Gaishin Senki: Millennium Sword (鎧神戦記ミレニアムソード) is a cancelled strategy RPG that was planned by Magifact to be released on Super Famicom / SNES around 1995. Screenshots were published at the time in a promo leaflet and by looking at these it seems the game was set in a strange post-apocalypse earth, with flying ships as in Captain Harlock, huge mechanical knights as in Magic Knight Rayearth and cthulhu alike demons. It sounds quite epic, isn’t it?
Artwork created for the game was shared on Twitter by the author and a former Magifact developer even shared his memories working on the project (translated by Google):
“I’m one of the former developers. Thank you very much for that section. I still remember that the boss took the trouble to bring the completed painting to the development room. I’m very sorry that I couldn’t complete the game, but I’m very happy to see the wonderful illustrations again ^_^ .”
We don’t know why Gaishin Senki: Millennium Sword was never released, but we hope one day someone could find a playable prototype, as it’s weird settings looked really cool.
Zorro for the SNES by IREM Corporation was a game being developed around 1994. Nothing was ever mentioned of this game’s development or existence. An ex-IREM employee briefly uploaded a clip of this game on youtube in March 2021. However, it was quickly deleted by the user. Thankfully a youtube user, ShiryuGL, was able to download and share the video with others.
Upon further research the user who originally posted the Zorro gameplay turned out to be Yoshinobu Oyaman. After making contact with Mr.Oyaman, he was able to confirm that this Zorro game was actually based on the early conceptualization of the Mask of Zorro 1998 movie. The game was to include both an older and younger version of Zorro (similar to the film) and gameplay was based off of Konami’s Sunset Riders.
Ultimately the project was cancelled due to IREM disbanding their console concepts in 1994 to focus on coin-op arcades. Yoshinobu also stated that this game was very hard to develop due to it being the first action game being developed by IREM.
Interview translated using google translate:
Evil Pixel: Hello I’m writing about unreleased games. I was informed that you worked at IREM and I wanted to know more about this Super Nintendo Zorro game. No one seems to know anything about it. I hope you can help me get more information for documentation purposes. Thank you for your time.
Yoshinobu Oyaman: Hello, ZORRO was made when I was at IREM. I’m a developer with ARCADE and SFC, and I was a Game Designer for SFC. IREM has released HOOK on ARCADE which they liked, so the game was developed under the copyright of The Mask of Zorro. Unfortunately, the development of IREM was disbanded in 1994, so it was unfinished and unreleased. The content of the game was aimed at the feeling of KONAMI’s Sunset Riders. I couldn’t get any information just from the information that two Zorro (the first Zorro and the young Zorro) would appear in the developing movie, so I made an action game using a sword and a whip while watching Zorro’s comics.
Evil Pixel: Thank you for that information. Do you know if a game prototype cartridge exists? If so, do you have a photo of the cartridge?
Yoshinobu Oyaman: (Yoshinobu proceeds to show me the prototype cartridge in his possession).
Evil Pixel: thank you very much. This is the last question. Was the game complete or was it half complete? Also, did the game have any interesting features? It looks amazing
Yoshinobu Oyaman: Unfinished. It was hard because it was the first ACTION GAME in the third work after I made R-TYPE. After this, I changed jobs to BANPRESTO and made Super Gussun Oyoyo.
Evil Pixel: Are you the only one who has a copy of the zorro cartridge?
Yoshinobu Oyaman: I had a former Zorro programmer burn it into a ROM. As expected, I cannot make a copy
Mortimer in the Big City is a cancelled action adventure that was in early development by Imagitec Design for Super Nintendo and Sega Mega Drive / Genesis. The project is mostly forgotten today, but a short article about it was published in 1992 on Hobby Consolas magazine (issue 10), with a few details on it’s gameplay (translated with Google):
“Mortimer, who is the “protagonist”, must do everything possible to rescue his girlfriend Maria Mouse from the clutches of Rufus the Rat. There are six levels to explore in which you can find everything: from animals of all kinds to an infinite number of objects, platforms, some humans, puzzles, traps and, above all, bomb-proof action and exasperating gameplay.”
At the time Imagitec developed some fun games such as The Humans and Viking Child, so we can just wonder if Mortimer in the Big City could have been another interesting project. The only Mortimer image published in Hobby Consolas is a concept art, and we don’t know if they ever created a playable prototype before its cancellation.
Venom Spirit is a cancelled action adventure that was in development for Super Nintendo around 1994 by the Pickford Bros, while they were working at Software Creations and after publishing their cult-classic Plok. The game was planned to use pre-rendered 3D graphics on the 16-Bit console, somehow similar to what Rare also did with their Donkey Kong Country series. While Venom Spirit was never officially announced by the company, many details about the project were shared online by John and Ste Pickford:
“This was just after we’d licensed our concept / game design for Plok to our employers Software Creations, and directed the development of the game internally for the SNES. We felt flushed with success, and Venom Spirit was going to be our ‘follow up’. The game was completely unrelated to Plok, but it was a new character and an original game design for the SNES, which John and I worked on near constantly for about two years in our spare time.
We would have been ahead of our time if we’d been allowed to pursue John’s idea of creating all the graphics as 3D models, then using renders of these in the game. […] We also did a hell of a lot of work on the game design itself. We planned a real big, Capcom style action adventure, somewhere between Super Metroid, MegaMan and Strider. We had all the levels laid out, characters and bosses designed, set pieces planned.”
“Seeing Donkey Kong Country come out months later made us realise that we were on the right track. We had the ideas and we had the skills to make great video games, we just didn’t have the opportunity.
We did the deal with Software Creations, and the game ended up in development briefly (with some cool tech too), but, as is so often the case with jobbing development studios, being paid to do movie license games is a much more attractive proposition than risking money making original IP, so the game was dropped in favour of a Cutthroat Island game for Acclaim (with the cool tech being used in that game instead), and Venom Spirit never happened.”
Nandemo!? Taihoman (なんでも!? タイホマン) is a cancelled action platformer that was in development by Namco around 1995, planned to be released on the Super Famicom / SNES. A short preview of the game was also published in EGM (April 1995 issue), but in the end the game was never released in any region. It seems gameplay would have been similar to Kirby and MegaMan, with the robotic protagonist (Taihoman) being able to absorb abilities / fuse with other objects to gain new skills.
“The robot cop from a popular manga bounces into side-scrolling action! Taihoman is an unbelivably advanced mech who has been designed to combat an inept criminal syndicate. He can fuse with many devices to gain powers, line a fan to fly, a lighter to spew flames, a battery to zap foes and even a pop machine to bombard enemies with cans of cola!”
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