Sega

Lunatik (Pure Entertainment) [Playstation, Saturn – Cancelled]

Lunatik is a cancelled shoot ‘em up that was in development around 1997 by Pure Entertainment, planned to be published by Eidos for Playstation, Sega Saturn and PC. The team wanted to develop something similar to a 3D Defender, while showcasing their gorgeous (at the time) 3D engine, featuring dozens of enemies on screens, high number of polygons and detailed textures.

Unfortunately gameplay was not as fun as they hoped for: the project needed more time to be improved, but Eidos did not want to invest any more money into it. In the end Pure Entertainment reworked Lunatik as some kind of ATI Graphic Cards tech demo, and this version was released in limited quantities in ATI bundles. We can assume this ATI Edition was much different from what the team had originally conceived for Lunatik. As we can read on Sega-Saturn.net:

“But ultimately the project failed because the original concept (3D Defender) was next to impossible to do really well. We tried many different gameplay mechanisms to make it work, and none were working. Ultimately we ran out of time to make it work and Eidos cancelled the project. The game did get a limited release for the PC. It was bundled with graphics cards as a graphics showcase, but the game itself was poor.”

We were also be able to gather some early PR text shared when Eidos were promoting the game to gaming magazines and websites:

“Little known London-based Pure Entertainment is the developer behind the project. They are striving to update the genre with a true 3D engine, giving the player full freedom of movement within Lunatik’s 3D world. LUNATIK is a 3D Shoot ‘Em Up, drawing on the addictive gameplay aspects of classics such as Defender and Zaxxon for inspiration, and merging them with a uniquely dramatic look and feel, the combination of which has never been seen before.

Drawn with strong Manga cartoon influences, the 3D real-time graphics have paved the way for an unusual ‘above and behind’ perspective, which will be backed by some in-house techno tunes.

Lunatik will sport eighteen levels, a barrage of Armageddon-like weaponry (including a heat seeker), power ups galore, shields, cloaking devices to collect and bosses that appear at designated times throughout the game.

One interesting touch is the boss timer. Each of the 18 levels features a construction area, where the enemies are busy building a boss monster. If you fail to complete the mission before the timer ticks down, the boss monster is built, and immediately comes looking for you. Gameplay is very much a case of fire or be fired upon, and if you do succeed then the nastier and smarter the AI of the bad guys gets.

The game itself has 8 large levels, each one being a man made ‘moon’ orbiting the decaying relic that was once Earth. All out war is occurring between 7 of the Corporation Dominated Moons and one other, Nu Earth 3, an indomitable civilization holding out against everything the Corporate armies can throw at them. Your mission? Quite simply, wipe the floor with the enemy.”

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Miina in Wonderland [Mega Drive, Genesis – Cancelled]

Miina in Wonderland (AKA ミーナ ワンダーランド) is a cancelled mini-games collection planned by Micronet for the Sega Mega Drive. There are not many details about this lost project, but from the few screenshots shared on Twitter by japanese fans, it seems players would have been able to move around a city map with many different buildings, and in each one there would have been a mini game to play. Some of these games were quite strange, such as a chicken race against a masked man.

It seems Miina in Wonderland also had some kind of story-mode, following the adventure of Miina and her fluffy animal friend. A playable prototype was found sometime ago and sold on Yahoo Auction, so we can hope one day a ROM of the game could be uploaded online to be preserved.

If you can read Japanese and see some more interesting details in the scans below, please let us know!

Thanks to GDRI for the contribution!

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B.O.B. 2 [Cancelled – SNES, Mega Drive]

The original B.O.B. was a run ‘n gun platformer developed by Gray Matter Inc. and Foley Hi-Tech Systems, published in 1993 by Electronic Arts for SNES and Mega Drive (Genesis). A sequel titled “B.O.B. II” was also in development not long after the first one, but in the end the project was canned and never officially announced by EA.

There’s not much remaining from this lost game: just some concept art and its logo. We don’t even know if one of the two original teams developed an early prototype for EA. We can assume it would be hard to see more from BOB 2: it’s the cancelled sequel of a mostly forgotten run ‘n gun.

Maybe one day someone who worked on the project could help unveiling more, but for now these images are the only proof it was once in development or at least conceived as a possibility.

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The Lord of the Rings (EA) [Genesis / Mega Drive – Cancelled]

Around 1992-1994 Electronic Arts was working on a Sega Mega Drive / Genesis video game based on The Lord of the Rings series, but in the end the project was cancelled for unknown reasons. The title was listed in a few EA promotional leaflets, but as far as we know screenshots were never shown in magazines at the time.

In 2015 users from the Sega-16 forum noticed some sprites / animations from this cancelled Lord of the Rings Genesis game in an article posted by former EA developer Ray Tobey, who created the Animax 2D editor used by the company.

The same team also worked on Budokan: The Martial Spirit and the cancelled Cybernauts, both fighting games for the Mega Drive / Genesis. Because of this, we can assume The Lord of the Rings would also have been a fighting game. It’s interesting to notice that an unlicensed The Lord of the Rings fighting game for Mega Drive was published by Glorysun many years later, but it’s not related to the cancelled EA project.

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Yohoden Hisuimaru: Bonten no Ken [Game Gear – Cancelled]

Yohoden Hisuimaru: Bonten no Ken (妖逢伝ひすい丸 梵天の剣) is a cancelled JRPG that was in development around 1992 – 1993 for Sega Game Gear. From screenshots and footage available we can see it was going to be a classic RPG set in feudal Japan, with the main protagonist being able to transform himself into a Tengu.

A brief description of the game was published in a Japanese website:

“A field-type RPG set in medieval Japan. The protagonist, Hasui Maru, suddenly struck by lightning and became a Tengu. Why was he transformed to this figure? Fate now waits for him. As you can see from these images, it seems that popular figures of Japanese folklore and real-life history would have appeared in the game, such as Momotaro, Kintaro, Ushiwakamaru and Benkei.”

Combat was turn-based and there was a nice-looking overworld map to explore. It seems the project was being produced by Sega and it could have been a great addition to Game Gear’s japanese library. Unfortunately even if Yohoden Hisuimaru: Bonten no Ken looked quite far in development, it was quietly cancelled and soon forgotten.

Some images were found by Romanovh and VGDensetsu in old japanese magazines.

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