mechanical sequels

We‘ve talked about it a lot on the show recently, so what are some of what I’ll call mechanical sequels, where the name of the game changes but the core mechanic (and critically, key staff) remain consistent and refined across the series?

We'll list these by the critical staff member who was involved.

**Tokuhiro Takemori**
The Astayanax (arcade, jaleco)
Astayanax (nes - a port, so doesn't have Takemori involved, but it's based on the original idea. also Jaleco)
The Legendary Axe (Turbo/PCE, Victor Musical Industries)

The mechanic that's shared: Charge up your weapon with timing-based attacks that deplete, powerups make your gauge longer but more powerful if you wait longer.

**Toshihisa Hasegawa** AKA dark side toshi
Kid Kool and the Quest for the Seven Wonder Herbs (NES)
Psycho Fox (SMS)
Magical Hat no Buttobi Turbo! Daibōken (MD)
DEcapAttack (Genesis - a full on remix/graphical remake of the above)

The mechanic that's shared: Incredibly high vertical on jumping, throw something (backpack, hat, head) to attack. Thrown thing can change properties (as the series advances). I think these were all Vic Tokai?


These are my two favorite examples because the mechanics are singular and it really feels like they just wanted to Make That Thing, no matter the platform.

I don't want to get too loose with these BTW because the above are very clearly the vision of one person who got their way. Any further entries should also have that! MORE BELOW:


**Kouichi Yotsui**
Strider (Capcom)
OSman (Mitchell Corp)
Moon Diver (Square Enix)

The mechanic that’s shared: walking and climbing on all surfaces, flip jumps, fixed-length swipe attack.

Blood Bros. (1990) is basically Cabal 2. Both are made by TAD corporation. I feel like if it were today, the game would be named Cabal 2: Blood Bros. Wild Guns is Blood Bros. 2 but made by completely different people.

Bohemia Interactive developed + Codemasters-published psycho-“realistic” military shooters Operation flashpoint: cold war crisis (2001) -> ArmA series

Flashpoint also had a couple of sequels developed+published in-house by codemasters which simplified the sim and tactical command mechanics, while ArmA carried those aspects forward

How's about Another World and Heart of Darkness, both directed by Eric Chahi.

The mechanics shared: cinematic platforming, traveling to another dimension, shooting elements, and crippling difficulty.

Strider and OSman different studios, share personnel. Mechanic in common is stylishly flippin around everywhere

Most brain dead answer: ICO and SotC

German Mimimi studios developed Shadow Tactics and Desperados III which are both very obviously mechanical sequels to the real time strategy/stealth series Commandos developed by Pyro Studios in the late nineties.

Desperados was a series developed by Spellbound that tried to mimick the success of Commandos and has a couple of entries during the 00s but it was a subgenre/formula that had been abandoned until Mimimi saw some success with Shadow Tactics.

The Commandos series is prooooobably the most generally well known franchise developed in Spain? At least I feel that way, you guys tell me if that's the case!

Oh man, Kouichi Yotsui is a good one - I somehow thought he DIDN‘T work on OSman, but seeing he was a designer on that one it brings this all the way through to Moon Diver which he worked on as well. So we’ve got:

**Kouichi Yotsui**
Moon Diver

The mechanic that's shared: walking and climbing on all surfaces, flip jumps, fixed-length swipe attack. I'll put that in my list above too.

@"yeso"#385 I feel like operation flashpoint to ArmA is a little different, because wasn't ArmA one guy's project before bohemia interactive bought it?

@"JoJoestar"#251 do these games share key staff?

@"robinhoodie"#120 what's the shared mechanic with blood bros and cabal 2? I've never played either one. Who do we put this under?

@"milo"#451 I'm not 100% convinced they're mechanically similar, another world is so precise and "learn to hit the button at exactly the right time" oriented, while heart of darkness feels more like a traditional platformer? I'm ready to be convinced of my wrongness though

I should note that I really want these to FEEL like something, like somebody had a specific thing they were trying to push through. Like those weird psycho fox jumps, you just do not see them anywhere else. And any Strider game you make after Strider is clearly a "strider-like." It should be a game where you play one of them you think "wow, I wonder if the people who worked on this also worked on (X other game)."

NES Astyanax isn‘t a port, it’s essentially another game. From what I‘ve been told, Takemori didn’t officially work on it but we was definitely leaning over the shoulders of the people who were.

AC Astyanax also doubles as an adjacent sequel to Rastan—Toshiyuki "Nenko" Nishimura worked on it as an artist and planner, and it's a far more satisfying successor to OG Rastan than the official sequel ever was.

@“gsk”#p36556 Oops, my mistake - I made an assumption there! Does Rastan have a place this continuity? I guess it's different enough that… maybe not.

OG Rastan‘s defining mechanical trait, such as it is, is being able to move and swing at the same time, with the idea that if you correctly time your swings you can rush through sections that otherwise might be very stop-and-start. Takemori’s charge mechanic could be interpreted as an alternative manifestation of the same design conceit for another context (ie one with beefier enemies that rewards timed attacks with faster kills) but I mostly think of it as a Rastan successor because “fantasy barbarian game that doesn't suck” seems like a more worth successor to OG Rastan than “fantasy barbarian game that sucks”.

Zek‘s books are in the hands of a few people, but they haven’t been scanned out of courtesy.

Between you and me, internet, I have a shortlist of books/authors I want to officially translate which includes Zek, but as with everything else, there's just not enough time in the day and not enough money to free up said time.

It goes beyond courtesy, even—sharing this stuff online in the wrong manner can jeopardise the ability of these doujinshi authors to continue working with certain people and put broader limits on who they‘re able to talk to and what kinds of materials they’re allowed to share, whether they're aware of it or not.

I'd rather this info be disseminated in a mutually beneficial way that allows the doujinshi circles to a) eat off their work, b) maintain their working relationships and c) finance projects that wouldn't be possible without a larger international audience, and I'm confident we can make that happen.

Shinobu Yagawa

Battle Garegga

Armed Police Batrider

Battle Bakraid


Pink Sweets

Muchi Muchi Pork

Mechanic that's shared: All have similar scoring systems and encourage taking strategic deaths to lower rank/difficulty.

Not sure how much these count as mechanical sequels and not just sequels, as some share characters, and Pink Sweets is explicitly a sequel to Ibara. But the Cave games are at least mechanical sequels to the Raizing ones.

Hmmm I think it counts? There‘s a scoring throughline and it’s across companies… Though I‘m not sure I’d look at battle garegga and pink sweets and be like “that's the same guy!” if you know what I mean. But I think there's something there…

Incidentally I keep hoping to find a connection between rolling thunder, elevator action returns, and the outfoxies. It feels like there's something there, but I've never found the link. Might just be genre influence!

There are definite commonalities between certain YGW games: Ibara was a conscious attempt to make a game like Garegga, Pink Sweets borrows its central mechanic from his FC game Summer Carnival '92 Recca, etc.

On that note, there are a bunch of Raizing games by the ex-Compile crew that maintain a lot of obvious touches from MUSHA, Spriggan, etc, primarily as a way of tipping off players to the fact that the developers of those games were now working elsewhere.

@“Syzygy”#p36566 looks like a job for the video game history foundation


ArmA one guy

I think the studio just carried on doing flashpoint under the ArmA name and different publisher. I see at least names in common in the mobygames credits

Also, I'm guess kickstarter getting the band back together type situations don't fit here, correct?

Here's some boring(?) western gaming entries.

**Richard Garriott** (aka Lord British)
Ultima franchise
Shroud of the Avatar MMO

after Origin was dissolved within the monster that is EA and Garriott left to do his own thing (somewhat unsuccessfully, see: Tabula Rasa), he has now for the last few years been running a somewhat viable MMO "Shroud of the Avatar" which is in all regards a "spiritual successor" to Ultima / Ultima Online, just without the Ultima trademark and world (still owned by EA).
Shared: basically everything except the logo and trademark.

**Chris Roberts**
I'm not even sure if this one counts, but:
Wing Commander series,
Star Citizen

Space flying and shooting and trading and whatnot. Wing Commander didn't have hundreds of millions of dollars in crowdfunding, but maybe that is just an artefact of history more than anything else?
(maybe this doesn't count because Star Citizen is not released (and will never be released))

**Sid Meier**
Sid Meier's Civilization (1 & 2)
Sid Meier's Alpha Centauri

I _love_ SMAC. (see: IC ten games list thread). To me, it is the perfect sequel / extension / continuation of Civilization. It is Sid Meier honing his craft and making the best one of _those_ games he could.

I suppose Matsuno would fit for Tactics Ogre -> Final Fantasy Tactics

Ghost Recon: Shadow Wars for the 3DS (with Julian Gollop as the lead) had a lot of buzz around it as a mechanical sequel of sorts to X-COM. I never did play it, but I certainly seriously intended to! I think I’ve heard @“exodus”#3 bring this one up on the show before.