SNES

Oh My Goddess! (Aa! Megami-sama) [Super Famicom – Cancelled]

Oh My Goddess! (Aa! Megami-sama) is a manga and anime series by Kosuke Fujishima, serialized since September 1988 in Japan. It was quite popular at the time and it even got a few tie-in games for NEC PC-98, Sega Dreamcast and Playstation 2.

In the late ’90s a Super Famicom (SNES) Oh My Goddess! game was also announced in Japanese gaming magazines, as reported at the time by some english fansites. It would have been an arcade racing game similar to Mario Kart, set in the series’ NIT’s festival (?). It also seems each kart would have been driven by 2 characters at the same time (?):

  • Belldandy & Keiichi
  • Urd & Peorth
  • Skuld and Banpei-kun RX.
  • Megumi & Sora
  • Tamiya & Ootaki

Unfortunately it seems they never shown any actual screenshots from the game, only promotional artworks for the characters. Maybe something more is still hidden away in old japanese magazines?

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Satellite Man [SNES – Cancelled]

Satellite Man was a scrapped, albeit completely finished, game for the SNES by Japanese developer T&E Soft. The game was a comedic side-scrolling brawler akin to Final Fight that featured Satellite Man, a superhero who could harness the power of satellites, as he attempted to make his way to the moon to save it from an evil mastermind who claimed it for himself.

Details of the game are scarce as few people have seen it and it is unlikely that any of it remains to this day, but descriptions of the game by its developers reveal that the game had an absurd sense of humor, such as the fact that the titular hero is broke and has to hitch a ride to the moon on a NASA rocket ship.

The game’s bosses reflected this comedic style as well with “Baron Engine”, a man with a v8 engine for a body who chased the player around in a child’s toy car, a bee who carried explosives appropriately named “Dynamite Bee” and “Captain Go”, an Apollo Lunar Module with a dangling body and a face of a man from T&E’s sales department.

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Unlike some of the other side-scrolling fighters at the time Satellite Man was single player only and had a button for punches, kicks, grabs and special attacks.  There were three special attacks, two of which were the ability to shoot down a damaging beam from a satellite and the ability to create two shadow versions of yourself to help fight.  These special moves were unlocked by filling a recharging “satellite bar” and the player could use three special attacks in a row if the bar was fully charged. In an attempt to make the game seem more like an American comic book the developers added text bubbles like “BOOM” and “POW” that would pop up when enemies were hit.

Despite being 100% finished after half a year of development the game never saw the light of day.  This was mostly due to the fact that one of the developers handed a copy of the game to company co-founder Eiji Yokoyama and promised him he would laugh every 30 seconds, to which Yokoyama responded by not laughing once throughout the entire game.

The developers also chalk it up to the fact that T&E had recently worked on the SNES version of Rise of the Robots, a critical and financial failure that is lauded as one of the worst fighting games of all time, and didn’t think they could sell another fighting game so soon afterwards. As many other lost SNES games, nothing remain from Satellite Man, only a sketch and a few memories in an interview by John Szczepaniak with former T&E Soft developers, published in “The Untold History of Japanese Game Developers Volume 2” book.

Article by Tristan Avery, thanks to John for the contribution! 

Dwagons [SNES, Mega Drive – Cancelled]

The 16-bit era is often mentioned as the Golden Age of Gaming. A graced period that gave us hundreds of awesome classic games. It was a time when 2D game development was maturing and lots of ideas from the 8-bit generation would be revamped with new technology and graphics. Some old concepts and gameplay would still do pretty well in 16-bit, others had to be reworked and adapted, while still using similar and already successful mechanics. The latter is the case for Dwagons, our featured game.

Dwagons is a cancelled maze-puzzle game planned to be released on the Super Nintendo and Sega Mega Drive (Genesis). It was in development by UK based company Imagitec Design. As noted in a magazine preview found by the spanish board SEGASaturno, Dwagons shared similar ideas with Pengo (a 1982 arcade game by Sega) and Sokoban (a japanese puzzle game from the same time).

In Pengo the player must navigate through a maze and push ice blocks to defeat every enemy on screen in the shortest time possible. In Sokoban a more strategic approach is needed: the player have to move and fit blocks into specific areas to open the next level. Both had very simple but very successful formula for the 1980’s gaming market.

Dwagons would add a little more depth into the “static-screen block pushing” type of game in “a combination of adventure, strategy and arcade“.  It would feature multiple-themed levels, co-operative multiplayer, multi-layered puzzles and a lot of secrets to uncover, everything wrapped in a cartoon-like medieval fantasy theme.

Developers even thought about other gameplay elements like magic spells, teleporting blocks, rafts to move through water places and trap doors that could make the player backtrack. By that time, gameplay variety was a central idea among gamers and developers and core mechanics for puzzle games were evolving (see Capcom’s Goof Troop for the SNES for example).

We don’t know how close Dwagons was from completion or how much of the game had actually been made, but judging from screenshots and detailed previews it seems it was already in a pretty advanced stage. It even had a whole scenario and a plot of its own. Two dragons (Dwagons) named Snort and Snail set on a quest to retrieve the Magic Talisman of Power and rescue their brother, Snarf, captured by the evil Lord Flame.

Imagitec was responsible for a variety of  arcade game ports released mostly on Atari and Amiga platforms. They worked with other companies such as Atari Corporation, Gremlin Graphics, and Electronic Arts until early 1997 when Imagitec was purchased by Gremlin and renamed Gremlin Interactive Studios.”

Thanks to Marçal Mora Cantallops and Grzegorz for the scans!

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Pilotwings 2 (Super FX Prototype) [SNES – Cancelled]

The original Pilotwings is an arcade flying simulator developed by Nintendo and published in December 1990 as one of their first games for the Super Nintendo, soon becoming a cult 16 bit classic. Players can use different flying vehicles to complete various missions within a time limit, trying to get high-scores for such tasks as flying through rings and landing on specific parts of the levels.

Pilotwings sold about 1.4 million copies worldwide and Pilotwings 2 for SNES was already in early development before Nintendo decided to cancel it and instead working on a fully 3D sequel on their Nintendo 64.

A few magazines in mid ‘90s mentioned Pilotwings 2 in their news / rumors sections, but Nintendo never officially announced Pilotwings 2 SNES, so it could have been one of those fake speculations with no real evidences. Luckily a few years ago John Szczepaniak (author of The Untold History of Japanese Game Developers books) asked to Dylan Cuthbert (who worked with Argonaut Software and Nintendo on such games as Star Fox and Star Fox 2) about Pilotwings 2 and Dylan confirmed that it was really in development for the Super Nintendo, using the Super FX chip 2. Dylan also mentioned Pilotwings 2 / Super FX 2 prototype in a Reddit AMA:

“I think it was just light experimentation, such as the FX chip based Pilot’s Wings experiment too, just to see what could be done and was quickly re-worked on the prototype N64 hardware. They were already experimenting with motion capture for better animation in 1995 or thereabouts.”

It seems that only an early prototype was created, but we really hope to see something more from it in the future.

Thanks to Celine for the contribution!

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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: