Mega Drive / Genesis

Zodiac (Ubisoft) [Sega Mega Drive – Cancelled]

Zodiac is a cancelled shoot ‘em up in development at Ubisoft around 1992 – 1993, by a team composed of  Frederic Houde (one of the designers behind the original Rayman and Tonic Trouble) and Laurent Cluzel (who worked on Starush, a 1992 Amiga shmup, and later on The City of Lost Children). Frederic talked about the game in an interview by Arcade Attack:

“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.

Thanks to Dylan for the contribution!

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Ushiwakamaru Saburota Monogatari: 24-Jikan Tatakaemasu Ka? [Mega Drive – Cancelled]

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”?

C:\ARKIVE\UNSEEN64 (Da Spostare su HD Vecchio)\Mega Drive\Ushiwakamaru saburōta monogatari by VG Densetsu

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.

ushiwakamaru-saburota-monogatari-mega-drive-01

If you can find more images in old japanese magazines, please let us know

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.

Outworld-2375-AD-genesis-megadrive-cancelled

“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.

deep-scanner-sammy-mega-drive-Joypad-018-Page-019-1993-03 

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.

beat-force-mega-drive-Joypad-018-Page-019-1993-03