Iridion [GBC – Cancelled]

Iridion [GBC – Cancelled]

Shin’en Multimedia was founded in 1999 by coders from the Amiga demoscene.
Manfred Linzner, one of the founders, always had the desire to develop an horizontal shoot-em-up for the beloved Amiga computer but after just programming one stage the project was abandoned.
When the Munich based developer decided to focus to the Game Boy Color the idea of creating a shooter was still alive and they started work on it.
According to developer, Iridion was a horizontally scrolling shooter that pushed the Game Boy Color’s hardware to the maximum with never-before-seen (on the Game Boy) graphical effects.
With the help of its proprietary graphics, coding and music tools, Shin’en was promising some impressive technical feats, like 128 colors simultaneously on screen, smooth two-way parallax scrolling, multi-color overlay-sprites, 3D-rendered animation sequences and more elaborate music pieces than most other Game Boy titles.
The game was planned to have 8 stages, 9 bosses and 12 weapons to dispose the enemies with.
Anyway, after just an excellent one level demo, Shin’en, recognizing that original GBC games were almost impossible to market, dropped this project as well.

When Shin’en shifted their focus to the Game Boy Advance, Iridion was their first game to appear on the “new” system.
Iridion 3D was then released in 2001 for the GBA with commercial success and thus began Shin’en technical excellency on Nintendo platforms that continues to this days with the recently released Nano Assault for Nintendo 3DS.

Thanks to Celine for the contribution!

Images (GBC version):

Video from the final GBA version:

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2 thoughts on “Iridion [GBC – Cancelled]

  1. Maik

    When it was first announced in 1999, Iridion was set to blow away all previous expectations for the rapidly aging Game Boy Color. German developer Shen’en hoped to use their technical prowess to put the Euro-shmup back on the map. The small studio has become well known for pushing the limits of limited hardware, and claimed Iridion could push 120 sprites on-screen on a system that is only supposed to be able to handle eight without turning into a flickery mess. Add to this, rendered cinemas, parallax scrolling, and an advanced software music engine and you begin to have a very impressive product.

    Like Shin’en’s later shooters, it looked to be an homage to the classic Japanese arcade games of the 80s and 90s. R-Type and Gradius seemed the be the most obvious influences, but we never even got so much as a video to really say much else about how it would have played. The development of Iridion lasted for around two years, at which point it was cancelled in favor of the forward scrolling rail shooter, Iridion 3D, which would show off Nintendo’s snazzy new Game Boy Advance hardware. Iridion 3D was a technical marvel, with amazing graphics and even more amazing music, but it wasn’t a great game by most measures. They bounced back with a sequel, switching perspectives once again to an angled top-down view. It’s hard to say for sure if the original Iridion would have lived up to all of its promises, but if Nanostray 2 is any indication, it would have been worth playing.

    Source: IGN

  2. Ninh Nguyen

    There’s another unreleased Shin’en Game Boy Color game. It was Rinkapink. Said engine and code was reused in Shin’en’s 2001 game Kapt’n Blaubar: Die verruckte Schatzsuche, which unlike Iridion and Rinkapink, actually got a release in Germany.

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