Oriental Blue [Nintendo 64DD – Cancelled]

oriental blue nintendo 64dd cancelled

Oriental Blue is a cancelled RPG in the Far East of Eden (Tengai Makyō) series that was in development by Hudson and Red Entertainment for Nintendo 64DD in late ‘90. The Tengai Makyo series was started in 1989 with the help of Oji Hiroi, the same author behind the Sakura Wars series, and even if it was one of the most popular RPG series in Japan in the ’90, only one chapter of Far East of Eden was officially translated in english. Oriental Blue 64DD was announced by Hudson in japanese gaming magazines (?) as one of the few RPGs planned for Nintendo’s ill-fated Disk Drive, but as the add-on was postponed many times and then discontinued soon after its release in Japan, the game was quietly canned and Hudson never shown any official images from the game. A few years later, in an interview published on the japanese Nintendo website, Kaori Shirozu (director and designer at Hudson at the time) explained that the project was resurrected and re-developed as a GBA game and finally released in 2003 as Oriental Blue: Ao no Tengai. The Nintendo 64DD version of Oriental Blue would have probably looked like the GameCube remake of Tengai Makyō II: Manjimaru (also released in 2003), with 3D low-poly environments and sprite based characters.

Oriental Blue: Ao no Tengai on GBA:

oriental blue gba

Tengai Makyo II: Manjimaru on GameCube:

Tengai Makyo 2 Manjimaru GameCube


Labyrinth / Legend [Playstation – Tech Demo]

In the first months of 1994, before launching its first console, Sony created a few tech demos in order to show to the public the hardware capabilities of the new Playstation: F-1, T-Rex, Fighting Demo  and so on. In june 1994, Edge published an article about a video with some PSX tech demos that recently aired on japanese Tv Asahi’s program Tonight. One of them, a yet unnamed  platform game, eventually became Jumping Flash, but the most interesting of them was “Legend“, a first person dungeon crawler (no relation with King’s Field) that remained just a tech demo / concept:

legend labyrinth 1994 psx
In this tech demo video the player moved around the dungeon‘s fully textured, highly detailed corridors and encounter a massive dragon. Another screenshot of Legend (now called “Labyrinth“), appeared in august 1994 on Edge 11:

labyrinth tech demo psx
We don’t know which team developed the Labyrinth / Legend concept for Sony or if the latter was ever planned to become a full game. If you have more info about this tech demo, please let us know in the comments below! 

Skies of Arcadia 2 [Cancelled – GameCube, PS2]

The original Skies of Arcadia was released in late 2000 / early 2001 on Dreamcast, and soon became a cult hit among JRPG fans. The game was developed by Overworks, a SEGA team composed of numerous legendary developers and designers, including Rieko Kodama, Shuntarō Tanaka, and Noriyoshi Ohba; who worked on past RPGs, such as the Phantasy Star series, Magic Knight Rayearth, Wonder Boy in Monster Land and the Sakura Taisen series. Hype was high and the final game was really one of the best japanese RPGs released in the ‘00, but unfortunately, it seems that Skies of Arcadia did not sell enough on Dreamcast (does anyone have official sales numbers?), maybe because of the low user base and the console early departure in early 2001.

skies of arcadia 2 cancelled

Sega was still confident about their sky-pirates project: they developed an enchanted PS2 and GameCube ports with added featured, to try to sell more copies and earn back some of the money spent to create the game. The GameCube version was released in December 2002 under the title “Skies of Arcadia Legends” but PS2 port was canned for some reasons, throwing away one of the biggest user base for RPG fanatics. As most Nintendo console, GameCube was not an easy console to sell third parties titles and with a lower percentage of people interested in turn based role playing games, Skies of Arcadia Legend bombed even harder than the Dreamcast version.

Before losing all faith in the game, Sega and Overworks were planning a sequel to Skies of Arcadia, as confirmed by interviews with developers from the original team. In June 2001 IGN asked to Noriyoshi Ohba about Skies of Arcadia 2 and he replied:

We’re considering a sequel to “Eternal Arcadia.” Regarding which platform, we’re still evaluating it.

In September 2002, before Skies of Arcadia Legends was published, Rieko Kodama told to Gamespy that work on the sequel was not yet started, but they really wanted to do it in the future:

I would love to make a sequel, but were really not working on it yet. […] We don’t know what platform we would make a sequel for, but GameCube has priority since Legend is coming out for it.

In march 2004 Ohba announced that they started some planning on the second episode:

The Skies of Arcadia sequel is in the planning stages at the moment.

In late 2004, Rieko talked again about Skies of Arcadia 2 in an interview with german Man!ac magazine (issue 1 / 2005) in which she said:

MAN!AC: There were rumors about a sequel (to Skies of Arcadia) or a “Gaiden” episode. Can you tell us something about that

Rieko : We had plans, but the other team members are currently working on other projects such as “Sakura Taisen” – this means SoA2 is currently on hold. Anyway I would be very glad about a new episode with the sky pirates.

In 2003 Overworks was absorbed into SEGA WOW and only a year later the team was split again because of another Sega company restructure: people that worked on Skies of Arcadia were scattered around on different games. As far as we were able to gather, not much was ever did for Skies of Arcadia 2 but at least a few ideas and concepts seem to have been brainstormed by the team, still hoping to release a sequel on GameCube or Playstation 2. In 2006 Nintendo and Sony released their new consoles (Wii, PS3) and whichever plans Sega had for a new Skies RPG on GameCube or PS2 will never see the light of day.

skies of arcadia valkyrie

Even without a sequel, love for Skies of Arcadia is still strong at Sega. Vyse, Aika and Fina, three of the main SoA protagonists, were added as bonus characters in Valkyria Chronicles, released in 2008 on PS3. Vyse is also a playable character in Sonic & All-Stars Racing Transformed, released in 2012 for different consoles / PC and one of the game’s tracks, Rogues’ Landing, is based on Skies of Arcadia’s world.

Thanks to Mario for the contribution! 

Brimstone [SNES – Cancelled]

Brimstone is a SNES JRPG that Teknocrest, an american software house, was working on in 1994 on Taito’s behalf. The same programmer that developed Farstar and the genesis / megadrive version of Lufia, both of which were also cancelled, wrote about this lost game in a opa-ages thread:

Yeah it was basically another RPG that Teknocrest “promised” to make for Taito.

Funny thing is they had all this artwork, but no programmer. So I was hired to make a SNES “demo” of Brimstone.

Anyways I made something up in about a week, and Taito greenlighted the project.

But about a month later they decided to put Brimstone on hold and put priority on porting Lufia….and it all went downhill from there…

Fortunately, some of the aforementioned artworks were preserved by the project’s lead artist, Arnold Ayala. We can see them in the gallery below or in his portfolio.



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