Nintendo

Eagle Summoner [Wii, DS – Cancelled]

Eagle Summoner is a cancelled puzzle – RPG hybrid similar to Puzzle Quest, that was in development by Sensory Sweep Studios around 2008. Following Puzzle Quest’s progression, in Eagle Summoner players would move their character around the world while encountering enemies to fight in puzzle-battles to gain experience and acquire treasures.

Some more details and images for this lost game were shared online thanks to former Sensory Sweep developer Christopher Enderle and artist Jenna Kemker:

“After the successful completion of My Spanish/French Coach, two coworkers, Peter Anderson and Niel Westover, began development of the prototype to this game. Upon completion of the prototype I involved myself in the creative process and began exploring puzzle designs and game play concepts. The prototype was shown to the company committee who received it favorably and green lit its development. While the game’s primary focus was always on puzzles, various other features, such as minigames and RPG elements, were explored for game play purposes. These additional features fell in and out of favor of project management at various stages of development.”

“Each puzzle has a set number of Eagles placed on a grid against a dragon of certain power. The goal of the game is to combine a number of eagles until their power equals the power of the dragon. The catch is that all the eagles move together at once, thus if an eagle is moved to the right, they all move to the right simultaneously. Players must be careful to not touch a fireball or a powerful dragon before their eagle is of equal strength or the Eagle dies and the puzzle must be restarted. To line up two eagles together, a player must push their eagles against a neutral object, such as a cloud. If an eagle pushes against a cloud, it will not move. A player must use this mechanic to safely maneuver his eagles to combine their strength. Hundreds of puzzles each with a different twist will challenge players as they try to save the world.”

“Upon selecting adventure mode players will be taken to an over world map of the kingdom of Earth on the bottom screen.  This map will contain the locations of the major cities and areas that they will visit on their adventure.

NPC interaction will be represented by houses or other icons, pertaining to the situation. When selected dialogue boxes will pop showing a detailed image of the characters in one box and an image of the NPC in another.  Basic information can be gained this way as well as story progression and side quests. Players can choose to do optional quests for rewards such as items or to increase their gold token count to unlock story progression.”

The game was cancelled when Sensory Sweep finally closed for bankruptcy, with employees working without being paid for months. As we can read on Mobygames:

“The company filed for bankruptcy in September 2005, but kept all projects going with two name changes (including Fooptube). In early 2008 the employees stopped receiving contributions, even though their paychecks were still deducted for the next few pay periods. Soon after that the paychecks bounced and Sensory Sweep lost Brash Entertainment as a big client when it folded at the end of 2008.”

Some images are preserved in the gallery below to remember the existence of this lost game.

Among Sensory Sweep other cancelled games there are such titles as Crash Tag Team Racing DS, Time Traveler, Sentient, Raphael and Oregon Files.

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B.O.B. 2 [Cancelled – SNES, Mega Drive]

The original B.O.B. was a run ‘n gun platformer developed by Gray Matter Inc. and Foley Hi-Tech Systems, published in 1993 by Electronic Arts for SNES and Mega Drive (Genesis). A sequel titled “B.O.B. II” was also in development not long after the first one, but in the end the project was canned and never officially announced by EA.

There’s not much remaining from this lost game: just some concept art and its logo. We don’t even know if one of the two original teams developed an early prototype for EA. We can assume it would be hard to see more from BOB 2: it’s the cancelled sequel of a mostly forgotten run ‘n gun.

Maybe one day someone who worked on the project could help unveiling more, but for now these images are the only proof it was once in development or at least conceived as a possibility.

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Project Alpha (MIT) [GBA – Cancelled]

Project Alpha is a cancelled RPG that was in development by Multimedia Intelligence Transfer for Game Boy Advance. The team is mostly known for their work on the portable side-series of Shin Megami Tensei, with titles such as Devil Children, DemiKids, Megami Tensei Gaiden.

This canned project was in development using the same GBA engine they created for the Devil Children titles, as much as it reused many assets from Devil Children: Fire Book. However it seems Project Alpha was planned as a different, original game. In early 2019 YT channel Hard4Games made a video about this prototype and sometime later Kuriatsu acquired the same proto, doing more research on its content. As wrote on Reddit:

“For those that are unaware, Project Alpha, is a game prototype that first appeared on Hard4Games about a month ago. In these videos, they covered a few things that are and are not relevant to the game series Devil Children on GBA. Project Alpha uses the exact same game engine to a T that Devil Children: book of fire uses, to the point that it even uses book of Fires internal designation. (so basically Atlus rom hacked Book of Fire) A lot of the assets, such as music, some visuals, a LOT of Debug, and so on, are from Book of Fire, but Project Alpha is its own game, and at one time, was supposed to be something, but noone knows what. In my experiments with this game, there’s not even a single trace of its original name that I’m seeing thus far.”

The japanese prototype was translated thanks to RetroTranslator and Kuriatsu made a video showing off more of what can be found in this early demo:

As wrote in the video description:

  1. This game is not even 1/50th complete, but it is an interesting game.
  2. This game is not a Devil Children game, despite using the DC3 Engine. project alpha is the same for devil children as Guruguru Garakuta-zu is for devil children on the Gameboy colour. Devil children on the GBC actually took a LOT of resources from Guruguru Garakuta-zu. In the same way, project alpha took a LOT of resources from Devil Children Flame Book. In fact, all of the music that we’ll hear from this game is actually from Devil Children Flame Book.
  3. This game is highly unusual in comparison to other prototypes, and is likely the equivalent of a pilot TV show thats testing the waters, as a result, it’s not incredibly detailed, but the back story is clear as crystal.”

Thanks to Kuriatsu for the contribution!

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Ooinaru Kan [Famicom / NES – Cancelled]

Ooinaru Kan (大いなる完) is a cancelled adventure / simulation game based on Hiroshi Motomiya’s 1984 manga series, in development by Hect / Hector and planned to be published for Famicom / NES.

This series is quite obscure outside of Japan, but we can read a short plot description on Amazon Japan (“translated” with Google Translate):

“Tetsuma Kan, a peasant’s prisoner, is a bad guy who is entitled “Bonno” because of the annoyance of missing digits. In 1938, he committed the only daughter, Takako, of the landowner Ishikura, and jumped out of his hometown to climb to an equal position with Ishikura’s house. One generation of a man who lives in a turbulent era and rises to the top of politics.”

We can assume the game would have followed the same storyline, but not much is known about this project. Heimao found a single screenshot from the game in an old gaming magazine and shared it on Twitter.

As it often happens with cancelled Famicom games, today Ooinaru Kan is forgotten by everyone and we’ll probably never know more about what happened to it.

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My Neighbor Totoro [SNES – Cancelled]

Around 1992 Tokuma Shoten Intermedia planned to develop or publish a tie-in Super Nintendo video game for the popular Studio Ghibli anime My Neighbor Totoro. At the time Studio Ghibli was part of Tokuma Shoten and the company published a few anime-related games such as Yadamon: Wonderland Dream and Eternal Filena. As far as we know the game was never officially announced by the company, but in 2019 Itoh Shigeyuki (former artists at Tokuma) shared on Twitter a couple of images from the game pitch they showed to Miyazaki.

As translated by Nina Matsumoto on Twitter:

“About 27 years ago, I drew these from scratch pixel by pixel to pitch a My Neighbor Totoro Super Famicom game to Hayao Miyazaki. (*for Tokuma Shoten Intermedia. The game got shelved). There were no decent scanners back then, so I had to stare at an art book and draw these one pixel at a time”

And a few more details “translated” by Google Translate:

“At that time, I felt a good bleed out when I saw it with a CRT while working, and it was more anime-like. Tokuma Shoten proposed a plan because he wanted to put it out, but unfortunately the director’s ok did not appear.

I couldn’t tell you the details of the reason for the store, but as you pointed out, he didn’t seem to like the game.

I guess it was more like an adventure game. I want to ignore the project and put out a racing game on a cat bus (laughs)

I think that there was a certain amount of odds, and I think that I had a plan for Manager Miyazaki, but in terms of adventure-oriented content, it might not have been as meaningful to turn it into a game.

Because it was for planning purposes, I think that I use more than 16 colors. However, the number of colors is considerably reduced.”

In the end after this undeveloped Super Famicom pitch there has never been an official My Neighbor Totoro video game.

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