It’s been long rumored that Polygon Man
is the final boss in PlayStation All-Stars Battle Royale
. Today, we can confirm that this is, indeed, the case. In PlayStation All-Stars’ introduction video, seen below (and viewable whenever you turn on the game), you’ll see each of the game’s 10 rivalries culminate with a quick glimpse of Polygon Man himself.
Who is Polygon Man, you ask? In short, he’s the original PlayStation mascot, designed to tease the power of the PlayStation before it launched in the west in 1995. Interestingly, the ad campaign was pulled before the console launched in North America. According to Edge
, this reportedly occurred when Sony Computer Entertainment founder and former CEO Ken Kutaragi “went absolutely insane” upon seeing it on Sony’s E3 booth in 1995. In other words, he wasn’t pleased.
But that hasn’t stopped Polygon Man from persisting in the minds of the most hardcore PlayStation faithful, and his inclusion in PlayStation All-Stars Battle Royale
indicates that the team at SuperBot Entertainment has its roots firmly planted in the same soil PlayStation sprouted from nearly two decades ago. But the intro video itself also serves a purpose apart from simply showing off Polygon Man, as SuperBot Entertainment’s Omar Kendall explains.
“We really wanted to play up the concept of rivalries” in All-Stars, Kendall said, the hypothetical “what ifs” of the universe they’ve created where the unlikeliest of characters can face-off against one another. The intro video allows SuperBot Entertainment to do that. With the video’s script and design concocted in-house, SuperBot utilized the skills of Zoic Studios
to render and create the intro itself.
But for Kendall, a veteran of the fighting development scene, an intro such as this serves another purpose. “This was another note that we could hit that was very much in line with the overall message that PlayStation All-Stars really is, or at least has roots in traditional fighting games.” He mentions games like Soul Calibur and Marvel vs. Capcom 3 as examples of great fighting games with epic intros like the one they’ve attempted to put in their game.
With all 10 of the rivalries shown-off in full, Kendall noted that there were some “fantasy matchups” in there, like Ratchet & Clank versus Jak & Daxter, as well as some “in your face” rivalries, and some more subtle “easter egg” rivalries, like the one between Nathan Drake and Sly Cooper that play off of the fact that both are treasure hunters… or perhaps thieves. He describes the entire scenario as being “big notes” complemented by “subtle cues.”
The rivalries are as follows:
- Ratchet & Clank versus Jak & Daxter
- Sly Cooper versus Nathan Drake
- Fat Princess versus Evil Cole MacGrath
- Sir Daniel Fortesque versus Colonel Radec
- Sackboy versus Big Daddy
- Nariko versus Dante
- Heihachi versus Toro
- Spike versus Parappa the Rapper
- Good Cole MacGrath versus Raiden
- Sweet Tooth versus Kratos
Kendall stressed that the story in All-Stars should be loose and act as an excuse for these characters to come together. But it shouldn’t be construed as canon. He “didn’t want a big, sort of heavy story that was going to feel really arbitrary and cheesy and kind of pull the players out. Because these characters… come from these really rich worlds already, and I knew that this game wasn’t going to serve to paint the sort of official storylines of these individual characters. I knew it was going to be something that they experience together mutually, in some ways exclusively, and then go back to their worlds. You’re really not going to see their experiences in PlayStation All-Stars reflected in God of War IV or God of War V.”
Yet, citing the famous Michael ad (seen below), Kendall admits that “all of these characters live inside this shared space,” later noting that “we thought it would be really cool if we, as opposed to trying really hard to create this fiction and explain why Kratos and Sackboy are in the same world together, just sort of casually acknowledge the fact that this world is living inside of your PlayStation.”
It’s that very notion – the world living inside of your PlayStation – that influenced the team to put Polygon Man in PlayStation All-Stars Battle Royale as the final boss.
“When we were thinking about a boss for PlayStation All-Stars, we asked ourselves ‘what was the ultimate manifestation of PlayStation?’ And for us, it was Polygon Man. If you could look at some of the original material that Polygon Man appeared in, he makes these crazy statements, these sort of almost nonsensical statements, like ‘power is an illusion’, ‘absolute power is a seamless illusion’. These really weird, grandiose statements. He doesn’t really come off as a bad guy, but he comes off as kind of this representative of power, the power and potential and what PlayStation represents. So we thought it would be really cool if at the center of this shared universe all of these PlayStation characters inhabit was Polygon Man, waiting as the ultimate challenge for this world.”
Kendall went on. “If you look at the rivalry cutscene, it takes place in this kind of blue polygonal space. That, for us, is kind of the PlayStation universe at its base. You’ll see the XMB power waves flying in the background, you’ll see the PlayStation shapes flying around in the background. That’s kind of like the PlayStation landscape stripped bare to its essence… You see that space transition into the purple Polygon Man colors, and for us, Polygon Man is made of the same stuff, I guess, as the essence of the PlayStation universe.”
Believe it or not, however, Polygon Man wasn’t the original idea for the final boss in PlayStation All-Stars. The team at SuperBot came up with many ideas, including ones that took from certain games. An idea floated early on was the Helghan Army from Killzone being the game’s villain. But those sorts of ideas didn’t jive with the idea of what PlayStation All-Stars was all about.
“I think what we realized when we were going through our exploration was that yeah, certainly we could identify a single evil entity from one of our characters’ universes,” Kendall explained. “It could be Zeus (from God of War), it could be Dr. Nefarious (from Ratchet & Clank), it could be any of our sort of standard villains. But we felt that as a game called PlayStation All-Stars, we really wanted the final challenge to not draw from a single, particular IP, but really, we wanted the final challenge to be against the entire PlayStation brand itself. And when we began to think about it that way, Polygon Man really became the obvious choice.”