Gaijin Games Reveals First BIT.TRIP RUNNER Details

Dozens of stages, new characters and a special musical guest

Gaijin Games is anything but lazy. Their acclaimed BIT.TRIP series is nary a year old with three entries under its WiiWare-shaped belt. Not ones to rest on their laurels, the Santa Cruz developers are hard at work on the next entry in their retro metaphysical saga: RUNNER.

On the latest episode of our chip/game music podcast NLFM, Gaijin's Alex Neuse not only brought along some of his favorite game music but also exclusive first details about Commander Video's next journey.

What we're trying to do with RUNNER is make a rhythm platform game. That genre, if you will, really only has one other entry as far as I know.

That entry being the original PlayStation's Vib-Ribbon, which reached Japan and Europe around the millennium but fell short of a North American release.

RUNNER is closest to BEAT in terms of player/music interaction, Neuse said, being that you traverse the environment to the beat of the music and interact with the music in a more passive manner than the on-beat precision of CORE or the looseness of VOID. And while you have always been in control of Commander Video, this marks the first time his corporeal body is directly in your hands.

Past TRIPs have sent players through a gauntlet of three stages each, but RUNNER has its sights set higher. Much higher, in fact, as Neuse revealed that the game would include 50+ stages of musical platforming loaded with fan art. But Gaijin isn't stopping there:

We're going to be adding a lot more to this game. There's going to be multiple characters – not playable characters, but we are going to introduce some new characters into the franchise.

Series star Commander Video will be making a playable appearance in Team Meat's highly anticipated WiiWare release Super Meat Boy, complete with floaty Princess Peach controls. So what are the odds of Meat Boy appearing in RUNNER?

It would be fair to expect, although we certainly haven't built him yet. And if for some reason we don't, you can expect him in the next game.

Each "episode," if you will, has included musical contributions from chip tuners such as Bit Shifter, Bubblyfish and Nullsleep. This time around, Neuse said, Brooklyn chip punk band Anamanaguchi will be lending two tracks of theirs to the commander's outing.

With development around 2/3 of the way done and lots of polish left to apply (the HUD in the screens is not final, we're told), Gaijin are currently eyeing a Spring release. Stay tuned to Nintendo Life for more on Commander Video's adventures, and in the meantime you can pore over the first in-game screenshots while listening to Neuse's musical influences on NLFM.