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action game

Gutherman Project: Toy Commander [Beta - Dreamcast]

Gutherman Project was the working title of Toy Commander, a Dreamcast action game developed by No Clichè and published by Sega, released in North America on September 1999.

Several magazines and online publications mentioned Gutherman as one of the launching titles (along with Agartha) for the Dreamcast. According to futuregamez.net:

No Cliché have released some details about 2 Dreamcast projects on their site. Firstly, they have an action game called Gutherman where “aim of the game is to drive vehicles through several breathtaking missions“. The second title is an horror-adventure game called Agartha which apparently will use “a new innovative character control”. Both titles will be launched with the Dreamcast in August.

The magazine Computer And Videogames (issue 212) mentioned (with the title Gutherman: Toy Commander) “some kind of Mario-style kids platforming game“:

gutherman-cvg212

Through the archived version of No Clichè’s website (everything is in the News archive 98/99) we can have a glimpse of the development process of Toy Commander:

Mercredi 30 Septembre 1998:
La photo mystere du projet Gutherman 
Lundi 1 Mars :
Les beta-tests du Projet Gutherman ont commencé
Mardi 27 Avril :
Le “Projet Gutherman” sortira sous le nom de “TOY COMMANDER”
Mercredi 12 Mai :
“TOY COMMANDER” sera présent à l’Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3) sur le stand de Sega.

If you know where we can find the mysterious screenshot of Project Gutherman drop us an e-mail!.

Magazine Scans:

Computer_and_Video_Games_Issue_211_1999-06_EMAP_Images_GB_0068 Computer_and_Video_Games_Issue_212_1999-07_EMAP_Images_GB_0075 

The Wonderful 101 [Beta / Concept - Wii U]

The Wonderful 101 is an action game for the Wii U, developed by Platinum Games in partnership with Nintendo and was directed by famed Japanese designer, Hideki Kamiya, of Okami and Devil May Cry notoriety. It was released in 2013 and has since developed a small cult following among Wii U owners.

The game follows the adventures of The Wonderful 100, a team of superheroes, as they fight to defend Earth from an alien menace known as the ‘GEATHJERK Federation‘. Despite being released almost a full year into the Wii U’s lifespan, the project had in fact been in the works for a few years prior. As revealed by the staff who worked on it over the course of its development, its direction underwent some considerable shifts along the way.

Video Game All Stars, Unite Up!

As disclosed by Hideki Kamiya at Gamescom 2013, The Wonderful 101 began life as an entirely different entity. Kamiya’s involvement with the project started a few years earlier, when the President and CEO of Platinum Games, Tatsuya Minami, tasked him with creating an action game with a cast of some of gaming’s biggest icons. It was set to feature Nintendo characters primarily, as well as guest stars from third party companies.

The project in this form dates all the way back to 2011 and was planned to be developed not on Wii U, but on the Wii.

At that time it wasn’t necessarily based on any specific platform. But when we took it to Nintendo, the discussions went from there, and we decided to put it on Wii.” – Hideki Kamiya, on the first iteration of The Wonderful 101 project.

Although it has been never stated which characters from companies outside of Nintendo were planned, Kamiya did elaborate on the main cast of this original vision at 2013’s Penny Arcade Expo. During an interview with Siliconera, he mentioned that Link and Mario were among those featured. This suggests that the two might have been the basis for the ‘Unite Hand’ and ‘Unite Sword’ moves, based upon the traits of either character.

Initially, the idea was proposed by Mr. Minami, to create a game featuring Nintendo characters or other popular characters together in one game. With the idea of putting characters like Mario and Link into the same game, you end up with a situation where fans of Mario are forced to play as Link.

Moreover, during Platinum’s panel at the event, Kamiya described one piece of concept art for the project, involving other Mario characters. He gave the example of a portion where Peach, Luigi and Yoshi attempt to grab hold of one another to form a bridge, with Mario hopping across the top of them, allowing him to traverse a large bottomless pit. One artist, Kibbles, has put together a sketch for us to illustrate what this roughly might have looked like.

Wonderful 101 mario bridge concept

It appears that this idea might well have been the straw that broke the camel’s back. The director went on to to say that the people at Nintendo viewing this concept in particular was the point at which they decided the project could not be realised

Conscripts [N64 - Cancelled]

Conscripts is a cancelled game that was in development by Software Creations for the Nintendo 64. There are not much info on the project and no images are left, as it was canned in early development, but we know that it was going to be an action / strategy game in which we had to guide to safety some soldiers, with helicopters and tanks, through various battlefield.

The idea was to have many little soldier characters on the screens (swarms of them) in a huge world, but they never got as far as creating the main 3D landscape. The gameplay could have been like a 3D Lemmings, but with a war theme. The Conscripts 64 team was composed by Marc Dawson (director), Weston Samuels (concept arts), Allan Findlay (3D engine) and Francis O’Brien (3D Artist).

Conscripts by Software Creations for N64

The game was cancelled along with many others Software Creations projects for the N64, as Space JellyForever Dragonz, Dead Ahead, Blade & Barrel and Creator, as they moved their resources onto other projects that were paid for by publishers. Even with various teams full of talented developers, 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 (like Conscripts 64) were never released.

Thanks to Francis and Allan for their help in preserving some info about this lost game! 

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:

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