Nintendo 64 & 64DD

Doom Absolution [N64 – Cancelled]

Doom Absolution (AKA Doom 64 2) is the cancelled sequel to Doom 64, that was planned by Midway San Diego & ID Software to be a multiplayer-focused game developed for 2 players deathmatch mode (as the first game’s multiplayer mode was removed) , somehow like what happened with Turok Rage Wars, the multiplayer-only Turok that Acclaim released on Nintendo 64  to follow the GoldenEye deathmatch craze. As we can read from an interview with Aaron Seeler (lead programmer for Doom 64):

At that time, as dm purists, most everybody involved thought it silly to play dm split screen, where you could see everybody else. So, we chose not to do it. 007 beat the crap out of Doom 64. Quite a regret.

Doom Absolution was officially canned in July 1997, when the project was still in early development (Doom 64 was released in March/April 1997) and sadly there are no images to be preserved. It seems that the game was cancelled because the Doom engine looked dated at the time and they decided to work on Quake 64 port instead, a “newer” fully 3D FPS that could have had sell more copies within the market.

Is interesting to notice that originally Doom 64 was started as a project called “The Absolution” but the title was later changed for brand recognition. Still “The Absolution” was reused as the name of the last level of the game.

We tried to get in contact with some people from Midway San Diego that worked on the original Doom 64 and its sequel but with no luck, if you know someone that could have more info about this cancelled Doom game, please let us know!

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doom absolution Nintendo 64 cancelled 

Conscripts [N64 – Cancelled]

Conscripts is a cancelled game that was in development by Software Creations for the Nintendo 64. There are not much info on the project and no images are left, as it was canned in early development, but we know that it was going to be an action / strategy game in which we had to guide to safety some soldiers, with helicopters and tanks, through various battlefield.

The idea was to have many little soldier characters on the screens (swarms of them) in a huge world, but they never got as far as creating the main 3D landscape. The gameplay could have been like a 3D Lemmings, but with a war theme. The Conscripts 64 team was composed by Marc Dawson (director), Weston Samuels (concept arts), Allan Findlay (3D engine) and Francis O’Brien (3D Artist).

Conscripts by Software Creations for N64

The game was cancelled along with many others Software Creations projects for the N64, as Space JellyForever Dragonz, Dead Ahead, Blade & Barrel and Creator, as they moved their resources onto other projects that were paid for by publishers. Even with various teams full of talented developers, probably Software Creations at that time had too many original prototypes in development and they had to cut some of them to switch resources to those project that had more chances to be profitable.

In the end, the only games developed by Software Creations that were released on the Nintendo 64 were Carmageddon, FIFA 99, Hexen, World Cup 98 and a couple of Wayne Gretzky’s 3D Hockey: all their more interesting and original games (like Conscripts 64) were never released.

Thanks to Francis and Allan for their help in preserving some info about this lost game! 

Space Jelly [N64 – Cancelled]

Space Jelly, also known as Moon Jelly (and originally called “A Fist Full of Credits”), is a cancelled game that was in development for the Nintendo 64 by Software Creations. The game’s world and settings were created by the Pickford Brothers as an original game concept, with concept arts by Steve Hanson. Initially Space Jelly / Moon Jelly wasn’t really a platform-specific game, it was more about designing a main character, their world, backstory and art style, with the intention of creating a franchise which would lead to a series of games. Ste and John Pickford put together a reference book of characters, art, locations, while Richard Kay (Software Creations managing director) was trying to sell the concept to various publishers, before any actual game development began.

In 1995/1996 the Pickford Brothers left Software Creations and were no longer involved in Space Jelly, but Software Creations continued to work on the game, with Steve Hanson taking over as game designer. With only some concept arts and a design doc, it seems that Software Creations was not able to find a publisher for Space Jelly yet. In 1995 Nintendo of America announced that Software Creations entered in their “Dream Team” and as SC’s knowledge of the N64 hardware became more and more deep (SC also created the sound tools for the N64), they started to work on a Nintendo 64 prototype using the Space Jelly concept, with 3D models done by Deborah Graham.  In the gallery below you can see one Space Jelly character, Johnny Forbidden, modeled by Francis O’Brien in his spare time inbetween other Software Creations projects.

Space Jelly became a self-funded Nintendo 64 project, a 3D platformer / action game, with ingame graphics tailored to the strengths / weaknesses of the N64 hardware. As we can read from the comments by journalists that saw a video of Space Jelly when Software Creations was showing it at gaming expos, the graphics were great, like a colorful Tim Burton game, with animations done by ex Cosgrove Hall staff.

Sadly Space Jelly was later cancelled, along with many others Software Creations projects for the N64, as Forever Dragonz, Dead Ahead, Blade & Barrel and Creator. Even with various teams full of talented people, probably Software Creations at that time had too many original prototypes in development and they had to cut some of them to switch resources to those project that had more chances to be profitable. In the end, the only games developed by Software Creations that were released on the Nintendo 64 were Carmageddon, FIFA 99, Hexen, World Cup 98 and a couple of Wayne Gretzky’s 3D Hockey: all their more interesting and original games were never released.

Thanks to Francis O’Brien and Ste Pickford for their contributions! Thanks to Celine for some of the scans!

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Contra Spirits 64 [N64 – Cancelled]

Contra Spirits 64 is a cancelled shooter / action game in the contra series that was in development by Konami Computer Entertainment Osaka for the Nintendo 64. There are just a few info about this unreleased project as Konami never shown any official screenshot or concept art, but the title was in many list of games to be released for the N64 and the hopes went up for many Nintendo gamers that wanted a new and fun game for their 64bit console. Unfortunatly it seems that as the Nintendo 64 sold poorly in Japan, Konami decided to stop the development of the project and disbanded its team.

As we can read on IGN64:

Contra was planned, but the original team was disbanded and all team members now work on different projects,” said a company spokesperson. [Contra] has pretty much been shelved. […] There is concern over the poor N64 console sales in Japan […]

Contra 64 would have been a sidescrolling 3D game, with some sessions in which the camera would have switched angles or move behind the characters, possible for boss battles. There are some rumors that say that the Contra Spirits 64 concept was resurrected and became Contra: Shattered Soldier for PS2, but as Contra N64 was in development in 1998 and Contra PS2 was announced and released in 2002, it’s hard to say if the 2 project have anything in common.

Below you can see some scans from old magazines that wrote about Contra Spirits 64 (if you have Next Generation Issue 29, Volume 3 May 1997 and can make a bigger scan of their N64 article, please let us know!).

Thanks to Celine and Contrapedia for the contributions!

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Gex 3 [Beta – PSX N64]

Gex 3: Deep Cover Gecko is a 3D platform game that was developed by Crystal Dynamics and Gratuitous Games for the original Playstation and Nintendo 64. Steve noticed a lot of beta differences from the various Gex 3 demos that were released before the final game.

First up, a video featuring the level “Clueless In Seattle” that is in volume 4 in a series of Eidos demo discs (it seems that this demo also appears in a greatest hits version of Tomb Raider II).

There are noticeable differences here compared to the level that is in the game’s retail release:

In the retail version, bears are enemies that can be found in the hedgemaze of this level. In this demo, the bears are absent there and only appear as these statues that can hurt you if you jump into them. These statues are also present in the retail version, but will not harm you if you jump into them. Also, there is an instance in the retail version where a small scene occurs in which the statue bears – for a lack of a better term – come to life as enemies. In this demo, this scene never occurs and the statue bears never come to life: