Playstation

The Girl Who Leapt Through Time [Playstation – Cancelled]

The Girl Who Leapt Through Time (時をかける少女, Toki o Kakeru Shojo) is a cancelled adventure game that was planned around 1998 by Bandai for the original Playstation. The game was based on the 1967 novel of the same name by Yasutaka Tsutsui and possibly the related 1997 movie (and not the 2006 anime, unless Bandai leapt through time), which were quite popular at the time.

By looking at gameplay from the available footage (found in the VHS edition of the 1997 movie and on a CD-ROM from “Pre-Pre” PlayStation CLUB magazine) the game looked similar to Revelations: Persona on PS1, with top-down 2D exploration and animated cutscenes. As far as we know there was no combat in The Girl Who Leapt Through Time, but there could have been some kind of dating-sim mechanics.

Character design for this lost PS1 video game was by Minene Sakurano (who at the time was working on Mamotte Shugogetten) and the scenario was written by Hiroshi Yamaguchi (mostly known for his participation in Gainax and Gonzo). A preview was published in Dengeki PlayStation magazine (Vol.76, June 1998): if you are able to translate the most important parts from this preview, please let us know in the comments below!

Thanks go GIoN for the contribution

Images:

Videos:

 

Blades of Rage (Ocean) [Cancelled – Playstation, Saturn]

Blades of Rage is a cancelled helicopter flight-sim that was in development by Ocean Software for the original Playstation and Sega Saturn. The game was set in the near future, when maniacal dictators and random violence prevail in the world. Players would take the role of a pilot / tactician, flying in different missions trying to restore peace.

Each mission would offer various objectives, such as transport jobs and assassinations, with day and night cycles. Six custom choppers would have been able to choose from, each with unique, experimental weapons systems. Blades of Rage would have been played in first person view, so we can speculate gameplay could have been similar to G-Police. A couple of screenshots from the game were published in Gamepro’s Cutting Edge (spring 1996).

Thanks to Garfield for the contribution!

Images: 

Under Pressure (Rage Software) [Cancelled – PC, Playstation]

Under Pressure is a cancelled underwater shooter adventure that was in development by Rage Software Newcastle around 1997, planned to be released on PC and the original Playstation. By looking at the few screenshots available it seems you would have been able to play in first and third person, exploring a 3D sea filled with fishes and robotic enemies.

As it happens for many other cancelled games, today not much can still be found online about Under Pressure. Screenshots were published on Edge magazine in February 1997 and a former developer mentioned the title in an interview with Arcade Attack:

Have you ever worked on any games that were never released, and if so, which unreleased games do you feel would have been the most successful?

After Power Drive Rally, I designed and helped create ‘Under Pressure’ running on PC for Rage Newcastle, an underwater submersible/action adventure game in 3D. EA were funding the game development at the time, but unfortunately they pulled the plug mere months away from release. The next game we made was the co-op space shooter Expendable, also known as Millennium Soldier on the Dreamcast/PC.”

 

Everybody’s Kung-Fu Fighting (Digital Graffiti) [PS1 – Cancelled]

Everybody’s Kung-Fu Fighting is a cancelled 3D arena fighting game that was in development by Digital Graffiti (AKA Infinite Lives, a team mostly composed by the Rowlands brothers: John and Steve) in 1999, planned to be released on the original Playstation.

The Rowlands brothers previously worked on a few games for C64 and Amiga, such as Creatures, Cyberdyne Warrior and Mayhem in Monsterland, but also on the cancelled Bloodlust (aka International Karate 3) for Atari. From the few animations shared online by Steve we speculate Everybody’s Kung-Fu Fighting would have been a comical take on the fighting game genre, possibly focused on fun multiplayer combat (similarly to Kung-Fu Chaos).

Years later Infinite Lives and HotGen Studios worked on another canned prototype, titled “Burnt Out Cop”.

Thanks to Dan for the contribution!

Images: 

Aquaria (Lobotomy Software) [Nintendo 64, Playstation – Cancelled]

Aquaria is a cancelled action adventure that was in development by Lobotomy Software for Nintendo 64 and Playstation. It was described as having a feeling similar to SEGA’s Nights Into Dreams, but underwater and with full 3D levels to explore in every direction. If you played Exhumed / PowerSlave on Saturn or Playstation, you probably remember it was quite good for its time: a Metroidvania adventure in first person view, before Metroid Prime even existed. Aquaria could have been another cult-hit by the same team, but unfortunately we never got the chance to see more from the project. It was just mentioned in old gaming magazines, such as in GameFan Magazine Issue 5:

“Currently Lobotomy is working on both games, with the company’s 20-or-so staff split roughly down the middle on each project. They have a number of games on the back burner, including PowerSlave 2 (a 3rd person Tomb Raider style adventure starring a young King Ramses), Aquaria (like Nights underwater, but with full 3D control) and a PC strategy game called Gothic. They are currently in the process of applying to become and N64 developer (Aquaria will be their first N64 title) and never miss the opportunity to snatch a quick game of Death Tank during lunch breaks.”

Computer & Video Games Issue 192:

“Lobotomy’s first N64 game, Aquaria already looks fantastic. The graphics run at 60fps and are apparently some  of the best seen. Enix are converting the game to PlayStation.”

C&VG probably confused Aquaria with Aqua Prophecy or another cancelled Enix game for Playstation. Thanks to our friend Ross Sillifant in 2015 we published an interview with Brian McNeely (former Lobotomy Software developer), who shared some memories about their work on Aquaria:

“We had a playable demo of Aquaria up and running on PlayStation. It was a free roaming third person underwater adventure game where you controlled an alien merman character.  The Nights comparison ties into how fluid the controls were.  You could do various dolphin-like acrobatics to maneuver through the environment.   In addition to the playable demo I had the majority of the design pretty much completed but when the company began to close its doors we had to stop development.  At one point we were contacted by Sega to possibly make the next Ecco the Dolphin game and we sent them our Aquaria prototype, but that never panned out.  If you’ve ever played Ecco the Dolphin Defender of the Future you can get a pretty good idea for how the core character controls and camera system for Aquaria were designed.”

In 1998 Lobotomy’s talented developers were acquired by Crave Entertainment and the team was renamed to Lobotomy Studios, to work on a Caesar’s Palace game for the Nintendo 64, but after a year of development the game was postponed and eventually cancelled. As we can read on Wikipedia, at that point Lobotomy Studios was closed and employees were let go or given the option to be relocated to another position at Crave Entertainment.

We hope one day someone could find screenshots, footage or even the playable Aquaria prototype: it would be great to preserve more documents of this lost video game.

Thanks to Celine and Ross Sillifant for the contributions!

Images: