New Cancelled Games & Their Lost Media Added to the Archive

Strike Force: Red Cell (Vision Studios) [Cancelled – Xbox 360, PC]

Strike Force: Red Cell is a cancelled tactical FPS that was in development by Vision Studios around 2005, planned to be published by Graffiti Entertainment on PC and Xbox 360. The team previously worked on a popular Unreal Tournament mod with the same name, but Red Cell would have been a full stand alone game with single player missions and online multiplayer.

Players would have been able to explore 8 levels from all around the world, completing them in a non-linear way. Each level would offer a series of missions conceived with the help of Navy Seals and USA military Officers. Some details were shared by the team in old interviews with FiringSquad and WebCloud:

Gamecloud – On your web site you have a little info about Strike Force Red Cell, the upcoming commercial version of Strike Force. What can you tell us about this game and the differences between it and the mod version?

Michael Hamlett – The Strike Force Red Cell game will have a full single player based campaign with new maps, AI coding, animations, character models, weapons, etc. The single player campaign is also being designed by Red Cell Associates. This is a group of X military Navy Seals and Officers who advised the Joint Chiefs of Staff under the President and the Department of Defense on counter terrorist activities. So we actually have a huge anti terrorist team working on the scenarios and game types. The full commercial game will also have new multiplayer game types to go along with the SP campaigns.

Gamecloud – What can you tell us at this time about the single player campaigns in Red Cell?

Michael Hamlett – The single player scenarios in Red Cell will work with you and a squad. Except your squad will actually be hidden during these missions. Meaning your character may be into a heavy battle to get out of a certain area and you can’t seem to bypass this area without any help. Your squad will radio in that one of your team mates are located on a upper hill or roof of a building with heavy guns. Then you will get a count down message and heavy fire will take out the enemy. So you will have your team helping in certain ways for the entire mission. Another scenario example may be where one of your team members is trying to cut power and you’ll have to hold at a certain point until this is done. So the interaction will play out somewhat like that.

 

Gamecloud – What are some of the more unique features in Red Cell that make it different than your typical first person shooter?

Michael Hamlett – One of the main things is what I explained above with the actions of your team helping you through but not actually being a direct part where you have to guide each one behind or beside you the entire way. Instead the team will be there to support in certain parts when needed. Also the amount of detail we are putting into maps, characters and weapons will really stand out from other shooters out there. Finally we have actually partnered with a huge X military team to help us write out and produce the single player campaign.

FiringSquad: What sort of locations and settings will the game have?

Michael Hamlett: The locations will be set world wide. As I’m sure your aware terrorist activities today happen all around the world. Sticking true to the Strike Force theme we will have map locations all over… from USA, Russia, Egypt, China, Korea, Sweden, Canada, etc.

We don’t know what happened to Vision Studios and their game, but they both quietly vanished and were never seen again.

Thanks to Dan for the contribution!

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Zorro (IREM) [SNES – Cancelled]

Zorro for the SNES by IREM Corporation was a game being developed around 1994. Nothing was ever mentioned of this game’s development or existence. An ex-IREM employee briefly uploaded a clip of this game on youtube in March 2021. However, it was quickly deleted by the user. Thankfully a youtube user, ShiryuGL, was able to download and share the video with others.

Upon further research the user who originally posted the Zorro gameplay turned out to be Yoshinobu Oyaman. After making contact with Mr.Oyaman, he was able to confirm that this Zorro game was actually based on the early conceptualization of the Mask of Zorro 1998 movie. The game was to include both an older and younger version of Zorro (similar to the film) and gameplay was based off of Konami’s Sunset Riders.

Ultimately the project was cancelled due to IREM disbanding their console concepts in 1994 to focus on coin-op arcades. Yoshinobu also stated that this game was very hard to develop due to it being the first action game being developed by IREM.

Interview translated using google translate: 

Evil Pixel: Hello I’m writing about unreleased games. I was informed that you worked at IREM and I wanted to know more about this Super Nintendo Zorro game. No one seems to know anything about it. I hope you can help me get more information for documentation purposes. Thank you for your time.

Yoshinobu Oyaman: Hello, ZORRO was made when I was at IREM. I’m a developer with ARCADE and SFC, and I was a Game Designer for SFC. IREM has released HOOK on ARCADE which they liked, so the game was developed under the copyright of The Mask of Zorro. Unfortunately, the development of IREM was disbanded in 1994, so it was unfinished and unreleased. The content of the game was aimed at the feeling of KONAMI’s Sunset Riders. I couldn’t get any information just from the information that two Zorro (the first Zorro and the young Zorro) would appear in the developing movie, so I made an action game using a sword and a whip while watching Zorro’s comics.

Evil Pixel: Thank you for that information. Do you know if a game prototype cartridge exists? If so, do you have a photo of the cartridge?

Yoshinobu Oyaman: (Yoshinobu proceeds to show me the prototype cartridge in his possession).

Evil Pixel: thank you very much. This is the last question. Was the game complete or was it half complete? Also, did the game have any interesting features? It looks amazing

Yoshinobu Oyaman: Unfinished. It was hard because it was the first ACTION GAME in the third work after I made R-TYPE. After this, I changed jobs to BANPRESTO and made Super Gussun Oyoyo.

Evil Pixel: Are you the only one who has a copy of the zorro cartridge?

Yoshinobu Oyaman: I had a former Zorro programmer burn it into a ROM. As expected, I cannot make a copy

Article by Evil Pixel

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Utopia Industrial (Parallax Arts) [PC – Cancelled]

Utopia Industrial is a cancelled mission-based First Person RPG / Shooter planned to be a sequel to Utopia City, which was in development by Parallax Arts Studio around 2004 when the first game was still unreleased. Gameplay could have been somehow similar to Deus Ex, with missions you could resolve by using stealth or by shooting down every enemy on sight.

In this lost sequel players would have been able to explore new areas in the industrial part of the Utopian world and the virtual universe, trying to avoid harming the civilians and find the best way to take down a new terrorist group. As we can read on the old Parallax Arts website:

“After the destruction of the central city of Utopia, it became known that it was not the end. The information that there was a secret experiment in the industrial part of the Utopian world appeared. A terrorist group was at the head of the process. The group’s intentions failed in the real world, thus they try to fulfill their plans in the virtual universe.

The heart of the experiment was the following. Many of the people who made their way to Utopia were deprived of their wills and plunged into a deep dream. Their consciousness was greatly influenced in order to make them suffer and be horrified.

Images being created by the test people’s subconsciousness materialized and put on an air of a virtual body in a secret laboratory. The visualized monsters were kept in a special polygon where they were self-perfecting in order to make their “souls” tone with their appearance. Further, the monsters are planned to be directed to the real people’s dreams in order to deprive them of sleep and to drive them mad. “

At the time Parallax Arts were also working on 4 other projects: Utopia City, 1171, Caravan and Liquidator 2: Welcome to Hell. Only Utopia City and Liquidator 2 were published and after releasing Exodus from the Earth in 2007, Parallax vanished.

Thanks to Dan for the contribution!

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Mortimer in the Big City (Imagitec) [Cancelled – SNES, Mega Drive]

Mortimer in the Big City is a cancelled action adventure that was in early development by Imagitec Design for Super Nintendo and Sega Mega Drive / Genesis. The project is mostly forgotten today, but a short article about it was published in 1992 on Hobby Consolas magazine (issue 10), with a few details on it’s gameplay (translated with Google):

“Mortimer, who is the “protagonist”, must do everything possible to rescue his girlfriend Maria Mouse from the clutches of Rufus the Rat. There are six levels to explore in which you can find everything: from animals of all kinds to an infinite number of objects, platforms, some humans, puzzles, traps and, above all, bomb-proof action and exasperating gameplay.”

At the time Imagitec developed some fun games such as The Humans and Viking Child, so we can just wonder if Mortimer in the Big City could have been another interesting project. The only Mortimer image published in Hobby Consolas is a concept art, and we don’t know if they ever created a playable prototype before its cancellation.

Eurasia: Apocalypse [PC – Cancelled]

Eurasia: Apocalypse (Евразия: Апокалипсис) is a cancelled real-time strategy game that was in development by ElectroTECH Multimedia in 1997, seen by many gamers as the “Russian Command & Conquer“.  The game was set in a world that survived a natural catastrophe: because of global warming most of the continents are now submerged in water. Only South Siberia and a few scattered islands remain above the ocean, so all the major world powers fight to control these remaining territories.

A playable demo can still be found online, with its ‘90s aesthetics and original soundtrack. Unfortunately this early version of Eurasia: Apocalypse is full of bugs that make it practically unplayable.

It seems in 1998 the game won the “Most promising development among computer games” prize in Russia, but the issues found in the demo killed the fans’ enthusiast. ElectroTECH decided that further development costs were not worth it and cancelled the project. Another 3D strategy game titled “Bestiary” developed by MiST Land South was also canned at the same time.

Thanks to Josef for the contribution!

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