Thrill Kill [PSX – Unreleased]

Thrill Kill [PSX – Unreleased]

Thrill Kill is a cancelled 1998 fighting game for the Sony PlayStation, which even today is still widely available despite being officially unpublished. Thrill Kill was considered a technical feat for the PlayStation for allowing four players to fight simultaneously in the same room, although this technical feat was overshadowed by the brutality and controversy surrounding the game.

Set in an urban version of Hell, the characters were all damned souls fighting for another chance in the mortal world, watched over by Marukka the Goddess of Secrets, who has organized the infernal tournament and promised the winner reincarnation on Earth. Other content included revealing BDSM and fetishistic costumes, characters with amputated limbs and other handicaps and violent and sexual moves with names such as “Bitch Slap”, “Swallow This”, and “Head Muncher”.

Thrill Kill was developed in the late 1990s for the Sony PlayStation by Paradox Development, now Midway Studios – Los Angeles. There was much hype surrounding the game, billed as the new Mortal Kombat, and expectations were high in the gaming community. The original publisher was to be Virgin Interactive, before Virgin Interactive was acquired by Electronic Arts Pacific for £122,500,000 in the late summer of 1998.

By this point Thrill Kill had already finished development in entirety, and a Californian-based industrial metal band, Contagion, had even recorded numerous songs and an entire score for the game. A few weeks before shipping, the game was cancelled by EA because they didn’t want to “publish such a senselessly violent game”, as they felt that it would harm their image. They also stated that they deemed the game so offensive that they would not even attempt to sell the game to be released by another publisher either.

Later, former employees that had worked on the game released the full game onto the internet, along with various beta versions, and bootlegs of the game flooded the market and were still seen by a large share of its original intended audience nevertheless. All files are still widely available through filesharing, and playable through emulators.

Gameplay consisted of a closed 3D room where up to four opponents would fight to the death, and proceed to finish each other off with Thrill Kills, much like the fatalities of Mortal Kombat. However the characters, because they are already dead, cannot be physically injured, although they audibly feel the pain of attacks, and blood is still present.

Every attack made will result in a character’s bloodlust to rise. Instead of the usual life bar, characters build up a “kill meter”. Once this meter was full, and therefore bloodlust at its strongest, a player’s character would be electrocuted to give them superhuman strength enabling a Thrill Kill move to brutally slay an opponent, depending on what button was pressed upon grabbing someone.

The game was later reworked and released by another publisher as Wu-Tang: Shaolin Style

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U64 Staff & Contributors

U64 Staff & Contributors

Authors at Unseen64
Since 2001 Unseen64 archive beta and cancelled videogames, till the 7th generation of consoles. There are too many unseen games to preserve, but many people help us with their contributions, screens, videos and descriptions. Do you want to help too?
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4 thoughts on “Thrill Kill [PSX – Unreleased]

  1. Ross Sillifant

    EA’s official reason for canning:

    ‘EA’s acquisition of Virgin Interactive Studios gave us the rights to 20 titles, 1 of which was Thrill Kill.In the course of evaluating the titles we acquired, we decided that EA would not publish Thrill Kill.We felt the product does’nt meet our standards for subject matter and appropriate content.

    The decision was content based…..

    We simply did’nt view a game based almost entirely on killing and sadistic violence as appropriate for the market.’

    1. MicroChirp

      Typical big company talk regarding censorship. If I remember correctly, this game’s engine ended up on Wu-Tang: Shaolin Style, which shares some gameplay elements with Thrill Kill.

  2. Ross Sillifant

    @MicroChirp:yep, whilst EA DID praise the game engine and promised it’d be used in a future product (and i too seem to recal it was game you mentioned)…..Censorship reared it’s ugly head as it did in the other game i updated earlier, Sensible Software’s Sex/Drugs/Rock And Roll-but there it was not taken up by any of 20 publishers approached as they were concerned about what was being implied, not what player actually saw.

    Bizzare industry at times…

    :-(

  3. Sam Jones

    “As it was essentially completed before it was cancelled and its code leaked onto the internet, it is one of the most widely available and easily playable unreleased games ever made.” :D

    The Thrill Kill engine was later used in numerous other games. It was used to make Wu-Tang: Shaolin Style,
    X-Men: Mutant Academy, X-Men: Mutant Academy 2 and Rock ‘Em Sock ‘Em Robots Arena

    California-based industrial band, Contagion, recorded numerous songs and an entire score for the game (which later ended up on their album Infectant).

    American death metal band Dying Fetus also had songs incorporated into the game, but were not recorded exclusively for Thrill Kill.

    Source: Wikipedia

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