Solar Opposites and Rick and Morty co-creator Justin Roiland is no stranger to making video games. As the voice of both Morty and Rick, he was involved with the Rick and Morty: Virtual Rick-ality VR game, and at his own development studio Squanch Games, he made Trovers Saves the Universe.
In an interview with Inverse ahead of the Solar Opposites Season 2 premiere in late March, Roiland and fellow Solar Opposites co-creator Mike McMahan talked about their ideas for a video game based on the Hulu series — and how one game in particular inspired one of the show’s funniest ongoing plot threads.
Throughout both Solar Opposites seasons, Yumyulack shrinks various people and dumps them into an interconnected series of terrariums in the wall of his and Jesse’s shared bedroom. They call it “The Wall.”
“Part of the inspiration for The Wall was these games like Tiny Tower or more specifically Fallout Shelter,” McMahan tells Inverse. “We were both loving these kinds of ant farm games and wanted to do something that felt like that in the show.”
Visually, The Wall is an almost identical riff on Fallout Shelter, a smaller-scale spinoff game from beloved open-world RPGs like Fallout 4 and Fallout: New Vegas. Except rather than control a single character in the nuclear wastelands of post-apocalyptic America, you’re an Overseer controlling every shelter resident, building new rooms, assigning jobs, and managing every aspect of everyday life for the poor denizens.
“I could see a Wall-style huge narrative,” McMahon says when asked about the potential of a Solar Opposites video game. Like a suitably meta cycle, Fallout Shelter inspired The Wall, which could in theory inspire a game just like it. Perhaps you’d control Yumyulack as he dropped more people inside and made expansions to the terrariums? Like some sort of godly figure, he’d command people to carry out their lives inside The Wall.
Roiland has another twist on the concept: What if it were more like Metroid?
“Could you imagine?” Roiland says. “It’s a Metroidvania! You could make a good Metroidvania game. It would be really cool if whenever you paused to go to the map, you just pull the camera out and you see the whole Wall.”
“Metroidvania” refers to the genre at the collision of Metroid and Castlevania games, where you control a single character in a large, interconnected world. Access to different areas, however, is blocked due to different obstacles that require the player to unlock some kind of upgrade to proceed. Maybe you could design your own character to venture into The Wall, gradually unlocking new areas with the ultimate aim of escaping?
It would be the perfect fit for the post-apocalyptic society that’s developed inside The Wall. An entire episode in Season 1 focuses on this society and a rebellion against the ruthless dictator. The ongoing plotline in Season 2 for The Wall follows a new character trying to track down a serial killer. Either could conceivably work in a Metroidvania game, but there’s endless potential.
Roiland says that Squanch Games is currently “heads down on original IP,” but he doesn’t rule out a Solar Opposites game at some point in the future.
Solar Opposites Season 2 is now available to stream on Hulu.