Terminus is a cancelled action adventure / shooter game that was in development by Scavenger Inc for the Sega Saturn, Playstation and PC in 1996. As they wrote in their press release, the project was meant “to give Tomb Raider a run for it’s money” but sadly it was already too late, as the company ran out of money and Terminus had to be canned.
The few screenshots preserved in the gallery below show a great graphic engine for its time, that used NURBS / voxel-like system, as we can read in an article from Gamasutra (wrote by a former Scavenger developer):
[…] Soon thereafter we were asked to develop our own game. That provided me with the incentive to figure out how to represent characters in a game better. We knew we wanted at least ten or more characters on the screen simultaneously, but all the low-resolution polygonal characters we had seen just didn’t cut it. So I decided to keep pursuing a solution based on what I had been working on for X-Men (32X), hoping that I’d come up with something that would eventually yield better results.
At first I flirted with a voxel-like solution, and developed a character system which was shown at E3 in 1996 in a game called Terminus. This system allowed a player to see characters from any angle rotating around one axis, which solved a basic problem inherent to sprite-based systems. Still, you couldn’t see the character from any angle, and while everybody liked the look of the “sprite from any angle” solution, many people wanted to get a closer look at the characters’ faces. This caused the whole voxel idea to fall apart.
In 1997 / 1998, Scavenger went bankrupt and all their unfinished projects vanished with them. The team behind Terminus (internally known as Team Fetus) was then hired at Shiny Entertainment and their game was resurrected somehow, evolving into Messiah.
Thanks a lot to Mike Damien for its help in preserving some info and concept arts from this lost project!
Thanks to Celine for the contributions! Scans from GameFan 4-2 and EDGE 34