Saturn

Rock Climbing Simulator [Sega Saturn – Cancelled]

This untitled rock climbing game was once in development or to be published for the Sega Saturn by a rather obscure company named Netyou. The image you see in this page is the only remaining proof of its existence, it seems impossible to find any more details about the game or its developers. The screenshot was found by Yakumo in a japanese gaming magazine and posted in 2010 on the Assembler Games Forum. If you’ll ever find something more about this cancelled Saturn game, please let us know!

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Sacred Pools [Sega Saturn, PC – Cancelled]

Sacred Pools is a cancelled interactive movie / FMV game that was in development by Code Monkeys and Segasoft in 1995 / 1996, for Sega Saturn and PC. It seems the project was shown in video form at E3 1996 along with other classic Saturn titles, such as Nights, Panzer Dragoon 2, Virtual On and many more, but in the end Sacred Pools was never released. A few details were published by various gaming magazines at the time, as in Ultra Game Players #74 (January 1997), Mean Machines Sega Magazine #45 (July 1996), PC Player #07 (July 1996), and Sega Saturn Magazine UK #10 (August 1996).

The game had a quite negative feedback from the press and that could be one of the reasons of its cancellation:

“Just when you thought the interactive movie was dead.. along comes Sacred Pools. This is another Segasoft venture, and one which they say revolutionises adventure gaming by mixing computer graphics with video footage. At present only the video footage was on show, and it’s the usual mix of Dr. Who effects and actors without dignity. And we thought they’d learned their lesson with Double Switch.”

As far as we know, Sacred Pools was meant to be one of the first adult-only titles for the Sega Saturn, in the form of “erotic thriller” with explicit (?) sex and violent scenes, but we don’t know exactly what the team wanted to shown in the game. Sacred Pools was just one of many unreleased games planned by Segasoft, such as G.I. Ant, Heat Warz, Ragged Earth and Skies.

A few more details were shared in the Assembler Games Forum by an anonymous user who seems to own a playable beta of the game:

“SEGASOFT paid over $3mil to develop the game. The company is called Codemonkeys now. Not sure if they had a different name back then. But Segasoft pretty much entirely funded the company during that period. […] My knowledge is limited. They spent a bunch of money developing this game that was supposed to be “revolutionary”. The game missed milestones and went way over budget. I have never played that far through the game but what i’ve seen is that it is basically a FMV game where you can sort of move around the world. You have choices of which direction to go and what to do, but they are limited and (obviously) on tracks.”

If you have more images or details about this lost game, let us know! We hope to be able to preserve some footage from the game in the future.

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Witchwood [Cancelled – Playstation, Saturn, PC, Jaguar, Amiga]

Witchwood is a cancelled action adventure game that was in development from 1994 to 1996 by Team 17, the studio best known for the Worms series. The game would have been published by Ocean for Amiga and PC, but in 1995 moved to PC, Playstation, Saturn, and Jaguar. As noted by Hallfiry of the Betaarchive Forum, while working on Witchwood, Team 17 was also developing Speris Legacy; another action adventure similar to the Legend of Zelda games that was released on Amiga in 1996.

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The reason for the project’s termination is as of yet unknown. One possibility is that Team 17’s publishing partner, Ocean, elected to drop the game’s funding in light of Speris’ apparently lacklustre sales; rather than risk making another loss.

Despite the game’s cancellation, its soundtrack was released by Team17 composer, Bjørn Lynne, in 1996, and a playable demo of Witchwood was leaked online some years ago: you can download it from Kult Game.

Thanks to Tom Barker for the contribution!

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Vectorman 3: Ultra [Sega Saturn – Cancelled]

Vectorman Ultra is the cancelled third game in the Vectorman series, started with the first one developed by BlueSky Software and published by Sega for Sega Mega Drive / Genesis in 1995. Vectorman 2 was released in November 1996 and after it went gold it seems that BlueSky started to pitch a new sequel to Sega (Next Generation magazine published a rumor about it in their website that year), planning to develop it for Sega Saturn, the “new” Sega console that was released in May 1995 in USA.

Ellis Goodson, the artist that worked on the original Vectorman and other cult games as Skullmonkeys and Shadowrun, drawn many concepts to be used in the design doc for Vectorman Ultra created by Jason Weesner. It’s interesting to notice that these concept arts were sold sometime ago on eBay and in some of those auctions they described the game as planned for the Nintendo 64, but it’s possible that they got confused because of “Ultra” in the title (N64 was known as Ultra 64 before its final name).

It’s currently unknown if Sega Saturn’s Vectorman would have been in 2D or 3D, but looking at those awesome concept arts it seems that at least this lost game would have had some side-scrolling levels. We hope to be able to see more from this project sometime in the future, it would be interesting to know if any actual prototype was started at all. Some years later Sega tried to revive the Vectorman IP with a new PS2 game developed by Pseudo Interactive, but that was also cancelled.

Thanks to eSPy, Youloute, S.J. Reed and Ellis for the contributions!

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Duel [Sega – Tech Demo]

Duel is a CG tech demo created by Acclaim in 1994. According to Mean Machines Sega, the British magazine where the first images of the “game” were published, Duel was planned for the 32x, but it’s unlikely that any real development was even started. 32X’s 3D capabilities were, in fact, very poor, and many titles conceived for the ill-fated add-on were later released for Saturn. However, as long as we know, Duel was not one of them.

Update:
In the video added below we can see how Duel was actually a CGI tech demo aimed to show Acclaim realistic character animation system using Acclaim’s Optical Motion Capture System.
It’s unclear if a game was ever planned out of it, however the technology was later used in some next-gen games (for example Acclaim’s Advance Technology Group is credited for Alien Trilogy’s full motion videos).
It seems the tech demo was the fruit of a deal between Acclaim and Sega (based on what is written on a italian mag scan).

Here is the original article that appeared on Mega machines Sega 20:

Duel 32x unreleased

If you have more info on this tech demo, please let us know!

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