In 1992, Midway developed an arcade scrolling beat-em-up based on the popular British comic series, Judge Dredd. The game ran on the same hardware as Mortal Kombat II, and utilised a similar digitised graphical style. The game reached a near-complete state, with some odd glitches here and there, but with 3 stages finished, and 3 bonus stages after each ‘main’ level. Each stage was different in some way, such as the first being a normal scrolling brawler-style stage, the second being closer to a platform game, and the third being a unique concept, where Dredd has to fight off waves of ‘block warriors’, making sure that the two ever-decreasing bars never reach the bottom- if one of them is emptied, the stage is over and has to be repeated. After the final level is beaten, the game ends with a preview for the next level, apparently featuring the character Judge Death from the comics.
Although relatively innovative in that regard, the game never reached mass-production, most likely because it failed at location test (which could be due to the lack of familiarity with the Judge Dredd license, the high difficulty of the game, or perhaps because of the off-putting control layout, shown in the gallery.) Whatever the reason, the game has been preserved, and is playable in the Multiple Arcade Machine Emulator (MAME.)
Furthermore, there’s an incomplete level hidden in the game.
In the Test Menu (press F2 if you’re running MAME) you can select what level (or “wave” as the game refers to them) you want to start from in the ‘Game Adjustments’ menu. Selecting Wave 27 takes you to an unfinished level that serves as a ‘Boss Rush’- you fight the three boss characters (Fink Angel, Mean Machine, Precious Leglock) one after another.
However, since the stage isn’t finished, completing it leaves Dredd stuck, unable to continue. The images in the gallery show each of the three levels, one of the bonus ‘target practice’ stages, and the preview for the Judge Death stage.
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.