In 2007, AssemblerGames unearthed a video of a pre-release build of the game, which serves as evidence of numerous cuts and changes that took place during the course of development:
A long time ago, Unseen64 was just a shell of itself. It was hosted on the notoriously bad Xoom.it hosting service, and looked pretty much like a 90’s website horribly made with Microsoft Frontpage. However, as old as Unseen64 looked back then (it was 2004!), it wasn’t the first site dedicated to unreleased games maintained by Italians. That particular accolade belongs to The Strange (and Rare) Videogame Pics Page, created by Fabrizio Pedrazzini, an Italian games journalist, known for his work at magazines such as the glorious ‘Super Console’. TS(&R)VPP, as the name says, wasn’t solely about beta games. There were pictures of pirated software, obscure and limited edition consoles, demos, and more. Hidden among those pages was the Taito/JSB/ASCII WOWOW console.
For years, the only available information on the Taito WOWOW was limited to this report from the 1992 Tokyo Toys Show, via French videogame magazine, ‘Console+‘:
A prototype has been developed. It’s small and equipped with a CD-Rom player. The basic idea is innovative: it’s about distributing games via satellite, like the streaming of TV programs, and to charge only the time really spent to play.
The other interesting thing about the console is that the games that will be released to the public will be the same of the arcade versions, with the video and audio quality of the originals.
The first games available will be Darius, Bubble Bobble and Parasol Stars…
A released date has not been disclosed yet.
The interview with Yukiharu Sambe
We have been able to get in touch with the Research & Development manager of TAITO Corporation Mr. Yukiharu Sambe, Professional engineer at the time the Wowow was created, and he was kind enough to share some new information, previously unknown, about this unreleased console. Enjoy! Read more
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.
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!
Terranigma, AKA Tenchi Sōzō in Japan, is an action RPG developed by Quintet and published by Enix / Nintendo for the Super Nintendo in 1995 / 1996. Unfortunately, the game was never released in the US, but managed to attain cult status in Japan and Europe, regarded by some RPG fans as one of the best role playing games on the system. Before the game was released, gaming magazines published some beta screenshots, in which we can see some interesting differences:
- It was possible to climb towers using claws / bare hands, instead than chains (it’s possible to climb some walls with claws in the final game, but only much later in the game)
- There was some sort of green plant around the HUD
- Different rooms layouts
- In the first tower, the second floor looked like the third floor from the final game
A video from the same beta version was also published in “brute press” (?) VHS Vol.24 July 1995 (【非売品】ブルートプレス Vol.24 1995年7月号). If you notice more differences, let us know in the comments below!
The original Medal of Honor was developed by DreamWorks Interactive and published by Electronic Arts for PlayStation in 1999. However, the project started life in late 1997, when Steven Spielberg pitched an idea for a new WW2 era first person shooter to DWI. When you complete all the missions in the game, you can unlock a bonus gallery that show an early prototype / beta version of the game, with different levels and 3D models. An official trailer for the game released in 1998 as an extra in Small Soldiers also show the removed Panzer Attack mission and a different HUD, in a version of the game with much more blood and gore than the final version. If you recently played Medal of Honor and you can notice more differences, leave a comment below!
Thanks to MicroChirp, LeHah and K Ill A Pinke for the contributions!