Friends, did you know that we could have received a new Darkwing Duck video game – just last year? Stick with me and we will get to how that came to be towards the end of this post. Probably like many of you I too have long been a fan of the animated adventures of Darkwing Duck and his fellow citizens of St. Canard. I was in High School when the series originally debuted as part of the beloved The Disney Afternoon block on TV back in 1991. With my adoration of all things related to Street & Smith’s The Shadow by Walter Gibson, the fact that Darkwing Duck’s alter ego is named Drake Mallard didn’t fly under my radar. Obviously while Kent Allard, the Shadow’s true identity, had the ability to hide in the shadows and in the radio series the power to cloud the minds of his foes, Drake being a Disney creation had a lighter if no less stylized way to make an entrance
I picked that clip from the new DuckTales reboot because it ties into an interesting fact about the original shows. That is apparently, Tad Stones, the creator of Darkwing Duck has gone on record saying while it’s understandable why fans felt that Darkwing Duck was a spin-off from DuckTales – they are in fact separate universes. If that is the case then how could you possibly explain the inclusion of the likes of Launchpad McQuack in the former? Well, back in 2016 The Hollywood Reporter had an interview with Stones and Aaron Couch wrote:
“He goes on to state that though Launchpad first appeared in DuckTales, the Darkwing version was different. For starters, Launchpad always seemed to crash his plane in DuckTales but was a competent pilot in Darkwing Duck.”
The popularity of the The Disney Afternoon block of cartoons can’t be understated. While I do not recall DuckTales or Chip ‘n Dale: Rescue Rangers getting a toy line – I do know that at least TaleSpin as well as Darkwing Duck got the action figure treatment!
At the very least, all of The Disney Afternoon cartoons had the good fortune of getting ports to the NES by way of some great platforming titles from Capcom. I suppose that the TaleSpin game was actually more of a scrolling shooter but you get the point. The popularity of those classic games led to Capcom releasing the Disney Afternoon Collection back in April of 2017.
Here is the thing though, it turns out that Headcannon Studios attempted to create a new Darkwing Duck game inspired by the original Capcom title. This was revealed just last week on Kotaku, thanks to a Twitter post by Aaron Sparrow who mentioned that while Capcom passed on the proposed project last year – the studio’s hope was to get as many as the original cast of voice actors as possible to reprise their characters. Furthermore Sparrow added they wanted Jim Cumming’s to provide ‘quips’ as to how well a Player might have been doing in the game but really getting sarcastic when they would fail. Which is kind of perfect for how Darkwing Duck operates if you think about it – if you don’t believe me, listen to Jim Cumming’s explain it himself.
Now let’s check out that prototype – please keep that in mind, friends. This is merely a single stage that Headcannon Studios put together to demonstrate to Capcom what they could accomplish in terms of stage design, etc. In particular I really dig the addition of the Bionic Commando aspect to the platforming!