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Legend of Kay 2 [PS2 – Cancelled]

Legend of Kay is a fun hack-and-slash 3D platformer developed by the German-based developer Neon Studios and published by Jowood in Europe and by Capcom in North America in 2005. The game was released to mixed reviews, but major critics were pretty positive about the game.

There is no data on how Legend of Kay performed sales-wise, but after deep research, it turns out that there were plans to make a Legend of Kay 2. Unfortunately, Jowood ran through financial troubles back then, which led to their demise. As a result, the sequel was cancelled in 2006.

Actual development on a prototype build began shortly after the original game’s release, and a few concept artworks were made. Unfortunately, that’s everything there is to see. There were plans to port the PS2 game to the PSP, but that never happened as well.

A history video was made, detailing the inception of Neon Studios, the cancelled sequel, the PSP port and information on the remastered release. Please, Enjoy.

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Brave: A Warrior’s Tale [Cancelled PSP Port]

Brave: The Search for Spirit Dancer is a hidden gem platformer on the PS2. It stars a young native American boy who seeks the legendary spirit dancer in order to stop an entity known as the Wendigo. Most of the game sees Brave fighting wolves, dabbling in the art of platforming and channelling his native American powers. (like summoning an eagle spirit!)

The game didn’t do well back then, considering the timeframe in which it was launched saw the emergence of heavy hitters like Resident Evil 4, God of War and Call of Duty. Consequently, the game was deemed a failure. The story didn’t end there. Two years after Brave’s launch on the PS2 and the closure of Vis Entertainment, SouthPeak Games snagged the IP from Bam Entertainment (owner of Vis Entertainment at the time) and attempted to revive it.

Their first attempt was going to be Brave: Shaman’s Challenge, a spin-off scheduled for a February 11, 2009 release. Alas, that never happened. In an IGN article dated July 10, 2008, we read that SouthPeak Games had plans to remaster the original PS2 game for three platforms; the Wii, Xbox 360 and the PSP. In the end, the PSP release never happened. But the most bizarre situation ever is that box covers of the PSP release were made, complete with an age rating and an art cover different from the original. What adds to the mystery is that an Amazon listing was spotted years after the PSP release was quietly cancelled. The question that needs asking is; was the game released, or was it not? Nobody knows.

Here’s a high-quality image of the supposedly PSP remaster that was quietly cancelled without any prior notice from SouthPeak Games. Nobody knows if the port was finished or if SouthPeak Games just fooled everyone.

Other retail listings of this obscure PSP release were also spotted in various websites like:

 
Bujingai 2 [PS2 – Cancelled]

Bujingai 2 [PS2 – Cancelled]

Taito and Red Entertainment once made one of the best action hack-and-slash games of all time on the PS2. An homage to Hong Kong cinema, with an amalgamation of some incredible ideas tossed in. The game was released exclusively on PS2 for North America, Japan, Europe, South Korea, and Taiwan. While the game had all the ingredients that make a hack and slash fun, it sadly flopped on the commercial side.

Even if the game didn’t meet Taito’s expectations, the developers wanted to make a sequel and push the story forward, but that didn’t happen. This can be explored in an old blog post from Gamasutra where Hiroshi Aoki said the following:

” Well, the company wanted to go in certain directions… (laughs) I did want to make more, but anyway, it didn’t really happen.”

But wait, there’s more. According to an interview from the Untold History of Japanese Game Developers by John Sczepaniak, it was revealed that an actual prototype of a Bujingai sequel existed. However, the game never got past that phase of development. Here’s a short read:

“There are a lot of things I can’t tell you. For various reasons. <nervous laughter> Bujingai 2 was in development and looked really good, but never got released. <nervous laughter> So that game existed”

 

Salient (Propaganda Games) [Playstation 3/Xbox 360 – Cancelled Pitch]

Salient is a cancelled action-adventure game that was published by Disney Interactive and developed by Propaganda Games for the Xbox 360 and Playstation 3, around 2005-2006.

Few details are known about Salient, as it seems to this day that this project never reached the prototype phase, let alone playable state. The existence of this title was shared on the personal website of Nathan Cheever, who served as a Level Designer at Propaganda Games from 2005 to 2007, although it is indicated that he never worked on Salient:

When Propaganda Games’ formed in 2005, the project after Turok was going to be Salient, a futuristic game that deals with humanity and injustice. The owners of the studio (Disney) put the project on hold indefinitely a year later, despite the team’s seasoned experience, passion, and talent.

Salient was set in the far future after humanity suffered for centuries of conflicts and global warming. The action take place in a futuristic metropolis that housed surviving masses from around the world, created by a big corporation that also created the Salients, a robotic workforce exhibiting personality traits, emotions and human features, initially designed to serve humanity. But over the years, the Salients integrated throughout the society and become more and more powerful to a point where they took over the corporation and see the humanity as “obsolete”, seizing operations by placing human beings in ghettos. Gamers would have played the role of a hybrid between a human and a Salient, hunted by the corporation and rejected by humans. In his quest, he would eventually flee the metropolis and joined a group of other rejected Salients in the wasteland, before saving humanity.

The art and visual direction was inspired by futuristic science-fiction movies and space opera such as Star Wars, Matrix, Equilibrium and I, Robot, while the gameplay had some platformer elements mainly inspired by the Prince of Persia series and Role-Playing Game mechanics retained from games such as Mass Effect. It also seems that combats would have been similar to the Devil May Cry franchise.

In the end, Disney didn’t take the pitch, and the small team dedicated to Salient joined the one behind Turok as stated by Nathan Cheever:

It was the big main project they wanted to do. There was a small team working on it when they were folded into Turok to help production. Disney didn’t really want to do mature titles like Turok which probably contributed to some of the results.

During their existence, Propaganda Games had more cancelled projects that released ones. Alongside Salient, we can add the well known Turok 2 and Pirates of the Caribbean: Armada of the Damned, but also a mysterious prototype based on Marvel‘s Secret Wars, using the Unreal Engine and let’s not forget that even their Turok game released in 2008 had contents that were cut in the end.

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Fortris [PC/Playstation/Dreamcast – Cancelled]

Fortris is a cancelled 2D puzzle/tower-defense hybrid game developed by Promethean Designs around 2000, for the PC, Playstation and Dreamcast systems.

The game was first revealed in June 2000 by IGN:

Promethean Designs wants to deliver on the carnal need of medieval warfare, but mixed generously with the frantic puzzle play. This new project called Fortris is an arcade-like battle game combining the action of games like Artillery or Worms, strategy and fabled setting of a Warcraft or Myth, and puzzle challenges of Tetris or Atari‘s Rampart.

The gameplay in Fortris seems straight-forward and potentially addictive beyond control. Each round of the game begins with a Building sequence where Towers, Parapets, Armaments, and other castle pieces drop from the sky. Magic Blocks will also appear, so make the best use of them to fit your strategy. A well-crafted design will not only help in play, but also reward the creator with bonuses if the blocks used create combo — you can earn yourself extra cannons and wizards if the castle is brilliantly fashioned. Players will have to work frantically to erect a proper fortress with a solid foundation and plenty of defense positions.

Only a limited amount of time is offered to build the fortifications, and suddenly the war explodes. Assailants will have access to magic spells as well as traditional attack units, and will also be able to send out soldiers (called Twerps) to storm the castle. Twerps come in several varieties — Grunts, Soldiers, Medics, Archers, ect. — and players will have to wisely deploy their forces for maximum attack power without losing their own base. As in any good combat situation, rebuilding and refortification is a big part of the strategy, as each side only has a limited crew to parse out. All the while, the gates are being bombarded, the outer walls are cascading down, the Twerps are dying off, and the foundation is caving.

Essentially an arcade strategy game, Fortris will thicken the strategy by shifting levels as players go along. Gameplay begins in the beginning of time, but as the game moves on and the Twerps evolve, the battles become more advanced, more challenging, and more harrowing. Beginning in the Ice Age World, the game eventually runs through to the Stone Age, Medieval Times, and Space Age. Each game level has new weapons, spells, and Twerps to control. Also, the fortresses you build in Fortris become increasingly complex, and with it comes new challenges in both the Building and Attack stages.

Promethean Designs is currently in negotiations with publishers regarding Fortris, and the game is only in demo stages right now (these shots are from PC versions of the game). The PlayStation version will feature the split-screen action seen in some of these shots, as well as comical sequences where the Twerps are being taught the finer points of the Art of War. (…) Either way, this game will be and addictive and seemingly deep puzzle experience, with plenty of warfare action, magical pizzaz, and tactical excitement to spice the brew.

However, in January 2001, it was announced that the development of Fortris was given to Majesco Entertainment, which quickly decided to make the game exclusively for the Game Boy Advance and rebranded it as Fortress. It was developed by internal’s Majesco development studio Pipedream Interactive and released in August 2001.

It is, to this day, unknown why Promethean Designs gave the development to Majesco. We can speculate that the company faced financial troubles during this period as their last game was Aqua GT, released a year prior, and that they decided to salvage this title, before shutting down.

Strangely enough, in May 2022, PC Wizard shared on Twitter/X a 3D map screenshot of what was claimed to be the second version of the game during its development. According to him, the 2D version that was eventually released on GBA was the first version developed by another unnamed game development company. It was then given to Promethean Designs, which decided to turn it into a full 3D game. It is still unclear how far this version went into development, nor who’s right between video game magazines of the time claimed that the 2D version was developed by Promethean, or PC Wizard’s claimings.

Article by Daniel Nicaise

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