Sega

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!

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Akira SNES

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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).

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Little Dream [Dreamcast – Cancelled]

Little Dream is a cancelled RPG that was in development by Panther Software (the same team behind the Space Griffon DC remake) in 1998 / 1999 for the Dreamcast. From what we can speculate looking at the few screenshots preserved in the gallery below (found by Celine in Console Plus magazine #86), the game was going to play somehow like a traditional (turn based?) RPG, set in a fantasy / crazy world (almost like Alice in Wonderland). There were even a Pig King and police-pigs to battle against! Isnt that awesome?

We dont know why the game was never released and the only images available seem to be target renders more than the real game, so it’s possible that Little Dream was cancelled in early development.

Thanks to Celine for the contribution!

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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!

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