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Nintendo 64 & 64DD

Space Jelly [N64 - Cancelled]

Space Jelly, also known as Moon Jelly (and originally called “A Fist Full of Credits”), is a cancelled game that was in development for the Nintendo 64 by Software Creations. The game’s world and settings were created by the Pickford Brothers as an original game concept, with concept arts by Steve Hanson. Initially Space Jelly / Moon Jelly wasn’t really a platform-specific game, it was more about designing a main character, their world, backstory and art style, with the intention of creating a franchise which would lead to a series of games. Ste and John Pickford put together a reference book of characters, art, locations, while Richard Kay (Software Creations managing director) was trying to sell the concept to various publishers, before any actual game development began.

In 1995/1996 the Pickford Brothers left Software Creations and were no longer involved in Space Jelly, but Software Creations continued to work on the game, with Steve Hanson taking over as game designer. With only some concept arts and a design doc, it seems that Software Creations was not able to find a publisher for Space Jelly yet. In 1995 Nintendo of America announced that Software Creations entered in their “Dream Team” and as SC’s knowledge of the N64 hardware became more and more deep (SC also created the sound tools for the N64), they started to work on a Nintendo 64 prototype using the Space Jelly concept, with 3D models done by Deborah Graham.  In the gallery below you can see one Space Jelly character, Johnny Forbidden, modeled by Francis O’Brien in his spare time inbetween other Software Creations projects.

Space Jelly became a self-funded Nintendo 64 project, a 3D platformer / action game, with ingame graphics tailored to the strengths / weaknesses of the N64 hardware. As we can read from the comments by journalists that saw a video of Space Jelly when Software Creations was showing it at gaming expos, the graphics were great, like a colorful Tim Burton game, with animations done by ex Cosgrove Hall staff.

Sadly Space Jelly was later cancelled, along with many others Software Creations projects for the N64, as Forever Dragonz, Dead Ahead, Blade & Barrel and Creator. Even with various teams full of talented people, probably Software Creations at that time had too many original prototypes in development and they had to cut some of them to switch resources to those project that had more chances to be profitable. In the end, the only games developed by Software Creations that were released on the Nintendo 64 were Carmageddon, FIFA 99, Hexen, World Cup 98 and a couple of Wayne Gretzky’s 3D Hockey: all their more interesting and original games were never released.

Thanks to Francis O’Brien and Ste Pickford for their contributions! Thanks to Celine for some of the scans!

Images:

Contra Spirits 64 [N64 - Cancelled]

Contra Spirits 64 is a cancelled shooter / action game in the contra series that was in development by Konami Computer Entertainment Osaka for the Nintendo 64. There are just a few info about this unreleased project as Konami never shown any official screenshot or concept art, but the title was in many list of games to be released for the N64 and the hopes went up for many Nintendo gamers that wanted a new and fun game for their 64bit console. Unfortunatly it seems that as the Nintendo 64 sold poorly in Japan, Konami decided to stop the development of the project and disbanded its team.

As we can read on IGN64:

Contra was planned, but the original team was disbanded and all team members now work on different projects,” said a company spokesperson. [Contra] has pretty much been shelved. [...] There is concern over the poor N64 console sales in Japan [...]

Contra 64 would have been a sidescrolling 3D game, with some sessions in which the camera would have switched angles or move behind the characters, possible for boss battles. There are some rumors that say that the Contra Spirits 64 concept was resurrected and became Contra: Shattered Soldier for PS2, but as Contra N64 was in development in 1998 and Contra PS2 was announced and released in 2002, it’s hard to say if the 2 project have anything in common.

Below you can see some scans from old magazines that wrote about Contra Spirits 64 (if you have Next Generation Issue 29, Volume 3 May 1997 and can make a bigger scan of their N64 article, please let us know!).

Thanks to Celine and Contrapedia for the contributions!

Images:

Gex 3 [Beta - PSX N64]

Gex 3: Deep Cover Gecko is a 3D platform game that was developed by Crystal Dynamics and Gratuitous Games for the original Playstation and Nintendo 64. Steve noticed a lot of beta differences from the various Gex 3 demos that were released before the final game.

First up, a video featuring the level “Clueless In Seattle” that is in volume 4 in a series of Eidos demo discs (it seems that this demo also appears in a greatest hits version of Tomb Raider II).

There are noticeable differences here compared to the level that is in the game’s retail release:

In the retail version, bears are enemies that can be found in the hedgemaze of this level. In this demo, the bears are absent there and only appear as these statues that can hurt you if you jump into them. These statues are also present in the retail version, but will not harm you if you jump into them. Also, there is an instance in the retail version where a small scene occurs in which the statue bears – for a lack of a better term – come to life as enemies. In this demo, this scene never occurs and the statue bears never come to life: 

Monster Dunk [Cancelled - N64]

Monster Dunk is a cancelled arcade basketball game that was in development by Mindscape Inc for the Nintendo 64, as a part of Nintendo’s “dream team” of developers that were working on titles for their “Project Reality”. It seems that the game was announced at E3 1995 but the developers never shared any official screenshot, even if the project could have been at least in a concept / prototype form, maybe if we are lucky some images could resurface some day.

In the original press release we can read:

The game takes a unique and humorous twist on the basketball game genre, featuring famous monsters playing two-on-two basketball. “Monster Dunk” will take advantage of Nintendo Ultra 64′s unique capabilities, such as providing players with dozens of stunning special-effects moves (for example, one character becoming a cloud of smoke, morphing into a bat, flying above the basket and dropping the ball through), creating dozens of random court hazards (hands periodically reaching up from the floor and grabbing players’ legs), and including humorous game- and season-ending winning team sequences (the winning team throwing the losing team out of the stadium).

In 1996 Mindscape was in huge economic problems, with expected loss of 46 millions GBP following a loss of 6.9 millions GBP in 1995, and they decided to stop the development of Monster Dunk for the N64.

Thanks to Celine for the second scan!

Images:

monster dunk n64

Monster Dunk announced for the nintendo 64 (scan from Nintendo Power 74, July 1995)

monster dunk by mindscape for the nintendo 64

Monster Dunk by mindscape for the Nintendo 64

Video from E3 1995 (no footage of Monster Dunk sadly):

 
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