Mega Man composer Manami Matsumae makes her western debut with Kickstarted indie Shovel Knight

"She came to us!"

The former WayForward staff at Yacht Club Games announced last week that legendary Mega Man composer Manami Matsumae would be writing two songs for its upcoming Kickstarter-funded retro 2D platformer Shovel Knight.

Manami Matsumae.

How did this tiny newly formed indie company secure such a big name, you ask? That's where it gets crazy. "She came to us!" wrote Yacht Clubs' Nick Woznia in a Reddit AMA.

"It was crazy, we got an email from the guys over at Koopa Soundworks ( ) asking if instead of money support, if they could just put us in touch with the legendary composer of the first Mega Man game," he explained. "We immediately took him up on his offer! She's very excited about working with us and Virt [composer Jake Kaufman] to make this soundtrack really fun!"

"This is the first time I'm working on a Western game! It's quite exciting! Shovel Knight and I are a good fit. So... let's get shovelin'?" said Matsumae in a Kickstarter update.

This just goes to show that a small team with a good idea and proven track record can recruit even the biggest talent. And this is for a game that's being self-published to boot. Wild!

When asked about Nintendo's recent push to acquire interesting indie titles, Yacht Club founder Sean Velasco said, "Nintendo's changes have made it possible for us to develop for them; namely they relaxed rules on who can get dev kits, and changed how their eShop works. Both are much more indie-friendly now, and they have also been also gracious enough to answer all of our questions."

The Enchantress is less bosomy than your usual evil queen.

Elsewhere, Yacht Club stated that it's making an effort to make its female characters less sexualised than in previous WayForward games. "There are pangs of guilt about overly-sexy girls in the games we have worked on in the past at YCG," said Yacht Clubs' Erin Pellon. Looking at Shovel Knight's prime villainess, the Enchantress, he added, "We didn't want to be necessarily exploitative in her design; we want the Enchantress to stand tall as a badass, just as any of the knights are!"

Shovel Knight's Kickstarter has already more than doubled its $75,000 goal. It's currently at $157,378 with four days to go before its 13th April deadline.

Because the Kickstarter was so successful, Shovel Knight achieved its stretch goals to be on Wii U, 3DS, Mac and Linux in addition to PC, which it will debut on this "holiday season."

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Jeffrey Matulef

Jeffrey Matulef


Jeffrey Matulef is the best-dressed man in 1984.


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