Others

Demon Isle (Sierra) [PC – Cancelled]

Demon Isle is a cancelled online-focused action RPG that was in development by Cat Daddy Games around 1996 / 1997, planned to be published by Sierra Entertainment for PC. For its time it was graphically impressive, promising a huge 3D island to explore, full of dungeons you could tackle in 16-players online multiplayer. While the game was previewed in a few gaming magazines (such as Next Generation June 1997 and Inter Action Summer 1997), soon it quietly vanished and was never completed.

“The game is set in the world of Magincia, which has been invaded by armies of evil creatures swarming off Demon Isle. The military, unable to destroy the island’s seven Temples to Evil, recruits mercenaries and adventurers to complete the job, which is where the players come in.”

“Set in a dangerous, medieval time. Demon Isle features a state-of-the-art 3-D engine with a first person perspective to tempt your waking hours. It incorporates Fantasy Role-Playing elements into an action-oriented environment that is not for the weak of heart”

“Explore the surface of an entire island and battle the evil that lurks in temples, caves, and the caverns below. Improve your skills and build up your character, and you may just find yourself in an all-out demonic war.  And if you thought demons were enough to keep you up at night your on-line warriors will keep you goin’ until breakfast Play head-to-head or cooperatively with up to 16 players over a LAN  or the Internet and battle for fame and glory.”

“Demon Isle has been built from the ground up as a multiplayer game. It runs either on a LAN or over the Internet, using the same client-server model as Blizzard’s Diablo on battle.net: players connect through their own provider, the game contacts Cat Daddy, and a session is launched with one player’s machine as the server. However, unlike Diablo, which limits games to four players, Demon Isle handles literally dozens of players, depending on the capabilities of the server’s hardware.”

We can also still find Sierra’s original press release for the game:

“Enter the land of Magincia where hordes of evil creatures have been driven off the main continents, and pushed back to their apparent source, Demon Isle. The ruling powers of Magincia are willing to pay a handsome bounty to anyone brave and strong enough to venture to Demon Isle and destroy the seven temples of evil, obtaining the missing pieces of the magic relic, and obliterate the root of all evil itself – the Demon Zorax.

In this first person, action-oriented, fantasy role-playing game, players will face numerous exhilarating predicaments and intense combat as they battle a motley bunch of nasty creatures. Demon Isle is designed from the ground up as a single and multi-player game, promising to set new standards by allowing up to 16 players to play head-to-head or cooperatively via LAN, modem or Internet. In addition, Demon Isle boasts a revolutionary proprietary 3D engine, creating fractally enhanced terrain and polygon-based objects for unprecedented level of detail, and features custom MMX support and Direct3D support for acceleration on 3D cards.”

If you know someone who worked on this lost project and could help us finding out why it was canned, please let us know!

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Crimson Order (Kinesoft) [PC – Cancelled]

Crimson Order is a cancelled squad based tactical game similar to X-Com and Rainbow Six, that was in development by Kinesoft around 2000, planned to be released on PC. The project was quite hyped at the time, but possibly too ambitious for a small team mostly used to work on PC ports of existing games. IGN and Gamespot were quite impressed with the game’s concept, as we can read in previews and interviews published on their websites:

“The way you play the game is by controlling Mark Prophet (with a point and click interface – mouse with keyboard shortcuts), and by giving your team orders. They act out the orders based upon their background, skills, equipment, and experience level. Leadership and command decisions are more important than micro managing and frenetic clicking. Essentially each level is very much like a sandbox, and you can complete any objective in any way you wish, given the tools you carry or can find.”

“If you were a fan of X-Com: UFO Defense and Rainbow Six, then there’s a good chance that you’ll like this one. It’s really a great little mix of those types of games that seems to be mixing into a nice little concoction. It takes the omniscient view of the X-Com type games and adds in the real-time strategy and control of a squad based tactical action game. What you get is a smooth and easily controllable piece of work that many gamers will likely be very excited to see.”

“Objectives in the final game range from infiltration, search and destroy, search and rescue, and full destruction of enemy installations. You lead a team of resistance fighters behind enemy lines and your job is to disrupt their effort.”

“Don’t think that you’ll be able to use the same troops every single level until you have a super squad either. In order to keep this from occurring, fatigue has been made an important part of your consideration for whom to bring in with you. Characters actually need downtime to relax and heal.”

“Every character that you see in the game, both enemy and friendly, will have certain features attached to them as well. They can all hear, they can all see (in the direction they are looking), and they can also think. An idea that they are kicking around is the idea that characters will also have a scent trail so that dogs will be able to hunt your team down.”

“As Prophet fights his way through the game, he will come across additional characters who will join the resistance. Some of these characters must be liberated from enemy prisons. As the pool of available characters grows, selecting the best team members for individual missions will become more important.”

“The architecture of the Tan’Khar will also reflect their physiology, armor pieces will fall off of your soldiers when they get damaged, and even different levels will have very different looks that will reflect the functionality. For example, if you are in a refugee-processing center, you will see the groups of prisoners being shuttled around and well as guards wandering on patrol both inside the complex you are in and outside the walls.”

“So all of this will take place over 19 missions and five major locations (with varied environments in each of these) in a close quarter combat tactical exercise. You’ll get the chance to participate in a storyline that Kinesoft hopes will keep gamers enthralled.”

“The game also features huge living environments that will react to the way you play the game. AI in the game is also impressive looking with enemies reacting in different ways to different situations. The really cool AI is actually the script running the members of your team. You can give them commands that will make them act on their own in specific ways.“

As far as we know the team never showed any in-game screenshot from Crimson Order, so we are not sure how much of the game was really completed before its cancellation. Unfortunately hyping up the project did not help their case and Kinesoft closed sometime in 2001, after filing a lawsuit against SoftBank for issues on a previous contract.

Thanks to The Kinsie for the contribution!

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Alien Front [N-Gage – Cancelled]

The original Alien Front is an arcade game developed by Sega, which was then ported to the Dreamcast in 2001, adding online multiplayer. In 2004 Sega announced another port of the game for the ill-fated Nokia N-Gage, as we can read on IGN:

“In Alien Front, you can take on the role of an army tank commander to defend the Earth against invading aliens, or switch sides and take command of a futuristic 2-leg walker, a 4-leg spider walker, or an anti-gravity hovercraft vehicle. Alien Front also has a two-player deathmatch mode via Bluetooth wireless technology and the possibility to share game statistics with the world via the N-Gage Arena.”

As many other games planned for this phone-console hybrid, Alien Front was later cancelled. In 2019 a playable prototype was found and released online.

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Blunders (Branders) [PC Engine – Cancelled]

Blunders (AKA Branders, ブランダーズ) is a cancelled cyberpunk RPG that was in development around 1992 by IGS (AKA International Games System, アイ・ジー・エス) for PC Engine. From the available screenshots it looks like players would have been able to explore sci-fi cities in a top-down view, with turn based combat similar to Phantasy Star. At the time PC Engine Fan magazine published a 2-pages preview of Blunders, so there are some details available: if you can translate the most important parts in English, please let us know!

Thanks to Celine for the contribution

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Adventure of the Mummy Head [PC Engine – Cancelled]

Adventure of the Mummy Head is a cancelled game that was in development by Taito for PC Engine around 1991. The title was advertised in a few gaming magazines at the time, but as far as we know they never showed any screenshot, just artwork of the main protagonist. In one of these ads there’s a short description in Japanese: if you can translate it, please let us know in the comments below!

Thanks to Celine for the contribution

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