Game Boy Advance (GBA)

The Haunted Mansion [GBA – Cancelled]

The Haunted Mansion is a cancelled adventure game that was in development around 2002 – 2003 by Pocket Studios, planned to be published for GBA by TDK Mediactive, the same company which published The Haunted Mansion for PlayStation 2, Xbox and GameCube. The games were based on the homonym Disneyland ride and the home-console versions were released in the same year of the Haunted Mansion movie (also based on the Disney ride).

This canned Game Boy Advance version was quite impressive for its 3D graphic, something that was not common on the console. Players would explore the mansion Resident-Evil- Style, finding keys and avoiding enemies, plus some on-rails sections on a classic mine cart.

It seems the GBA version of Haunted Mansion was canned when TDK Mediactive was bought by Take-Two Interactive. As wrote by a former Pocket Studios developer on Youtube:

“I was a coder on this game. The main reason for its non release was the TDK the original publishers being bought out mid development by Take2. I’m certainly not in the know as to what went on between Take2 and Pocket but after the takeover it was clear the game wouldn’t get a release. Lets just say Pocket wanted to hit its milestones to get paid and fill the contract and Take2 tried to make that hard.

As for the game. Publishers were at the time were eager to have games that were more 3D-ish, especially lower end publishers with less than amazing franchises as it made the game stand out from the flat 2d, iso games that almost every release was. The simple fact is the GBA doesn’t do 3D well, but I think looking back nearly 20 years and saying the 3d is broken isnt really fair. Personally I think some of the art in this game is lovely. I still think this game is technically impressive… Did anyone notice the transparent ghosts???? If any other game does transparency on the GBA I’ve not heard of it.

TBH the gameplay sucks. The card game was absolutely pointless, and the free roaming made the game weirdly empty and slow. I think a number of the team wanted to do a more side on 3d platformer affair, but that was ruled out fairly early as death/weapons was something you couldn’t do with this Disney property.”

Some years ago a ROM of the game was leaked online, so at least we can marvel at its technical achievement.

Images:

Videos:

 

Western Lords [GBA, Nintendo DS, PC – Cancelled]

Western Lords is a cancelled Old-West RPG in development around 2004 by Blossomsoft for GBA, Nintendo DS and PC. In its initial version it looked like a classic 16-bit 2D RPG, but it seems it was later rebooted in 3D for Nintendo DS before being finally canned.

As we can read in some old messages in their (now closed) forum, the game was related to another unreleased game titled “Sagrada Guardians”:

“We’re currently working on a new game project titled Western Lords. Note, however: even though Sagrada Guardians was once titled Western Lords in the past (and then changed due to the theme issue), these games are not the same.

While Sagrada Guardians focus on ‘the cities made of gold’ theme, Western Lords will focus more on outlaws and cowboys in a merciless environment similar to Mexico. However, some story elements of Sagrada Guardians will be introduced via Western Lords.

Even if Sagrada Guardians and Western Lords shouldn’t be considered as the same series, they will be running in parallel to one another. Western Lords will have an entire new cast of characters, and should take place approximately one century before Sagrada Guardians on the same world. Take note that the environment will be darker unlike the fantastic ambiance of Sagrada Guardians. This will remind everyone how harsh the western era looked like (well, at least in literature!).

We hope to complete the game during this coming winter, exactly as we did with Oracle Adventure with the creative side. The game will possibly be sold for around $25 on PC. We’re also planning multi-languages, English and French as initial languages.

Also key members of Sagrada Guardians will be working on Western Lords. For instance, Xavier Dang will be the main composer and William Knight will be in charge of the dialogues. Min ‘keiii’ Kwon will possibly stay on as the artwork designer, though this is unconfirmed as of yet. “

The game was cancelled when the team was disbanded, as confirmed by the team leader on their old website:

“It was the very first project I created back around 2004. The Game Boy Advance and later the Nintendo DS were the main targeted platforms. Sadly, the team disbanded because of my inexperience and since then I’ve been honing my skills to become a one-man team. Fact is, the release of Eternal Eden in 2008 was some sort of Plan B to get Western Lords back on track. But then things escalated to Plan C, etc. I still intend to revive this project with a different style after 2016, if things go well.”

Blossomsoft also worked on other interesting cancelled games such as Mimic Book and GUNNARr (both for Nintendo DS). In 2016 an early prototype version of Western Lord GBA was found and preserved: you can download it from here.

In 2008 Blossomsoft released a different RPG titled “Eternal Eden” on PC as their first commercial project. As of 2020 it seems Western Lords was resurrected and it’s now planned to be released on Nintendo Switch in the future.

Images:

Videos:
 

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!

Images:

Videos:

 

Baketsu Daisuken [GBA – Cancelled]

Baketsu Daisakusen is a cancelled horse-racing RPG / simulation in development around 2001 by Nintendo for their Game Boy Advance. As other horse-racing game popular in Japan you could play it as a racing game or as a simulation in which you just bet on the results, while the game internal AI would predict which horse would win the race based on their stats and previous 5 runs. It seems Baketsu Daisakusen would also let you play online against other players, using the GBA’s cell-phone adapter. 

In the end, Nintendo never released the game for unknown reasons. Only a few, tiny screenshots still exist today to remember its existence.

Images:

 

Radio Rayless [GBA – Cancelled]

Radio Raylessレディオレイリス)is a cancelled futuristic racing game that was in development in 2002 by Now Production, planned to be published for GBA. The game was shown in a few Nintendo leaflets along with many others GameCube and GameBoy Advance titles, but this one seems to have vanished forever.

For now the only (tiny) screenshot available online for Radio Rayless was posted on Twitter by Akamid83:

Radio-Rayless-GBA-cancelled

Around the same time Now Production also worked on Goemon: New Age Shutsudō! (GBA), Goemon: Shin Sedai Shūmei! and Block Kuzushi (PlayStation). If you can find more images or details about Radio Rayless, please let us know!