New Cancelled Games & Their Lost Media Added to the Archive

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. Nice idea to gamify boring “do my homework, do my laundry, do my shopping” checklist, isn’t it? 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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Fury of the Furries 3D [PS2 – Cancelled]

Fury of the Furries 3D is a cancelled platform adventure that was in development for Playstation 2 by Kalisto Entertainment around 2002. It was meant to be a sequel to the original title Kalisto released for PC and Amiga in 1993, but now in 3D and fully embracing its funny settings by making its protagonists parodies of popular video game characters. For example one of the Furries would be a pissing caricature of Link from The Legend of Zelda, or an obese Lara Croft from Tomb Raider.

Each Furry would have had its own ability, for example in the original game one was able to swim and another to dig underground. You could imagine it as a level based Metroidvania, with swappable characters. Fury of the Furries 3D would have offered similar gameplay mechanics, letting players explore levels in 3D for even more comical situations and parodies of other video games.

The Kalisto team was able to develop a playable prototype of their new Fury of the Furries, but unfortunately the studio was liquidated in April 2002 for bankruptcy and all of their projects were canned and lost forever (such as this, VIP, Shide, Silent Chaos, Nightmare Creatures 3 and Highlander: The Gathering).

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Warhound (Techland) [Cancelled – Xbox 360, PC]

Warhound is a cancelled open-ended FPS that was in development by Techland (the team behind such titles as Call of Juarez, Dead Island and Dying Light) in 2007, planned to be released for Xbox 360 and PC. The game was quite ambitious for its time, offering RPG-like mechanics, fully destructible environments, usable vehicles, roguelike elements and freedom of choice on many aspects of your character’s development. Players would take the role of a mercenary: you would have been able to freely explore each area and resolve missions as you please, choosing how, where and when to complete each objective.

You could image Warhound as a mix between Crysis, Far Cry and Dead Island. As we can read from the (now offline) official website:

Warhound is an open-ended First-Person Shooter (FPS) set in modern times. In the game, you will play as an ex-Delta Force operative, now working for the world`s largest military company. In Warhound, you`ll complete a variety of challenging missions in battlefields around the world, while later uncovering a massive terrorist plot that targets the United States and thousands of its citizens.

Warhound focuses on complete freedom of choice, and as such, you will have unprecedented opportunities to pick your missions, weapons, battlefield tactics and vehicles. You will select mission start times, insertion/extraction points and the types (land, sea or air) of insertion. You will also need to keep on top of your training, finances and position in the highly-competitive mercenary market to ensure you receive only the most select missions. More successful missions equal more money, which can be used to buy new equipment and weapons for future jobs. Warhound`s innovative First Person Perspective (FPP) cover system will allow you to bring the battle to your enemies in ways you`ve never dreamed of before.”

Unprecedented freedom of choice in an FPS:

– Tackle missions in the order you choose, create your own path through each mission`s objectives

– Plan your tactics and equipment load-outs

– Buy satellite photos, recon data and other intelligence about the battlefield situation

– Pick a deployment time and location, then pay for the means of getting in and getting out

Character development:

– Train your character in several skills, including climbing, repair, and weapons proficiency

– Skills are earned and developed as in the real world  – for ex., shooting ranges improve accuracy, running tracks and climbing walls boosts cover and movement skills

– Develop and use skill specializations to gain advantages in combat; new skills offer fresh opportunities for advancement through the mercenary ranks, and new ways to complete missions

FPP cover system:

– For the first time in FPP/FPS games, you’ll be able to use the innovative cover system, which will forever change your way of looking at FPS games. Use items, trees, buildings and other elements of the environment to hide from the torrent of bullets. Shoot at your enemies from behind safe covers.

Detailed and realistic economy:

– Earn money for each successful mission and by selling materials picked up on the battlefield

– Use your newly earned riches to buy weapons, ammo and new gadgets

– Invest in learning new skills

Constantly changing battlefields:

– Every mission is laid out differently each time you play it, enemy units take up new positions, post new patrols, lay traps in different locations, set up ambushes, etc.

– Enemy A.I. takes into account how you`re playing the mission, and counters with unique strategies and tactics

Interactive, destructible game environments:

– A fully interactive environment means plenty of surprises for the enemy – destroy buildings they are hiding in, set villages on fire to “smoke them out”, cause avalanches and knock down trees to clear your line of fire or to create obstacles for the enemy and cover for you

Rivalry with other mercenaries:

– Climb up the career ladder and increase your reputation among the elite mercenaries of the world

– Successful players will earn prestige among their peers, which leads to better and more lucrative contracts

Some interesting details can also be found in an interview by GGMania:

“Adrain Sikora: There are two primary unique features. First up, we have RPG elements that allow you to specify the characters specialization. This influences the kind of tasks you can undertake and allows you to choose different approaches to achieving a given goal. The second unique element is the economic layer of the game. You need to constantly keep an eye on your finances, and plan expenses ahead. Some missions will require a particular kind of weapon, equipment or vehicle, and you’ll need to buy that. We’ve also played around with various gameplay ideas and solutions, because with got the new Chrome Engine, but it’s too early to talk about that.”

“Adrain Sikora: Weapons and guns are still an open issue. We keep adding new types and models. You’ll get off-roaders, half-trucks, quads, APC’s, tanks and choppers. We’re still planning and testing other stuff. I can’t state a precise number of weapons right now, because we’re still working on it. We want to introduce some variety, but also we want to have all the usual stuff: pistols, SMG’s, sniper rifles, rocket launchers, etc. You’ll also get to use fixed guns and vehicles. We’re not planning a weapon upgrade mode, but most guns will come in different variations.”

“Adrain Sikora: We want to have classic modes, like deathmatch, team deathmatch, capture the flag and so on, with up to 32 players. We are also working on our own ranking system for online players, which will also allow you to create custom character classes. You’ll also get to use skills and choose equipment just as you’d do in single player. There’ll be vehicles in MP too.”

“Adrain Sikora: The game is 50% done at the moment. We want to release the game in Q4 2007. Warhound will be available in North America, though we haven’t chosen a publisher just yet.”

Warhound was quite hyped at the time, so many screenshots, details and footage can still be found online today. Unfortunately today the project is mostly forgotten by everyone. In the end Warhound was put on hold because the team had to focus their resources and efforts on such titles as Call of Juarez: Bound in Blood and the promising Dead Island. As we can read on Engaged:

“Blazej Krakowiak, the company’s international brand manager, told us, “We reached a certain development stage and had to postpone it because of Call of Juarez: Bound in Blood.” He continued, “A release of an ambitious and well-received title is always a good moment to unwind a little bit and reevaluate all the options,” speaking to the recent release of Bound in Blood. “It wouldn’t be a good idea for us to discuss them right now.” Though Krakowiak doesn’t exactly confirm our suspicions on the fate of Warhound, his caginess on the game’s fate speaks volumes.”

Thanks to Dan for the contribution!

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Witchblade Video Game (The Collective) [Xbox – Cancelled]

Around 2002 The Collective, the team behind such games as Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Marc Ecko’s Getting Up, pitched a Witchblade beat ‘em up for the original Xbox, but unfortunately it was quickly canned. The studio developed many tie-in games based on popular intellectual properties (such as Star Trek, Men in Black, Star Wars, and the cancelled Dirty Harry) so we can assume they pitched many, many more similar projects to publishers and IP holders, but most of them were never fully developed.

This cancelled Witchblade video game was probably one of the latter, and by looking at The Collective work on the Buffy beat ‘em up we can speculate it would have been quite similar to it if only completed. As far as we know the team prepared a playable demo for Witchblade, possibly by reusing animations / models from their Buffy video game. Unfortunately as this project was never officially announced, we don’t know any more details on what they planned for the franchise.

Some 3D models created for this Witchblade Xbox demo are preserved below, to remember the existence of this lost project.

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