VX Vampire (aka Vampire XDV-7 or Ultra Copter 64) is a flight simulator that was planned to be ported to the Nintendo 64 by Paradigm Simulation / Entertainment. Previously Paradigm worked on realistic flight simulation for space, military and aviation clients, but in 1994 it was contacted by Nintendo to aid in the creation of one of the Nintendo 64’s launch titles, Pilotwings 64. It seems that VX Vampire was originally one of Paradigm’s military simulators, that they though to convert to a more “arcadish” game to enter in the mass-entertainment market.
In 1995 Nintendo / Paradigm send some screens of Vampire XDV-7 to magazines (that you can see preserved in the gallery below), claiming that the Ultra 64 would have been able to achieve similar level of graphic details. In reality, VX Vampire was running on the Silicon Graphics Onyx Reality Engine, the same engine used for the Magic Edge Hornet Simulator Hardware, a technology much more advanced (and expensive) than a normal Nintendo 64.
When Paradigm had to finish Pilotwings 64 in time for the release of the N64 in june 1996, they probably had to shift resources to Nintendo’s project and the VX Vampire XDV-7 port went on-hold. In the end Pilotwings 64 was a critical and commercial success for the developer, causing the simulation and entertainment divisions of Paradigm to separate and focus on their respective products. The newly independent Paradigm Entertainment continued to develop for Nintendo’s 64-bit console. [Info from Wikipedia]
Some years later, Paradigm Entertainment announced Harrier 2000 / 2001 for the Nintendo 64, a new flight game that sadly was never released. It’s possible that their plan to port VX Vampire XDV-7 changed when they understood that it would have been too difficult to convert an Onyx simulator to an N64, so the project evolved into a new, different title: Harrier 2000.
Thanks to jorcyd and Celine for the contribution! Scans from Cd Consoles #4, Console Plus #49 and Edge #29
Videos (@ 04:10)