SNES + Super Famicom

Robosaurus (thq) [SNES – Cancelled]

Robosaurus is a cancelled action game that was in development around 1992 by Adrenalin Entertainment and THQ (at the time known as “Toy Headquarters”) for Super Nintendo. Players would take the role of a mechanical T-Rex to destroy cities and fight against aliens, tanks, helicopters and other military enemies. While there are not many more details about this lost game, it was mentioned in Nintendo Power Magazine issue 36, from May 1992:

“Speaking of HQs, thq (Toy Headquarters) has a line-up that  includes Swamp Thing (for all three Nintendo systems). Where’s Waldo?, Family  Dog, Robosaurus, James Bond Jr. and this Pak Watchers favorite moose, Bullwinkle,  all for the Super NES. One-time Power editor and game guru, Howard Phillips, now  directs the creative projects for T.HQ. Will Waldo be wearing a bow tie? NOT!”

As noticed by Nintendo Metro and GDRI on Twitter, a single screenshot from Robosaurus was published in japanese magazine MicomBASIC, in August 1992:

“ROBOSAURUS: 巨大なロボットほがが,巧が軍め戦車  やお關おをけちらしていく巧快なダー  ム。 巧がの動きはノロイ〇”

We can assume the game was based off the real-life Robosaurus, a transforming dinosaur robot created by inventor Doug Malewicki in 1989. As written by SNES Central, the game was possibly shown at the Winter and Summer 1992 CES shows:

“Aliens want to take over the world, and they’re starting with Los Angeles. The one thing they didn’t count on was Robosaur! Use Robo’s giant metal jaws to munch enemies and fry the outposts with Robo’s flame breath.”

 

PoPoLoCrois [SNES, Super Famicom CD – Cancelled]

PoPoLoCrois is a cult-following series of RPGs based on a ‘70s manga by Tamori Yohsuke, of which just a few games were translated and published outside of Japan. The first game was developed by Epics (G-Artists) in collaboration with Sugar & Rockets and released in 1996 in Japan for the original Playstation, but it was initially conceived as a SNES / Super Famicom CD System project. This 16-bit PoPoLoCrois game was cancelled when the console add-on was canned by Sony and Nintendo.

A few photos from the design document for this SNES version were found and shared online by fans of the series and former developers, so we can preserve some proof of the existence of this lost RPG. As far as we know only this design doc was completed for the SNES CD version of PoPoLoCrois before being cancelled, but it would be nice to know if a 16-bit prototype was already in the works. Afterall, even the released Playstation game had a graphic style very reminiscent of old-school SNES RPGs, more than its 32-bit contemporaries.

Some details and theories about this unreleased 16-bit PoPoLoCrois were shared by Japanese website popolo-crois.com, “translated” by Google translate:

“The plan for the Super Nintendo Popolo shown on the left side of this photo is drawn by Mr. Fukushima in 1989 for Popolo’s animation project, so naturally this plan was created. It was after that. And the notation “EPIC/SONY RECORDS” (all caps) in the lower right of the proposal came to be used after its predecessor EPIC/Sony was absorbed and merged with CBS/Sony in March 1988. However, since CBS Sony changed its trademark to Sony Music Entertainment (SME) in April 1991, it has been mixed with lower case letters such as “Epic/Sony Records”. Therefore, the use of all capital letters in this plan suggests that the plan was created before April 1991 when the notation changed, so that period from 1989 to 1991 I’m guessing it will be until the end of March.

*As far as the date drawn on the setting data of 2 is concerned, it is from September to November 1992. The date of the monster design drawn by Mr. Tamori was also in October 1992, so I wonder if it was probably in the process of becoming a game by this time. In this material, not only Popolo 1’s enemies such as the Ice Demon King and Shitenno, but also Barbara, Myra (also transformed into Sanya!), Zilva, Leona, and other characters that appear in Popolo 2 as well as pilot films will appear. The tango and the figure of Paul the Lion are very widespread, so I have no idea how much story was planned at this stage. However, in July 1992, Sony decided to enter the home-use game console, and since the production of the Playstation version Popolo started in January 1993, as described below, all of this material is for the Super Famicom version. It is unknown whether or not the PS version was also in view (some people say that Pietro’s hairstyle is shaved due to the memory of Super Famicom).

*3 The reason why the PS version of Popolo started to be produced around January 1993 was that Tetsuji Yamamoto said in a magazine interview (CONTINUE Vol.52) that it was three years from the start of Popolo’s production until release. It is said that it took a month, so I calculated backwards from the release date of Popolo. Also, Mr. Yamamoto seems to have been in charge of the PS business preparation room 10 months before the establishment of SCE, so it means that the production of PS version Popolo started at about the same time when the project of this PlayStation unit started. Right. If so, it is considered that Popolo’s production platform moved from Super NES to PlayStation between July 1992 and January 1993.

As I arranged the flow of production of the PS version of Popolo as described above, it is a question about “the circumstances have changed considerably since the pilot film and the design of the scenario and characters have changed”, but the circumstances have changed significantly Rather, it was before the pilot film was produced, and since then, I have not seen so much movement, including changes in the character design. As for the scenario, the essence of PS version Popolo is concentrated in the pilot film. By the way, what is the story behind the pilot film? At the stage of the pilot film, there was already a design image of the Ice Demon King, so was there any reason why I dared to bring in a Skinnag?”

Images: 

Popil (Sunsoft) [SNES – Cancelled]

Popil is an obscure platform game that was in development by Sunsoft for the Super Nintendo / Super Famicom. This lost project is practically forgotten today and there was no proof of its existence online until Dosunceste found a couple images in Console Plus magazine (issue 1). While the game looks a bit like Twinbee: Rainbow Bell, we don’t have any more details about its gameplay. Maybe there are more screenshots and information in other gaming magazines from the ‘90s? If you find something more about Popil (or recognize it among other Sunsoft released titles) please let us know!

  

Yoshitsune Densetsu [SNES – Cancelled]

Yoshitsune Densetsu (義経伝説, Legend of Yoshitsune) is a cancelled action RPG that was in development around 1993, planned to be published by ASCII on the Super Famicom / SNES. The game told the fictionalized story of Minamoto no Yoshitsune a “military commander of the Minamoto clan of Japan, that after evading death made his way past Hokkaido and sailed to the mainland of Asia, re-surfacing as Genghis Khan“.

It seems Yoshitsune Densetsu would have been supervised by popular mangaka Shotaro Ishinomori (Cyborg 009, Skull Man), possibly for character design and story concept. The protagonists were four men and women who have slipped back in time from the present age to the Kamakura period. Although the story would differ depending on the selected character, the main plot would always lead Yoshitsune to become Genghis Khan.

Some images and previews for the game we published in old japanese magazine, shared on Twitter by gt198x.

Images: 

Drakkhen 2 (Infogrames) [Cancelled – SNES, PC]

Drakkhen is an early-3D western RPG originally developed by Infogrames in 1989, published for Amiga, Atari ST, MS-DOS and Super Nintendo. In 1994 Kotobuki System / Kemco developed a spiritual successor for the SNES, published as Super Drakkhen in Japan and released in North America as Dragon View.

However in 1991 Infogrames was already working on an official sequel by the same team, planned for PC, Amiga, SNES and FM Towns. While this lost version of Drakkhen 2 is now forgotten by everyone and not many details are available, Youloute was able to find an article with some screenshots, published by french magazine Generation 4 (Issue 38 and 41, November 1991 / February 1992).

Thanks to Olivier, who translated the main details in these pages, we know more about the project:

“Game would be released for PC 256 colors, Amiga, FM Towns and Super Famicom. Cartridge would of course feature a battery to allow in-game saving. There’s only one warrior and animations are more detailed. More beat em up phases where each gamepad button would be used in the Super Famicom version. Moving across the world will be in 3D, except Super Famicom where game will use its specific hardware. Release still being planned for Q1 1992.”

“To learn a bit more about Drakkhen II, we asked project manager Philippe Agrpnidis: video games production is slowly getting close to movie production, visual quality with VGA and MCGA, sound with Roland and Sound Blaster, and new CD platforms such as CDI, CD-ROM, changed the landscape within six months. Hence, like a movie production, the game requires multiple people: Philippe Agipnidis as project manager, François Marcela-Froideval for scenario, Etienne Guerry for story-board, Guy Selva for production and, of course, another one for graphics, plus one for sounds.”

Rest of the text mentions there would have a been a small book included with the game box to help gamers.

Also, as mentione by Julien, Drakkhen II would have been more like an action adventure than a RPG.

Images: