PC / MAC

Dragon (Eclipse Entertainment) [PC – Cancelled]

Dragon is a cancelled action RPG that was in development around 1998 – 1999 by Eclipse Entertainment, planned to be published on PC by Microsoft. The game was based on the chinese mythology, somehow similar to another Microsoft published RPG: Jade Empire. The game was quite hyped at the time and it was featured on Eclipse’s old website and on their 3D Engine page:

“Step into a 3D world more beautiful, more dangerous, and more amazing than any you have ever seen. Explore an ancient Chinese temple, teeming with evil. Play as one of 6 champions, alone, with, or against friends. Bone crunching martial arts, sizzling spell effects, and richly detailed world make Dragon a Grandmaster among games.”

Some more details about the game were published in a preview by Next Generation magazine (issue 51, march 1999):

“Although start-up Eclipse has only one game under its belt (last year’s Jack Nicholas for Accolade), its employees have experience in the game industry everywhere from Infocom to EA to 3D0 to Origin. And Eclipse has already built the engine on which the game will be based, the impressive Genesis 3D, which supports such features as realtime light detraction, true mirrors, vertex morphing, and soft-skin polygon characters.”

“The story is based largely on Chinese mythology. You take the role of either the grandson (slower but stronger) or granddaughter (faster but weaker) of a martial arts master, who has been kidnapped and placed in the dungeons of Quinggong by your father. Quinggong is the Teetering Palace, a temple that borders the mountains, the ocean, and the spirit world. Your job? Infiltrate the temple, defeat your father’s army of supernatural beings, and rescue your grandfather.”

“Although play balancing has yet to begin (which may change things dramatically), the game is about 50% combat and 50% exploration and puzzle solving. The puzzles, thankfully, look to be more than just the “find the switch” dreck that has come to characterize too many action/adventures. In one room, for instance, players are confronted with a river of lava they must cross. Too wide to jump, the solution is to smash a huge clay pot in the room, causing water to flow onto the lava, cooling it.”

“Players fight by using a combination of martial arts and supernatural powers (spells) and grow in skill (by learning new fighting moves and spells) as the game progresses, and separate bars will measure physical and spiritual health.”

Unfortunately Dragon quietly vanished and was never released: today it seems no traces remain online of its existence, but this page on Unseen64. We don’t know what happened to the project, but in late 1999 WildTangent acquired the team: maybe their new owners were not interested in continuing such an ambitious game or Microsoft was not happy with how it was shaping up, deciding to cancel their collaboration.

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Reprisal (Power Infused) [PC, Xbox – Cancelled]

Reprisal is a cancelled first person shooter / RPG that was in development from 2001 to 2004 by Power Infused Productions for PC and the original Xbox. The team conceived it as a hybrid between Quake, Thief and Deus Ex, featuring 3 different playable races, each one with their own gameplay mechanics, weapons and abilities. For example you would use stealth to play as humans, direct assaults to play as a cyborg, and manage resources to play as an Alien.

In august 2004 the team was searching for more developers on the CGSociety forum:

“Reprisal is the story of conflict between three races over a space station (Joshua 20) at the edge of our solar system Humans have kept their CAT battle machines stationed there in case of conflict for centuries. The invading alien army, guided by a Prince who seeks to prove himself, struck the station first, seeking to turn these weapons against their masters. The plan goes awry, causing the CATs to turn against both human and alien, and trapping all three races together in a desperate struggle for survival.”

As the game progresses, players would have taken control of the three sides and learn to use their unique powers. These races were:

  • Cyborg Assault Tanks (CATs) – Vicious and overwhelmingly powerful, these killing machines were once used to fight wars for humans. In Reprisal, they have turned against their masters and gone into a killing frenzy.
  • Humans – Weak and devoid of natural armaments, humans are the most adaptable of the three races. They are also able to squeeze into areas of the space station the others can’t access.
  • Aliens – Masters of genetic engineering, aliens are capable of altering their own bodies to suit their needs. While not as overwhelming in force as the CATs, aliens have the distinct advantage of being able to retreat from battle only to return more powerful than before.

“Playing each race requires a different skill set. For example, while CATs can charge into battle, wildly firing at everything, Humans need to sneak around conflicts, searching for a safe place to attack from.

While the game is set entirely on a space station, it has been designed to contain a large enough variety of environments to satisfy even the most hard-core gamer. During the course of the game, the player will venture through enormous mechanical devices, simulations of alien worlds, zoos filled with genetically engineered monsters, infested hallways that come alive, and even venture out onto the hull of the station itself.”

Reprisal would have offered some interesting features for its time:

  • Adaptive characters – The player will be able to adapt the look and abilities of the characters they play. In some cases, these changes will be minor and other cases will be major (replacing the lower torso with wheels).
  • Destructible weaponry and environments – Certain weapons will become available that allow the player to knock holes in some walls and destroy some weaponry (to keep it out of the “wrong hands”).
  • Body specific targeting and damage – over forty different spots on the body where the player can cause damage to the opponents.
  • Overlapping storylines – Players will encounter themselves in previous and future incarnations as they play through the scenario.

Unfortunately the team was not able to find a publisher interested in Reprisal and the project had to be canned in late 2004.

Thanks to Dan for the contribution!

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Delta Force: Angel Falls [PC – Cancelled]

Delta Force: Angel Falls is a cancelled strategy-focused FPS in the “Delta Force” series that was in development for PC by Novalogic between 2007 and 2012. Missions would have been set in Colombia and Venezuela, with the US military trying to take down drug cartels and totalitarian regimes. As in previous DF titles, players would have been able to explore huge outdoor environments, eliminating enemies, assassinating political targets and destroying military equipment.

Some details about the game were shared by Novalogic on their old website:

“In the near future, set in the north-west region of Central America and spanning both Colombia and Venezuela, “Delta Force: Angel Falls” presents the rural, sparsely populated areas of this exotic locale.  The South American environment provides a premise which is naturally beautiful and full of new millennium conflicts.

Marginal governments, involved in local expansionism, continually scuffle with one another and with major global powers. Complicating matters, drug cartels have evolved beyond money to political forces rivaling established governments. Influenced by current events, the game is both topical and novel.

The sometimes local philosophy of “your enemy is my friend and your friend is my enemy” gives rise to a multitude of ever-changing alliances and conflicts which drive the game’s rapid action. The culmination of the conflict takes place in the Angel Falls area of Venezuela providing both a spectacular setting and a surprise ending.”

  • Exciting single player missions spread over several campaigns.
  • Challenging multiplayer maps supporting multiple game types.
  • Scenarios, tactics and equipment inspired by extensive consultations with former Delta Force personnel.
  • Large, open environments with operating land, air and sea vehicles.
  • Gratifying gunplay, well-balanced weapons, and tactically interesting dynamic environments.
  • Support for huge numbers of combatants per game with co-operative play against all new AI.

Sometime in 2011 the team opened an Alpha Phase for the game, accepting applications from fans. Unfortunately in the end the game was never completed and we don’t know how much was done before its cancellation.

As far as we know, Angel Falls was a different project from The Unit: Operation Acid Gambit, another cancelled game by Novalogic (but they may have shared the same 3D engine). In October 2016 the team vanished, their assets and IP (including Delta Force) were bought out by THQ Nordic.

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Epsilon Conflict (Starbreeze Studios) [PC – Cancelled]

The Epsilon Conflict is a cancelled sci-fi RTS game that was in development around 2001 by Starbreeze Studios and O3 Games, planned to be released on PC. The game was focused on the pro-gaming/ e-Sport community and the team recruited two top StarCraft players (Guillaume Patry “Grrrr…” and Victor Martyn “[9]eVERLAST”) to help design gameplay and mechanics.

The project was still in early development when announced and unfortunately they never showed any screenshot. Players would have been able to choose between three factions (similar to the Zerg, Protoss and Terran in StarCraft) and lead their army in a multi-scenario campaign with optional missions. Epsilon Conflict would feature almost 40 different types of units and 9 heroes with unique abilities, gaining experience and new skills, just like in an RPG.

Starbreeze Studios and O3 Games focused most of their efforts on the multiplayer mode, with an Anti-cheat system and audio / text chat between teams and allies. We can find some of the planned features in the original press release:

  • Easy and transparent rules of the game that allow you to fully develop your tactical potential.
  • Adapting SI making its own strategic decisions.
  • Navigation point system.
  • Campaign for single-player gameplay with integrated training.
  • A dynamic story evolving in 30 missions, with several decisive tasks.
  • Cooperative mode for single player.
  • Campaign editor.
  • An open storyline with an easy way to expand with additional campaigns and scripts.
  • Anti-cheat system in multiplayer mode.
  • Innovative system of communication between teams and allies.

And interview with Marco Ahlgren (lead designer of the game) was also published on Stomped:

“There will be 3 totally different sides in the game. They will have different production systems, supply systems, tech trees. In short they have totally different game play. That allows for a rich playing experience where you can just play another side when you start to feel bored of one type of game play. We reveal no details about the different sides at this point though.

36+ heroes. We are making a lot of cool/crazy units. This is one of the design phases that I enjoy the most. The craziest units have to be carefully tested though. But you would be surprised if you saw the wicked stuff that we come up with.

We have studied the present multiplayer modes on some different RTS titles. That experience tells us that making 25 different multiplayer modes is no good. The community will settle for the 3-4 best ones anyway. We will have 4-5 well worked through modes. The whole game is suited for tournament play.

We want to make the single player experience more like an “InteractiveMovie” where you as player should get sucked straight into the game and forget the world around then waking up after 5 hours saying, “Wow.” =)

We are working on a E3 prototype at the moment. It is all up and running already, but there is still a lot of functionality left to be implemented. If we wanted to, the project should be signed already. But it is very important to get the “right” publisher for this project. The publisher has to be of a certain size and it is very important to belong to the publishers highest priority titles. It is very easy to get lost somewhere amongst 50 title releases. We demand an 100% commitment.”

A year and a half after the start of the project, the Epsilon Conflict  was canned. Rumors say the game turned out to not be as fun to play as they hoped for and Starbreeze Studios apparently feared it would not withstand competition against other RTS.

If you know someone who worked on this lost game and could help us preserve screenshots or videos, please let us know!

Thanks to Josef for the contribution! 

Clan Wars (DMA Design) [Cancelled – PC]

Clan Wars is a cancelled real time castle siege / tower defense strategy game set in medieval Scotland that was in development around 1998 – 1999 by DMA Design, the studio that created such popular games as Lemmings and the first Grand Theft Auto, and was later renamed to Rockstar North.

Previews for the game were published in a few gaming magazines at the time, such as Next Generation (issue 51, March 1999)

“DMA’s third title for ’99 is perhaps the  most interesting (and certainly the most  commercial). Still in the early stages of  development, Clan Wars is a real time  action / strategy game with (surprise, surprise) a unique twist. Instead of mining  resources, amassing forces, and crawling  around a map a la Command and  Conquer (and every clone since), you  simply decide whether to attack or defend for the duration of each battle.

The attacking force spends its money on building siege engines and arming its  troops, and the defending force spends its  resources building the best castle it can to  defend itself from the attackers. Once the  building period is over, the game switches  to the battle, which is played out in fully  scalable realtime 3D.  And this time, the  graphical bells and whistles are all present  and accounted for.

As in Tanktics, the real joy of the  game comes from manipulating the environment. Building a castle to withstand the onslaught of either a CPU  or human opponent, is — quite literally —  only half the battle, but it is incredibly  engrossing, it’s easy to see why. iIt’s a toy  that appeals to the kid in all of us — the  kid who never grew up and still has a  great time messing around with building blocks (or, in this case, parts of castles).”

The game was probably canned when DMA was bought by Gremlin Interactive and the team had to focus on finishing Body Harvest for the Nintendo 64. As we can read on Nostalgia Nerd’s article on the history of DMA Design:

“Riding at the peak of it’s creative output, DMA Design was then duely snapped up by British publisher Gremlin Interactive in late 1997. Impressed with DMA utilising their 3DMA graphics engine efficiently, and with plans for newer titles such as Clan Wars and Attack (both of which were cancelled) Gremlin wanted to closely collaborate with the existing DMA team and Dave Jones was quickly shuffled to the role of Creative Director.”

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