Mega Drive / Genesis

Akira [SNES MegaDrive/Genesis – Cancelled]

Rod_Wod from the Assembler Forum has posted various scans from the cancelled Akira games (based on the manga / anime with the same name) that were meant to be released by THQ for the Genesis / Mega Drive, Super Nintendo, Mega CD and Game Gear. Probably the screens published in the magazines were all from the same version, as the graphic looks almost the same for all the various consoles. Some more screens were found by Celine in Player One #44, Console Plus #44 and #35. Thanks to Sketcz from the Hardcore Gaming 101 blog for the other scans!

From an interview at Hardcore Gaming 101 we can read a lot of interesting info about the development of these unreleased Akira games:

“It was not so much cancelled or scrapped as it fell into neglect. Larry transferred rights to THQ and we couldn’t get clear agreement on the game elements with the project manager. They didn’t understand the limitations of the SNES. The project was then victim to a number of disasters including the lead programmer leaving, and other work being more pressing.”

A short video from the game was recorded at CES in summer 1994, you can see it below (it looks like the game crashes / freeze at some point). Thanks to Brian for the link to the video!


Akira SNES



Madness: House of Fun [GEN/MD – Cancelled]

Madness: House of Fun is a cancelled platform game based around the Ska music group with the same name, that was in development by Gremlin Graphics for the Sega Genesis / Mega Drive. The project was a “remake” of the original Gremlin’s Amiga title “Harlequin”, with new graphic, characters and Madness’ music. As Robert Hazelby (webmaster of Madness Information Service Online, a fan site of the group) wrote on the Total Madness mailing list:

I’m not sure if the band were actually going to be featured in the game as Gremlin devised some strange character (who’s name escapes me at the moment) who the player would control. In the background, it was planned that some awful 6 channel Yamaha sound-chip induced ditties would be playing away.

Unfortunately the bottom dropped out of the console market and Gremlin decided to can the Madness computer game and so it was never released. Ex MML subscriber Jacco Van’t Reit (did I spell that correctly) did offer his services with regards to helping to produce the game after he had worked on previous projects for the Gremlin team but this unfortunately didn’t happen.

Track down an Amiga and a copy of Harlequin to see how your Madness game would have played.

Thanks to Celine and Rod_Wod we were able to preserve many screens of Madness: House of Fun, that were found in some old magazines (as Mean Machine #17, Mega Force #17).


ResQ [MD/G – Cancelled]

ResQ is a cancelled 2D shooter / action game that was in development by Tempest Software for the Genesis / Mega Drive. The project was almost finished when the publisher, Psygnosis, decided to pulled it out: even if ResQ was never officially released, a rom of the game was leaked online and can be easily found through Google.

The look and feel of the game seem taken from an Amiga project, probably because the team was inspired by the Bitmap Brothers graphic style back then. Other inspirations were games such as R-Type (for the ship) C64 version of Turrican, Super Ghosts and Goblins (for the centurion) Starwing/Starfox (for the 3D bonus game).

As a former graphic designer of Tempest Software wrote:

The Game was programmed on 486 PC’s by Bill Pullan and Pete, while  Jason used Deluxe Paint II and III on an Amiga 1200 with RAM upgrade for Graphics and Animation. Bill actually worked on an Amiga title before RESQ, “Bill’s Tomato Game“.

Thanks to Jason and Celine for the contributions!




Nuclear Rush [Sega VR – Unreleased]

Nuclear Rush is an unreleased shooter that was in development in 1993 for the Sega VR, the canned “virtual reality” accessory planned for the Mega Drive / Genesis. Four games were apparently developed for the system, each using 16 Mb cartridges that were to be bundled with the headset. One of these was Nuclear Rush, in which the players were able to fly with an hovercraft to fight in a futuristic war.

Thanks to Sega Forever we can read the original Sega VR press release that was published in Sega Visions magazine, August/September 1993:

From the moment you strap on the headset, you know that your gaming life will never be the same again. The world you see through the twin eye-pieces of the virtual reality (VR) headset responds as if it were another world, one you can explore by moving around without leaving your chair. […]

You are playing Nuclear Rush, the game that will be bundled with Sega VR, Sega’s new virtual reality headset. […]

Welcome to the year 2032. Get ready for a cataclysmic trek into a post-nuclear gold rush, where low-level nuclear waste is bartered as an energy source. You are posing as a nuclear pirate, piloting a hovercraft through radioactive wastelands guarded by heavily armed robots and drones.

As Iron Hammer, it’s possible that Nuclear Rush was playable even without the VR accessory. From an interview with Kevin McGrath at Sega 1 6, it seems that Nuclear Rush was completed before the Sega VR was cancelled:

My first project, called Nuclear Rush was to design and code one of the games that was going to be released with the SEGA VR Headset. It was a simple 3D shoot-em-up kind of game, but with the VR Headset it became an intriguing experience. We had concerns about creating nausea for the player, which could happen if the graphics are just slightly out of sync with the actual movement of the players head. Anyway, I spent a year on this project, and although SEGA paid us in full and we completed everything, the hardware never made it past prototype stage.

Thanks to Celine for the scan! (found in GamePower #21). You can also see Nuclear Rush in motion from the video below (thanks to  Grooveraider YT channel!).





Monster Hunter [MD/G – Cancelled]

The Menacer is a wireless lightgun created by Sega for the Sega Mega Drive / Genesis in 1992, as a response to the Super Scope by Nintendo. Sega and third-party developers did not develop many games for the Menacer and one of these projects, know as “Monster Hunter”, was cancelled before being finished.

In Monster Hunter the story involves the player as a premier big game hunter, in search of the ultimate catch. The scenarios range from safari lands to exotic ranges not from our world

There are not many info or media remained for this game, but Celine was able to find a screenshot of MH in EGM #51.