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!
Oh, now that IS interesting. Akira <3
i think it got released on amiga
If i remember it correctly, this one is different from the Amiga version
This is definitely a different version.
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.
Thanks for the info Reza, if you’ll be able to find that magazine it could be useful! :)
SuperFX chip was for 3D based levels, a bit like in Jurassic Park on SNES.
THQ developing and releasing an Akira game? Didn’t expect it from them
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.
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.
Interesting info, thanks a lot Sketcz! :)
I reposted your scans, so someone on Unseen 64, feel free to re-use the scans I put up, from Game Zone magazine:
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…
I tried editing the page, not sure if I was able to do so correctly. here is another scans from Assembler forums, showing the 3/4 perspective on the bridge stage of the Akira games (bottom right):
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
I tried to edit this pic into the images but the page hangs for ages and doesnt load at all.Akira on SNES pic….
They misspelled “Kaneda” LOL!
Here’s an interview with the guy behind the SNES version:
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!
Wonder why nobody asks me for the source or the origin video file ^^
I edited the description in my video with the source.
https://archive.org/download/IE_Interactive_Entertainment_CD_ROM_EPISODE04/EPISODE_04_AUG_1994.iso is the link to the disc and you will find the vid in the article/thq folder. have fun.
thanks a lot for sharing that Sam! it was a great find :)
It was also planned to be released for the Atari Jaguar by Hand Made Software: http://www.cyberroach.com/jaguarcd/html/gameidx.htm While it doesn’t list who was going to be the publisher of this version, it’s most likely Atari.
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. .
Fresh information regarding HMS, in terms of the state of the company and how it operated have been put forward,but need further investigating before they are made public.
I will pass it onto Luca so he can decide if the entry for Akira needs updating.
.Jaguar Akira has been confirmed by a new source as being no more than a mere possibility at 1 point.
That is to say it, among with versions for certain other hardware platforms, were discussed as potential extra revenue sources, but no work was ever started on the Jaguar version, as it was never given the go ahead.
I kinda do wished that this game had come out. Its one of those things where I would die for. Akria was one of my favorite movies of all time. Excellent excellent story, the manga was good too, it had a great style, and a great blend of action horror sci-fi and drama all put into a blender.
The only other game that was out that was kinda like this was for the Amiga CD32. That one was poorly received from what I heard.
In my opinion, because of that footage and the gameplay they showed at the expo, its clear that the game had to have existed
Maybe if we’re lucky someone will find it saved up in a hard drive and try and port it on carts. Until then though, I might consider looking into game design and try to see if anyone would want to see a game like this made, cause if any anime movie deserves its own game, its Akira. Hands down.
The Commodore CD32 game by ICE was indeed dreadful.
No real use made of the hardware, levels were slow and frustrating affairs.
It was described by one magazine as one of the most shameful releases on the System yet and the free T-shirt included was no incentive to buy it.
A second source has since been able to confirm that an Atari Jaguar version was at 1 stage discussed, but the idea was abandoned by HMS
Another source has come forward with a lot of detailed information on the SNES version by HMS but as that is planned for something special by a friend of mine, i will not say too much.
Suffice to say the source confirms what has already been said about the internal issues within HMS which saw my withdrawing of the interview with Jim Gregory as it is not an accurate representation of what really went on.
As for SNES Akira. .uncertain directions for the game meant numerous tech demos were created..HMS initally could not afford a SNES development kit so had to hire a coder who had one.
Internal conflicts saw staff quit..New project leader assigned..SNES development kit finally purchased by HMS. .but internal conflicts continuing until project and company itself collapsed
Further details are emerging and the entire HMS Akira SNES game saga is one of a company producing little more than smoke and mirror materials (tech demos. .static screens etc ) in the early stages to show press and publishers to keep money coming in.
It’s inital project manager lacked direction and was a total control freak and mislead press in interviews.
Staff were getting paid poorly. .late..If at all in some cases.
Internal nickname for the company was Halfmade Software as so little often progressed beyond concept demos.
Just sent you a zip file of the CES/Retailers footage of the game.
Shows game running on both Genesis and Game Gear.
Sir, who are you? I too have been looking for the game, and I’m very close to finding it actually… Have you been talking to the contacts I have also been talking to? It’s true that Jim has lied about virtually everything, and not just on Akira…
I’ve talked to a few HMS people over the years and it’s thanks to their honesty, Jim Gregory’s lies have been exposed and a much more accurate account of HMS has been established.
Jim wasted the time of the likes of myself and others.
Betrayed the trust of the community and thus had his interview pulled from online and himself removed as a Credible Source.
A second Hand Made Software Source has confirmed Akira was NEVER in production for the Atari Jaguar by them.
This confirms what Rob Nicholson explained many years ago and it’s nice to have a second source back the information up.
Adding to the existing 2 post-HMS sources we have a 3rd source, this time, high ranking person from Black Pearl, that Jaguar Akira was at best, briefly considered, then abandoned.
A good few lost Jaguar game entries online need updating.
Early prototype released over at Hidden Palace: https://hiddenpalace.org/Akira_(Prototype)