Sound Fantasy is a cancelled video game for the Super Nintendo Entertainment System, and its Japanese counterpart, the Super Famicom. Interactive media artist Toshio Iwai designed the game in the early 1990s using concepts from the installation art piece Music Insects, which he created during his time as an Artist in Residence at the San Francisco Exploratorium. However, the finished product was never brought to market by Nintendo for unknown reasons.
Its eccentric concepts and untested game mechanics may have been the main factor in its cancellation; music games, especially on home consoles, were not popular in the early 1990s, and it wouldn’t be until much later in the decade that they gained mainstream attention. A working prototype was found in October 2014 as you can see from the video below.
Thanks to MathUser & Celine for some of these images!
Sound Fantasy was to come packed-in with the SNES Mouse and mouse pad, and it would arrive in a larger game box to hold its contents similar to Super Nintendo games like Mario Paint and EarthBound. It is speculated that Nintendo chose to use Mario Paint to launch its mouse peripheral in 1992 instead, as that game was endorsed by Mario, one of gaming’s most recognizable mascots.
Toshio Iwai eventually went on to convert his work into the PC game SimTunes in 1996, and many of Sound Fantasy’s unreleased gameplay elements can be found there.
In April 2005, to celebrate the Japanese launch of Toshio Iwai’s latest work, Electroplankton for the Nintendo DS, Nintendo opened an exhibit at Tokyo’s Harajuku Station to focus on the new game and on Iwai himself. Nintendo made available for perusal the box art and manual for Sound Fantasy, but the “lost game” was not made playable there. – [info from Wikipedia]
What do you think about this unseen game? Give your vote!
Would you like to add more info, screens or videos to this page? Add a comment below!
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Thanks Celine! :)
Can you download this unreleased game?
A rom of Sound Fantasy for the SNES is not leaked yet, but you can search for the PC game SimTunes, as many of Sound Fantasy’s unreleased gameplay elements can be found there.
New video is great.
Oh man, as a HUGE Simtunes fan, I would have loved to see this game come to life! Simtunes only has Pix Quartet, which is really good and you can make some interesting stuff in it. Its strange, on the box that my Simtunes game came in, there were some pictures of bugz that were NOT in the game itself. Maybe there was going to be more to Simtunes…?
If only Nintendo made the game playable or if someone at least had the manual, then we could have had more…
Here it is!
Say…doesn’t that highlighted red ladybug look familiar to anyone else…?
Indeed! Sound Fantasy became Sim Tune at some point :)
A prototype was found: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IJ6AF78of50
wow! that is a great find, thanks a lot for the link :)
The guy happened to have two samples of Sound Factory and he made a video about the other one: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wqntftDgZnU
Actually, I have way more information about Sound Fantasy than I expected to get from Google:
http://sayonarafamitsu.blog.fc2.com/blog-entry-201.html – Pictures of a version from much later, including the Title Screen
http://hondyjax.blog96.fc2.com/blog-entry-1352.html – Toshio Iwai showing Sound Fantasy in a talk from 2010. We can actually see the credits.
https://youtu.be/UYeFf5a671o?t=57s – Video from Electroplankton’s website with Sound Fantasy shown in a direct feed.
https://youtu.be/4tWX78MYJPI?t=11m54s – Toshio Iwai’s talk on 2009 showing off Sound Fantasy.
http://www.jade.dti.ne.jp/bwv971/04sf.htm – Ads for Sound Factory, in very high quality if you click the pictures.
http://www.geocities.jp/omokurus2/soundfantasy.html – Ads for Sound Fantasy in good quality as well.
http://hagwar.blogspot.fr/2012/05/sound-fantasy-snes-cancelado.html – This actually includes pictures that I’ve never seen.
Thanks a lot Luigi! Sound Fantasy would have been a fun game on the SNES, we are lucky that it was somehow released on PC, but i still hope that who bought those protos could dump and share them in the future :)
The video that doesn’t want to work is here:
I reuploaded it on YouTube, since 1up is pretty much dead, despite the video being on IGN, I’m just unsure if anything would happen to it:
I also have more footage of it here in some kind of marketing video:
So, since then, an anonymous person bought the second prototype (which is pretty much identical), dumped the ROM and gave it to me for release.
Here’s footage of the prototype on emulator from myself:
Pix Quartet – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zDFMslEISdg
Star Fly – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2aJJjOc6tjs
Beat Hopper (Stage 1 – 27) – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=75-5YNWGqaA
Beat Hopper has 40 stages total until it goes back to the main menu.
Youloute has found a japanese magazine which so far covered Sound Fantasy the most for having a lot of unseen screenshots and info from September 1994:
For exemple, Star Fly is an unlockable. Also compared to the final footage from Iwai, Ice Sweeper didn’t have different modes. But I assume the screenshots are actually the B-type mode of Ice Sweeper, as A-type shows to be the rather classic breakout game. There’s a lot more to say, and I really need to write something about it.
And I’ve found more footage from Winter CES 1994:
There’s also mentions of Sound Fantasy in Superplay Issue 19, with Miyamoto briefly talking about it, and also Issue 24, but nothing new about it there.
Also mentioned in the french magazine Player One, issue 39 with a picture of Beat Hopper.
More magazine scans (w/ sources):
And also more footage of Sound Fantasy:
Yesterday, I made an article about Sound Fantasy revision differences:
It also links to everything Sound Fantasy related that I know of. If I have more links, I’m likely to put them all there and here as well.
Thank you LuigiBlood, you are the best :) I don’t ever know if i’ll ever have the time to update the main article, but new info in the comments are super useful :)
I wonder if Toshio Iwai will dump the final version that he has to the public someday? That would be cool…