Axiom Verge is one of the biggest indie success stories of the past decade. This one-man production quickly rose to fame when former Nintendo of America President Reggie Fils-Aime remarked: “That looks like Metroid!” It’s still drawing that comparison to this day, but Metroid is far from the only contributing factor. Now that a sequel is on the way, I couldn’t help but wonder what’s inspiring developer Tom Happ these days. I got the opportunity to interview him following Axiom Verge 2‘s big reveal, and he somewhat surprisingly pointed to the Zelda series as his current biggest influence.
The Zelda influence
Nintendo Enthusiast: Everyone knows Axiom Verge draws inspiration from Metroid, but you’ve also pointed to games like Bionic Commando and Blaster Master as influences. What non-Metroid titles are you drawing from in Axiom Verge 2?
Tom Happ: I think I’m pretty much always digesting every game I’ve ever played and using them to flavor my work in some way, but in Axiom Verge 2 there is a distinctly heavier Zelda influence. Also, the newer Prey has been very influential to me, as well as the modern Tomb Raider games, Horizon: Zero Dawn, and Shadow of the Colossus.
Just like last time, Happ is actually drawing from many different experiences. You may not look at a 2D platformer and think “That was influenced by Prey and Tomb Raider,” but inspiration is more than surface-deep. We’ll have to wait a bit longer to see how Zelda factors into the creative vision for the game. The concept of exploring a ruined civilization that is both ancient and advanced in technology already has me thinking of Breath of the Wild.
More Axiom Verge 2 news to come
You can look forward to exploring that world for yourself next fall. In the meantime, we’ll be posting this interview in full in the coming days. It’s packed with interesting tidbits beyond just the Zelda influence. Tom talks life after Axiom Verge‘s success, gives hints about the story, and speculates about what he’ll do after Axiom Verge 2. Stay tuned!