Playstation

Eternal Chain [Playstation – Cancelled]

Eternal Chain (エターナルチェイン) is a cancelled RPG that was in development in 1998 / 1999 by Victor Interactive Software, a gaming studio created in 1996 when its parent company Victor Entertainment wanted to focus on music publishing business and the remaining developers merged with Pack-In-Video. Victor Interactive is mostly known for the production of the Harvest Moon series, but in late ‘90 they developed and released a few other Playstation games, as “Boundary Gate: Daughter of Kingdom”, “The Airs” and “My Home Dream”: unfortunately Eternal Chain was never completed for unknown reasons.

Character design for the game was conceived by popular artist Range Murata (mostly known for his work on such anime as Last Exile and Blue Submarine No. 6.) and a few promotional phone cards were even released in Japan. Eternal Chain was shown (in playable form?) at Tokyo Game Show 1998 and 1999 so it’s possible that out there there could be some footage of the game to be found. The plot of Eternal Chain was summarized by RPG Gamer:

“16,000 years ago humans lived on Mars. After using up the resources of Mars, the humans started moving to Earth. At that time another lifeform, Gods, inhabited the Earth. After the humans settled on Earth, they eventually split into 2 groups, those who liked the Gods, and those who disliked Gods. It was only a matter of time before battles between Gods and the two groups of humans began.”

A few articles, screenshots and Murata’s comments about Eternal Chain were published in different japanese gaming magazines:

  • “Megami Magazine” (メガミマガジン, Animedia September issue separate volume special edition) Vol.1
  • “Game Walker” Vol.54
  • “HYPER PlayStation” 98 / December issue
  • Weekly “Famitsu” [ASCII Corporation] No.513.98.11 / 20 No. -99.1 / No. 22
  • “PlayStation magazine” 98 / No.21
  • “Famitsu PS” [ASCII Corporation] Nos. 98 / 10.23
  • Weekly “The PlayStation” [SOFT BANK] Vol.122.12

If you are able to find scans for these magazines, please let us know!

The theme song for Eternal Chain titled “Before the Celebration Festival” (祝祭の前) was composed by  Akino Arai and published in 2002 by Victor Entertainment in a CD titled “RGB”. As we can read on vgmdb:

  • 09 PlayStation canceled game Eternal Chain (エターナルチェイン) theme song
  • Composed by: Akino Arai
  • Arranged by: Akino Arai & Hisaaki Hogari
  • Vocal by: Akino Arai
  • Background Vocal: Akino Arai
  • Piano: Akino Arai
  • Strings: Hijiri Kuwano Strings
  • Synthesizer Manipulating: Shunsuke Sakamoto
  • Programming & Manipulating: Hisaaki Hogari
  • Lyrics by: Akino Arai

In 2003 Victor Interactive Software was acquired by Marvelous Entertainment and officially became Marvelous Interactive.

Thanks to Youlute for the contribution!

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P.I.G. (Team 17) [Playstation, PC – Cancelled]

P.I.G. (Team 17) [Playstation, PC – Cancelled]

P.I.G. is an interesting 3D platform adventure game that was in development by Team 17 for Playstation and PC, with a planned release in spring 1999. The project was started around 1996, following Mario 64 and the 3D platform craze of the late ‘90, but even with some great premises PIG was cancelled after more than 2 years of development. The only proof of existence of this game seems to be its announcement in an old Team 17 special in Total Control magazine issue 1 (November 1998), where the studio shown many of the projects they were working on, along with Phoenix, Stunt Gran Prix, Project WM and Worms Armageddon.

P.I.G.’s gameplay would have followed similar style of popular games in the same genre as Banjo Kazooie, with the main character being a pig named George, working as a private investigator (this explain the title’s acronym: Private Investigator George) hired to solve the mysterious disappearance of a bunch of piglets, kidnapped by the evil Dr. Gotem in the strange and puzzle filled Fun Dazzle Magic Land theme park.

8 main themed areas (as Mars, the Arctic, Fairy Tales, a Volcano, etc.) were planned and each theme was subdivided into 3 or 4 sub-levels, filled with areas to explore, traps and puzzles, giving a total of around 40 different environments to play in. Lots of different minigames were also available to players, as arcade machines featuring PIG-style versions of some classic games and surreal sections where George was swallowed by a giant pumpkin lantern or shrunk to minute size. George would have used different outfits for each area climate, for example by wearing a sweater and wool hat in the snow level, and more than 60 NPCs (between enemies to fight and friends to help) would have moved around the world.

While this kind of gameplay could not be the most interesting one by today’s standard, back in the day when 3D platform-adventures were some of the most loved games, PIG could really have been a hit. After its reveal in Total Control Magazine, the project seems to have been vanished forever and there are no more info available on its features or why it was cancelled. In an interview by MCV with Team 17 Co-Founder & CEO Debbie Bestwick, she remember how in late ‘90 the huge success of Worms made them to lose sight of how to develop other great games, and they lost a lot of money on a series of unreleased projects:

“For around ten of the past 25 years, all of them ironically post-Worms launching, we came so close to losing the business numerous times due to game slippage, less than smart business decisions and publisher traumas. Worms changed everything about the company in 1995. Prior to that we were doing some very cool stuff – similar to what we are doing right now actually – with amazing games talent from around the world and I often wonder what else we would have done had Worms not landed. We should have stayed true to what we had been doing, but overnight nothing mattered but Worms. We really thought we were superstars and everything we touched would turn to gold, but the reality was that a lot of money was wasted on games that were never released. These included Rollcage, Allegiance, Witchwood, P.I.G, and so many more I won’t mention. I’d say, looking back now, that the Worms IP was as much a Godsend as a poison chalice.”

Thanks to Ross Sillifant for the contribution! If you know someone that worked on this game and could help to preserve more screens or videos, please let us know!

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Labyrinth / Legend [Playstation – Tech Demo]

In the first months of 1994, before launching its first console, Sony created a few tech demos in order to show to the public the hardware capabilities of the new Playstation: F-1, T-Rex, Fighting Demo  and so on. In june 1994, Edge published an article about a video with some PSX tech demos that recently aired on japanese Tv Asahi’s program Tonight. One of them, a yet unnamed  platform game, eventually became Jumping Flash, but the most interesting of them was “Legend“, a first person dungeon crawler (no relation with King’s Field) that remained just a tech demo / concept:

legend labyrinth 1994 psx
In this tech demo video the player moved around the dungeon‘s fully textured, highly detailed corridors and encounter a massive dragon. Another screenshot of Legend (now called “Labyrinth“), appeared in august 1994 on Edge 11:

labyrinth tech demo psx
We don’t know which team developed the Labyrinth / Legend concept for Sony or if the latter was ever planned to become a full game. If you have more info about this tech demo, please let us know in the comments below! 

Witchwood [Cancelled – Playstation, Saturn, PC, Jaguar, Amiga]

Witchwood is a cancelled action adventure game that was in development from 1994 to 1996 by Team 17, the studio best known for the Worms series. The game would have been published by Ocean for Amiga and PC, but in 1995 moved to PC, Playstation, Saturn, and Jaguar. As noted by Hallfiry of the Betaarchive Forum, while working on Witchwood, Team 17 was also developing Speris Legacy; another action adventure similar to the Legend of Zelda games that was released on Amiga in 1996.

Witchwood-Team-17-joystick-64

The reason for the project’s termination is as of yet unknown. One possibility is that Team 17’s publishing partner, Ocean, elected to drop the game’s funding in light of Speris’ apparently lacklustre sales; rather than risk making another loss.

Despite the game’s cancellation, its soundtrack was released by Team17 composer, Bjørn Lynne, in 1996, and a playable demo of Witchwood was leaked online some years ago: you can download it from Kult Game.

Thanks to Tom Barker for the contribution!

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