Nintendo

Desolate World [GBA, Amiga – Cancelled]

Desolate World is a cancelled side-scrolling action game that was in development since late ‘90s by a small Czech independent team (Magic Birds?), to be published by Vulcan Software. The game was initially planned to be published on Amiga computers, it was previewed in Polish “Amiga Magazyn” in 1997 (issue 12) and 1998 (issue 10), and also in some old websites:

“The game is a platformer similar to the all-time great, Gods. However, As well as being all about killing nasties, the game will also have a heavy puzzle element. It is also planned for it to contain certain missions that you have to complete.

Having played an early demo of the game I am quite impressed. Although the main character seemed to move a little showly (this may have been changed), the GFX were very nice and main basis of a good game seemed to be there.

The game will require any Amiga with an 68020, 2Mb Chip RAM and 4Mb Fast RAM. A 4x speed CD-ROM will also be required.”

In September 2017 user “Solaris104” from the “English Amiga Board” found a demo from the Amiga version:

“Demo version Desolate World is public in czech magazine Amiga Review 28 on coverdisk. Authors are brothers Cizek. Vladimir Cizek is coder, Pavel Cizek is graphician and Petr Klimunda is musician. The game should be published by Vulcan. All levels done, but never published and lost on Amiga harddisk. I played some levels in 1997. ExiE made rendered intro for this game.”

This demo has just one playable – but very large – level. Gameplay is indeed very similar to Bitmap Brothers’ Gods: you search for switches, keys, sometimes you have to use terminals, operate lifts or small robots that can act like a lift. From time to time you fight mini-bosses and solve puzzles. A full walkthrough of the Amiga demo can be found on YouTube:

After some time the Amiga version of Desolate World was cancelled and the team tried to port it to the Game Boy Advance, at the time the major console where 2D “retro” games could still be sold with success. A video from an early prototype of the GBA version was uploaded on Youtube in May 2013 and we can notice how the graphic was way less impressive than the original Amiga version, but still nice for a portable console.

Unfortunately even the GBA version of Desolate World was never released and no demo from this version is leaked yet. It remains one of the most obscure GBA games we’ll never play.

Thanks to Grzegorz for the contribution!

Images (Amiga version): 

Grand Theft Auto [Nintendo 64 – Cancelled]

A Nintendo 64 port of the original Grand Theft Auto was planned by DMA Design (along with a Sega Saturn version), but unfortunately the game was never released. A few previews of GTA 64 were published in websites such as IGN, revealing some more details about this port:

“Rockstar isn’t releasing much on the Nintendo 64 version of Grand Theft Auto, except to say that it’s not the sequel or an add-on pack. IGN64 has learned that the game, though essentially a port of the PlayStation original, will feature significant additions in the vein of souped-up graphics and added levels and characteristics. “

While websites never shown any official screenshot for the N64 version, a few alleged images were published by some magazines in Spain and Italy, showing “blurred” textures / 3D graphics for the environments that really looks like something a Nintendo 64 could do. Here is one of these articles, found by Luchi in Spanish N64 Magazine (issue 19, july 1999):

GTA Nintendo 64 cancelled

Unfortunately without any official statement it’s hard to say if these screenshots are really from the cancelled GTA 64, but it’s interesting to notice that in the official  design document for Grand Theft Auto (at the time titled “Race ’n’ Chase”) the game was indeed planned to be released on the “Ultra 64”.

 

Untitled Konami Fighting Game [N64 – Cancelled?]

Our beloved Nintendo 64 did not have many traditional fighting games compared to the Playstation, but there were a few interesting ones such as Fighter’s Destiny and Flying Dragon. Konami developed two exclusive fighters for the N64, Rakuga Kids and “G.A.S.P.!!  Fighters’ NEXTream” (AKA as “GASP” in Europe and “Deadly Arts” in the United States), both published in 1998. This screenshot found by Youloute in Player One magazine issue 71 (January 1997) about an untitled, new Nintendo 64 fighting game by Konami, does not look like anything they ever released. It kinda looks a bit like “Dual Heroes” but that was developed by Hudson and published in December 1997. Yeah, it seems like we got another cancelled N64 game! And it looked quite nice for a 64 bit title.

If you ever find any other image of this lost Konami game, please let us know!

cancelled-fighting-game-konami-nintendo64 

Super Shadow of the Beast (IGS/ Psychnosis) – [SNES – Cancelled]

Super Shadow of the Beast would have been the Super Nintendo port of an old Amiga side-scrolling action game which was originally developed in 1989  by Reflections Interactive and published by Psygnosis. The game since then has been ported to almost every known platform at that time, so why not a Super Nintendo version?

The SNES version was developed by a company called IGS (Information Global Service) and was first reported seen at the summer edition of the 1992 Consumer Electronics Show (CES): in an article on Nintendo Power it was mentioned as a promising upcoming title for the SNES.

The original Shadow of the Beast game and most of its ports to other systems contain many grim, dark looking and bloody details such as bloody spikes, bouncing bloody eyeballs, flying skulls and decapitated enemies. To get approval from Nintendo and thus a license to publish the game on the SNES platform this port of the game had to undergo some serious censoring, mostly graphical adaptions like removal of blood,  redesigned levels and removing or redrawing of enemies.

Some screenshots of this censored SNES port were found at a site called Schnittberichte.com: they did an excellent job in showing the differences between the SNES version VS the Mega Drive one. Apparently all the efforts from IGS to change the game weren’t good enough for Nintendo USA and thus Super Shadow of the Beast was not approved.

Other rumors however state that the mature content cannot have been the only reason why Nintendo dropped the game. It’s possible that Super Shadow of the Beast was just not good enough to be released, with its poor graphics and colorful style it became something too much different from the original game and its dark atmosphere.

However  the SNES version of the game is not entirely lost: a rom of the game was leaked a while ago and it appears to be fully playable (segameplay videos below). I even came across some reproductions of actual SNES cartridges of the game if you prefer to play it directly with your original Super Nintendo console (if you still own one in working condition of course)

Censored SNES version vs SEGA Mega Drive version (Thanks to Schnittberichte.com):

Youtube gameplay video, end sequence & credits & music:

 

 

 

 

 

 

Screenshots various:

  

Indy the Magical Kid (Shounen Majutsushi) [NES – Cancelled]

Indy the Magical Kid (Shounen Majutsushi Indy – 「少年魔術師インディ」) is a cancelled Famicom (NES) turn-based RPG that was meant to be published by IGS Corp. Somehow it looks like a mix between Dragon Quest and Mother / Earthbound. Previews and screenshots from Indy the Magical Kid were published in many japanese gaming magazines at the time and some scans of those were gathered by Video Games Densetsu on their blog. Character designer for the heroes of the game was Hiroshi Fuji (mostly known for Valkyrie no Densetsu and Valkyrie no Bōken), while enemy design was by Yūichirō Shinozaki (mostly known for The Tower of Druaga and Baraduke)

Indy the Magical Kid was based on a short series of “choose your own adventure books” with the same title, published in Japan by Futabasha / Recca-Sha. By searching for more details about these gamebooks, it seems Indy the Magical Kid was written by the same author as the Final Fantasy 2 gamebook and fans feel the two interactive novels are quite similar.

These japanese adventure books were more complex than the average “choose your own adventure books”: other than choosing different choices at the end of each chapter to change the story accordingly, readers were also able to use dices and gather money, items and experience, that would be used to resolve combats and other key events.

As in most gamebooks Indy the Magical Kid had multiple endings depending on your choices, so we can assume that the Famicom game could also have offered many different endings and multiple storylines. The plot of the game would have probably followed the one seen in the books:

“During the absence of his master, Indy – an apprentice magician – has unlocked the seal of the “Magical Inferno” for curiosity. In order to escape from this world he will have to exterminate demons with the help of master’s cat Miau and another magical girl, using weapons, rods, magic-letters, and spirits’ protection.”

As noted by GDRI a short video of Indy the Magical Kid was shown during a Japanese TV Show titled “The TV Power” and it could have been developed by Graphic Research. Looking at this footage (re-uploaded on Youtube by Dosunceste) it seems that by using magic portals players were able to jump into different parallel dimensions of the same world in which NPCs, cities and dungeons were slightly different from each other.

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