If real life were merged with River City Ransom, you'd get Scott Pilgrim.
With the Scott Pilgrim vs the World movie already out in theatres and the Scott Pilgrim videogame recently released on the PlayStation Network, everybody's talking about Scott Pilgrim, including its creator Bryan Lee O'Malley. In an interview with Crave Online, O'Malley revealed that Scott Pilgrim may have begun as a graphic novel, but its true beginnings start at the Nintendo Entertainment System.
O'Malley played NES games like Mega Man growing up, and though these titles were easy to distinguish from reality, he feels he became the character as he played. "I tried to literalize this sense of having spent time playing Mega Man, it's kind of like you were Mega Man for those hours of your life," he said.
Later on as games became more realistic, it became harder to distinguish what was real and what wasn't. O'Malley continued: "In my teens and university and stuff, video games became more realistic or they started to. Something like Resident Evil 2, when they started becoming 3-D and they had fog and stuff, then I would start confusing that with reality once in a while, when I was tired."
Scott Pilgrim appears to have come about by exchanging the experience of confusing realistic games with reality with the experience of confusing those that were unrealistic. "I extrapolated that back to the old Nintendo games," O'Malley reveals. "What if you played River City Ransom and you just remembered that as your high school experience. That was my inspiration for the book."
It's a simple concept but one of those things only the geniuses amongst us seem to be able to figure out. River City Ransom is an NES game similar to Double Dragon but with high school students that bash each other's heads in with sticks and chains while exclaiming: "Barf!" The NES classic was apparently also the inspiration for the Scott Pilgrim videogame, a side-scrolling beat-em-up featuring the amazing visuals of Paul Robertson.
Source: Capcom Unity