World Heroes is a cult-classic series of fighting games developed by Alpha Denshi (ADK) and released in the early / mid ‘90s for the Neo Geo MVS arcade cabinet. In 1997 SNK released the Hyper Neo Geo 64 arcade system as the successor of the MVS, a new 3D arcade board to play such games as Road’s Edge, Samurai Shodown 64 and Buriki One. It seems Alpha Denshi was planning a 3D “World Heroes 64” for the Hyper Neo Geo 64, but after some time it became clear the HNG64 would have not been able to compete with the more powerful Capcom, Namco and Sega 3D arcade boards so the project was canned.
As far as we know this “World Heroes 64” was never officially announced by the company, but it seems Japanese Neo Geo fans were able to get in contact with a former Alpha Denshi developer (?) who shared an early 3D model of Hanzo that he made for the game. If you know something else about this cancelled game, please let us know!
“I dared to make it so that the (Alpha Denshi) president would give up (this project).”
Technic Beat is a music rhythm game developed by Arika for Arcade and Playstation 2, as a sequel to their title Technictix. Sossigu64 found some beta screenshots and videos on the old Arika website, using WebArchive. Here’s a list of the main differences found in these images / footage:
The tension gauge is different from both the arcade and playstation releases.
The intro is a lot shorter and very similar to Technictix’s intro.
Hassy (platypus) and Willie (giant stuffed bear) in the video are too fast. Both characters are considered slow characters and their speed is on the level of Bot (robot) and Cart (human glasses man, kinda resembles Klug from puyo puyo and Jeff from earthbound.).
The sets for each “session” are identical from Technictix but have a bit more going on (more visual effects) and the sets look a lot more cleaner (better refined)
Concept art found on the Omake page for Technic Beat also shows concept art for Technictix.
Tattoo Assassins is an unreleased arcade fighting game that was developed by the pinball division of Data East in 1994 and 1995 with the intent of competing with the increasingly popular Mortal Kombat series. The game took inspiration from Mortal Kombat II in many ways, from its digitized-actor art style to its control scheme, sound design, and emphasis on violence. The general ethos of the game seemed to be “like Mortal Kombat cranked to 11,” and it advertised both in-game (via an attract mode screen) and to game publications of the time that it would feature “2,196 finishing moves.”
The project was led by Joe Kaminkow of Data East Pinball and featured a story written by Bob Gale, who was also the screenwriter behind Back to the Future. The general premise of the game involved a mystical ink that, when used in tattoos on certain individuals, would allow the bearer to manifest the illustrated tattoo into the physical world. An evil villain named Koldan (the game’s final boss) steals all of the ink with the goal of enslaving mankind, and the nine playable combatants in the game all possess the power to wield the ink’s magic in combat. These nine combatants fall under Koldan’s control, but a spiritual leader named Mullah Abba finds a way to grant you (the player) control over the fighter of your choosing in order to kill the others and stop Koldan from achieving his goals.
In-game story text from the attract mode:
‘And so it came to pass, that Mullah Abba, spiritual leader of the order of colours, discovered the ancient secret of the mystic Ink of Ghize. The Ink of Ghize is an amorphous fluid organism can form into real objects for brief moments when applied to human bodies as tattoos. However, the ink is only compatible with those of a certain unusual genetic makeup, those known as hosts. The ink can cause bizarre mutations in those who prove unsuitable… Among the color guard, only Koldan was a suitable host. Thus believing himself superior to all mankind, Koldan stole the secret of the ink. His goal is to create an army of mutants and enslave the human race. Mullah Abba commanded the nine remaining color guards to find new hosts for the Ink of Ghize, one of whom might be powerful enough to defeat Koldan. Nine hosts were found. Each received magnificent chest and arm tattoos, plus a magical morph tattoo on their palm. Yet Koldans power had grown stronger. His consciousness possessed the assassins. He would use them to find the remaining ink for himself! But all was not lost, for Mullah Abba discovered the strange power of the mysterious tattooed woman, Lyla Blue. By using Lyla as a channel, Mullah Abba has the power to allow you to possess any one assassin. Choose! Now, you must defeat each of the other assassins. Use your tattoos as weapons. Earn new tattoos. Destroy the mutants. Find Koldan and defeat the mutants — If you can!
At the time of Tattoo Assassins’ development, fighting games were proving to be incredibly popular in arcades. The likes of Street Fighter 2, Mortal Kombat II, Primal Rage, and Killer Instinct were all smash hits during this early-90’s arcade renaissance, and Data East Pinball was hoping to cash in on that momentum and stand out from the crowd by amplifying what they likely felt was the driving force behind Mortal Kombat II’s success: shock value.
The game features thousands of finishing moves, but not really. That number was most likely derived from the fact that every character shared the same pool of mostly nonsensical and often shoddily animated fatalities. Each character would have a small number of unique finishers that utilized their distinct tattoos to murder their opponents, but otherwise the rest were all shared among the cast and performed by inputting simple button combinations.
It wasn’t just fatalities that Tattoo Assassins prided itself on, however. It also featured moves that allowed the player to fart a stream of gaseous clouds at their opponent, a finishing move that involved ejecting a roast turkey on a plate from the character’s anus which would then bounce off of the opponent before multiplying into other turkeys on plates, and Nudalities that would magic away the opponent’s clothes and leave them naked and shivering while attempting to shield their genitals from view. Other crude moves involved vomiting on the opponent or assaulting them with flaming farts. The inclusion of Nudalities was a particularly direct nod to Mortal Kombat II since unfounded rumors persisted of their existence in that game throughout its run in arcades.
The game’s cancellation came sometime in 1995 before going into full production as a result of management issues, struggles among the development team to make deadlines, and poor feedback from play testers. It was to be Data East Pinball’s first foray into arcade game development, breaking from their pinball-only roots, but ultimately it didn’t come together as well as they’d hoped. While it never saw a full release, there were a handful of prototype PCB’s and arcade cabinets manufactured for use at trade shows and location tests. Unfortunately, many of those cabinets were either destroyed or lost to time, and only a few original cabinets are known to exist today. Two cabinets are currently housed at the Professional and Amateur Pinball Association (PAPA) in Scott Township, Pennsylvania. Additionally, the Galloping Ghost Arcade in Brookfield, Illinois acquired another one of these exceedingly rare cabinets in November of 2017 and is one of the only arcades where you can get your hands on the real deal.
The game did enjoy a good amount of coverage prior to its cancellation in the media, however. It was featured in a four-page preview in the April 1995 issue of EGM2 and reportedly even received a full review in Next Generation Magazine.
The ROM for the game’s unfinished state was eventually dumped and circulated online, and it can be played via arcade emulators such as MAME today. One version of the game that you may come across matches that found in the few remaining official cabinets, and it was near-complete despite suffering from unfinished sound design and some minor glitches throughout.
Looney Tunes: By A Hare is a side scrolling racing game featuring Looney Tunes characters such as Bugs Bunny, Daffy Duck and Porky Pig, that was developed by Sega of Japan for arcades and shown at Jamma 1993 (Amusement Machine Show). After this show the game vanished and as far as we know if was never officially released to the public.
As wrote to us by Sam:
“Next to nothing is known about this title, and the only images available are from old gaming magazine scans. No video footage either and no available ROM. What’s been described for the game is that it would’ve been a side-scrolling 3-player racing game where players choose from Bugs Bunny, Daffy Duck, and Porky Pig while Taz the Tasmanian Devil is always CPU controlled while other Looney Tunes characters can interfere with the race.”
“The races take place on land, in water, or other planets as well as other types of terrain. Several familiar characters show up in the background and may interfere with or try to slow the players down. Some of these include Sylvester chasing Tweety, Wile E. Coyote, the Road Runner, Yosemite Sam, Marvin the Martian, and Elmer Fudd. The player moves as fast as the run button is pressed so that there are no unfair advantages. The game has high quality graphics, and the characters’ movements are taken directly from the cartoons. This description can be found in the May 1993 issue of GamePro Magazine on page 16.”
If you find out more details about this unseen arcade game, please let us know!
City Diver is a cancelled arcade 3D shooter that was being developed by Taito in 1994 / 1995. A demo of the game was shown at AOU Show 1994. According to an article published on Edge 8 (may 1994), City Diver was supposed to feature a glasses-free 3D display:
Sanyo – in conjunction with NHK Engineering Services and Toppan Printing – have developed an LCD projector and lenticular lens array which splits the picture into right- and left-side images, providing the viewer with full depth perception.
The same article described this title as a “stunning four-player 3D shoot ’em up with a mixture of gorgeous rendered images and 3D polygons“. Virtua Cube-x was another game that was going to use the same technology, but it got probably cancelled as well or converted into a ridefilm for Taito IDYA.
City Diver was apparently planned to be fully unveiled at JAMMA show in September, but it’s currently unknown if the game was present at the arcade exhibition in any form.
Two videos of the game surfaced on niconico in 2013. Thankfully, the clips’ description was translated by lostlevels.org user Boco:
“From a promotional video I received as a gift. Canceled arcade game from Taito in 1995. I played this when it was out for a location test in Shibuya. It was a helicopter flying game similar to “Air Inferno“, with a singleplayer “Mission mode” and a 2-player “battle mode” that used two linked cabinets. I think after it was canceled it got turned into one of those CG movie games used by the Taito IDYA. “
Going by this description, a playable build of City Diver must have existed at some point, then. Unfortunately, we don’t have any additional information about this location test or the IDYA ride film version. The two niconico videos were joined together into a single Youtube clip that can be seen below.
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