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Earlier this week, Disney Interactive and Junction Point Studio held a special exclusive event at the Disneyland Resort in Anaheim, CA to unveil brand new areas and worlds for both ‘Disney Epic Mickey 2: The Power of Two’ and ‘Disney Epic Mickey 2: The Power of Illusion’ as well as demo the game for the first time on the Nintendo Wii U, along with other surprises which enhance gameplay.
The new areas shown for the first time are called ‘Rainbow Falls’ (heavily influenced by Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs) and ‘Rainbow Caverns’ and are inspired by the extinct Disneyland attraction, ‘Mine Train Through Nature’s Wonderland,’ a 1960 expansion of the ‘Rainbow Caverns Mine Train’ and primarily where ‘Big Thunder Mountain Railroad’ lies today. Although the attraction is no longer inside the park, many remnants from it are still alive and well and being preserved throughout Frontierland. Like its real-world counterpart, in The Wasteland, the attraction was one of the first built and nowadays play home to the giant Projector Substation that supplies power to all of the projectors across the world.
Rainbow Caverns itself is split into two areas: the Angel side and the Demon side, which includes a maze filled with cascading fire in which players ‘must’ turn wrenches to alternate the sheets of fire to navigate the maze — of course there may be a way or two to help the navigation process, which one might find by game exploration.
Of course introducing new lands also means introducing new projection levels, the side-scrolling adventures that help players transition between worlds. Here we had an opportunity to explore levels based on ‘Building A Building’ (1933) and the ‘Night on Bald Mountain’ from Disney’s Fantasia (1940). A sharp eye also caught mention of a level based on the first Silly Symphonies short, ‘The Skeleton Dance’ (1929). You may not be able to play them all right away, however, as it turns out that how you play the game not only determines which lands and characters you’ll encounter, but how you’ll transition between them as well! As part of the game’s lore, when the earthquakes and other disasters struck The Wasteland between the two games, all of the projectors went down as well. This is when Gus (voiced by Cary Elwes) and the rest of the Gremlins built the DEC (or Dahl Engineering Corridors, named after famed children’s author and Gremlins co-creator Roald Dahl) system underground, using Disney memorabilia that had fallen from the sky. How you play a level determines whether you can jump through the projector to play the game based on the short, or whether you must go underground and face different challenges, navigating tons of Disneyana inspired directly from the Disney Archives.
On the same topic of lore, the game also introduces a mysterious new area called ‘The Observatory,’ a place where players can go to peer through a telescope and peak around the skies (from which the forgotten Disneyana falls) and perhaps unlock some of the mysteries of The Wasteland and the history of its inhabitants. At a private dinner held later that same day at Disneyland’s private club, Club 33, Spector also suggested that the game contains an area called ‘Club 13’ inspired by the famed location.
There are also plenty of new ways to enhance and alter gameplay, such as costumes. According to Spector, as players navigate the game, they can ‘find, gifted with, awarded with or purchase’ costumes which will affect how Mickey and Oswald play the game (just exactly how is being kept a secret at this time). The hat shop located on Mean Street will serve as ‘the hub’ for costuming. Meanwhile, a pin shop serves as a place to exhibit pins that have been collected throughout the game as well a photo shop where gamer can reminisce of their time in the Wasteland by viewing in-game photos taken at various photo opportunity spots throughout the worlds, just as the real parks have, to help complete quests.
Another new addition is the use of inkwells, which can almost be thought of using paint and thinner on oneself, although the effects are temporary and — in the case of the latter — not quite as detrimental. Once the player jumps into an inkwell, they receive one of two effects based on the inkwell type: invisible ink and indelible ink. The exceptional play on words allow Mickey and Oswald to either become invisible (allowing them to sneak past enemies) or invulnerable (allowing them to walk through thinner for example). Rather than being time limited in their use, the limitations are actually based on physics: as the characters jump, run or walk, the ink will visually drip off of them at a rate according to their movement. Movement speed is variable depending on the pressure applied to the analog controls, so it’s possible to sneak around almost indefinitely just by moving at a snail’s pace. By either painting in or thinning out objects around the inkwells, players are also able to convert them between invisible and indelible modes.
Below is a video of the full presentation from the event, featuring not only Warren Spector, but also Peter Ong from DreamRift who talks about ‘Epic Mickey 2: The Power of Illusion’ for Nintendo 3DS as well as shares some of the newly released screens from the game featuring the Maleficent dragon from Sleeping Beauty and the world based on The Little Mermaid.
If that’s not enough, a soundtrack for ‘Disney Epic Mickey 2: The Power of 2’ will also be available via digital download and Amazon on-demand disc beginning November 13, 2012. The soundtrack features 23 tracks composed by Jim Dooley as well as a bonus track from teen DJ/producer Cole Plante. The tracklist is as follows (WARNING: Track list may contain spoilers):
1. Yen Sid’s Lab
2. Opening – Mad Doctor
3. Mean Street
4. Building a Building
6. Meet Daisy
7. Disney Gulch
8. Music Land
9. I’m Falling Apart – Mad Doctor and Jamface
10. Skeleton Dance
11. Blot Dragon
12. Prescott and the Pumps
14. Intro to Blot Alley
15. The Mad Doctor Isn’t Mad – Mad Doctor and Oswald
17. Prescott’s Machine
18. The Fall of Prescott – Mad Doctor, Prescott, Big Bad Pete and Daisy
19. Ventureland Combat
20. Autotopia Exploration
21. The Mad Doctor’s Plan – Mad Doctor
22. The Mad Doctor’s Attic
23. That’s What Heroes Do – Mad Doctor, Oswald and Mickey
24. A Hero’s Second Chance – Cole Plante (Bonus Track)
Below you’ll also find some gameplay footage as well as concept art and our gallery of newly released nextgen screens from the game (new images added to the beginning of the gallery):
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Also, be sure to watch this space! Coming soon will be a brand new hands-on review which includes using the Nintendo Wii U GamePad and the special ‘Epic Mickey 2’ controllers for the Nintendo Wii and Wii U from PDP along with a special interview with the game’s music composer, Jim Dooley, and live updates from New York Comic-con.