Nes / Famicom

Sunman [NES – Cancelled]

Sunman is an cancelled NES action game made by Sunsoft which was supposed to be released in 1992. The most interesting aspect about this game is that originally Sunman was going to be a Superman game, and playing it is not hard to spot the resemblances: both heroes have a similar costume and the same powers. We don’t know why in the end Sunsoft didn’t get the official license from DC comics but probably the software house thought that it was a bad idea to spend a remarkable amount of money for a game planned for a rapidly aging console.

Other than that, Sunman was just an anonymous side-scroller game with below-average controls and only five stages, not exactly an appealing new entry for the NES market of the time. Nothing too strange, then, that Sunsoft decided to shelf it for good.


However, Sunsoft’s Superman survives as a Genesis game, as reported on Wikipedia. The game was published in the same year of Sunman’s prototype, 1992. While the graphic is better so that it can fit a 16bit console like Genesis , the game concept is still quite the same as the NES version. In fact, Superman/Sunman’s moves are the same (except that in the Genesis version he can also fire beams from his eyes) and some maps’ design is very close to the NES version. We can actually say that Genesis’ Superman is what we could’ve seen on NES.

John Doom is trying to make a complete Superman NES game using Sunman, creating and replacing Sunman’s sprites with Superman. You can try the game on John Doom’s space. It runs on vnes, an applet nes emulator (You need Java in order to play the game).




Titan Warriors [NES – Unreleased]

Titan Warriors is a cancelled shoot ’em up that was developed by Capcom for the NES / Famicom, in 1988. The game was meant to be a sequel of Vulgus, an arcade shooter developed and published by Capcom in Japan in 1984. An almost complete build (with just some bugs) of Titan Warriors was somehow leaked online, and you can download it at the Lost Levels Forum. For more info about this project, you can read a nice article written by Frank Cifaldi for 1UP’s Retro Gaming Blog.




Screwballs Superleague [NES – Cancelled]

Screwballs Superleague is a cancelled brawler / action game that was in development in 1990 by Rare. The game had two modes of play, battle mode and cooperative play: players would each start a level in their own “spin engine”, which would spin-up the character from their normal state into a spinning top. Players could exit the “spin engine” at any time, but it took time to spin the character up to full speed: the faster they were spinning, the more energy they had to throw either another player out of the battle arena (in battle mode) or an enemy monster (in coop mode).

As they player bashed into things, and over time, their spin energy would decrease making them more vulnerable to attack, so they would need to periodically head back into their own spin engine to spin-up to full power again.

Sadly Screwballs Superleague was canceled when the lead programmer left Rare. The game was pretty fun, but was months away from being completed and at the time they did not have a publisher for it yet.

Thanks a lot to Simon for his help in preserving some info on this lost project!


Chuck Yeager’s Fighter Combat [NES – Cancelled]

As we can read on Wikipedia, Charles Elwood “Chuck” Yeager (born 1923) is a noted test pilot. He is widely considered to be the first pilot to travel faster than sound and his career began in World War II as a private in the United States Army Air Forces. In 1991 Electronic Arts published Chuck Yeager’s Air Combat for PC, an aircraft simulation in which Chuck Yeager was a technical consultant in the game and his digitized voice is featured in the game, giving encouragement and praises before and after missions.

A NES game featuring Chuck Yeager, titled “Chuck Yeager’s Fighter Combat” was also in the works for the Nintendo Entertainment System, but it was never released for unknown reasons. In May 2010, mrmark0673 and BeaglePuss were able to buy a prototype of Chuck Yeager’s Fighter Combat NES from an eBay auction and shared many screenshots of the game. Chuck Yeager’s Fighter Combat will

As BeaglePuss and mrmark0673 wrote in the Nintendo AGE Forum:

This game is fantastic!. It’s extremely involved for an NES game. There are two selectable training options and two gameplay options including a two player game where Player one flies the jet and Player two is in charge of artillery. There are four weapons (including remote missiles that the player take control of to seek out long range targets), tons of baddies (Planes, helicopters, tanks, etc), awesome pseudo 3-D effects (Think 8-bit Star Fox), well developed story line, tons of in-game options (multiple camera angles), and some of the most ridiculous digitized voice overs of all time. Not only is the voice fantastic, but Yeager’s disembodied head appears on screen every time another one liner is shared.

The two things that continue to stand out for me are:

– The digital voices. Every five seconds, Chuck says something bizarre like “Engage!” or “Out of Missiles” and my favorite “You call yourself a pilot?!”

– The “polygon” graphics that I never thought I’d see on the NES. For the hardware, I can’t believe they can pull it off. Sure, it’s primitive next to something like Starfox, but not bad at all for the NES.

The game will be released (Cart and box) for less than $60 shipped. If that doesn’t interest you as a collector, you could always wait until the initial sale is over and play the rom for free. As always, huge props to mrmark0673 and BeaglePuss!


Devilman [NES – Beta / Unused]

As we can read on Wikipedia, a video game based on the popular Devilman manga / anime series was developed by ISCO and published by Namco in 1989 for the NES / Famicom. The game is an action RPG where players take control of Akira Fudo and the objective is to follow clues that will lead the heroes through a ruined city, into underground caves, around a hidden military base and finally into a confrontation with Zenon.

John Doom discovered that in the game’s code are some hidden images, taken directly from the comics, which were not used in the final version. It’s possible that these scenes were meant to be used during the fights against the various demons (Silen, Agwell, Ghelmer, etc.). Another shot shows a dying Miki (as in the comics).

Thanks to John Doom for the contribution and to Jason for the english corrections!