A mysterious flyer handed out at Keji Inafune's PAX Prime panel may be the first clue to a project nicknamed Kickstartvania.
The flyer shown above was distributed to attendees of Inafune's PAX 2014 panel on Mighty No. 9. It shows CRT TVs and what looks like a 2D game, suggesting some sort of old school, retro project.
Now, this is a bit of a stretch, but it has a lot of people really excited: there's some speculation this is a nod to the next game from Koji "IGA" Igarashi. You know, the father of Castlevania? Who left Konami in March this year to form his own studio?
What makes us excited about Iagarashi going indie is that he told Kotaku he was inspired by Keiji Inafune's success. Inafune, as you are no doubt aware, occupies a similar place in gaming legend as the father of Mega Man. He's been independent for years, having left Capcom in 2010, so why would Igarashi suddenly decide to follow suit?
Ah, my friends: because Inafune took the Mega Man formula to Kickstarter as Mighty No. 9, was hugely successful, and did not attract any legal wrath from Capcom. Castlevania fans are gibbering in excitement the prospect of Igarashi doing the same thing with his own creation.
Inafune's panel would be a great place to begin building hype for a new Igarashi game, as there's a lot of synergy between the Mega Man and Castlevania fanbases. The artwork on the flyer is strongly reminiscent of Igarashi's style, too. Most of all, that phrase "turn your world upside down" has lit the torch of hope; on of the Castlevania franchise's most famous and applauded tricks is Symphony of the Night's Inverted Keep (Reverse Castle).
NeoGAF users say the fine print text is from GameFan, a much respected old school US magazine focusing on import games which had a great and abiding love for Castlevania. They've also theorised this might be a new project mentioned in a podcast by 8-4, a localisation company that has worked closely with Comcept and Inti Creates on Mighty No. 9.
It's not rock hard evidence by any means, but if you squint a little bit you can see a possible world where Igarashi's studio fills a similar role to Mighty No. 9 developer Comcept, in a collaboration with Inti Creates and 8-4 on a new, crowdfunded Metroidvania.
Kickstartvania. When it happens, remember we believed.