It’s only been a few days since Comcept and Keiji Inafune teased Red Ash, but seeing as the promised date of the reveal is July 4th, it’s time the teasing paid off. It wasn’t hard to make the leap to a Mega Man-free Mega Man Legends, thanks to lines from the video such as “And some legends herald greatness, only to lose their way…”, which was an unsubtle reference to Mega Man Legends 3 getting canceled, and sure enough that’s exactly what it seems to be. Red Ash is an anime-inspired treasure hunting action game that just happens to star a trio of characters named Beck, Call, and Tyger in a world nearly ruined by the aftermath of a Robot World War.
There are two separate Kickstarters running for Red Ash, for two entirely different projects. One is for a short five-minute anime that tells an independent story from the game, with stretch goals to take it all the way to full movie status. Red Ash: Magicicada isn’t planned as a retelling of the game but rather its own unique story using the characters and world, but not concerned with maintaining too much game continuity. The other campaign is for the game, and this is where things get properly interesting.
Red Ash: The Indelible Legend is planned as a small teaser for the bigger epic Comcept has in mind. The initial goal of $800,000 is for the first three chapters of the prologue to the Red Ash saga, while the first stretch goal of $1,300,000 gets all six chapters included. The Kickstarter isn’t off to a particularly fast start (from a percentage to goal perspective) but then again it is July 4th, so that’s not unexpected. Inafune and Comcept have a very clear idea of where things are going, even mentioning in the Kickstarter campaign that they know what the ending scene of the entire saga looks like. If all they get is the initial goal they know how to make those three chapters feel like a proper story. It sounds great on paper, the concept art looks fantastic, and Comcept even have several of the main designers of Mega Man Legends working in key positions on the game. It’s awfully early in the development cycle for a Kickstarter pitch, though.
Currently there’s no gameplay to show, even in mockup form. The pitch video uses black and white sketch/storyboard animation, and while it does a great job of setting up the characters and hinting at their world, there’s no question that it’s awfully rough. The delivery date on the campaign is July 2017, though, so maybe that’s a reasonable expectation based on the amount of work to do? The point is, there’s a lot of waiting and faith involved in backing Red Ash, so be warned going in that satisfaction is going to take a while.
On the other hand, it’s Keiji Inafune working with the Mega Man Legends team to create a spiritual successor in a new world designed with a major anime studio to make it feel like you’re actually playing in an epic, open world cartoon. There’s a lot of talent who have paid off in the past, and Might No. 9 was well-received at E3 this year. It’s hard not to get excited about the possibilities of Red Ash, and even in its current rough state I found myself enjoying the intro scene. Red Ash looks like it should be a major new series, with plenty of room to grow, and if its delivery is a bit far off in the future then at least it’s something to look forward to.