believes he can hold the world in his hands. His unhinged eyes and wild grin suggest that he means to destroy it.
“I was aiming for power above all,” says Chamba about illustrating Dr. Wily. “One of looming domination and terror.”
Chamba is a seasoned artist, but that doesn’t mean he doesn’t face challenges when creating something new. Take Slash Man, for example. The nimble Robot Master makes for a tricky boss battle against players in Mega Man 7, and he also gave Chamba a prickly time.
“I find his design somewhat tricky to get right.” Says Chamba. “He’s got an enormous number of spikes and points coming off of him, which takes a tad longer to draw correctly than others.”
Speaking of little character details, players will experience the evolution of the series’ visuals while taking on Mega Man 7 (16-bit) and Mega Man 8 (32-bit). The advancement of technology enabled the Capcom developers of the ‘90s to create more detailed, asymmetrical characters like Junk Man from Mega Man 7 or Tengu Man from Mega Man 8 (one of Chamba’s favorites). Chamba says that while the increased details and broader color palettes opened up more options to Capcom’s artists compared to 8-bit titles (like Mega Man 9 & 10), it likely posed a challenge to preserving the series’ visual identity.
“To maintain a somewhat streamlined, simplistic style, yet enhancing the little details, is indeed a balancing act which I feel the game designers achieved,” says Chamba. “My role was somewhat made easy due to that [increased detail]. The only real challenge I faced was to do the designs justice in my depictions.”
If you like Chamba’s moody-yet-lively take on the latter Mega Man titles, you can see it every time you use your PS4. Pre-order Mega Man Legacy Collection 2 today and you’ll instantly receive a Theme featuring this new artwork.
As for the game, Mega Man Legacy Collection 2 packs four of the Blue Bomber’s timeless adventures into one package. In addition to faithful versions of MM7, MM8, MM9, & MM10, the collection includes other bonuses such as stage remix challenges, online leaderboards, a museum mode, all DLC for MM9 & MM10, and more! Mega Man Legacy Collection 2 arrives for PlayStation 4 on August 8.