Catacombs is a cancelled FPS that was being developed by Cavia for Square-Enix in 2010. The game was never officially announced and the project was shelved in 2011, but in 2012 Siliconera leaked some screenshots and informations about it.
Catacombs was basically an interesting crossover between a RPG with random-generated dungeons and a team-based shooter. The player could upgrade the guns that he found in the ruins but also use magic. Four different characters were available, each one with its own story, which according to the narrative director Brandon Sheffield had an important role in the game:
Since we’re all inherently different and our mind is the only thing we can truly know, then our reality exists only inside of our brains. So each stage was about these people destroying their own fears and doubts and also their identity. They were supposed to be overcoming their sense of self, and how that related to their identity as an American, but also their otherness.”
EDGE in 2012 played an early build of the game that run on a heavily modifed version of Mindjack engine.
As we can read on Wikipedia, Final Fantasy Type-0 is an RPG published by Square Enix for the PSP and developed by the company’s 1st Production Department. The game was originally announced at E3 2006 with the name Final Fantasy Agito XIII for mobile cellphones, but even though the game no longer has “XIII” in its title, the final PSP game still uses the Fabula Nova Crystallis mythology.
Thanks to Dreams and anony we can archive some beta screens, videos and info from Final Fantasy Type 0: there are 14 playable characters in the final game, with a couple of non playable guests.
The pic above show kurasame, type 0 teacher as playable character. It seems that the guest plus one more were supposed to be playable in the beta version, even supposed to have their own dogde animations, but most likely cut for space problems, as type 0 is already packed with a lot of content. So, through hacking, it shows kurasame, Joker, Gilgamesh (not playable only has the name).
In the gamefaqs forum we can read that there is a FF Type 0 Artbook that has some unused content in it. Does anyone have some scans of the beta / unused content? Plus somewhere in the web there is art/model of phoenix as an unused summon (but we can’t find it).
In the released game, modders have found 3D models for summons that don’t appear in the game: Pandemona, Phoenix and Typhoon. There is also a hidden unused video which has live actors doing motion capture for the game. It’s not used in the game, and it has a blue overlay with three kanji, the first meaning “temporary”. It also has mono audio, unlike all other videos in the game.
If you notice more differences in the old beta screens and videos below, please let us know! Thanks to Dreams and anony for the contribution :)
True Crime: Hong Kong is a sandbox action game that was in development by United Front Games and was to be published by Activision. It was going to be the third installment and a reboot of the True Crime series, but in February 2011, Activision announced that the game had ceased production along with their Guitar Hero franchise. The game was declared cancelled for being “just not good enough” to compete in the open world genre. Activision didn’t expect it to generate enough profit and stopped development. “True Crime: Hong Kong was playable from start to finish and ‘virtually complete’ in terms of content before Activision canned it,” the developer behind the game told CVG. [Info from Wikipedia] In February 2012, it was announced that True Crime: Hong Kong will go trough some changes and it will be released by Square Enix as a different game, named “Sleeping Dogs”.
Highlander is a canceled third-person action game developed by Widescreen Games which was going to be published by Square-Enix for Xbox 360, Playstation 3 and PC. The player had to control Owen MacLeod, a predecessor of the more famous immortals Connor MacLeod and Duncan MacLeod of the tv series, through an epic adventure that began in the Colosseum of ancient Rome and which was supposed to be concluded in the New York of our time.
Much like Ninja Gaiden, the main character could use many kinds of weapons and spells. The possibility of choosing between various fighting styles and the division of the game in eighteen missions suggests that Devil may cry was an inspiration too. Even if the game was originally announced in 2005, the first trailer of Highlander, embedded below, was shown to the public only in 2008. In 2010, Square Enix officially confirmed the cancellation of this project.
Gun Loco is a cancelled third person shooter / action game that was in development by Square Enix for the Xbox 360. Players would have took the role of a series of crazy criminals in a prison-planet with no guards, in which they had to fight against each other to survive and take the power. In march 2011 Square Enix announced the cancellation of the project, but without an official reason for the decision. We can speculate that it was because of quality or economic problems.
As we can read on Wikipedia, Kingdom Hearts: Birth by Sleep is an action RPG developed and published by Square Enix for the PSP. The game was released in Japan on January 2010 and it is planned to be released in North America and in Europe on September 2010. Development of the game began in June 2005 and was originally intended for the PlayStation 2 with Sora as the prototype protagonist of the game.
Birth by Sleep was developed by Square Enix’s fifth Product Development Division, based in Osaka, the same team behind Kingdom Hearts Re: Chain of Memories, and uses the same graphical engine as Crisis Core: Final Fantasy VII.
The plot was completed for the PS2, but development was halted six months after it began due to development of Re: Chain of Memories. The development team changed the platform to the PlayStation Portable so as to make use of the PSP’s functions such as co-operative and competitive multiplayer gameplay.
In August 2009, new Famitsu scans revealed a revamped User Interface (having been revamped twice before) as well as new worlds after a lack of news for close to a year.
As posted by Granville in our U64 Forum, hidden in the final game’s code there is a very cool secret world that was cut, but that you can still access via hacking! It’s a world based off the classic movie The Jungle Book.
The first area is in the Monkey Temple of the orangutan Louie. The other areas are your basic jungle type areas, although they are all clearly incomplete and lack a lot of their texture work. I’d say the Temple is the only complete area. The only way to access these areas is via hacks, they were never used in the main game and no images were shown in prerelease photos. It’s a pretty interesting find actually. A hack hasn’t been released yet, but i imagine it will soon.
On Youtube we can also see a video of Keytotruth, who managed to hack his/her way into the data and play around in it.
Final Fantasy XIII is an RPG developed and published by Square Enix for the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 in 2009 / 2010. First appearing at E3 2006, FF13 runs on the Crystal Tools engine, a seventh generation multiplatform game engine built by Square Enix for its games.
Toriyama, director of FFXIII, commented a bit on the differences between the PS2 and PS3 versions of the game. FFXIII was originally in development for the PS2, but underwent a platform change following May 2005.
There is apparently very little shared between the two versions. The graphical elements that were prepared for the PS2 couldn’t be used, explained Toriyama. “The areas that we kept are the Fabula Nova Crystallis world, the pieces of the mythology related to FFXIII, and the character details. On the other hand, the battle and gameplay systems were restarted from scratch when production moved to the PS3.”
The development staff also underwent some changes. “During development for the PS2, the staff was centered on the Final Fantasy X-2 team. However, in an effort to work with the new PS3 hardware, many new staff members are now taking part.”
As reported by Siliconera and Kotaku, according to art director Isamu Kamikokuryou, many additional areas that were functioning in an unreleased build, from Team Nora’s secret base, to Lightning’s home and even a zoo, were cut from the game owing to concerns about the game’s length and volume. Kamikokuryou additionally remarked that the volume of content cut was, in itself, enough to make another game. [Info from Wikipedia]
Zero7 noticed some beta differences in the early screens released (preserved in the gallery below):
Mock up HUD, completely changed in the final
Fang at one hour in? You cannot meet her so soon in the final
Snow had a slightly different coat
The black-haired girl has a different outfit
If you can notice more differences in the early screens and videos, please let us know!
Thanks to Robert Seddon, Zero7 and Anonymous for the contributions!
Ambrosia Odyssey is a cancelled Action RPG with online multiplayer that was in development for the Playstation 2 in 2003 by Rocket Studio with help from KAI Graphics (for CG movies) and Supersweep (for music), meant to be published by Square Enix. The game had a multiple branching storyline in offline mode, in which you were able to create towns and foster their development to follow different plots, then connect online to share your game world with other players and visit their own towns and stories.
A video of the game was shown at the Tokyo Game Show 2003, but it only has some characters creation footage, blurred combats and a pre-rendered FMV (thanks a lot to CRC for preserving this video!).
An online beta testing was planned for spring 2004 (?), but we are not sure if it really happened before the cancellation. Ambrosia Odyssey was soon removed from Square Enix release list, maybe because of the popularity of their other online game, Final Fantasy XI.
GRIN was a video game developer based in Stockholm, Sweden. Founded by Bo and Ulf Andersson in 1997, that developed many popular games, as Ballistics, Bionic Commando 2009 and a couple of Tom Clancy´s Ghost Recon titles. Sadly on the 12 August 2009 GRIN filed for bankruptcy and the studio had to close down. Before the closure of the company, the developer was working on a mysterious Final Fantasy spinoff title for Square-Enix, that was known with the code-name “Fortress”. [Info From Wikipedia]
As we can read in GRIN’s official website:
It is with a heavy heart we announce today that GRIN has been forced to close its doors. This as too many publishers have been delaying their payments, causing an unbearable cashflow situation. [...] Looking back at twelve years of games, titles such as Ballistics, Bandits, GRAW 1 & 2, Bionic Commando Rearmed, Wanted: Weapons of Fate, Terminator: Salvation, Bionic Commando and our unreleased masterpiece that we weren’t allowed to finish; it has been a great ride.
Some early assets and concept arts for this unreleased project were found thanks to Hey Hey and Kotaku, so at least some documents of its existence can still be preserved. There are not many info on the story of this Final Fantasy spinoff or its gameplay, but it seems that it could have been an action RPG related to Final Fantasy XII. It’s currently unknown if Square-Enix could try to fund the project with a different developer, but as they have written on Destructoid, it seems that S-E still have few millions of debts with GRIN for their work.
Thanks to Dominarul Cel Elf, Brad and Robert Seddon for the contributions!
In the 90s the SNES produced some of gaming’s finest RPGS. Great classics such as Final Fantasy 4 and 6 kept American audiences entertained, while Japanese gamers had greats such as the original Star Ocean. Entertaining both audiences was the timeless classic Chrono Trigger. Now years later the rise of the internet has put fans together and given those interested the ability to search for in game beta. Notable finds have been made, such as the music from the fabled “Singing Mountain,” and the demo rom. Now thanks to gamers/fans/translators Glitterberri and Gekkahiro we can read in good ole English a translation of this video that has been floating around the web for some time now.
Play the vid and you can follow along with the following translation.