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.
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.
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.
“How did you get the opportunity to work for Ubisoft?
My best friend Frederic Markus worked on a game called Starush for Amiga, Atari ST & PC while I was finishing my military obligation. Then, I tried an approach to join the team. We had a strategy to show something big to Ubisoft to be able to make another (console) version, me as the main programmer. We decided to show a huge boss on the Amiga platform, something the current programmer for this game was not capable of… Ubisoft had no more than 50 employees at this time. I remember showing my Game Boss Demo to Yves (best Big Boss on earth), he told me “ok, I don’t know the project you will work on but here’s some money, consider yourself working for Ubisoft. It was the beginning of my career.
Tell us a bit more about the first game you worked on:
I ended up making ZODIAC (Starush inspired) on the Sega Mega Drive. It took me a year and a half, with Laurent Cluzel as graphic artist, making the engine, coding the tools, alone in my apartment… No internet at this time… The game was 100% finished, but Sega Mega Drive began to slow down at that time and unfortunately Ubisoft decided not to release the game. Only 2 roms exist at this time, Laurent’s and mine. Maybe someday I will give to the Mega Drive Emulator Scene a copy”
As posted by VGDensetsu on Twitter, a Zodiac prototype was shown by the Conservatoire National du Jeu Video (CNJV) at the Bibilothèque National de France (BNF). In there we can read Ubisoft decided to cancel the game because of the competition from Thunder Force IV and the high cost of cartridges, that would make hard to profit from its release.
As far as we know, the game ROM is still not released to the public, but we hope Frederic could share it in the future.
Ushiwakamaru Saburota Monogatari: 24-Jikan Tatakaemasu Ka? (牛若丸三郎太物語～２４時間戦えますか？) is a cancelled adventure / RPG that was in production by Sega around 1991 for their Mega Drive. Some images were found on Beep! MegaDrive magazine (January 1991) and Mega Drive Fan magazine (April 1991) by VGDensetsu and GDRI. It seems the game was based on… “a businessman character portrayed by Saburo Tokito in commercials for Regain energy drink”?
We can bet this one would have never been published in USA / Europe if ever completed. It looks a bit like Rent a Hero, but probably the two games are not related in any way.
If you can find more images in old japanese magazines, please let us know!
Outworld 2375 AD is a cancelled Sega Mega Drive / Genesis racing game that was in development around 1993. A single screenshot was published in Sega Visions magazine (Issue 15), where they wrote it was being developed as one of the games with Heartbeat Personal Trainer support.
“Outworld 2375 AD enters you in a thrilling outer-space race for your freedom”
As we can read on Sega Retro, the Heartbeat Personal Trainer is a rare variation of the Sega Mega Drive, released in 1993:
“[…] came bundled with exercise software and motion sensors which are only compatible with this unit. A sensor can be connected to the unit which monitors the user’s heartbeat, which in turn controls the speed of an on-screen Kangaroo (Joey), the aim being to keep your heartbeat at a certain rate by exercising. Other sensors can detect movement, and past exercise history can be saved and compared with others […] Though not a requirement, the unit was designed to be used in conjunction with exercise equipment, e.g. treadmills, exercise bikes, etc.”
Using the Heartbeat Personal Trainer features they could implement motion controls and let people to exercise while playing. We can assume in Outworld 2375 AD you could have been able to run on your treadmill or exercise bike to move your vehicle in the game.
“video game programs sold in the form of cartridges and cassettes. Games and playthings; gymnastic and sporting articles not included in other classes; decorations for Christmas trees.”
A collector on Nintendo Age also found some promotional reversal films with more images from this lost game. By reading the same topic, it seems another collector may own a Outworld 2375 AD prototype, so we can hope to see more from it in the future.