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Why is The Disney Afternoon Collection so good? Because one of the devs helped pirate it as a kid

Thank your local pirate

Frank Cifaldi on Twitter
Charlie Hall is Polygon’s tabletop editor. In 10-plus years as a journalist & photographer, he has covered simulation, strategy, and spacefaring games, as well as public policy.

Frank Cifaldi, head of restoration at developer Digital Eclipse, had a hand in restoring six classic Capcom games for The Disney Afternoon Collection. Today on Twitter, he let fly with a few choice tidbits from the game’s development process, including a whopper of an admission: Some of the behind-the-scenes extras exist in part because he helped to pirate them as a kid.

Cifaldi has advocated many times in favor of emulation, the art and science of getting old games to run on new systems. In a talk at the Game Developers Conference in 2016 he laid it out pretty plainly: Games are being lost at an alarming rate, and the people trying to save them are being unfairly persecuted.

“Is anyone making sure that video games aren’t doing the same stupid shit that film did to make their heritage disappear?” Cifaldi asked a room packed with developers in San Francisco. “There were people doing this. We didn’t call them archivists. We didn’t call them digital archeologists or anything. We called them software pirates."

And now that Capcom wants to cash in on the nostalgia of classic franchises like Chip 'n Dale Rescue Rangers, Darkwing Duck, DuckTales, and TaleSpin they have to call in the team at Digital Eclipse to make it happen. Cifaldi and his team were instrumental in gathering up all the loose ends to make a complete picture of these old games. Of course Cifaldi knew where those secrets were buried, because he was the one who helped put them on the internet for safe keeping.

So if you do decide to pick up a copy of The Disney Afternoon Collection, out today on Windows PC, PlayStation 4 and Xbox One, be sure to thank pirates like the young Frank Cifaldi. The product wouldn’t be the same without them.

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