Others

Worlds of Ultima III: Arthurian Legends (Origin Systems) [PC – Cancelled]

The Worlds of Ultima series (an offshoot of the main series Ultima) died after the first two parts – Savage Empire (1990) and Martian Dreams (1991) – fell short of their expectations. However, the idea of independent stories still attracted Origin, which resulted in the emergence of Arthurian Legends. The project, in general, was doomed from the very beginning – it was not possible to find a publisher for it after the failure of “Worlds …”.

Nevertheless, the Origin staff continued to work on it. First, the work was supervised by Richard Garriott, then by Warren Spector. Unlike most other Camelot games, the Arthurian Legends strictly followed the writings of Thomas Malory and Chrétien de Troyes (medieval writers, authors of books about King Arthur). But the game formally had nothing to do with the Worlds of Ultima.

From wiki.ultimacodex.com:

Arthurian Legends was to be set in ancient England, in a world based on the actual legends about King Arthur. Some of the sources used included Knight of the Cart by Chretien de Troyes, and Le Morte d’Arthur by Sir Thomas Malory. The player would be in charge of trying to find the missing King Arthur and to fix the problems currently plaguing Camelot. Though the initial idea was for the player’s alter ego to be one of the twelve knights of the Round Table, this was eventually changed for the player to create his own avatar. Several well-known characters were going to make appearances, including Sir Pelenor, Sir Gawain, Melora, Sir Mordred, Morgana, Lancelot, Guinevere and Arthur.

The game was going to include some of the bloodier elements from the legends, such as a giant cannibal that was praying on the children from a local village. However, the search for the Grail was not to be included, as the team felt it had already been played out too many times. Other quests included curing Sir Pellinore from a blindness inflicted to him by an evil mage, and a maze of moving thorn hedges.

What is funny, after the end of the series, the Origin staff jokingly drew a silhouette in front of the office with chalk on the ground, as they do with corpses, and hung a sign “The King is Dead” next to it. The next day, flowers appeared under it.

Information is taken from «Игромания» magazine, 03 (114) 2007 

Arcturus (BlueInca Studios) [XBOX, PC – Cancelled]

Arcturus is the name of a galaxy revolving around one of the brightest stars, and at the same time the game from BlueInca Studios, laid on its stocks in the summer of 2001.

The plot told how two alien races, when colonizing the aforementioned galaxy, unexpectedly discovered the existence of each other. Humanity was not in the game, but both races behaved in a very human way: instead of solving the matter peacefully, they started a fight.

In the distant future, a war between the Lumerans and the Xizons rages on.
You play Torah and can choose as either faction and lead them to victory in campaign missions.
Victory will mean more resources to build your ships and better your people.

The Lumerans are the weaker outnumbered faction but they have powerful abilities.
The Xizons are the militaristic faction with ambitions of conquest.

Military operations in Arcturus were supposed to proceed as follows: the attacking side sends a flotilla of fighters to the enemy’s planet, smashes enemy aircraft, and then moves on to the next territory – and so on until they capture the enemy’s capital. Battles in space were absent as a class – apparently, the aliens took care of the fleet as a memory.

Thus, the player played two roles. In the role of the so-called Leader, he was directly involved in battles. The accompanying equipment also fought with him. The authors promised a wide range of weapons, from miniature fighters to huge dreadnoughts.

The game was unique in that you move ships around in third-person like an RTS.
Different ships to order around include gas collectors, patrol ships, and unit carriers.
During combat you play from a first-person perspective.

There was to be sixteen single-player non-linear campaign missions (8 for each faction?).
There was also going to be deathmatch multiplayer, likely online play.

Between battles, the player was engaged in the development of his race, organizing the extraction of resources on controlled planets, conducted research and formed detachments, which then accompanied him in battle. In short, the idea was original, but it seems that the developers themselves did not fully understand how to bring it all to life. Arcturus stayed afloat for just over a year, and then added himself to the plaque of canceled projects.

In 2004 development was halted due to funding difficulties.
In 2005 the website removed the message about financial trouble but remained dormant.
Arcturus and BlueInca faded away.

Some information is taken from «Игромания» magazine, 03 (114) 2007, and https://unreleasedgames.miraheze.org/ website. 

The 7th Guest: The Collector (Trilobyte Inc.) [PC – Cancelled]

 

The 7th Guest (1992) and sequel The 11th Hour (1995) are among the best quests ever. In 2003, Lunny Interactive and Rob Landeros (one of the authors of the first series) decided to bring the classics back to life and announced the third part of the game with the subtitle The Collector.

As it turned out, during the silence of the developers, the millionaire maniac and lover of luring people into houses full of traps, Henry Stauf did not give up his soul to God. He even managed to found a museum of ancient artifacts somewhere in the wilderness of Europe, after which he moved there for permanent residence. The player had to take a walk around this museum, solving puzzles made by Strauf and bypassing the traps he had set up. At first, the work went quite briskly, but by 2004 the project had quietly died.

However, Rob Landeros was not discouraged and decided to try to bring the project to release. He relaunched the studio and started two crowdfunding campaigns: one on Kickstarter (in 2013), and on Crowdtilt (in 2014). But, alas, they both failed.

Some information is taken from «Игромания» magazine, 03 (114) 2007 

Golgotha (Crack dot Com) [PC – Cancelled]

Before Golgotha, the Crack dot Com studio, founded by Dave Taylor, a native of id Software, managed to mark only by the platformer Abuse. Golgotha was announced in 1995 under the promising motto “all the best from C&C and DOOM“. Golgotha differed from the usual real-time strategy in that in each mission the player got control of a supertank (it was called that), which was his embodiment on the battlefield. At any time, you could switch to first-person view and personally lead the troops into battle. But the rest of the units were not directly controlled. The maximum available is to point the troops in the direction of movement, and then all the hope is only on AI.

As we can read on Wikipedia about the plot:

The game plays in the fictional future of the year 2048 AD, where a global nuclear disarmament and the coincidental murder of a beloved American archaeologist leads to an American military incision on Iraq. Which, in turn, elicits a European military power play and begins World War III. The commander of the American force sent to invade Iraq questions his mission. With no suitable answers, he abandons his country and takes his troops on the quest for truth. In the try to recover what really happened at Golgotha they discover a supernatural conflict behind a veil of political discord.

There is even a demo mentioning:

The last released demo, version number 5c, was playable in Windows. It supported both software rendering and 3dfx Glide-based 3D cards. The demo included two levels, one based on Switzerland and one based on Cairo. The Switzerland demo level was the more complete one. In addition to this, the demo also had a non-interactive demo level that showed the terrain rendering capabilities of the graphics engine.

The game itself was three-dimensional, which was very daring for strategy at that time. This ruined the game: due to the problems with the engine, development stalled. In the meantime, the developers’ money came to an end, and in 1998, Crack Dot Com was forced to close, having previously released the game’s source code, graphics and textures for public access. If you wish, you can finish it yourself.

Links to the materials:

https://web.archive.org/web/20050212090058/http://jonathanclark.com/golgotha/

http://liberatedgames.org/game.php?game_id=35 (This one is from Igromania article, but its for sale now. But I put it here for just in case.)

Some information is taken from «Игромания» magazine, 03 (114) 2007 

BioPlus (Origin Systems) [PC – Cancelled]

BioForge is an action adventure game released for MS-DOS and developed by Origin Systems in 1995. Set in the future, the player controls an amnesiac cyborg trying to escape the research facility in which they are being held prisoner.

Immediately after the release of BioForge, the Origin studio quickly, in just two and a half months, made an addon called BioPlus (a.k.a. BioForge Plus). This kind of promptness was explained quite simply. The BioForge itself was originally much longer – it had to be cut for ease of distribution. The part that went under the knife formed the basis for BioPlus. However, that very “quick” failed Origin: the addon was so full of bugs that there was no question of its viability.

We can read more about it from Bill Armitrout (former worker  from Origin) in theminiaturespage.com:

A “quickie” project. We had nine weeks to put together a new adventure to tack onto the end of the original BioForge game. Let me stress right here that nine weeks is an insanely tight deadline! The project was a wild ride, with millions of obstacles and emergencies (including artists in the hospital, half the programmers pulled off for another project, and so forth), and we set a new record: BETA in 10 weeks. Unfortunately, the game never shipped (the executive product left the company, and all of his projects were cancelled).

BioForge 2 was also part of the company’s plans, but the development process did not go beyond the oral discussion of the concept between the designers. Origin planned to build it on a new engine, and the plot again revolved around the heroes of the first part. But in 1995, Origin suffered a financial crisis, and the BioForge team was laid off.

And from the same source:

I took over the BioForge license at Origin, and had the chance to put together a Dream Team to make the next-generation technology. Many of my old Serpent Isle guys came back, and I was also able to recruit some top-grade new talent. We had finished the design and were working on the art when the company halted the project, and diverted us onto…

Some information is taken from «Игромания» magazine, 03 (114) 2007

UPD (17.08.2022): early Gauntlet video and intro movie were found (Thanks to Daniel)