To find out, IGN reached out to Ryan Clark, founder of Crypt of the NecroDancer developer Brace Yourself Games, and Kirk Scott, Nintendo of America’s Manager of Publisher-Developer Relations.
According to Clark, it was Brace Yourself Games that first approached Nintendo about a possible collaboration with NecroDancer. They were initially thinking something along the lines of DLC, but Nintendo showed a lot more interest in the idea than they expected.
Clark: We were considering making a new Nintendo Switch project and we imagined how cool it would be to have Zelda characters appearing in NecroDancer; say as DLC. To our surprise, Nintendo was extremely interested in the prospect, and before we knew it we were working on a completely new title, mashing up NecroDancer with The Legend of Zelda!
To that, Scott added that its not uncommon for developers to reach out to Nintendo for access to their IPs. However, its when the teams in Japan take interest in the possibilities that magic really starts to happen. Nintendo’s other third-party collaborations like Mario+Rabbids and Starfox in Starlink likely had similar stories.
Scott: Developers are always reaching out to Nintendo to include IP in their games. When you look at a case like Cadence of Hyrule, there’s special cases in some instances where our Japan team see content and see titles that they want to work with and [the interest is] a two-way street, really.
When asked about Cadence in Hyrule’s place in the Zelda franchise, the two clarified that the game was a NecroDancer title first and foremost, although the teams tried to give both series equal attention.
Clark: (This) is first and foremost a new entry in the NecroDancer universe. (We) took extensive care to ensure that it could be considered to be both (a Zelda game and Necrodancer game)
Scott: [Brace Yourself Games] worked directly with our Japan teams to get that [Zelda] content in there, even if it doesn’t really fall in line with a Zelda-type title.
Clark also talked about an important connection between the two games: Music. NecroDancer’s gameplay revolves entirely around music, while the Zelda series is well-known for its musical compositions, creating what he believes to be a great match.
Clark: Zelda is well known for musical compositions among games. Being able to mix these two together into an awesome musical mashup of gameplay is definitely one of the most exciting points!
When asked about whether this game could be considered Zelda’s first “Indie” title, Scott ended off with the following:
Scott: I wouldn’t go that far, but it is one of the first independent developers to use Zelda content.
What do you think? What other potential indie crossovers and mashups with Nintendo would you like to see? Let us know in the comments below.