shoot ‘em up

Hammer Away [Arcade – Cancelled]

Hammer Away is an unreleased arcade shoot ‘em up game for the System-18, which was being developed by Santos in partnership with SEGA in around 1990-1991. It was intended to be launched in ’91, but ultimately never made its way to arcades for unknown reasons.

An off-screen shot of Hammer Away's title scren

The title screen of Hammer Away.

The title was a military-themed vertical scrolling shoot ‘em up in which the player controls a helicopter, facing off against all manner of hostile army forces, like stationary turrets, tanks, battleships and other choppers. There were two modes of attack available: rapid-fire machine guns for ground targets and missiles for air ones, in addition to a powerful bomb attack which instantly wipes the screen of all enemies.

It featured music that is believed to have been created by former Santos composer, Hirofumi Murasaki, who also worked on other SEGA project such as Clockwork Knight and Shinobi III.

Despite never being released officially, a prototype version of the game was recovered in Portugal by three savvy arcade fanatics towards the start of November 2014.

A month later, the ROM was extracted and made readily available online. There is a total of five different levels in the build found, including environments such as a railroad and an oceanic section. There is a checkpoint system in place and in the event that you lose a life, you are sent back to one of these; as opposed to resetting the game. Once the five stages are over, the game restarts itself from the opening stage.

Images (Courtesy of Sudden Desu):

Wolfgang [Playstation – Cancelled?]

Wolfang is an action game / side scrolling shoot ‘em up that was in development by Seibu Kaihatsu (?) for the original Playstation and it would have been published by Bird (?). There are not many info about this, maybe the game was released under a different name and a by different publisher? (even if it’s not listed in Sibu Kaihatsu’s games list) If you recognize this game or have some more info, please let us know!

Scan from PlayMag issue 2.

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Philosoma (Ora-194) [PSX – Target Render]

Philosoma is scrolling shoot ‘em up developed by G Artist and published by Sony for the PlayStation in 1995 / 1996. The story of the game is about an alien planet named Planet 220 (know as ORA-194-220 in the Japanese version) that is attacked by an unknown force and requires assistance. Celine found an old article about Philosoma in Console Plus magazine #34, in which they shown a target render from the early development of the game.

Target Render:

Final game:

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Reactor [SNES – Cancelled]

Reactor is a cancelled project in development by Argonaut Software for SNES in 1991. Contrary to other 3D productions Argonaut got famous for on SNES and GB (think Star Fox on SNES or Hard Drivin on Game Boy)  this game was an isometric 2D shooter with a futuristic setting. Reactor was never released for unknown reason however Howard Phillips found a prototype of it in his archive and shared some photos with the community.

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