jeff jarrett mega cat studios

Jeff Jarrett, Mega Cat Studios Detail The Road To WrestleQuest

WrestleQuest captures the wacky essence of pro wrestling and makes it work inside the context of a JRPG video game.

Mega Cat Studios founders James Deighan and Zack Manko and Jeff Jarrett spoke with WrestleZone Managing Editor Bill Pritchard about the launch of the new WrestleQuest wrestling RPG video game. Jeff Jarrett, the game’s Director of Wrestling, said WrestleQuest was a journey that’s been years in the making.

Jeff Jarrett: “James had this crazy idea. His team said how are we going to marry professional wrestling and a JRPG game? And they birthed WrestleQuest. But a lot of people told them, and this is a part of something that I absolutely love to tell this component of the story is that a lot of people within their industry told them don’t do it. There’s a lot of red tape. There’s ups and downs. The IP is a challenge. How are you going to make this game make sense? And just everything that kind of goes with it.

“And I love a mindset that says no. If they’re telling me to go left, I’m gonna go right. I’m gonna show them this is the way and that’s what they’ve done. I’m lucky to play a small part of this. But [looking] at the roster, if you will, from Andre the Giant, Macho Man Randy Savage, need I say more? But I will, The Road Warriors, JYD, Jake the Snake, Rocky Soul Man Johnson. I could go on and on with the legends. But the real sweet spot of all this is it’s the first-ever JRPG in professional wrestling.

“There’s been so many simulation games through the years that yes, I’ve been a part of. I think a guy said earlier day this is either my ninth or 10th game to be in. But this is the first time that any of us have been in a JRPG game and that’s the essence of what we do. The simulation game leans into kind of the in-ring component of professional wrestling. Bill, me and you both know that’s really just one part of what makes our wacky world of professional wrestling go at all. But what really makes it tick are the larger-than-life characters and the storytelling. And that’s what Zack has done just incredibly well. And that’s telling stories through the lens of professional wrestling, but they’ve made it work in the JRPG world.”

Aint I Great?

Jeff Jarrett is a character in the game, but he also appears as an extension of his role as podcast host on My World. Deighan and Manko said they wanted to speak to a specific pro wrestling audience, but they paid tribute to Jarrett’s gimmicks over the years.

James Deighan: “One of the reasons we wanted to include [Conrad Thompson] and the podcast in this way is that whether you’re like a lapsed fan or a super fan like the way that wrestling fans stay in touch to consume wrestling content is different now than it was 20 to 30 years ago like the podcast and these other very engaged communities with content creators. It’s a major pulse and piece of what it’s like to be a wrestling fan today. We thought there was just a really interesting way to use that in a narrative-driven world.”

Zack Manko: “Jeff also appears beyond his role in the podcast studio there. He has his own statue and his own quest. When we’re designing any of the quests for the legends, it’s about something that can speak to their persona and their history within the sport. But that also works in terms of the RPG element. For example, The Road Warriors, you’ll end up fighting them if you go on their side quest. If you’re able to defeat them, you can summon them into battle to do their finish or the Doomsday Device. So again, it’s about thinking of ways of designing these quests in a way that not only speak to their role in wrestling but also how we can use that within the RPG within the game itself.”

WrestleQuest The Brooter
Photo Credit: WrestleQuest / Mega Cat Studios

Muchacho Man and Brink Logan

The pair also explained the idea behind the game’s two central characters, Muchacho Man and Brink Logan.

Zack Manko: “When we’re talking about the cast of characters, that’s one of the things that’s key in an RPG because that’s what really resonates with players. What gets them involved in the game of the story? So as Muchacho Man, he’s kind of the role of many of us where we’re long-time lifelong wrestling fans from a young age watching these guys on screen and wanting to be heroes like them.

“So Muchacho Man kind of represents that young, innocent sort of pure relationship with wrestling. But for him. It’s all real. He’s in constant kayfabe. And his story is about as he moves up through the ranks, can he maintain that sort of innocent relationship with the sport.

“Flipside the other core protagonist Brink Logan, he’s more the veteran type. He’s this midcard jobber in his father’s promotion, who’s stuck between wanting to become a champion in his own right. But [he] also doesn’t want to leave and have the family business suffer because of that.

“You get this rags to riches sort of story with Muchacho Man that anyone can relate to. Brink Logan I think is his very opposite side of the coin where it’s very like a wrestling-centric story that is familiar to those that know wrestling but those outside can still relate to it. But it’s a way to again appeal to both the core wrestling fans and then just general JRPG gamers.”

James Deighan: “If you watch the intro, cinematic or kind of play 30 to 40 minutes or so so you get the idea that Muchacho Man is watching CRT television, 10 inches away from it like a lot of us did in the 80s and 90s. And he’s inspired to follow in the footsteps of his hero. So it’s simply following kind of this theme of nostalgia and fandom in most cases when you talk to people who became wrestlers.

“They’re inspired by wrestlers that came before them, and in many many cases Macho Man. It’s been covered in many documentaries and pieces. We thought that given our just true love and fandom for wrestling, it makes a lot of sense to take some of these iconic larger-than-life characters and kind of tell that story in a different way.”

Photo Credit: WrestleQuest / Mega Cat Studios

Brink’s ‘Foundation’

The pair also commented on the similarities between Brink Logan and Bret Hart, noting that there are some parallels.

James Deighan: “He’s got some sick shades and he is from Canada. I feel like there’s some triangulation there.”

Zack Manko: “I think it’s more about just the idea of wrestling dynasties in general. These multi-generational wrestling families and how that dynamic plays into it as well beyond just the story of the individual wrestlers themselves. That’s why his name is Muchacho Man. Then the other guys just have a single name whereas all the Logan’s, their last names are included in the character everywhere. That’s intentional because it is the idea again of this is wrestling family.”

WrestleQuest is available on PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X/S, Nintendo Switch, PC, and iOS and Android via Netflix on August 22. Watch the full interview with Jeff Jarrett, James Deighan and Zack Manko below:

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