Game Boy (+ Color)

Jibaku-kun: Zero no Ki no Kajitsu [Game Boy Color – Cancelled]

Jibaku-kun: Zero no Ki no Kajitsu (ジバクくん 零の樹の果実 ワールド) is a cancelled Action RPG that was in development by Enterbrain and Media Factory for Game Boy Color. The game is based on a manga / anime series by Ami Shibata and gameplay is kinda similar to the Tales Of series: players can explore the world and its cities, talking to NPCs and resolving quests, while fighting monsters in side-scrolling combat.

This is one of the playable GBC prototypes that was found in the Nintendo Gigaleak in September 2020, so luckily it was preserved: a few  screenshots and gameplay footage are available online.

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High Heat Major League Baseball 2002 [Game Boy Color – Cancelled]

High Heat Major League Baseball 2002 is a cancelled sport game that would have been published by The 3DO Company for Game Boy Color. While other versions of the game were released in 2001 for PC, Game Boy Advance, Playstation and PS2, this GBC edition was announced but then never released by the company. As we can read in their old website:

“Bring the best Major League action to the road! Whether you prefer to play a single game, an entire season with playoffs, or just want to whack the ball out of the park in the Home Run Derby, this game’s got it!

  • All 30 Major League Baseball teams
  • Actual updated 2001 teams and player rosters
  • 5 different modes of play – Batting Practice, Exhibition, Season, Playoffs, and Home Run Derby
  • Strike out batters with multiple pitch types
  • Use the auto-fielding option for easy play

Maybe one day someone will leak a ROM of this canned port?

Thanks to Nemkell for the contribution!

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Rhino Rumble Puzzle (Formula) [Game Boy Color – Cancelled]

Rhino Rumble Puzzle is a cancelled puzzle-platformer featuring four playable characters and more than 60 levels (+ mini-games), that was in development by Formula Games / Lost Boys Interactive around 2001 – 2002, planned to be released on the Game Boy Color. Lost Boys was the original name of Guerrilla Games, prior to their acquisition by Sony and before creating such popular titles as the Killzone series and Horizon Zero Dawn. In particular Formula was Lost Boys’ internal team dedicated to handheld games, responsible for producing titles such as Rhino Rumble, and Tiny Toon Adventures: Dizzy’s Candy Quest for GameBoy Color.

Some details on Rhino Rumble Puzzle can still be found in an old preview by IGN:

“It’s a standard side-scroller, but the added challenge of protecting the water barrel changes the dynamics dramatically. And if that’s not enough puzzle madness for you, you can build your own stages in the game — a rarity in puzzle games and an unheard-of concept in side-scrolling games. Let your imagination run wild, then trade data with your friends via the Infrared link and challenge them to beat your tricky track.”

We can read the original game’s description on the archived Lost Boys website:

“The time has come again. Rhino has already eaten too many peppers! This time however, all the animals had foreseen this, putting all the available water in barrels and hiding on high ledges in labyrinth-like caves. Put yourself in the shoes of one of Rhino’s four best friends, and try to quench Rhino’s thirst by getting him the barrels of water. Using your own cleverness and objects scattered throughout the levels, your task is to jump and drill your way through the caverns. Dodge enemies, solve puzzles, and do it all within a time limit, without dropping the barrels! The animals will understand your actions, but they’d rather Rhino finally learn a lesson from his greed, so they’ll try to stop you. Crush, crush, drill and chop your way through over 60 challenging puzzle levels and earn a place in the hall of fame”

Rhino Rumble Puzzle was also mentioned in a 2011 interview by Gamasutra with Mathijs de Jonge (Game Director at Lost Boys / Guerrilla Games):

“I have very fond memories of a Game Boy Color game we made during the Lost Boys Games days, which we sadly couldn’t find a publisher for. Even though it was a Game Boy Color game, we had the same ambitions we had with Killzone 3, in a way. […] It’s a puzzle platform game but it has a level editor built in, and all the 80 or so levels in the game we made with the in-game level editor. If you remember it, the Game Boy Color had an infrared port, so you could submit the levels/puzzles you made to your friends that way.

That was already a big and ambitious project, and that was such a long time ago, and it’s really sad we couldn’t find a publisher for it — because back in those days publishers wanted licensed characters, and asked us to change the nice characters we created to well-known cartoon figures. We didn’t want to compromise our game, and sadly, that ensured that nobody wanted to publish it.”

At the time Lost Boys were also working on another cancelled Game Boy Color game titled “Knights”, originally conceived as a canned Dreamcast multiplayer brawler and later reworked as a Playstation 2 action platformer (also unreleased), before the team was sold to Media Republic and renamed Guerrilla Games.

Thanks to Squiddy Goat for the contribution!

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Radikal Bikers [Game Boy Color – Cancelled]

The original Radikal Bikers was a pizza-delivery racing game for Arcades, developed by Gaelco in 1998 and later converted to PlayStation in 1999. A Game Boy Color port was also in development by Bit Managers, but it the end it was never released. Some years ago a prototype of the cancelled GBC port was leaked online, so you can play it on your favorite emulator.

Gameplay is similar to the original arcade version, but using a top-down, isometric view. Players race in different cities trying to avoid cars to delivery pizza to their clients as soon as possible. As we can read from the original press-release:

“Jump on your scooter and take up the challenge. Through the busiest streets in the world you’ve got to avoid trucks, cars, police, obstacles and people in a pizza fuelled dash for glory. Take the challenge and race your way across Paris, London, New York and the true home of Pizza – Italy!

Featuring:

  • Classic Arkade Mode.
  • Radikal Mode.
  • 2 player dash for glory.
  • Numerous Characters and Scooters to suit your personal taste.
  • GET OUTTA MY WAY!
  • No speed limit. No seat belt. No air bag. No rules!”

A sequel to Radical Bikers was also in development by Gaelco, but also canned.

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Towers II: Plight of the Stargazer [Game Boy Color – Cancelled]

Towers: Lord Baniff’s Deceit was a first-person RPG / dungeon crawler developed by JV Games (AKA JV Enterprises) and originally published on PC in 1993, with a Game Boy Color port  published by Vatical Entertainment in 2000. A sequel titled “Towers II: Plight of the Stargazer” was later released in 1995: JV planned to also port this one to the GBC, but unfortunately the project was cancelled.

Robert was able to get in contact with Vince Valenti of JV Games, who shared some details and screenshot from their cancelled game:

“We estimated it would take 3-4 months to convert.  It took about 6. We took the Towers I game code we wrote for the GBC and improved on it to lay out the Towers II game.  Came out nice, we thought. Too bad it never made it out to market.

Towers 2 – Plight of the Stargazer, picks up a couple of months after their initial landing.  The crew is discovering that there is something very strange in the land of Lamini. There is no outside trade or information, and the locals seem only interested in the current affairs of Lamini.

During this time repairs have been made to the ship, which is almost complete, and the crew is more then anxious to leave the island.  This is when the new sheriff requests our audience. Lord Daggan, one of Lamini’s highest council members appears to have gone mad. The council’s elite guards and mages were sent in to stop Daggan, but none have been heard from since.  

According to the sheriff, you are Lamini’s best chance.  It seems that the only people that have been able to enter the Towers and escape have been individual or small groups of thieves.  Several thieves were questioned, and their confessions were amazing. They spoke of large eyes with wings, men made out of metal, and living fire.  It is now up to you, with a companion if you choose, to enter Daggan’s towers, and unravel the mystery.

In this game, the mysteries of the island of Lamini start to unravel as well as the deceit of the council.  

New & Improved Features:

  • Approximately 6 minutes of vocal conversations.
  • Larger view screen.
  • changing dungeon graphics, by level.
  • Teleporters.
  • Visual graphic spell selection.
  • Improved AI, the intro of friendly characters.
  • Improved story line integration.
  • Spell effects
  • More puzzles
  • American-style, full featured RPG
  • 2 player linkable option (co-operative mode)
  • 15 levels to explore”

Thanks to Robert for the contribution! A playable prototype was found and shared online by Gaming Alexandria in January 2020.