Robotech is an old sci-fi anime mash-up created by Carl Macek after fusing 3 different animes (4 if you count the movie) originally released in Japan twenty-two years ago. It was a huge success at home, and it was successfully exported around the world. More interesting for our site, it is probably the anime mash-up with more unseen material, with various series originally planned and never released. Maybe it was just destiny, but Gametek, a software house at the time well-known for her console versions of many famous american shows, bought the rights of the anime in 1994 and began working on a title for the Nintendo 64.
This title was officially announced in may 1995 as Robotech Academy, and it was essentially a battle simulator for the cadets of Robotech. However, at the beginning of 1996, Doug Lanford, a new entry of the small development team and a big fan of the series, dropped this concept, probably intended to be just a cheap rendition of the anime, and created a much more ambitious game that was going to be the first real space combat simulator for console: Robotech Crystal Dreams. First of all, it would have featured the entire solar system, in order to create a big environment for the free structure of the game. In fact, even if it was mission based, the player could directly affect the events of the game, simply choosing for example to avoid the current objective and answer a call for help on another planet, without the need to complete the previous mission.
Also, it would have included many of the weapons, characters,combat mecha, enemies, places of the series, as well as a complex story related to the events narrated in Robotech. Unfortunately, several issues slowed down the developement of the game, like the technical limitations of the Nintendo 64, the small financial resources of the developer, the closing down of Philips Media, the publisher of the game, and it was finally cancelled, even if finished at 90%, in 1998, after the complete bankrupt of Gametek. Eventually an early demo was released on internet, but it was a complete letdown, showing a game largely incomplete,bug-filled, slow-paced, and without the most interesting features announced by the developers.
U64 is an archive with articles, screens and videos for cancelled, beta & unseen videogames. Every change & cut creates a different gaming experience: we would like to save some documents about this evolution for curiosity, historic and artistic preservation.