Sega

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 

Shinbatsu (Gainax) [Sega Saturn – Cancelled]

Shinbatsu (神罰, Divine Punishment) is a cancelled strategy / simulation game that was in development for the Sega Saturn around 1995. The project was being produced by popular animation studio Gainax, just a few months before the first original run of their cult-series: Evangelion.

Shinbatsu-Divine-Punishment-Gainax-Sega-Saturn-Cancelled

Character design for Shinbatsu was done by Kenji Tsuruta, mostly known for his Spirit of Wonder manga. Unfortunately we don’t have much more details about this lost game, but VGDensetsu found a page with a few screenshots and a short preview in Sega Saturn Magazine (March 1, 1995).

If you can read Japanese and could write a short summary of what they wrote about this game, please leave a comment below!

Shinbatsu-Divine-Punishment-Gainax-Sega-Saturn-Cancelled-Magazine 

Battle Mania 3 NY: Gankutsujou [Dreamcast – Cancelled]

Battle Mania 3 NY: Gankutsujou is a cancelled Dreamcast shoot ’em up that was in development by Takayan and a few more developers who already working on the original series. The first Battle Mania or Trouble Shooter as known in USA was developed and published by Vic Tokai for the Mega Drive / Genesis in 1991, with a sequel titled Battle Mania Daiginjou published in 1993 only in Japan.

battle-mania-3-dreamcast-01

The game settings are a parody of classic anime tropes, with flying sci-fi girls shooting down aliens and monsters. Levels are often inspired by japanese culture and they change from side-scrolling to a vertical scrolling. This third chapter in the Battle Mania series was originally conceived as an arcade game, as we can read in a translated interview with Takayan:

Please tell us a bit about what happened after Daiginjo. You brought a design document for the legendary unreleased Dreamcast game Battle Mania N.Y. Gankutsujou but on the cover, there are Saturn and Playstation logos, does that mean you proposed this project during the 32-bit generation?

Takayan: Nope, they wouldn’t let me make it. I’m a big SEGA fan and just as I was thinking I’ll quit if they don’t let me make games for the Megadrive or Saturn, they put me in charge of the SFC division. That’s why I had to step away from Daiginjo right at the end of development. When I made this I’d already left VIC and the next company I’d worked at, and the company I was at was starting to look a little unstable. It’s a pitch for an arcade game but I had hardly any time to spend on it. (Laughs)

It’s amazing for the fans to be able to see Mania in 3d, could you tell us a bit about that?

Takayan: The pictures were drawn by fellow VIC survivors. One of them made the Softimage assets to go with the gameplay explanations. I made the 3d models of Mania and the picture of the heroines on the cover and the main artist on Odessaelya made the screens that go with the stage explanations. Add to that the artist who drew the giant robot and the queen and I think it was 4 people in all, I’m not sure whether that’s a lot or very few.

battle-mania-3-dreamcast-02

Battle Mania NY: Gankutsujou’s pitch document was originally published in a book titled “ Nazo no Game Makyou 4” and later uploaded online thanks to HG101. By looking at its pages we can notice how the game was later pitched as a Dreamcast title, probably thanks to Takayan’s love for Sega hardware. Kid Fenris analyzed this document sharing some more details about what it could have been:

“The story itself, as far as I can grasp, sends our jetpack-sporting heroines from Japan to New York, spurred on by a distress call, a woman named Airin, and something called “N.Y. Haunted Square.” That’s possibly a Ghostbusters reference.”

“Battle Mania N.Y. Gankutsujou was to be a shooter like its two predecessors, though it would’ve presented three perspectives: a side view, an overhead view, and a 3D perspective reminiscent of Space Harrier and Panzer Dragoon. “

“The stage descriptions for Battle Mania N.Y. Gankutsujou are the best parts of the pitch, as each of them gets an illustration. A side-scrolling opening stage sees Madison and Crystal facing flying fish-men and a bicycle-riding robot on a city street. It’s perfectly in step with the humor in previous Trouble Shooter games, an unapologetic mélange of modern Japan and a world of weird mutants and technology, explaining nothing and never suffering for it.”

Unfortunately the available mockups are quite tiny, but you can still notice how it could have been quite awesome. In the end it seems Takayan and his team never found a publisher interested in this third Battle Mania and the project was quietly cancelled.

Images:

 

Ninth Will (Seventh Cross 2) [Dreamcast – Cancelled]

In 1998 Atypical Alchemists Associate and NEC Home Electronics developed and published a weird simulation game for the Dreamcast, titled “Seventh Cross Evolution”. Similar to other “life evolution RPGs” such as EVO: Search for Eden (SNES) or Cubivore (GameCube), in Seventh Cross players have to fight against other living being and evolve to become stronger, more complex animals / beings.

seven-cross-2-dreamcast-cancelled

While the game was received with average to low scores, NEC announced a sequel in early 2000 titled “Ninth Will”. Unfortunately it seems they never shown any image from the project (or maybe there are some forgotten in old Japanese gaming magazines?) and soon it was canned, probably for the low sales of the original title.

In the end Atypical Alchemists Associate and NEC keep working on other games for the Dreamcast, many visual novels and dating sims such as Sentimental Graffiti 2, Kanon, Kimi ga Nozomu Eien and Pandora no Yume. We can assume this kind of low-budget projects was more profitable for the Dreamcast market after the discontinuation of the console in 2001.

If you ever find something more about this lost game in Japanese magazines, please let us know! 

X-Fighters (Midway) [Dreamcast – Cancelled]

Ready 2 Rumble Boxing was a fighting game developed by Midway San Diego and published in 1999 initially for the Dreamcast. In 1998 the same team conceived another similar 3D fighting game, set in old-school sci-fi / fantasy settings.

This cancelled project was titled “X-Fighters” and would have featured such characters as a mad scientist, space-cop girls and warriors from alien planets. Only a few renders of these characters are saved in this page, to preserve the existence of this lost game.

x-fighters-midway-dreamcast-cancelled

By looking at these models and by reading its title, we can speculate X-Fighters would have been an arcade fighting game, with over-the-top battles between weird characters. Imagine a mix between Power Stone and Star Gladiator. Unfortunately the game was never announced by Midway and there are basically no more details about it.

Midway was one of the most prolific developers on the Dreamcast, with such arcade classics as NBA Showtime, Hydro Thunder, Gauntlet Legends and San Francisco Rush 2049. We can assume X-Fighters would have been another fun title to play with friends on our beloved Dreamcast. In the end the project was never fully developed after their initial pitch. Midway decided to make the team work on a different kind of fighting game, and the result was Ready to Rumble.

If you know someone who worked on this lost project, please let us know!