Mega Drive / Genesis

Outworld 2375 AD [Mega Drive / Genesis – Cancelled]

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.

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“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.

A trademark for “OUT WORLD 2375 AD” was filed in 1993 and abandoned in 1995:

“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.

Thanks to Youloute for the contribution!

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Deep Scanner [Mega Drive – Cancelled]

Deep Scanner (ディープスキャナー) is a cancelled run & gun / action game that was in development by Sammy for Mega Drive. A single screenshot was published in french magazine Joypad (issue 18, March 1993) with a short description:

“[…] an action game with multi-directional scrolling. Developed by Sammy, Deep Scanner may well contend more than one, given the quality of the graphics and the various difficulties encountered during this game. Armed with a laser gun and other weapons you may find during your peripeties through bonus areas, halfway between Rolling Thunder and Double Dragon, Deep Scanner will allow you to freely choose between a half-dozen of levels, each ending with a final boss monster. […] you have to be quick because time is limited and enemies do not wait to jump on you.”

More images and details could be still hidden away in other Japanese magazines.

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Beat Force [Mega Drive – Cancelled]

Beat Force (ビートフォース) is a cancelled hack ‘en slash that was in development by Sammy for Mega Drive. A single screenshot was published in french magazine Joypad (issue 18, March 1993) with a short description (translated with Google Translate):

“Nothing is easy when you are a great hero. AHL knows this very well, he’s always asked to save the world from debacle. […] Beat Force is a kind of futuristic Gauntlet in which you play the role of an over-armed gladiator. While the action is viewed from above, the screen moves in a multi-directional scrolling with an excellent effect.”

More images and details could be still hidden away in other Japanese magazines.

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RPG Densetsu Hepoi [Mega Drive (Genesis) – Cancelled]

The 16-bit era brought many new possibilities into design and artistic fields on gaming. Colorful sprites, rich and fluid animation, stereo sound and many new features graced a period that for a long time was considered the most important for the video game industry.

One of the biggest hook for consumers in the 80’s and 90’s was the extensive licensed material. These decades would change video games forever as companies were beginning to understand it as a communication channel, more than just an electronic toy. Soon, adaptations from cartoons, anime, movies, comic books, novels and pretty much everything began to pop through. It was the “make a game of that” philosophy.

This means that game designers worked day and night to figure out how to work with whichever hardware came around, in every way possible to make something popular, playable. Sometimes this meant that something great was coming, sometimes it was just excuse to make more profit with a famous brand.

A video game based on japanese anime RPG Densetsu Hepoi was in the makings for the Sega Mega Drive / Genesis System.

The only source available about this unseen game is a scan from a japanese magazine called Beep Mega Drive, dated 1991, which show us two screenshots, revealing the use of top-down perspective. We can also deduce by the menu displacement that it had classic j-rpg gameplay, including text-based actions, dialogues and multiple characters to use.

The game was also being co-produced by Sega.

Unfortunately we don’t know much more about this cancelled Mega Drive RPG: it quietly vanished forever with no official explanation. It remains one of the many lost 16bit games which will forever be forgotten by the majority of gamers all around the world.

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Dwagons [SNES, Mega Drive – Cancelled]

The 16-bit era is often mentioned as the Golden Age of Gaming. A graced period that gave us hundreds of awesome classic games. It was a time when 2D game development was maturing and lots of ideas from the 8-bit generation would be revamped with new technology and graphics. Some old concepts and gameplay would still do pretty well in 16-bit, others had to be reworked and adapted, while still using similar and already successful mechanics. The latter is the case for Dwagons, our featured game.

Dwagons is a cancelled maze-puzzle game planned to be released on the Super Nintendo and Sega Mega Drive (Genesis). It was in development by UK based company Imagitec Design. As noted in a magazine preview found by the spanish board SEGASaturno, Dwagons shared similar ideas with Pengo (a 1982 arcade game by Sega) and Sokoban (a japanese puzzle game from the same time).

In Pengo the player must navigate through a maze and push ice blocks to defeat every enemy on screen in the shortest time possible. In Sokoban a more strategic approach is needed: the player have to move and fit blocks into specific areas to open the next level. Both had very simple but very successful formula for the 1980’s gaming market.

Dwagons would add a little more depth into the “static-screen block pushing” type of game in “a combination of adventure, strategy and arcade“.  It would feature multiple-themed levels, co-operative multiplayer, multi-layered puzzles and a lot of secrets to uncover, everything wrapped in a cartoon-like medieval fantasy theme.

Developers even thought about other gameplay elements like magic spells, teleporting blocks, rafts to move through water places and trap doors that could make the player backtrack. By that time, gameplay variety was a central idea among gamers and developers and core mechanics for puzzle games were evolving (see Capcom’s Goof Troop for the SNES for example).

We don’t know how close Dwagons was from completion or how much of the game had actually been made, but judging from screenshots and detailed previews it seems it was already in a pretty advanced stage. It even had a whole scenario and a plot of its own. Two dragons (Dwagons) named Snort and Snail set on a quest to retrieve the Magic Talisman of Power and rescue their brother, Snarf, captured by the evil Lord Flame.

Imagitec was responsible for a variety of  arcade game ports released mostly on Atari and Amiga platforms. They worked with other companies such as Atari Corporation, Gremlin Graphics, and Electronic Arts until early 1997 when Imagitec was purchased by Gremlin and renamed Gremlin Interactive Studios.”

Thanks to Marçal Mora Cantallops and Grzegorz for the scans!

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