Bloodlust I.K.3 [Arcade PSX – Cancelled]

Bloodlust I.K.3 [Arcade PSX – Cancelled]

Bloodlust (aka International Karate 3) is a cancelled 2D fighting game that was in development in 1995 / 1996 by Atari for the Arcades and Playstation. The original International Karate was a 1985 title released for the ZX Spectrum, MSX, Commodore 64, Amstrad CPC and Atari 8-bit family of computers, with a sequel called International Karate + released a year later. It seems that a Bloodlust prototype is in the hands of some collectors, but only few screenshots are preserved in the gallery below.

The arcade version was based on 64MB PC hardware (Cyrix Media GX PC), while the PSX conversion was going to have some graphical limitations. 16 playable characters were planned, that were inspired by RARE’s Killer Instinct.

Thanks to Celine, Ross Sillifant and Daniel Nicaise for the contribution! Scans from EDGE magazine #55


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7 thoughts on “Bloodlust I.K.3 [Arcade PSX – Cancelled]

  1. Ross Sillifant

    2 seperate versions of the game .
    The Arcade version and the Playstation version.

    Development might of ended earlier on 1 version than the other, so plans for say the Arcade version might have fallen through in 1995..but development continued on Playstation version until early 1996..For example.

    Site hosting Andy’s interview closed , so i honestly cannot remember the exact details.

  2. Ross Sillifant

    Found my old interview :-D

    Here’s everything from it relating to Bloodlust.

    Q1)What can you share with us, regarding Systems 3’s Canned game, “Bloodlust’?

    A1) Bloodlust started out as a fighting game destined for the PSOne.
    It was early 1994 and the PlayStation had just been announced; at that
    time it was still known as the PSX, and details were scarce, although
    we did see an artist’s impression of a controller which we later used
    in our design documentation. The game was called Retribution, and was
    a bit like Exploding Fist 2 on the 8-bit machines: an open series of
    levels to explore, interspersed with character interaction and
    fighting sections. As was the way with projects at that turbulent
    time, Retribution eventually turned into a 1-on-1 beat ’em up for the
    PC; Street Fighter was huge at the time, as was Doom, so Bloodlust was
    a product of the marriage of that genre & that platform.

    Admittedly, Killer Instinct was a big inspiration, as were many, many
    other beat ’em ups. John Rowlands and I were coding the game (using
    assembly langauge and Protected Mode on the PC, probably the
    lowest-level coding you can do). We taught ourselves how to code by
    reading a PC book that was about 3 inches thick; there was no
    internet, so problems had to be solved by looking at other people’s
    code or just banging your head against a wall until the idea fell out.
    Steve Rowlands handled the art, and taught himself to use 3DS. As we
    only had one decent PC at the time, Steve and John shared a PC; Steve
    worked nights doing graphics, and John would code during the day.

    After about 6 months on the project, I left the company to pursue
    other interests. We weren’t making a lot of money at the time, and
    living in Essex was expensive, so I cut my losses and regrettably
    moved back to my home just outside Liverpool. What happened after that
    – how Blood Lust became an Atari coin-op – is a question for John,
    Steve, and producer Rob Daly.

    >Q2)Also any ideas what happened to the Coin-Op version?
    > Any source code still around?

    A2) I believe it was canned despite being almost finished. The source
    still exists, under lock & key. I have some VERY early graphics/builds
    somewhere, and Steve has a lot of stuff on his DeviantArt page.

  3. Ross Sillifant

    Lead Artist / 3D Modelling
    System 3
    1995 – 1997 2 years

    – I started at System 3 as an artist but soon worked up to Lead Artist and also responsible for many 3D real-time projects.
    – As well as doing 3D modelling and also got involved with the project management and design direction on the developments which were in progress.
    – I enjoyed my time at System 3, the projects were challenging and the teams were professional and good fun also.
    – Worked externally for 8 months in Blackheath / London with the Rowland Brothers on the development for Atari of the Bloodlust Arcade.
    – Games created during my time there: Constructor 2 (PC), Mob Rules (PC), BloodLust (PS1 / Arcade), Ferrari Challenge (PS1).

    Matt Risley
    CEO / Director of Swivel Creations

  4. Richard Browne

    We signed Bloodlust at Philips Media, it was a two product deal we did with System 3 that included a PSX version of The Last Ninja. Will have to say it’s all a bit of a blur at this point, but the game was PC primarily with a PSX version planned, TLN were got about three milestones into and was looking fantastic when we discovered the lead programmer S3 had on it had stolen the graphics engine from Sony London ; things went South from there and when Infogrames bought out Philips the deal with System 3 was terminated. It was a gorgeous looking game on the PC, I don’t think we ever saw it running on the PSX though.

    1. Ash Hogg

      Just stumbled across this old thread. I can add that I was the programmer (freelancing for S3) doing the PSX conversion of Bloodlust.

      Bearing in mind that this was all about 25-26 years ago now, things are a bit hazy, but IIRC we got a decent way into standing up the PSX build. However, I seem to recall that around 4-5 months into it, the original PC game had a couple of soft stop/reset/change-of-direction moments, and I raised this as a risk to the PSX game as I felt we should let the PC version settle again before continuing to sink more of my time time and money into PSX. It’s always a gamble converting a game which isn’t yet finished and still has a lot of fluidity in its design etc. As a result, we temporarily froze the PSX conversion (the intention was just a couple of months whilst whatever the PC game needed addressing got done). Sadly, the project as a whole ended up not to be, and so the PSX game progressed no further.

      Richard Browne – if you ever return and read this, I’m surprised (and a little sorry) that you never saw the PSX build. It was up and running, probably pretty glitchy in places but playable nonetheless. I’d have assumed you folks at Philips had been shown builds at some point. I didn’t have any direct contact with Philips IIRC, although I previously had done so on the Micro Machines project for Codemasters (folks like Tim Page, Steve Hayes, Dave Hawkins).

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