New Cancelled Games & Their Lost Media Added to the Archive

Burger Wars (Amped Labs) [PC – Cancelled]

Burgers Wars (AKA “Burger Warz” or “The Great Burger War”) is a canceled first person arena shooter that was in development around 2004 by Amped Labs, planned to be released on PC and Mac. Up to 128 players would have been able to play against each other in colorful arenas, to decide which fast-food burger brand would win the “Burgers Wars”. As we can read from their old website:

“Burger Wars is a fast action, multiplayer o­nline first person shooter.  In the year 2033 two competing burger franchises, McBozo and Burger Clown are in an all out global war as they battle for supremacy in o­ne of the worlds last free market enterprises.  Team based play tactics are involved and 3 game types, Team Death Match, Capture the Flag and Assassinate the Clown are supported. It runs o­n PC, Mac and Linux.  It can handle up to 128 players per server, and its spoof humor is a guarantee for some side splitting laughter.”

“In each game type a score point is made by “nutralizing” your opponents.  A point is awarded for each “nutralization.”  Several unique weapons are available to help you.  When an opponent is “nutralized” he or she will drop weapons ammo and a score burger. “The score burger is worth an additional 10 points.  As you gather score points your character has the ability to use more weapons.  Your character can grow over time and his or her score is maintained o­n the game server or cluster of game servers.  The objective is to obtain all the weapons and keep the highest score.  As new mod packs and weapons are available your player will be able to maintain his or her own inventory and trade weapons with other players.”

“In 2003 the first human was cloned.  Despite world wide pressure to ban cloning and genetic experiments o­n humans the fast food industry creates its very own human clown mascot. They altered his genes to have fiery red hair, bright red lips and very pale skin.  His genetic “fathers” included splices from a former actor who became a California Governor, an olympic athlete, an opera singer and a famous magician. He was put to work at an early age. He was very enthusiastic and worked very hard.

Mc Bozo is a ruthless money hungry capitalist who is too cheap to hire a mascot so he does his own advertisements. He is fat, lazy and greedy. He started out as a police officer and was corrupted by smugglers when he began accepting bribes.  After serving time in prison for his crimes he was released o­n Parole and began selling hamburgers as a street vendor. “

“In 2031 o­nly two occupations still employed human workers.  The vast majority of the workforce had been laid off in the great depression of 2019.  Cheap automation, rapid inflation coupled with the devaluation of the new global currency, and the latest human occupation software upgrades for Japanese ASIMO humanoid robots were to blame.  Of the remaining two human occupations, o­ne was civil service, which required a minimum of 3 PHDs, the other was fast food.  When times were tough the application process for a fast food worker could require a two year wait.  Hours were long and competition between the fast food restaurants was fierce. Price wars reduced wages, and layoffs were rampant.  Finally the stress of modern life became too much to bare for the fast food workers and they began attacking each other.

At first it was simple… like a brick tossed through a window. Graffiti sprung up o­n the buildings such as “Die you scum sucking McBozo devil worshippers!” and “Rot in Hell you Burger Clown bastards!” Soon the attacks became more open and personal. O­ne McBozo worker was beaten by Burger Clown employees, dipped in a vat of McBozo sundae sauce and wrapped in toilet paper. The violence was captured and broadcast via infravision o­n all local neural network stations. Shortly after, o­n October 31st 2033, an angry mob of McBozo workers dragged a Burger Clown employee into the street, forced him to eat seven pounds of uncooked French fries and set fire to his head. That was the last straw! It was outright war!”

While the game was officially announced on many gaming websites and a playable demo was also released, Burger Wars and its developers just vanished sometime around 2005. We can assume Amped Labs were not able to complete their project without support from a publisher. They were also working on another game titled “Rise of Power” but it was also cancelled.

Thanks to Dan for the contribution!

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Lunatik (Pure Entertainment) [Playstation, Saturn – Cancelled]

Lunatik is a cancelled shoot ‘em up that was in development around 1997 by Pure Entertainment, planned to be published by Eidos for Playstation, Sega Saturn and PC. The team wanted to develop something similar to a 3D Defender, while showcasing their gorgeous (at the time) 3D engine, featuring dozens of enemies on screens, high number of polygons and detailed textures.

Unfortunately gameplay was not as fun as they hoped for: the project needed more time to be improved, but Eidos did not want to invest any more money into it. In the end Pure Entertainment reworked Lunatik as some kind of ATI Graphic Cards tech demo, and this version was released in limited quantities in ATI bundles. We can assume this ATI Edition was much different from what the team had originally conceived for Lunatik. As we can read on Sega-Saturn.net:

“But ultimately the project failed because the original concept (3D Defender) was next to impossible to do really well. We tried many different gameplay mechanisms to make it work, and none were working. Ultimately we ran out of time to make it work and Eidos cancelled the project. The game did get a limited release for the PC. It was bundled with graphics cards as a graphics showcase, but the game itself was poor.”

We were also be able to gather some early PR text shared when Eidos were promoting the game to gaming magazines and websites:

“Little known London-based Pure Entertainment is the developer behind the project. They are striving to update the genre with a true 3D engine, giving the player full freedom of movement within Lunatik’s 3D world. LUNATIK is a 3D Shoot ‘Em Up, drawing on the addictive gameplay aspects of classics such as Defender and Zaxxon for inspiration, and merging them with a uniquely dramatic look and feel, the combination of which has never been seen before.

Drawn with strong Manga cartoon influences, the 3D real-time graphics have paved the way for an unusual ‘above and behind’ perspective, which will be backed by some in-house techno tunes.

Lunatik will sport eighteen levels, a barrage of Armageddon-like weaponry (including a heat seeker), power ups galore, shields, cloaking devices to collect and bosses that appear at designated times throughout the game.

One interesting touch is the boss timer. Each of the 18 levels features a construction area, where the enemies are busy building a boss monster. If you fail to complete the mission before the timer ticks down, the boss monster is built, and immediately comes looking for you. Gameplay is very much a case of fire or be fired upon, and if you do succeed then the nastier and smarter the AI of the bad guys gets.

The game itself has 8 large levels, each one being a man made ‘moon’ orbiting the decaying relic that was once Earth. All out war is occurring between 7 of the Corporation Dominated Moons and one other, Nu Earth 3, an indomitable civilization holding out against everything the Corporate armies can throw at them. Your mission? Quite simply, wipe the floor with the enemy.”

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Footage from the released ATI Tech Demo (Thanks to Liqmatrix!):

Legion (Torus Games) [PSP – Cancelled]

Legion is a cancelled action adventure that was pitched by Torus Games for PSP around 2004. The team created this tech demo to show their ideas to potential publishers, but it seems they never found one interested in funding the project. The game was never officially announced and canned early in its development, so there are no details about how it would have been played. By looking at the only screenshots preserved, we may assume it would have been some kind of horror – Gothic adventure: for sure it looked great for a PSP game!

In the end the only released games by Torus on PSP were Monster Jam: Urban Assault and Shrek Smash n’ Crash Racing. Their other PSP projects such as Full Metal Alchemist and Parkour were never completed.

Thanks to Josuke for the contribution!

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Legend of the Five Rings: Ronin [PC – Cancelled]

Legend of the Five Rings: Ronin is a cancelled RPG that was in development in 1997 – 1998 by Engineering Animation Inc (EAI), based on the homonymous collectible card game (at the time owned by Wizards of the Coast) and planned to be published by Activision for PC. Gameplay would have been similar to Diablo (released in 1997), with dungeons to explore, many enemies to kill, loot to collect and a world inspired by the fictional empire of Rokugan.

It seems the game was playable at E3 1998, but we were not able to find any footage yet. Unfortunately there are no details about what happened to the project, it just vanished and then forgotten by everyone. We can speculate gameplay was not food enough to rival Diablo and Activision just decided to kill the project.

If you can find more screenshots or videos from this lost game, please let us know!

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Denshi Maid Techou: Koi no Iroha [Nintendo DS – Cancelled]

Denshi Maid Techou: Koi no Iroha (Electronic Maid Notebook: Iroha’s Love) is a cancelled day organizer – life simulation game that was in development by SNK Playmore around 2006, planned to be published on Nintendo DS. The project was officially announced at the Tokyo Game Show 2006, with many other titles that SNK were publishing for DS (such as Doki Doki Majo, Metal Slug 7 and SNK vs. Capcom: Card Fighters Clash).

In Denshi Maid Techou players would raise a digital version of Iroha from the Samurai Showdown series, somehow like a Tamagotchi. By doing this she would start learning more about the world and help you in your daily-schedule, similar to an organizer App. Some details about this strange software can still be found online in Japanese forums:

“In addition to the daily schedule function, elements of training, communication, and changing clothes are also included. There are about 100 costumes for Iroha. Mr. Takkun (Denshi Maid Techou character designer) commented: “Please put it on your desk at home or at work and enjoy one maid in the family”.

The traditional Japanese girl Iroha who looks out of a fairy tale suddenly appears in front of the protagonist: serving players at home, school and outside with the gentleness of a traditional Japanese geisha. But because Iroha doesn’t know the real world, players must also take some time educating her.

The game provides 5 kinds of “educational activities” every day, plus mini games to play against Iroha. Dialogues with Iroha and her personality depend on how players educate her. By playing every day you can also unlock new costumes for Iroha, with more than 100 types in total.”

A similar simulation game featuring Iroha was later released for smartphones, but it sees they removed the life organizer features. As we can read on the SNK Wiki, “a character named Tsunami was originally created for this game. However, she later appeared in Days of Memories series and Koi no Iroha games for mobile phones”.

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