When Pepper Grinder was first revealed, many a Nintendo fan was quick to liken the game to Drill Dozer, a GBA title from Game Freak and Nintendo. There’s no doubt the two titles share some DNA, but oddly enough, Pepper Grinder’s creator was inspired by a host of other retro titles, including some that you probably wouldn’t guess.

In an interview with Remap Radio, Pepper Grinder designer Riv Hester opened up about the games from his childhood that helped pave the way for Pepper Grinder. There’s no doubt some titles you’d expect in the mix, but there are a few others that might be surprising.

“I wanted the clean lines of Ecco’s movement in a 2D platformer. So yeah, I looked to my favorite platformers growing up and pulled lots of ideas and sensibilities from the big boys of the 90’s. All the Genesis Sonic games, Mario World, and particularly Donkey Kong Country 2. I put countless hours into all of them, playing them over and over again.”

[Pepper Grinder designer Riv Hester]

Pepper Grinder is an action-packed 2D adventure blending traditional platforming with an alternate drilling mode that allows you to dive in and out of the earth like a dolphin swims through water.

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