Wipeout is the first in a series of futuristic racing games developed and published by Psygnosis in 1995 for Sony PlayStation and PC, in 1996 for the Sega Saturn. Wipeout was designed in part by The Designers Republic, while the game’s vehicle designs were based on Matrix Marauders, a 3D grid-based strategy game whose concept was developed by Psygnosis employee Jim Bowers. Nick Burcombe, the game’s future designer, was inspired to create a racing game using the same types of vehicles from his experience with Powerdrome, F-Zero and Super Mario Kart. [Info from Wikipedia]
In the gallery below you can see a couple fo screens from a beta version and what is seems a FMV / target render.
The 4th Unit is a series of “point and click” graphic adventures published by Data West in Japan for CD-Rom PCs and Fujitsu FM-TOWNS. It seems that athe sixth chapter called “Merry Go Raund” was also planned for the Sega Mega CD, but it was never released for some reasons. Thanks to Myfishbone we were able to save a promo page about the cancelled Mega CD version, a translation of the main plot and a list of the developers!
As we can read on Wikipedia, Elite is a space shooter / trading game written and developed by David Braben and Ian Bell, originally published by Acornsoft in 1984 for the BBC Micro and Acorn Electron computers. The game’s title derives from one of the player’s goals of raising their combat rating to the exalted heights of “Elite”. Elite was one of the first home computer games to use wireframe 3D graphics with hidden line removal. Another novelty was the inclusion of The Dark Wheel, a novella by Robert Holdstock which influenced new players with insight into the moral and legal codes to which they might aspire.
Despite being ported to virtually every home computer of that time, there is just one version available for a console and that’s Imagineer NES port, released only in Europe in 1991 ( the NES port is considered the best 8-bit version by the authors). However there were various attempts in early nineties to bring this milestone title to other Sega and Nintendo systems.
In fact Nintendo Magazine System issue 9 revealed how Hybrid Technology (developer of the Archimedes version) was developing the ultimate version of Elite using the Super FX chip. However , as Stern correctly noticed, the screenshots in the article were probably taken from the Amiga version. In the next issue ( #10 ) NMS unveiled ( this time for real ) the first official pics for Super Nintendo. Contrary to what they wrote in the previous issue, Elite for SNES wouldn’t utilize the SFX chip and despite that the game was said to have smooth framerate and Mode 6 ( SNES hi-res mode ). Super NES Elite had additions compared to the original title like a “planet buster” bomb and a more console-friendly interface that use icons ( like the NES version ) .
Those two article made clear how Hybrid Technology had yet to found a publisher for their project at the time so that’s likely the reason why it never come out.
Later on , in 1994, Hybrid Technology created two small tech demos as a pitch to port Elite to Genesis / Mega Drive and Game Boy however nothing came out from them. The two tech demos are available on Ian Bell ( Elite co-author ) ‘s website (backup at elitehomepage.org). You can watch two short videos about them below.
Article writteb by Celine, thanks to Steven for the contribution!
Aqua is a cancelled action adventure that was in development by Scavenger for the Sega Saturn and PC. Players would have been able to explore a sunken Mayan city under the sea, looking at fishes and other aquatic fauna. The gameplay could have probably been similar to Everblue (PS2) / Endless Ocean (Wii) by Arika or the Aquanaut’s Holiday series by Artdink, but sadly Scavenger’s Aqua was never finished. In 1997 the company had to close down for bankruptcy.
Terminus is a cancelled action adventure / shooter game that was in development by Scavenger Inc for the Sega Saturn, Playstation and PC in 1996. As they wrote in their press release, the project was meant “to give Tomb Raider a run for it’s money” but sadly it was already too late, as the company ran out of money and Terminus had to be canned.
The few screenshots preserved in the gallery below show a great graphic engine for its time, that used NURBS / voxel-like system, as we can read in an article from Gamasutra (wrote by a former Scavenger developer):
[…] Soon thereafter we were asked to develop our own game. That provided me with the incentive to figure out how to represent characters in a game better. We knew we wanted at least ten or more characters on the screen simultaneously, but all the low-resolution polygonal characters we had seen just didn’t cut it. So I decided to keep pursuing a solution based on what I had been working on for X-Men (32X), hoping that I’d come up with something that would eventually yield better results.
At first I flirted with a voxel-like solution, and developed a character system which was shown at E3 in 1996 in a game called Terminus. This system allowed a player to see characters from any angle rotating around one axis, which solved a basic problem inherent to sprite-based systems. Still, you couldn’t see the character from any angle, and while everybody liked the look of the “sprite from any angle” solution, many people wanted to get a closer look at the characters’ faces. This caused the whole voxel idea to fall apart.
In 1997 / 1998, Scavenger went bankrupt and all their unfinished projects vanished with them. The team behind Terminus (internally known as Team Fetus) was then hired at Shiny Entertainment and their game was resurrected somehow, evolving into Messiah.
Thanks a lot to Mike Damien for its help in preserving some info and concept arts from this lost project!
Thanks to Celine for the contributions! Scans from GameFan 4-2 and EDGE 34
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