New The Underside Vid

By: Derek Yu

On: November 21st, 2007

Pixel called…

…he wants his Arrested Development DVDs back. Seriously, you said you were going to return them a month ago!

(Source: Tim!)

  • Jad

    I totally think he just started making a game totally-ignorantly-like and just added stuff as he went along and then he thought that ‘HOW DO I MAEKD STUFF LIEK IN CAVE STORY’ and then he DID stuff that quite matched the stuff that is in cave story and he was happy with it and then he went along and made more of the game.

    And at that point it kind of turned into its own entity and right then the podunkian realized that ‘I could go back and take out the cavestoryisms in the game’ and then he got lazy. So he didn’t.

    THEORY !!!

  • robolee

    (the save point is even a spinning floppy)

    no, NO! just PLAY THE GAME! the save point is a spinning diary, and many games happen to have had spinning/animated save points, it’s amazing what people would call a cave story rip off:

  • Si

    Can we focus our news lasers on something original? Or at least trying to be original? Just for tonight?

  • mr. podunkian

    ffff yes, attention is all i want that’s why i’m devoting years of my life on a freeware game.

    for attention.

    i’m a pretty little attention slut you see heheheheh ;)

    i didn’t make the game like cave story to get attention, that doesn’t even make sense. how could i have anticipated that the indie gaming community would’ve reacted in such a hyper-offensive sort of a way?

    i’ve stated a thousand times before though cave story is an obvious influence on the game, the general art direction stems from my art style far before that. it has nothing to do with attention, as i’ve said in my interview and on my official webpage, i’m making this game because this is the synthesis of all of the game i played and enjoyed growing up.

  • Armada Fling

    You’re not pretty.

    If there was a 5th brat in Charlie and the chocolate factory, you would be that kid.

  • Si


  • Furious D

    LOL Agreed.

  • gary

    not really, the game play does look better than cave story’s
    personally i would love to have another game similar to cave story.

  • Anthony Flack

    Okay, so the game is, as always, looking pretty damn sweet and packed full of fun and creative level design and I’m sure everyone is looking forward to playing it, but now that we have descended into actively denying how much the art was derived from Cave Story I think that is all getting just a little bit sad.

  • Dusty Spur

    it’s not like he just took cave story’s graphics and threw them into his own game guys just because he is using a similar graphical style does not mean it doesn’t take effort

  • Derek

    Arthur dude, the “general art direction” stems from Cave Story. C’mon, the game looks great, and we all want to play it… just admit the visual style is not original so we can move on with our lives!

  • axel


    I actually lolled.

    Anyway, I think The Underside is great as a game and a blast to play, but I think it’s a pity that Pod’s decided to borrow so much of Cave Story’s visual aesthetic. Because this way, it will never be remembered as something unique or original, but it will always be known as “the game that ripped off Cave Story”.

    And as much as I agree that people are going a bit too far with calling every platformer in existence a “Cave Story ripoff”, I seriously don’t think that this many people would have reacted if there wasn’t anything wrong.

  • mr. podunkian

    yo derek dude actually the “general art direction” comes from my past work. in fact i mentioned this in the planet freeplay article i did

    “the graphical style i use in the underside is largely influenced by cave story without a doubt, but people who’ve known me long before my rise to infamy can tell you that the style of the underside is more a fusion of pixel’s style and the art style i’d been using long before cave story was released. […] on a simple game called super fun dungeon run, which involved a small boy running through an endless dungeon avoiding traps and a giant boulder”

    what bothers me more than how annoying it is to have to deal with pages of people passing off my game just because its a “cave story ripoff” is the fact that people think i’m doing it “for attention.”

    for the record, i have never ever denied that cave story was an influence on my game, and you can check all of my comments and my interview and my website and you can google “Podunkian +”Cave Story” +Ripoff +Underside” and you’re never going to find a single time that i deny that that fact. why? because the game is so obviously inspired by it, which is why i think it’s so fucking stupid for people to keep pointing it out as if they’ve made some sort of monumental discovery. yes, i get it, yes i understand it looks like cave story, i’ve never denied i wasn’t trying to go for that look.

    but the part that a lot of people overlook is the fact that besides the use of “STUDIO PIXEL GRASS” or “STUDIO PIXEL 16×16 SQUARE TILES”, or “STUDIO PIXEL ROCK WALL”, the general art direction (YES DEREK YU THE GENERAL ART DIRECTION) is very much my own.

    it would’ve been easy to have taken cave story’s gameplay elements and tried to hide them underneath some detailed pixel art blah blah, but i didn’t, and it’s not because i was trying to rip off cave story by any means (and certainly not to create controversy fffff), but more because cave story’s art style was very similar to the kind of art i was already doing at the time, which was getting progressively simpler and simpler after being burned out on high-detail spritework in operation sitting duck 2.

    here are some examples:

    (super fun dungeon run 1)[], 2001, which had a very similar 4 frame running animation with a similar jumping animation, and general character art style to the “offset eyes down sydrome idiotically cute” style i used in the underside

    (super fun dungeon run 2)[], 2004, a continuation of the same “retarded cute” style i used in the underside, but a little more high-detailed.

    (operation sitting duck 2)[], 2004, which had similar dust puff sprites, used just as liberally as how they’re used in “the underside.” once i lost the sourcecode for this in a drive crash, i decided to go back to doing simpler, cleaner graphics.

    (circy 3), 2004[], similarly simple, small graphics blah blah blah, before you say “MEGAMGMANAN RIPOFF” that was kind of the point of the game, every level was based off of a classic game.

    the bottom line is, i think everything’s gone stupidly out of hand at this point which is why i’m actually beginning to respond to these cave story comments i’ve for the most part ignored for the first, what, year or so of this game’s development. my art style came before i was ever introduced to cave story, and the general art direction for the underside comes from what i’d already been doing, with obvious influences from cave story as it had been very compatible and visually pleasing to me.

    as i’ve said, for the record, i’ve never denied that cave story was one of the underside’s biggest influences, and it’s something i’m really getting sick of having to reiterate and it’s almost getting to the point that it’s really beginning to make the game less and less enjoyable for me to work on.

    derek yu, creator of eternal daugther which in and of itself is similarly indebted to metroid/castlevania (though without the overt visual similarities), it would very kind of you to stop associating my game with (cave story)[] for (the hell of it)[].

    you see, there are (tasteful ways)[] of saying the same things without coming off as if you’re doing it just to elicit some sort of a response.


  • mr. podunkian

    thanks derek!

    i actually posted a nice version of this here, but it didn’t post properly, so i had to rewrite it and basically this is the fuck off version.

  • negative zero

    lol, this is insane. your general art direction? well look, regardless of whether ‘you’ think it’s borrowed or not from Cave Story is irrelevent. the point is Pixel’s artistic style is more easily recognised as his own since he released Cave Story long before most people knew about The Underside (obviously) or your style of pixel art.

    So naturally, fans of Pixel’s creative genius would mostly recognise your work as being ‘heavily’ inspired by his own.

    @ Dusty Spur

    yeah, sure. and painting an exact replica of the mona lisa would also take a lot of effort.

  • Del Duio

    Oh man when you put both sets of screenshots side by side like that like Derek did it makes the arguement of originality hard from a visual standpoint. Oh and a wee bit of lol by putting them in alternating order on that picture too.

    Even the little doorways are similar, but am I the only one who actually prefers the Underside’s protagonist over Quote?

    Pod, the only way to finally silence everybody is to make your game so friggin’ unbelievably awesome that nobody will care what it looks like after playing it.

  • Fishy Boy

    You are all stupid! The Underside is clearly a rip-off of Crystal Caves. I mean seriously, in both games you shoot things, jump on platforms, and both main characters have heads. Blatant rip-off.

  • Space Ranger

    He won’t ever silence anyone, too many hate him :)

  • Mark-P

    Every time The Underside news comes out, the public comments make me despair for at least 50% of humanity. :(

  • Shabadage

    What is this Underside nonsense! looks like Cave Story! This must mean that mr. podunkian is indeed a clone of pixel! What’s next? Are us dirty americans going to clone Shigi so we can make a brilliant game called Puckmin? (Mixing Hockey and gardening, obviously)

    Anyway, while you smelly smelling people may hate on Underside; truth is Arthur is really pushing the limits of MMF2 and it’s very damned impressive. It’s sad that some people can’t get over the art style (which is pretty similar to Pod’s older games; though that is more in the sprites than in the BG’s). But then again, since DAY ONE he’s said that Cave Story was a major influence on the development of the game; so these calls for him to admit the art style isn’t original are pretty pointless (Though his above defense seems a little misplaced/pointless in that regard.)

    Of course, influence has NOTHING to do with art. Never has.

  • Zaphos

    Shab — his old games don’t come nearly as close to matching The Underside’s art style as Cave Story does. It’s really just superficial elements from his old games which are similar, while his whole overall art direction is from Cave Story. So much so that a common response at first look is “is this a mod?” “Are the graphics ripped?” The way he hedges the influence of Cave Story as this side thing, where the “art direction” somehow didn’t come from it, is pretty grating.

    Also, it’s kind of amazing that people apparently never tire of having this conversation.

  • Space Ranger

    Well said!

  • mr. podunkian

    “The way he hedges the influence of Cave Story as this side thing, where the “art direction” somehow didn’t come from it, is pretty grating.”

    “[the] graphical style i use in the underside is […] influenced by cave story.”

    “i really liked the graphical style of the game because it reminded me a lot of my own style and it also had a cool retro vibe to it”

    – from my planet freeplay interview

    there’s not much more i can say to defend my point that the reason the game looks a lot like cave story is not because i’m ripping off cave story but because the graphical styles are very similar. “inspired by” can have many meanings, and when i say “inspired by” i mean i looked at pictures of cave story as references while drawing some of the backdrops. if any of you pixel artists out there are going to argue that you’ve never ever used a reference, and that you never once looked at a screenshot from another game to help give you ideas, then gosh you must have the most vivid imagination.

    long story short: yes, the backgrounds were “inspired” by cave story — i looked at screenshots of cave story when i drew the backgrounds of the earlier stages in the game. that’s deliberate. the characters, and the rest of the art were drawn in my own style, which i had been using for about 8 years now. i don’t know how much more explicit i can get without doing a rundown of every single sprite in the game and listing off my references for each one.

  • Si

    Underside is pushing MMF2? I didn’t know using standard extensions like LUA and external levels and graphics counted as pushing MMF2. Must only see what the amateurs and Pod makes.

    I mean not like me. I make amazing shit. All the time. Like this post. So awesome.

  • krizzl0r

    i dont know or care if its a bad time to state: arrested development is boobilicious! and kinda underrated.

  • Jad

    Well to put it shortly:

    The Underside is the WIN and

    it looks a lot like Cave Story with the same general size of sprites, same kind of shading on BG:s(check the comparison image with the plus-shaped protrusions in the walls, they’re nearly identical), same nice way of showing damage with numbers in a RPG:licious way, same way of having collectibles in the shapes of health power ups and missiles (which is of course originally snatched from Metroid <3), an area with grass along the ground, walls and roofs (but here with added awesome rain), same kind of health bar, same kind of pixel-technique on a lot of sprites. Same kind of 'rock wall with occasional bits of square tiles inside' that feature heavily in that 'grotto tale' or whatever its name was.

    I recognize all this and I still think that the underside is a great game.

    I can't forgive you for moving over to Pixel's sound format though. The beautiful string samples replaced by cave-story-like bleep-synths? GO AWAY! The music was one of the PERFECT parts of the demo. I beg you (the PODUNKYARN) to reconsider. Please.

    Otherwise, this Netherface (need more synonyms) game is totally super rad. I'm so anticipating more of it <3

  • Alonso

    Who gives a shit, seriously? It looks good. Most of the offended party seems to be the americans, too (“omfg he is lying to us!”).
    Those that bark pointlessly truly have no idea of the effort it takes to build something like this. Not the least.

  • negative zero

    the hell? another ‘effort’ argument!? sure, a lot of people don’t take into account the many leaps and bounds developers have to go through for the most simplest of things in a game, but that’s got nothing to do with the problem people have with The Underside. those that enjoyed Cave Story will definitely enjoy the game imho, but why make it so noticeably similar to Cave Story?

  • Jad

    Because he obviously felt like. O:

    I think we should really drop it now, after reading the latest comments I kind of feel that we got all the answers we could’ve gotten :3

    Thanks for explaining, Pod :O

    And good luck with the game :33

    “i looked at pictures of cave story as references while drawing some of the backdrops. if any of you pixel artists out there are going to argue that you’ve never ever used a reference, and that you never once looked at a screenshot from another game to help give you ideas, then gosh you must have the most vivid imagination.”

    This is what I’ve been dying to hear for so long. That this was the method you used to create the style of the backgrounds. No need for a run-down of the sprites one by one O:!

    Thanks man for the explanation (:


  • Si

    Ironically, and the reason why I call Pod a hypocrite, is that I made a fangame once and he called me out for ripping graphics. Some of the better pixel artists out there knew better, looked into the graphics and said they weren’t rips. I even made it clear my game was a tribute to better games before it.

    A bit of a twattish character if you ask me.

    So much for him claiming that he changed since he was younger.

  • Del Duio

    i don’t know how much more explicit i can get without doing a rundown of every single sprite in the game and listing off my references for each one.

    For a joke, you should do that as an unlockable feature after you win The Underside!

  • KKairos

    Yeah, I agree…that would be sort of funny.

    Also, yes the graphical styles are quite similar. I don’t really care. I side with Podunkian on the gameplay; from what I have played it does have a decently “faster” feel than CS.

  • Phasma Felis

    Hyup. Neil Gaiman said something along the lines of “Writers don’t need to make entirely new stories, they need to take old stories and make them new.” I wouldn’t care if this game was a straight-up Cave Story add-on pack, because Cave Story is awesome, therefore more Cave Story is awesome, and *we need more awesome*. Any new stuff that builds from Cave Story is just gravy.

    Now, if Pod had *lied* about where he got his inspiration cough Nitrome cough, that would be different, because lying is bad. But he *didn’t* lie, so let’s stop bitching about the difference between “inspired by” and “similar style plus also inspired by”.

  • Joseph

    That looks freakin fun… Those pushing blocks look fun. Is the game gonna feature that kick ass music on the soundtrack?

  • Joseph

    Oh and who gives a shit about the artistic influences. STFU already.

  • Space Ranger

    Parents nowadays do such good jobs!

  • Hamish

    Arthur, stop being a fucking pussy and writing huge walls of text to defend yourself and your Cave Story ripoff and just enjoy making the game. Is it so hard?

  • Lailoken

    Pod, this game looks awesome. Alot of people don’t care if it is inspired by cave story or whatever. Please don’t let self-righteous whiners cause u to stop enjoying the development; It will probably show in the finished product. Just know that people who want to post negatively on this subject just post more than the positive ones. In the end why does it matter? Make the game you want to make and f*** the critics.

  • Si

    Pod isn’t exactly the Golden Child either. Someone linked me to a poster from one indie game, a few weeks later he did a rush poster for some event which was basically a rip job off the other guy.

  • lesslucid

    Mr podunkian, I just want to say, I think you’re doing a great job, and please just ignore the idiots. No matter how much trouble you go to to explain yourself, they won’t stop being idiots. If you make a good, fun, enjoyable game, there will be plenty of people around who will like it and want to play it. In the meantime, if there are a preponderance of voices generating some stupid controversy over whether or not you’re stealing someone’s ideas or some nonsense… well, that’s the internet for you. :(

  • the general

    this podunkian really is clawing desperately with his rebuttal.. his previous work really isn’t reflected in Underside at all despite his paragraphs of vitriolic fuming that yes, indeed, his poorly-made kludge of mspaint from a half-decade ago inspired the style we are seeing in his most recent work.. i would not be so ignorant as to dismiss him entirely.. but it really wouldn’t take much to put him over.. his tunes sound very .. “blah”.. like the sort of stuff your average dolt produces after three weeks of screwing around with fruity loops.. his art? well, I guess he’s ok.. average at best.. but there is a fine distinction between influence and this.. i don’t even know what to call this.. very seldom would ifeel anything but idiotic for using a term like “artistic plagiarism” but this really is a fitting application. patting himself on the back for adding Lua to his little game? not only is Lua a plugin any dimwit can point-and-click into their MMF game, every fifth twelve year-old on garrysmod’s forums can embed Lua in something.. congrats again, podunkian.. you really shine, you clever little gem, you! i have played his demo.. the controls.. he claims to have fixed them so i wont complain.. the writing is ripe with errors and silly mistakes that detract from his writing.. which leads me to the next part

    his writing.. he tries so very desperately to be the bastard son of Earthbound and Cave Story but painfully botches both.. the writing feels, speaking objectively and without EB in mind, awkward. i can’t put my finger on it but it feels very forced all around..

    i can’t get totally down on a guy who is taking his experiences and gaming experience and actually doing something productive with it.. but podunkian seems a little bit big on the whole “studio” thing.. having played hundreds of freeware games, indie games, shareware games, etc over the span of a decade, i can say that podunkian’s place is really amongst your sort of “generic Mario clone with wonky controls 200X version hellya” level of developer

    hope you stop in your tracks, look back at what you’ve done here, and just take it on the chin. you will look back in five years when you hit your stride and possess some real, firm marketable skills, see this project and the comments surrounding it, and feel ashamed of yourself for this debacle..

    good luck mr podunkian..

  • haowan

    I thought this thread was about long cats? Jesus christ, what’s wrong with you people? Long cats are clearly more interesting than Underwear vs. Cave knickers.

  • Jad

    The general, I guess you hate games or something so I suggest you go do something better than writing shit on the internet and trying to let people down.

    Wait five years? Are you the stupidest motherfucker on earth? (omg this is the first time i’ve insulted someone on the internet for like a hundred years)

    He’s obviously going to CONTINUE PRODUCING GAMES in five years of time and then he’ll have so much more god damn experience than if he just stops in his tracks and think about how stupid people like you are and why he should hate himself for that and

    your arguments are so stupid that I can’t even answer them without being stupid myself. No go drink tea and wank and other wonderful things.

  • Movius

    Cave Story is good.
    Earthbound is good.

    Game that is mix of Cave Story and Earthbound is surely also good. Where is the problem here?

    Also the menu system at the start of the demo was near identical to the menus at the start of Earthbound. Why then are there over 9000 “LOL CAVE STORY RIP OFF” comments yet no “underside? MOAR LIEK UNDERBOUND AMIRITE” comments.

    perhaps because that would require actually playing the game to comment?

  • Hunty

    those jumping puzzles make my tummy hurt. :(

  • Si

    Silly me, I meant Derek. Not Pod!


    Yeah, people are uptight as fuck. Everyone calm down, it’s a game. As in, something to play to have fun. Yes it looks like Cave Story, who gives a shit? I’ll try it anyway, and I bet you’ll at least give it a try too.

    The General also brought up some good points with a long ass, thoughtful post over here and Jad rebuttals with:

    “your arguments are so stupid that I can’t even answer them without being stupid myself. No go drink tea and wank and other wonderful things.”

    You disrespectful son of a bitch. Unwrap your lips off of Pod’s dick, Jad. Can’t someone pose a differing, thoughtful opinion (which isn’t rude, mind you) without receiving a childish attack? (LOLZ IRONY ATM)

    Shit, now you’ve got me all hard. :D

  • Jad

    “You disrespectful son of a bitch. Unwrap your lips off of Pod’s dick, Jad. Can’t someone pose a differing, thoughtful opinion (which isn’t rude, mind you) without receiving a childish attack? (LOLZ IRONY ATM)”

    Haha, sorry for that, I guess that internet insults doesn’t suit me at all.

    Don’t you see though? My lips are not wrapped around the (probably heavenly) dick that is that of the podunkian.

    My lips are forever sealed around the wonderful phallic monument known as

    “Love and Peace”

    I just beg to differ, I thought that the General was quite rude. At points. But he wasn’t stupid. I was the stupid one. I have reread the comment and I agree, it was thoughtful though I don’t agree with it myself.


    It's interesting that the first time I act like an asshat on the internet in like forever someone actually catches me in the act and scolds me for it. <3 <3 <3

    I'll stop at once (:

    Anyways, Derek has apologised over att the PODUNKYANZ blog so, eh ...

    Manhugs anyone?

  • Jad

    Haha, I reread my message up there, it is the ultimate dickery! What the hell!

  • Hayley Cropper

    This place is actually worse that TDC. Grow up you’re all totally wrong and I, being totally awesome, am right.