Sega

Halloween Capsule [GEN MD – Cancelled]

Halloween Capsule is a cancelled side-scrolling brawler / beat ’em up with animals for characters, that was in development in 1994 for the Sega Mega Drive / Genesis (or Samsung Super Aladdin Boy, how the system was named in Korea) by the Korean company Softmax, best known for their War of Genesis and Magna Carta series. Halloween Capsule was one of their first projects, but it was never released for unknown reasons and only few screenshots were found in an old korean magazine.

Thanks to Derboo for the contribution!

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Gex [3DO PSX SAT – Beta / Unused Stuff]

Gex is a 2D platformer game, developed and published by Crystal Dynamics in march 1995 for the Panasonic 3DO and later for the Sega Saturn and PlayStation. Thanks to Gexthegecko we found out that in the final game it’s possible to reach an unused shooting level: it involves taking a certain route in Planet X (check the videos below). There’s also a test levels that include unused sprites from the 3DO version.

Beyond this, there are loads of concept artworks to unlock in the special ending (after the credits roll). It seems that the original plot never involved television and in the early prototype Gex was set in our world instead of its very own fantasy oriented one. There’s also an article with one of the game’s developers, which exposes even more pre-production goodness:

The game was about Gecko X, a Hollywood stuntman (stunt Gecko). The studio he worked for was in financial trouble and helping it fail were the enemies Karl Chameleon and his henchmen like Guido Gila. Each level would be themed around a Hollywood action movie genre. For example the Western. The level intro would show stock footage of old Hollywood western movies (for some reason marketing thought this was the greatest idea ever) and then the level would have Gex going through it doing “stunts”. The better he did the more money the ‘Movie’ made and therefore the better the studio did. One level was designed using that theme and it was just awful. […]

They wanted a 32bit game that would be the next Sonic but they were not willing to put the resources into it that would be required to do it. They had come from a 16 bit world and still thought they only needed a 16bit size team. […]

By June we had decided to get rid of Mode 2 and make each world have only one art set so for example the Horror world dropped the Haunted House art set and became just the graveyard. Done by that time were the graveyard art set, cartoon and sci-fi and almost no enemies. It was around that time that Silicon Knights (creators of Legacy of Kain) were asked to do some enemies for Gex. They cranked out about 26 enemies in about 1 month. Also Steve Suhy was hired and was asked to do many of the enemies.[…]

Since it was now June and the project was not even 50% finished, the company decided to cut the sci-fi levels since none had been done and since they didn’t like the art. That brought the game down to five worlds and they hoped would get the game done by Sept in time for Christmas. […]

Evan had programmed a shooter for his Senior project at Stanford (he was finishing his degree at Stanford and working on this nightmare project and competing in National gymnastics) and we decided to stick that shooter in the game as a bonus. […]

Gex 4 was in early development for the PS2, but it was soon cancelled and only few artworks remain to preserve its existence.

Thanks to Gexthegecko for the contribution!

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Tarantula [PSX Saturn PC – Cancelled]

Tarantula is a cancelled action game that was in development by Scavenger (Team Mescal) in 1996 / 1997 for the Playstation, Saturn and PC. The concept of the game was somehow similar to the released Spider (PSX) and Deadly Creatures (Wii), in which the player would had take the role of a spider to explore natural areas and human houses, fighting against other insects and animals.

As noted at  Sega Collection, Tarantula was shown at E3 1996, along with other Scavenger’s games that seem to have been vanished too: Angel, Aqua, Into The Shadow, Mudkicker and Spearhead. Sadly the studio was closed down in 1997 / 1998 for economic problems.

As we can read at MobyGames:

Scavenger, Inc., with offices in Boston, California, Denmark, England, Sweden, was a short-lived interactive entertainment company specializing in the development of video games […] The President of the company in 1996 was Daniel Small. In April of that year, Scavenger and GT Interactive Software Corp. entered into a publishing agreement for several titles.

Problems occurred between the two companies concerning GT Interactive’s failure to pay according to contract, and a lawsuit resulted. Debt forced Scavenger to close its doors in approximately 1997. Even though Scavenger was awarded $1.9 million in the Supreme Court settlement (Feb. 2000), it was not enough to resurrect the company.

Thanks to Celine and Rod_Wod for the contribution!

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Bean Ball Benny [MD GEN – Cancelled]

Bean Ball Benny is a cancelled beat ‘em up / action game that was in development in 1990 / 1991 by Nuvision Entertainment for the Mega Drive / Genesis. Nuvision is a rather obscure company that only released Bimini Run before closing up shop and cancelling their 2 projects (Bean Ball Benny and The Swamp Thing), but with some researches it’s possible to find out some more info.

Thanks to an interview with Charlie Heath (who worked at Parker Brothers and Activision’s Boston office) at GDRI we can read more about the studio:

Nuvision was formed by a couple of Parker Brothers people, one an executive, the other a designer/artist. They had some venture funding, but got trapped in the credit crunch of 1990.

We had two additional games in the pipeline almost ready to ship, one called “Beanball Benny,” which was an original theme (baseball player/vigilante goes cruising around the city – streets, subways – trying to bean criminals and dodge obstacles. Modeled a bit after the old Keystone Kapers theme, but advanced by a decade), and the second, I believe, a licensed property called Swamp Thing.

Nuvision got caught with a bridge loan for the production of Bimini Run cartridges coming due at the same time that new credit was required to get the other two games from Alpha to release and into cartridge production.

In October 2009 The Red Eye shared the Bean Ball Benny’s CES flyer in The Lost Levels’ Flickr account. In March 2010, Bmpedrums from the Digital Press Forum found a playable prototype of the game and shared some screens and a video:

Beanball benny: playable, but very incomplete. The cutscenes even have developmental notes in them, like “Subway: trains not yet implemented”. Hit detection seems good, but instead of restarting the stage when you die, you actualy progress further in the game. There are also numerous places where the stage just simply cuts off and you’re walking in pitch black.

Thanks to Jason for the english corrections!

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Jet Ski Rage [Sega 32X / Saturn – Cancelled]

Jet Ski Rage is a cancelled sport / racing game that was in development by Velocity for the Sega 32X add-on. The game was going to be something like Wave Race but in first person view, with detailed water physic and a rumored multiplayer mode. Jet Ski Rage was likely canceled early in development as the failure of the 32X became apparent shortly after launch and then moved to Sega Saturn.

In the process Velocity added a “fighting” component to it (deadly courses, floating spikes, bounty hunters etc.). Even on its Saturn incarnation Jet Ski Rage would never seen the light of the day for unknown reasons.

Celine was able to find some screens of the 32X version (probably target-renders) in CD Consoles magazine issue #7 while the Saturn article was found on Sega Vision issue #25. Thanks to Jason for the english corrections!

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Saturn article on Sega Vision 25