Check Out These Amazing Mega Man 8 Animation Cels a Fan Found at a Swap Meet

Check Out These Amazing Mega Man 8 Animation Cels a Fan Found at a Swap Meet

Get equipped with an awesome example of game preservation.

Swap meets are where one person's trash becomes another person's treasure. But sometimes the stuff you dig up holds major significance in a historical context.

Key example: Freelance games and anime writer Heidi Kemps attended the Fanimecon 2017 Swap Meet in May and walked away with a bunch of Mega Man 8 animation cels for a mere $300.

Released for the Sony PlayStation and Sega Saturn in 1996, Mega Man 8 turned a lot of heads with its animated cut scenes (and the voice acting in the English release turned a lot of stomachs, but that's neither here nor there). Animation cells for popular animated shows are a rare find these days, given the medium's jump to digital. By comparison, animation cels for the anime scenes of a PlayStation-era game are purple monkey dishwashers. Nabbing a bunch for a few hundred smackers is incredible.

"The seller, noting my interest in historical [Capcom] material, pulled out a giant box of Mega Man 8 cels and offered me the whole thing," Kemps told us earlier today in an email. "I couldn’t really refuse that, especially after seeing how cool some of the cels looked."

"[The cels] reveal a few interesting things about the animation production when analyzed, like how some cels had to be color-corrected and how some in-between animation was subcontracted to Korea by the Japanese studio (Xebec)," Kemps continued. "Unfortunately, years of storage has affected the condition of the paint and line work on some of them, but they’re still stunning as a whole."

Kemps also said she'll be making a video of the collection before she offers a few individual cels for sale. Animation cels are pricey but popular collectables, and no doubt Mega Man 8's stills will court a number of buyers. At the Retro Games Roadshow panel at last weekend's Portland Retro Gaming Expo, Kotaku's Chris Kohler and GameHistoryOrg's Frank Cifaldi estimated the find at thousands of dollars.

Video games have a preservation problem. Cartridges fetch ridiculous prices, and a digital game release can blink out of existence whenever a publisher wills it to happen. Mega Man 8's cels are an invaluable collectable that's also tangible—an increasing rarity.

What's more, when a physical element of a game's developmental history does survive, it's usually a prototype build, or notes, or character sketches. Preserved cels for an animated opening is not something that pops up half as often, especially since animation was beginning to make the jump to digital by the mid- to- late-'90s.

Given how many games of the era had animated intros and story sequences, I wonder how many iconic PlayStation game scenes are mouldering in attic boxes. Wild ARMS, I hope someone's taking care of you.

Sometimes we include links to online retail stores. If you click on one and make a purchase we may receive a small commission. See our terms & conditions.

Nadia Oxford

Staff Writer

Nadia has been writing about games for so long, only the wind and the rain (or the digital facsimiles thereof) remember her true name. She's written for Nerve, About.com, Gamepro, IGN, 1UP, PlayStation Official Magazine, and other sites and magazines that sling words about video games. She co-hosts the Axe of the Blood God podcast, where she mostly screams about Dragon Quest.

Read this next

Batman's Lego and Arkham Trilogies Are Free for One Week—No Will Arnett or Origins Though

Gotham's grittiest and goofiest are free for a limited time on Epic Games Store.

How Queen Latifah Became a Last-Minute Addition to Sayonara Wild Hearts

Developer Simogo tells us how one off-handed suggestion landed them a major celeb.

Warframe Developer Responds to Recent Wave of Negative Reviews on Steam

Several issues with the Chinese Warframe community brought on a torrent of negativity.

Shenmue 3 Was a Much Simpler Game Before Deep Silver Agreed to Publish It

In the Beginning, there was only story and quick time events.

We Dare You to Eat This Pile of Ancient Pokemon Food

Expiration dates are just suggestions.

Take-Two CEO Says Next-Gen Won't Send Game Development Costs Soaring

Strauss Zelnick seems optimistic about dev costs for Scarlett and PS5.

John Wick Hex Turns Gun-Fu Into a Strategy Game Next Month

Write down the launch date, then hide all your pencils.

More News

Batman's Lego and Arkham Trilogies Are Free for One Week—No Will Arnett or Origins Though

Gotham's grittiest and goofiest are free for a limited time on Epic Games Store.

How Queen Latifah Became a Last-Minute Addition to Sayonara Wild Hearts

Developer Simogo tells us how one off-handed suggestion landed them a major celeb.

Warframe Developer Responds to Recent Wave of Negative Reviews on Steam

Several issues with the Chinese Warframe community brought on a torrent of negativity.

Shenmue 3 Was a Much Simpler Game Before Deep Silver Agreed to Publish It

In the Beginning, there was only story and quick time events.

More on PlayStation

Why Porting the 16-Bit NBA Jam to PlayStation Was Such a Major Trial Back in 1995

An excerpt from the new book Arcade Perfect, following a programmer's daunting task with NBA Jam T.E.

Final Fantasy 8 Was Always Good

Reexamining one of the most divisive games in the series on its 20th anniversary.

Downhill Jam: The Game Industry Reflects on 20 Years of Tony Hawk's Pro Skater

Tony Hawk's Pro Skater turns 20 in September, so we spoke to people across the industry who remember the series fondly.

The Uncharted Movie Loses Director Number Five

We're getting close to more directors than Uncharted games.

The Beauty of Chrono Cross in HD Reminds Us We're Overdue for a Remaster

A remaster needs to give us the option to drop-kick Poshul into the sea, though.