Matrix Runner [Sega VR – Cancelled]

Matrix Runner [Sega VR – Cancelled]

Matrix Runner is a cancelled action adventure game that was in development in 1992 / 1993 by ZCT Systems Group for the Sega VR add-on based on the Mega Drive / Genesis. Players had to explore the cyberspace and to resolve various puzzles to try to capture a murderer. The concept (and the title) of the game is really similar to Free Runner, a cancelled adventure for the Saturn, but as far as we know, the developers are different. It could be just an huge coincidence, or maybe someone from ZTC Systems went to work to Rebellion and resurrected their old project.

Only a single screenshot of Matrix Runner was found by Rod_Wod and Celine in some old magazines. If you know someone that worked on this game, please let us know!


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10 thoughts on “Matrix Runner [Sega VR – Cancelled]

  1. Greg Zumwalt

    Former owner of ZCT Systems Group, Inc., if you look closely at the cubes, you’ll notice Sega reversed the image as ZCT appears on the surface of the cubes.

    We engineered and wrote the code for this demonstration.

    1. monokoma Post author

      Hi Greg! Thanks a lot for your comment, it’s always great to read memories from who worked on lost games :) Do you remember how much of the game was done before cancellation and if there were any relations with the Saturn game Free Runner?

      1. Greg Zumwalt

        We had demonstrated the matrix with animated opponents of various shapes and powers. Sega video taped this version and distributed a shortened version of it news outlets. We were beginning the game AI when Sega cancelled the program, so we were
        about 2/3 finished.

        There was no relation to Free Runner.

  2. monokoma Post author

    Thanks you! It’s good to be able to preserve more info from this lost project :) Do you know if there could be some more screenshots / videos saved somewhere?

    1. Greg Zumwalt

      When Sega cancelled the VR headset, we were required by contract to destroy all code, video, test data, etc., and we did.

      However, I’ve since seen video of the Mateix Runner game on a few websites, but haven’t been able to locate them as of yet. The video shows the matrix with opponents, but under joystick control. As I recall, the headset was producing pitch, roll and yaw information at around .25 hertz which was much to slow for an action game of this nature. That, I believe, is why Sega cancelled the program as the headset was not only far more expensive than the console, it was also far too slow in transmitting pitch, roll and yaw that was necessary for a game of this nature.

      1. monokoma Post author

        It’s sad that everything had to be destroyed :( a few years ago i was able to play one of the unreleased Sega VR games, a prototype of Iron Hammer, with a joypad and a normal Sega Genesis / Mega Drive, it was good enough in its unfinished state.

  3. Ross Sillifant

    In the August/September 1993 issue of Sega Visions (SEGA’s promo mag)
    they had a 2 page “article” on the VR headset.  It provided no real no information as such..

    But dId attempt to to explain what
    stereophonic sound and steroscopic graphics are and how they worked
    and why they were incorporated into the headset.  

    They had a brief description of Nuclear Rush, along with 4 other titles are in development.
    Iron Hammer: A flight sim
    Matrix Runner: “Play an elite superhacker…you will collide with
    strange semi-humans and vulture-like beings”  Ooooo scary
    Outlaw Racing: Driving simulator, up to 20 other cars.

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