Microsoft

TY the Tasmanian Tiger 4: GUNYIP! [Cancelled – GameCube, Xbox, PS2]

GUNYIP! Is a cancelled dogfighting shooter set in the TY the Tasmanian Tiger universe, focused on flight missions using TY’s mecha-airplane (the Gunyip, as seen in Ty 3). It was initially conceived for GameCube, Xbox and Playstation 2 as the official 4th chapter in the TY series but gameplay would have been similar to titles such as Crimson Sky, Ace Combat and Star Fox’s all-range mode. The game was in development by Krome Studios around 2005 – 2007, started after the release of Ty the Tasmanian Tiger 3: Night of the Quinkan. While the team was pitching the idea to publishers they were hired to work on Star Wars: The Force Unleashed and GUNYIP! had to be canned.

Most of what we know about this unreleased project was revealed by Krome Studios’ artist and TY co-creator Steve Stamatiadis on his Tumblr account:

“Here’s the promo trailer we put together to pitch Gunyip to publishers. It starts with stuff from TY 3 minigames, then has some early test capture footage then ends with some rendered stuff from the TY 3 trailer.”

“There was the whole first version of TY 4: Gunyip which got shelved to make way for Star Wars. There’s a whole book just of stuff from that.”

“Flashback to the unmade TY 4: Gunyip which was Star Wars AF. The Frills were Scout Frills (the best of the bucket heads!), there were all these Star Wars style flight suits and there was even a Wookiee like character called Po (he’s a Kakapo)

If you thought the 2D game was a departure you would have hated this version even more – it was a flight combat game. Where you flew around doing missions on Gunyips. Basically Ace Combat in the TY universe. The best bit was that it was all told as a story being recounted by Lenny. Also you got to play through the “story” mode 3 times as different factions unlocked and you got more of the full story. It was ambitious to say the least.

Also I do enjoy the irony that the game was dropped mid production so that we could work on an ACTUAL Star Wars game.”

“The original TY 4 was not going to be a 3D platformer – it was a story driven air combat game in the TY universe. It was put to rest when we had the chance to make a Star Wars game and it’s probably for the best. While the game was looking pretty hot I know now that TY fans would have lost their shit because it was different. You only need to look at the reaction to the Win 8 game with it being 2D – even though everything else is pretty much exactly the same.

Anyway apart from flying around in cool transforming Gunyips the game featured a story mode that let you play through as three different factions each with their own sets of Missions. There was TY and Bushrescue, Cass and his Cold Blood Empire and finally a new group the Metalskull pirates led by Ginger Knut the flying fox.”

TY the Tasmanian Tiger: Gunyip! – The Gunyips

The gunyips are the top level of air combat machines. Each faction would have it’s own unique design that the player would control when playing their missions. They were also designed to show your pilot character flying them. This was so players could have something ‘human’ to relate to and so that they could respond to the surrounding events much the same way TY sat in the back of the Fourbie and Crabmersible.

Bush Rescue: The Woomera class Gunyip.

Design wise the BR Gunyip has elements of both the plane version from TY 3 and both the unused designs for the Jet Bunyip. It had a variable geometry that would allow it to take different forms depending on it’s flight mode. And yes it was meant as a homage to Macross’ Gerwalk mode.

Cold Blood Empire: The Raptor

This one was designed to look like a bird of prey. I used the head of Cuddles (Fluffy’s mech from TY 3). The wing “feathers” would change shape based on its speed and the tail would look nice reacting to the physics of Gunyip flight.

It’s pilot is another Thorny Devil called Lizzy. She was going to be Fluffy’s replacement for this game. When you first saw her inthe game she would appear as Fluffy but as the game progressed you’d quickly learn that it was Just Boss Cass – who was now just a little bit more unhinged – seeing her as Fluffy.

Metal Skull Pirates: The Pteropus

A flying fox flown by Ginger Knut, who is also a flying fox. This is the first pass at the Pteropus and It’s a little more basic than the others but I really liked the feel of it being a big powerful motorbike with wings.

“This is Liz, she was going to be Fluffy’s replacement in TY: Gunyip! The way it was going to work was that you’d see her in cutscenes with Cass and she’d look exactly like Fluffy. But then we’d reveal that she actually looked like this and it was just Cass who had gone a little loopy from guilt seeing her as Fluffy. “

“Here’s the look of the Frills for TY: Gunyip! They were called Scout Frills because they are meant to look like my favorite Imperial troops, the Biker Scouts. I tried a few color variations but I was going to stick with the white version.”

“Po the Kakapo – I love the idea of flightless New Zealand birds piloting stuff in the TY universe (Duke the Kiwi) so the Metalskull pirates get Po – he’s sort of Chewbacca to Ginger’s Han Solo.

Fluffy Destrofluffy – A callback to the boss from TY 1 except this time you have Harpoons and Tow Cables. I wanted to name a level the Battle of Mount Hotham – for obvious reasons.

Robot Destrofluffy – what it’s like underneath when you burn the fake fur off them.

Young Tiberius – I never quite worked out how this would fit in the game if it even could but I wanted to have a flashback element where you’d play as Tiberius the Thylacine hero in a 1920s steampunk TY world. Maybe some other time.”

In 2013 Krome released a different Ty the Tasmanian Tiger 4 on PC, but maybe the idea of a flight-combat TY game could be resurrected in the future.

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Siren in the Maelstrom (Silicon Knights) [Cancelled – Xbox 360, PS3]

Siren in the Maelstrom is a cancelled fantasy adventure that was in development by Silicon Knights in the late ‘00s, but never officially announced. The title of this lost project was leaked online in different ways, when Canada Telefilm (an organization that lists projects approved for government grants) announced they would invest into Silicon Knights for their new game “Siren in the Maelstrom”. As we predicted at the time, unfortunately the game was never released.

Siren in the Maelstrom was again mentioned in a disastrous legal case between Epic Games and Silicon Knights. As we can read on Wikipedia:

“On May 2012 Epic Games defeated Silicon Knights‘ lawsuit (opened in July 2007) and won its counter-suit for $4.45 million on grounds of copyright infringement. Silicon Knights was directed by the court to destroy all game code derived from Unreal Engine 3 and to permit Epic Games access to the company’s servers and other devices to ensure these items have been removed. In addition, the studio was instructed to recall and destroy all unsold retail copies of games built with Unreal Engine 3 code, including Too Human, X-Men Destiny, The Sandman, The Box / Ritualyst, and Siren in the Maelstrom.”

Maelstrom (maelström; [ˈmeɪlstɹəm])  is a north-european word used to indicate powerful water whirlpool, produced by opposing currents or a current running into an obstacle. Many of these maelstroms are located near the Norwegian coast and knowing Silicon Knights’ history with the Norse mythology, many fans speculated Siren in the Maelstrom would also have been set in Vikings folklore.

Unfortunately the team never showed any official screenshot from the game, but some concept art is preserved in this page, to remember the existence of this lost project.

In May 2014, following the loss of the court case, Silicon Knights closed their office and filed for bankruptcy. As far as we know, files related to Siren in the Maelstrom had to be deleted, so it could already have been lost forever. As Epic Games had access to Silicon Knights’ server, someone may have saved parts of their cancelled games. We can only hope one day someone could be able to share more screenshots, footage or details from these projects.

If you know someone who worked at Silicon Knights on Siren in the Maelstrom and may help us to save something more from the game, please let us know.

Thanks to Dan for the contribution!

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Bladeball (Cat Mother) [Xbox, PC – Cancelled]

Bladeball is a cancelled extreme sport game that was in development by Cat Mother around 2002, for PC and the original Xbox. It was inspired by the Rollerball movie and you could imagine it as a more “violent” version of soccer / football: two teams in an arena, trying to score their point by any means. The team was able to develop an early prototype, but it was not as fun to play as they imagined it to be and decided to cancel it, to work on another game (Dead Justice, which was also canned). Unfortunately only a few, tiny screenshots remain from this lost project: we tried upscaling them to have a better idea of how Bladeball could have looked like in 2002. You can find them in the gallery below.

Thanks to Piotr for the contribution!

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Zombies Ate My Neighbors 2 [PS2, Xbox – Cancelled]

The original Zombies Ate My Neighbors was developed by LucasArts and published by Konami for the SNES and Mega Drive in 1993. A “sequel” titled Ghoul Patrol was released in 1994, but it was originally conceived as a different game. Many years later a true Zombies Ate My Neighbors sequel was pitched for Playstation 2 and Xbox, but unfortunately it was never fully developed. This project was never officially announced, but in 2020 Daniel Ibbertson (Slopes Game Room) shared a couple of screenshots from this cancelled project, sent to him by a former developer:

“A good few years ago I was contacted by one of the lead devs of the original Zombies Ate My Neighbours game. He was a fan of the channel and thanked me for making a video on the franchise :)

If that wasn’t cool enough he then went on to explain that a TRUE sequel was pitched but sadly not successful. Here are a couple of pics he showed me from that original pitch. The plan was that I would interview him and show off more, but sadly that never happened :(

We have lost contact over the last couple of years now and I have been sitting on these images for a long time not really knowing what to do with them! So, before I accidentally delete them I feel it is best that I share them with the world :P”

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The Saboteur [Prototype – Xbox]

The Saboteur is an open world action game developed by Pandemic Studios and released on Xbox 360, Playstation 3 and PC in 2009. Initially the project was pitched with a prototype built using the same 3D engine Pandemic used for Mercenaries: Playground of Destruction, running on the original Xbox. In this early version the protagonist was William Grover-Williams, a real life race car driver turned SOE agent during the Second World War: he was the inspiration for what later became Sean Devlin, the protagonist of the final game.

This Xbox prototype was graphically impressive for its time, with some destructible environments and explosion psychics. In the footage below you can see a mission in which players had to capture a Nazi truck, following it with a racing car. You would then enter into a Nazi base, destroying a huge building with a sniper rifle.

Unfortunately Pandemic Studios was shut down in 2009, leaving behind many canned projects: Legends, Mercenaries 3: No Limits, Mercs Inc, The Next Big Thing and Batman: The Dark Knight.

Thanks to Dan for the contribution!

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