After completing one of the launch titles for the N64 in 1996, Pilotwings (the other being Super Mario 64), Paradigm was tasked with creating three new games: Pilotwings 2, a “racing” game (Which later became Beetle Adventure Racing!), and a more serious flight simulator, which was to be called “Flights of the U.N.” This title was later changed to Harrier 2000, and again to Harrier 2001 due to delays. The game was supposed to be released in 1999, but when it was delayed they “updated” the title to go along with the new release date.
It is unsurprising, with the habit of many unseen Nintendo 64 games, that Pilotwings 2 and Harrier 2001 were canceled. Fortunately we managed to scrounge up some images and information on the latter. The main mode was composed of 20 missions, for which you could choose between a combination of 50 crews, the correct choice being essential to the mission. Paradigm’s objective in creating this game seems not to have been to create a completely realistic simulator with great physics, but rather continue the old tradition à la many arcade games of the time, with cartoon physics and simplified controls. In addition, the player could choose between four different camera modes, a first person view and three other varying views from the exterior of the plane, depending on their taste. The game would have featured nine types of ground-to-air missile, seventeen types of bomb and three types of rocket launcher. The cart size was 64 megabits, and N64 Magazine reported that it would support up to four players.
The story of Harrier holds the same appeal as that of Top Gun with Tom Cruise; the player guides an ex-marine, Jake Cross, on a mission to thwart the terrorist organization The Brotherhood. The Brotherhood had, apparently, nothing better to do than than kill the protagonist’s best friend and attempt to take possession of a new chemical element, Podium, in order to construct the most dangerous bombs ever.
The game had an awesome graphic for its time, but regardless of the potential they still had their fair share of problems. Harrier was initially delayed to late 1999, then 2000 and subsequently canceled permanently, for legal reasons. Video System, the would-be publisher of Harrier, has stopped all financing for the development of Harrier, so Paradigm was ultimately left with no option other than to abandon Harrier altogether.
[Original intro in italian by Yota, english translation by Take_It_Slow]