Agartha [Dreamcast – Cancelled]

Agartha [Dreamcast – Cancelled]


Agartha is a cancelled horror adventure that was planned by the French software house No Cliche (author of titles like Toy Commander) for the Sega Dreamcast. Development began in 2000 and the game promised to have an interesting plot and gameplay:

During the winter of 1929 in a Romanian village that was partially destroyed by a landslide that occurred during a mysterious earthquake, a subterranean city exists called Agartha. This is where evil is being kept prisoner and is desperate to escape. Kirk the human hero will encounter a series of characters from villages, the living dead, fanatics from an evil sect, monsters, demons, solider monks, priests, archangels and the Sentinel who is the ultimate personification of evil. As Kirk you can decide to save as many innocent people as possible or to trigger the arrival of chaos on earth. As Kirk’s morals waver between good and evil, this ambiguity changes the aims of the adventure and the narration of the story.

Agartha’s gameplay was probably going to be similar to Alone in the Dark, D2 and Silent Hill, players had to explore the snowed mountains and villages, resolving puzzles and fighting against monsters / demons that lived in there. The game progress was influenced by the players’ choices, which could have decided whether to help innocent people and seal the evil town, or let them to die and help demons to destroy our planet. An online mode of some sort could have been planned too.

No Cliche’s horror adventure could have been an awesome addition to the Dreamcast’s library, however in 2001, Sega went out of the console business. Sadly No Cliche had to cancel Agartha, close down and laid off most of its staff.

Thanks to Hey Hey for the contribution!



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U64 Staff & Contributors

37 thoughts on “Agartha [Dreamcast – Cancelled]

  1. Forbes Longden

    I’ll bet a large amount of money that this exsists almost complete somewhere, it looks almost done

    1. monokoma

      I think that a playable demo does exist somewhere, but probably there was still a lot of work to do to finish the game. There are some other screenshots that i have to add in this gallery asap

    2. Rhoze

      ???? Looking at those few images (mostly concept facilities) and reading the games ELABORATE description–how do you figure it was close to finished? Even the demo isn’t reflective of the the intricacies described.

  2. NC

    At that time, the story was written and being scrutinized by the team. I would say that 10-15 % of the landscape was completed. We only had one main moving character, a fistful of animated living deads and furnitures.
    The studio bosses (we were Sega ‘internals’) were on a meeting with Sega Europe to increase the production team capacity when they were told that Dreamcast was cancelled and all dev studios were being closed or sold. A brutal ending for the team (based on ‘Alone in the dark’ originators) and therefore for this exciting production.
    And yes, Cursed Moutain looks like it. But we had a better story ;-)

    1. Rhoze

      Trying to get an idea of how far along the game got in development. When you say “at the time” do you mean the time in which the game was shown to the public or when the production was ended?

  3. Forbes Longden

    That’s interesting to hear from someone in the know, I was really looking forward to this coming out as yet again, the Dreamcast had a game that looked well ahead of the curve back then. No Cliche seemed to know the Dreamcast hardware very well even for launch game Toy Commander.

  4. NC

    … To be fair and if you’re interested with details, landscape was pretty much more advanced than I was remembering at first. Indoors and many non playable characters were in progress. Fx system and final character design were probably the least advanced parts, but we had very cool technical solutions on their way. And the music is still haunting me. I spent another ten years in video games after that, and I never met people so engaged into their project after this.

  5. ZombieGadget

    I’m really enjoying the music to this. That’s too bad a release never happened for this. I would’ve picked up a soundtrack if it did make it, the music is really well done.

  6. Champion Olivier

    Wow. This game is sooooo CREEPY! Seriously, I had a nightmare about it. I’m 18 and I didn’t have a nightmare for years! This game, is really, epically, frightening. I wish there were a rom of this somewhere…

  7. Raziel

    I truly loved the video!
    The story sounds so promising and there are many really cool ideas in it.
    I wished, I could play that game…
    Shame, it had been cancelled.
    But awsome, there is one of the creators here: Could you pleeease tell us more :)

  8. Anonymous

    Ho, great, i should comment some of the video shots here:
    – the terrible disease which was hurting romanians, was making them thirsty to death (and forcing them to revival after that). Waterish spots were plagued with sick people willing to propagate disease with their blue saliva.
    – on a technical side, the watermill animation is a streaming flow of 3d animation which allowed the team to have very complex animation but in realtime (we needed avalanches, and massive explosions).
    – fear is the easiest emotion to reproduce, and the Alone team had a lot of tricks in their bag…
    – the very last ‘green’ shot pictures a sick human: he’s a very recognizable avatar of Philippe Vachet, composer of the OST (as he was on Alone in the Dark, Little Big Adventure and a lot of others as well).

  9. Derek

    Ive noticed in the gameplay videos, alot of symbolism and occult refferences in this game, I noticed a loading screen with a picture of the most wicked man in the world Alister Crowley, this might fly over some heads but game developers use alot of symbolism and hidden references to real life concepts. Play through the 1st few silent hill games and tell me you don’t see all the occult references and symbolism alluding to real life practices and rituals, it is a common theme ive noticed in alot of horror games and what do you know, heres another one to add to my list, It may sound like im bashing the game but i’m definately not, I love the fact that there are hidden allusions for us gamers to pick apart and figure out I geuss it just bothers me there are alot of people oblivious to this because its a game, its perceived as total fiction, Just felt the need to point that out

  10. ThatDude

    If only Sony or somebody picked up on this cancelled game and tried getting the rights and the team back together to finish the game.

  11. Forbes Longden

    it’s a shame that No Cliche’s Katana dev kit is no where to be seen! I’m sure Sega Europe have this game locked away somewhere. I was really, really looking forward to this, along with Headhunter I feel Dreamcast was starting to hit a ‘wave 2’ software maturity in terms of graphical output.

    1. monokoma

      I don’t know if there’s still a playable version out there, maybe if we are lucky, there could be some working files in some old Dreamcast-Development Kit…

  12. Arbie

    Great little article – I was looking forward to this game back in 2001 when it was previewed in DC-UK magazine. Surprised and delighted to see that a video has surfaced, too – and the comments above from those close to the dev team.

    Does anybody know of the head creative personnel behind the project – director/designer/writer &c. – and what they went on to create following No Cliche’s dissolution?

    1. ash

      As usual, dispatched to other game companies. Some are working for UbiSoft (The Crew, (real) toys…), some for Bethesda/Arkane Studios, some are teaching, and some are writing for movies, and some other left to other horizon.
      We still reunite once a year.

  13. Jordan

    I really wish we could get fan completion of these projects that never got finished particularly for the dreamcast, especially if we could get some of the original developers involved. I know it’d be quite different from if it we’re actually finished back then but I’d really appreciate some reboot of this game for the Dreamcast for what it was if it were done. I mean it’s not like Sega’s holding onto this for later or anything, they should just release it to the public

  14. Ross Sillifant

    Of all the canned DC games, i think i wanted this one so badly.Looked superb, screamed of potential…

    God Damn it….

  15. ronaldo

    Argartha looked like a great game would have been great to see if completed and released on the Dreamcast back on 2001 imagine the sequels

  16. KGR

    A build has popped up on ASSEMBLERgames forums right now. Let’s beg the owner of the GD-ROM to dump it online :-D

      1. Rhoze

        For it to be “broken” it would have to have been (or close to being) completed . It’s simply unfinished.

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