Vectorman Ultra is the cancelled third game in the Vectorman series, started with the first one developed by BlueSky Software and published by Sega for Sega Mega Drive / Genesis in 1995. Vectorman 2 was released in November 1996 and after it went gold it seems that BlueSky started to pitch a new sequel to Sega (Next Generation magazine published a rumor about it in their website that year), planning to develop it for Sega Saturn, the “new” Sega console that was released in May 1995 in USA.
Ellis Goodson, the artist that worked on the original Vectorman and other cult games as Skullmonkeys and Shadowrun, drawn many concepts to be used in the design doc for Vectorman Ultra created by Jason Weesner. It’s interesting to notice that these concept arts were sold sometime ago on eBay and in some of those auctions they described the game as planned for the Nintendo 64, but it’s possible that they got confused because of “Ultra” in the title (N64 was known as Ultra 64 before its final name).
It’s currently unknown if Sega Saturn’s Vectorman would have been in 2D or 3D, but looking at those awesome concept arts it seems that at least this lost game would have had some side-scrolling levels. We hope to be able to see more from this project sometime in the future, it would be interesting to know if any actual prototype was started at all. Some years later Sega tried to revive the Vectorman IP with a new PS2 game developed by Pseudo Interactive, but that was also cancelled.
Thanks to eSPy, Youloute, S.J. Reed and Ellis for the contributions!
I’ll share this as much as I can:
SEGA’S “VECTORMAN” SET TO MORPH ONTO THE
— Ideal Entertainment Assembles “ID4”
Digital Visual Effects Team For the Film–
REDWOOD CITY, CA, July 22, 1996 — Sega of America, Inc. today announced that it has entered into a deal with Los Angeles-based Ideal Entertainment, Inc. for the motion picture, television and merchandising rights to the top-selling Sega videogame “VectorMan.”
Ideal Entertainment will initially produce a computer animated sci-fi/action film for theatrical release in late ’97 in association with Tribaltek, a team of acclaimed digital effects producers on the current blockbuster hit “Independence Day” who are overseeing the “Toy Story”-like 3D rendering of characters and environments based on the popular Sega Genesis videogame.
“We’re excited that Ideal and the digital wizards from ‘Independence Day’ are taking ‘VectorMan’ from the Genesis to the Silver Screen and beyond,” Shinobu Toyoda, general manager of licensing for Sega of America, said. “‘VectorMan’s’ characters, storyline and visual imagery are the perfect foundation for an action-packed entertainment franchise.”
Leading the accomplished production team of the “VectorMan” project is Ideal Entertainment’s president Jon Shapiro. Most recently, Shapiro developed and executive produced the Warner Bros. feature film “Richie Rich,” starring Macaulay Culkin. He also initiated and is currently the producer of the upcoming feature film “Curious George” with Ron Howard and Brian Grazer’s Imagine Entertainment and David Kirschner Productions for Universal Pictures.
Tribaltek is a company founded by Tricia Ashford, digital visual effects supervisor and producer on Twentieth Century Fox’s “Independence Day”. Ashford along with “ID4” digital visual effects co-producer Steven Puri, will supervise all digital production aspects of “VectorMan” from development through completion of the film. Joseph Francis, the CG supervisor of “ID4”, will direct “VectorMan” from a script written by Norma Jenkes and Francis.
“This terrific property has both a huge built-in audience and great conceptual allure that combines elements of the ‘Star Wars’ and ‘Terminator’ movies,” Shapiro said. “With ‘VectorMan,’ Sega has given us the valuable and rare opportunity to create a broad-appeal event suitable for mass exploitation in all mediums throughout the world.” A major studio distribution deal will be announced soon, he added, as will the star-driven roster of talent who are voicing the characters.
“VectorMan” the videogame is a 3D graphic adventure set on a futuristic Earth polluted by toxic waste. Humankind has departed for space and left behind an army of mechanized “Orbots” to clean up the mess. But when the Orbot leader goes haywire and starts a robot revolt to ambush the humans when they return, only a lonely sludge barge pilot named VectorMan can save mankind.
VectorMan achieves seamless and fluid movement throughout the game with Sega’s innovative “Vector Piece” animation techniques. Comprised of mechanical shapes and spheres, VectorMan can morph freely and smoothly into mechanical incarnations such as a power drill, jet fighter, dune buggy, mechanical fish or a bomb.
Sega plans on releasing the highly-anticipated sequel to VectorMan, “VectorMan 2,” for the 16-bit Genesis videogame console this November.
Sega of America is the arm of Tokyo, Japan-based Sega Enterprises Ltd. responsible for the development, marketing and distribution of Sega videogame systems and videogames in the Americas. Sega Enterprises Ltd. is a nearly $3.6 billion company known as the industry leader in interactive digital entertainment media, and is the only company that offers entertainment experiences both inside and outside the home. Sega of America’s World Wide Web site is located at (http://www.sega.com).