Akira [SNES MegaDrive/Genesis – Cancelled]

Akira [SNES MegaDrive/Genesis – Cancelled]

Rod_Wod from the Assembler Forum has posted various scans from the cancelled Akira games (based on the manga / anime with the same name) that were meant to be released by THQ for the Genesis / Mega Drive, Super Nintendo, Mega CD and Game Gear. Probably the screens published in the magazines were all from the same version, as the graphic looks almost the same for all the various consoles. Some more screens were found by Celine in Player One #44, Console Plus #44 and #35. Thanks to Sketcz from the Hardcore Gaming 101 blog for the other scans!

From an interview at Hardcore Gaming 101 we can read a lot of interesting info about the development of these unreleased Akira games:

“It was not so much cancelled or scrapped as it fell into neglect. Larry transferred rights to THQ and we couldn’t get clear agreement on the game elements with the project manager. They didn’t understand the limitations of the SNES. The project was then victim to a number of disasters including the lead programmer leaving, and other work being more pressing.”

A short video from the game was recorded at CES in summer 1994, you can see it below (it looks like the game crashes / freeze at some point). Thanks to Brian for the link to the video!


Akira SNES


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I'm an Italian gamer with not enough free time to play as much as i'd like to and sadly not enough time to write about cancelled and beta games. Founder of Unseen64 in 2001, i'd like to sleep more than 5 hours a day, but i have to pay the bills. I'm currently working for various italian & international websites for a better User Experience & Search Engine Optimization, you can add me on Twitter, Last FM or contact me by email.

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24 thoughts on “Akira [SNES MegaDrive/Genesis – Cancelled]

  1. Reza

    Ah, i’ve been looking for this for a long time.

    I never recall a MD/Gen version, but there defiantly was a SNES version. The bike racing scenes were done using Mode 7, with some other scenes using the SuperFX chip and the rest being side scrolling. I had a magazine that had a bit of info in it regarding this game, i’ll defiantly have a look for it (i’m currently about to start moving at the present time).

    The images you have here look like very early prototypes as there is no HUD in the bike racing scenes and they look severely unfinished. The last images i saw of this game looked like it was very much complete, but for some reason, it simply disappeared. Taito had a release date and everything but it simply vanished without a trace.

    Sad, as i am a big fan of Akira and this game looked like one that moved away from the normal movie license game of those times.

  2. Sketcz

    Reza, was it from Game Zone magazine? I think they’re December 1994 issue claimed to have a massive feature on the game. I’ve only seen the cover, not the actual magazine, but the cover also mentioned a Game Boy version of Akira, which none of the above scans mention.

    I have a scan of said Game Zone cover here:

    If anyone has that magazine, I’d love to see what’s inside it. I am so annoyed I missed that one. I’ve not see any other mentioned of a Gameboy version of Akira.

    Also, in the above link on my blog, I included a scan from Super Gamer magazine, which has the same floating hand screenshot for the SNES version.

  3. Sketcz

    There was a thread on NeoGAF where a guy who claimed to have played the MD/Gen version at CES described its gameplay.


    I’m going to paste his post here verbatim, so it doesn’t get lost.

    —- Whimsical Phil on NeoGAF —-

    And I was actually able to play THQ’s Genesis Akira game back at a CES show ages ago (this, of course, pre-dated E3). Somewhere at my parent’s house, I still have a sales flyer for the game with info and screens on it. I’ll have to try to dig it up next time I’m there and get that puppy scanned.

    If I remember correctly, it was announced for Genesis, SNES, Sega CD, Game Boy, and Game Gear, although I believe that the Genesis version was the only one on display on the show floor.

    The main gimmick of the game was that each stage played differently. Lemme see how many I can recall…

    – A motorcycle racing stage that was a lot like Super Hang-On. As you would imagine, you were Kaneda racing against the Clowns.

    – A FPS stage where you were Tetsuo wandering though the lab where he was being experimented on. Instead of a gun at the bottom of the screen, you just saw Tetsuo’s hand, and when you fired at guards, he shot out a blast of psychic energy. This stage was about as impressive looking as a FPS could look on the Genesis.

    – A side scrolling stage where you were Kaneda and Kei piloting that hover vehicle through the sewers. These stages weren’t strictly side scrolling, though, as they were quite large and maze-like. You could fly quite a ways up and down as well as left and right. You used the gun on the vehicle to shoot down the guards’ crafts.

    – An isometric stage (think Viewpoint) where you were Tetsuo walking across the bridge (the one he would eventually destroy). Pressing the attack button caused him to swing his arm out in front of him, sending a wave of psychic energy out in front on him. The main enemy that I recall in this stage were rows of soldiers armed with the laser cannons from the movie. I remember being really impressed with the look of the Tetsuo sprite on this stage (complete with his tattered red cape).

    – The last stage that I remember was a 2D beat-em-up (or was it a one-on-one fight?). Either way, you were a surprisingly large mutated Tetsuo attacking, well, whoever it was attacking you (Kaneda? Soldiers? I don’t remember).

    Seeing as how I was a big fan of the movie at the time, I talked to one of the head PR people at length about the game. She even gave me an animation cel from the movie (of the giant teddy bear and rabbit that attacked Tetsuo), which they were probably giving out to the press.

    Even though I was just a scrub working at Babbage’s at the time (yes, I was one of those retail kids who snuck into the show), she gave me her business card and I kept in contact with her for a while getting updates on the game. Until, of course, she gave me the sad news one day that they had cancelled it.

    Man, I really gotta find that sales sheet now.

    When I asked THQ’s PR person at the time why the game was axed, she explained that the game wasn’t living up to the company’s expectations and that the Akira brand was too important to waste on a sub-par game. She told me that THQ would probably do an Akira game in the future, but I’m gonna go out on a limb and say that ship has sailed.

    1. monokoma Post author

      Thanks a lot Sketcz! I will add those scans in the gallery ASAP :) I really hope that someone will be able to track down a playable copy of this…

  4. monokoma Post author

    Thanks again Sketcz :) Your editing was perfect, now the page is updated! I’ll add the new image to the “normal” gallery too when i’ll have more free time :P

  5. Cobra

    Damn, looks like it was really going to be an awesome game. If I could find enjoyment in the Amiga version, you know I would have loved this version to bits!

  6. Ross Sillifant

    Rob Nicholson of Hand Made Software confirmed way back in 1994 that Hand Made Software were working on Akira, but ONLY for the SNES and NOT the Jaguar.

    That information has been in the public domain for since he posted the comment, so where Cyberoach got it’s information from baffles me. .

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