PC / MAC

Kaiju (DigiFX Interactive) [Cancelled – PC, Mac]

Kaiju is a cancelled real-time strategy game that was in development by DigiFX Interactive around 1996 / 1997, planned to be released on PC and Mac. Players could choose between 2 factions: kaijus (those giant monsters from classic Japanese movies) and humans. Depending on which faction you would play as your objective would be to protect or destroy cities.

As we can read from their official press-release:

“The city is under attack! Giant monsters breathing fire are leveling every building in sight. It is up to you to mobilize your forces and develop new technologies in order to stop these giant creatures, or choose to command a cadre’ of crazed dinosaurs, giant lizards, sea monsters, radioactive space monsters, “King Congo” (the biggest ape you ever saw) and other huge destructive creatures whose sole purpose is to obliterate mankind! No this isn’t just a “kill the bad guy” strategy game…it’s total destruction!

KAIJU is a Windows 95 and Macintosh “real time” strategy game with an entirely new twist! KAIJU contains one of the most unique and highly playable battle and economic systems in existence. Players can choose either the humans or the monsters! As the humans, the player must defend the cities from the creatures by using all the resources available. As monsters, the player must crush, stomp and obliterate every human (and everything) in sight! We’re not kidding, this game allows total destruction of everything!”

Game features:

  • Over 40 new units unique to KAIJU, including aircraft carriers, super attack planes, phase cannons, plasma mines, and artificial lightning generators, and “special” characters such as the “PSI”, the “Hero”, the “Brainy guy”, and the “Military guy”,
  • Create special characters that affect ‘normal’ units and structures. Just one example includes a unique character called a “PSI” that uses a sixth sense to battle the monsters. If the “PSI” enters a Radar Station, it becomes a “Monster Control Tower”, with the ability to ‘take control’ of any monster for a period of time.

Unfortunately DigiFX Interactive closed down in late 1997 due to financial issues. When the team was disbanded they were also working on other canned titles such as DigiFX Mission to Nexus Prime and Mythos.

Thanks to Celine for the contribution! 

LandFall (Paragon Studios) [PC – Cancelled]

LandFall is a cancelled MMORPG that was in development by Paragon Studios between 2011 and 2012, planned to become their “Next-Gen MMO” after their classic games City of Heroes and City of Villains. The game was quite ambitious for its time, taking inspiration from the “new wave” of survival / crafting indies such as Minecraft and Terraria, while letting thousands (?) of players explore procedurally generated islands to gather materials and craft new tools, weapons and buildings.

LandFall would have been played on savage islands full of dinosaurs and other kinds of weird monsters: possibly their idea was somehow similar to what Ark: Survival Evolved would offer some years later, but with a graphic style more similar to something like Fortnite.

Unfortunately in August 2012 Paragon Studios was closed down by their parent company, and every game they were working on had to be halted. While LandFall was never officially announced, many former Paragon developers and artists shared online artwork, screenshots and details on their lost project. Some of these images are preserved below, to remember the existence of this cancelled game.

Images:

Videos:

 

Justice Unlimited (LucasArts) [Cancelled – PC]

Justice Unlimited is a cancelled superhero action RPG with gameplay similar to Diablo, that was pitched by LucasArts around 1997. We would imagine it as a top-down 2D adventure, exploring modern-day cities and the suburbs taking the role of different superheroes to hunt down criminals, level-up and collect rare loot. While the game was never officially announced, some details and artwork were shared in the book “Rogue Leaders – The Story Of Lucasarts”:

“From 1997 to 1998, LucasArts worked on a game concept meant to challenge Blizzards’s popular Diablo RPG game. The entire concept was essentially  “Diablo, except with superheroes” recalls LucasArts designer John Stafford. Lots of concept art and story were generated for the game, but no work was completed on a game engine, and the idea was shelved.”

Images: 

Pumpkin Man [Xbox, PC – Cancelled]

Pumpkin Man is a cancelled third person shooter that was in development by Metro3d and Red-Purple Game Technology, planned to be released on the original Xbox and PC. Players would take the role of a dead guy named Joshua, trying to open the gates of hell to let demons celebrate Halloween on earth.

The game was shown at E3 2003 and some websites such as Psillustrated and Gaming Nexus wrote about it:

“In Pumpkin Man, Halloween is the most important night for the forces of evil where Hell spirits are allowed to use the Crystal Seal and visit Earth for a single day. To Hell’s misfortune, the path to Earth was suddenly sealed with the All Saints Crystal, and the Gates of Hell officially became the path of no return.

It’s up to the Clown, a legendary leader known throughout every corner of Hell, to begin organizing a secret fight to reopen the Gates of Hell on Halloween. Meanwhile, Joshua, a small-town boy is accidentally killed and becomes a peddler in Hell.  Even in his afterlife, he could not forget what a girl once said, “Joshua will definitely become a hero.  I want to be his bride on that day.”  As Joshua ends up accused of revolting against the leadership of Hell and imprisoned in the Slave Ground, the Clown can’t fight alone and Joshua is his only hope!”

“A large emphasis has been placed on the four-player support although there will be an entirely unique experience on the single-player side of things. Currently there are plans to have 40 multiplayer levels, 20 single-player levels, 25 different enemies and 13 different weapons.”

Unfortunately Metro3d filed for bankruptcy in 2004 and Pumpkin Man was canned and forgotten by everyone, until July 2021 when u/2dmee shared on Reddit a playable demo they found in a Taiwanese online forum (uploaded on Archive):

“A couple of years ago I started buying new & sealed retro games from China/Taiwan and reselling them on Ebay UK. One day I came across a big box PC game and the artwork looked really good and it caught my attention, but I couldn’t find any info about the game anywhere, despite being quite well versed in the art of advanced google search syntax.

“The seller that offered the game for sale also had some other titles that were produced by Red-Purple Game Technology so I can only presume he had the deadstock from their offices after they ceased development/trading in 2004. He had 1 boxed, sealed copy and 1 open copy in a jewel case so I bought them both.”

“I have the complete game files on 3 discs, but I don’t have them ripped to my PC atm so I thought I would upload the demo first.”

Thanks to Aaron for the contribution!

Images:

Videos:

  

Sin 2: Reborn (Ritual Entertainment) [Cancelled – PC]

Sin 2 (AKA Sin Reborn) is the cancelled sequel to Ritual Entertainment’s 1998 FPS, which was pitched around 2003. The team created an early prototype demo using the Doom 3 engine, but they did not find a publisher interested in funding the project. From the available footage it seems the game’s antagonist wanted to mutate every human in the city, you could use the physic engine to destroy the environment and block / damage enemies, and you could drive around in vehicles.

Some details were also published on the old Ritual Entertainment’s website:

“In Summer 2003, Ritual Entertainment created a publisher demo for Sin II in order to find funding for the project. Using next generation technology, Sin II was to be a full blown follow-up to Ritual’s 1998 action hit Sin. Unfortunately, no publisher had serious interest in backing the title, forcing Ritual to abandon the idea for the time being.

While the game is not currently in development, we are able to bring you two exclusive in-game screenshots from Ritual’s demo. Taken in a black test map, the screenshots show the new models for main character John R. Blade and villainess Elexis Sinclaire.

So why doesn’t Ritual just release the demo? The demo was created using an in-development third party technology. Until this technology is completed and officially available for licensing, Ritual cannot release any more media from the demo, or even disclose what technology was used.”

In the end Ritual Entertainment chose to work on an Episodic series of Sin games, and the original Sin 2 was finally canned. Unfortunately even Sin Episodes did not have much luck: of the 9 planned episodes only the first one was published before the company was acquired by MumboJumbo.

Thanks to Piotr for the contribution!

Images: