News on Beta & Cancelled Games

Mytrhi [GBA – Cancelled]

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Mythri was an upcoming American-developed, Japanese-style RPG for the Game Boy Advance. Originally for the Game Boy Color, development switched gears after the GBA was released. The game has been in development by Team XKalibur since around 2000. Message from Keith Martineau, Co-Owner of Team XKalibur: “Mythri was officially cancelled at the end of 2005. Team XKalibur has been disbanded, due to lack of resources. Most of our team is now scattered across the games industry working for various companies. Co-Owner Tomm Hulett and myself may one day make a new studio and attempt Mythri again, having learned many lessons from our first attempt at launching an independent games studio. So hopefully everyone who supported us in the early going will get to experience Mythri someday. – [info from Wikipedia]

A playable prototype of the game was released online by a former member of the team in September 2016.

Thanks to Mr.Elephant for the contribution!

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Megaman Battle Network [GBA – Beta]

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Protodude has made us to notice about a rare beta video of MegaMan Battle Network 1 from the Tokyo Game Show 2000, in the Youtube channel of SuperMega233. There’s quite a bit of superficial differences between this build and the final such as:

  • Odd PET icon, “jumps” when Netto receives mail/call.
  • Unused “matrix” scrolling background in battles
  • Unused “matrix” scrolling background in school computer
  • Alternate dialogue in School Sequence
  • Peculiar Battle Chip above Rock’s head, removed?
  • Unused Internet background
  • Alternate sound effects in battle, buster shots

Thanks a lot to Protodude for the contribution!

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Megaman Anniversary Collection [GBA – Unreleased]

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Also known as Mega Man Mania and Rock Man Mania, the portable version of this GBA Anniversary Collection, unlike the home console versions (PS2, Xbox and GC), was to include only the first five episodes of the saga emerged for Game Boy . These include Mega Man in Dr. Wily’s Revenge, Mega Man II, Mega Man III Mega Man IV, Mega Man V, and the titles were resubmitted with the new color version, but Capcom also wanted the chance to play titles in their original black and white.

Of course, as is often the case for games-collections, developers included some extras such as artwork and infos on the various series of Mega Man. The game has been postponed again and again, delayed till early 2007. Rumors talked about a change of hardware, from Gba Nintendo DS, but in the end Mega Man Anniversary Collection was never released. The excuse for this disappearance was attributed to the loss of  game-code that programmers were working on, but perhaps Capcom realized that it was not profitable enough to release.

Thanks to Superfun64 for the english translation!

italian_flag.jpg [spoiler /Clicca qui per la versione in Italiano/ /Nascondi la versione in Italiano/]Conosciuto anche come Mega Man Mania o Rock Man Mania, la versione portatile per GBA di questo Anniversary Collection, a differenza delle versioni per console casalinghe (Ps2, Xbox e Gc), avrebbe dovuto includere solo i primi cinque episodi della saga usciti per Game Boy. Questi comprendevano Mega Man in Dr. Wily’s Revenge, Mega Man II, Mega Man III, Mega Man IV, Mega Man V; i titoli furono ripresentati con delle nuove versioni a colori, ma la Capcom volle includere anche la possibilità di giocare i titoli nelle loro versioni originali in bianco e nero.

Naturalmente, come spesso accade per le collection, gli sviluppatori inserirono alcuni extra quali artwork e varie info sulla saga di Mega Man. La raccolta è stata rinviata più e più volte, fino a fare slittare la data di uscita agli inizi del 2007. Voci parlarono di un cambio di hardware, da Gba a Nintendo Ds, ma alla fine Mega Man Anniversary Collection non fu mai rilasciato. La scusa per la sparizione fu imputata alla perdita del codice su cui stavano lavorando i programmatori, ma forse Capcom si rese semplicemente conto dell’inutilità di questa collection.[/spoiler]

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Kingdom Hearts: Chain of Memories [GBA – Beta]

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Kingdom Hearts: Chain of Memories is an action RPG developed by Square Enix and Japanese studio Jupiter and released in 2004 for the Game Boy Advance. The idea for an intermediary title was developed after director Tetsuya Nomura and his team had already begun to develop ideas for the second Kingdom Hearts game, which he had intended to be set a year after the original. Originally titled Kingdom Hearts: Lost Memories, Nomura changed the name to match the overall outline of the story, while still reflecting the theme of memories. [Info from Wikipedia]

Thanks to Umiyuri Papaeyra, we can notice various beta differences in the screenshots below:

First screenshot: Axel VS Sora

  • No boss fight takes place in the Unknown Rooms (the vestibule that appears before a world door).
  • Axel’s on the wrong side of the screen as well.
  • The pillars in the room are square while in the final game they are thick, round, and widely spaced.
  • There’s also a door visible in the wall that doesn’t exist in any of the Unknown Rooms in the final game.

Second screenshot: Sora in the Guarded Trove room in Wonderland

  • The door is less adorned than it is in the final game.

Third screenshot: Axel meeting with an Organisation member

  • The room with the χ-shaped table never appears in the final game.
  • Axel’s sprite looks kinda odd here, but I don’t know if it’s different, since the resolution of the scan is bad.

Fifth screenshot: Sora and Vexen

  • The marble ‘plant pot pillar’ here shows a leafy plant; in the final game they’re finely-crafted marble roses in large square pots.
  • The pillars from the first screen are finally visible as short ones; in the final game they reach to the ceiling.
  • The Unknown Rooms in the final game are a lot longer than shown here, and start with a set of steps coming up that don’t appear in this screen.
  • The door is much more visible here. Once again, the only door in the Unknown Room leads into the next world.

Sixth screenshot: Sora running around Olympus Coliseum

  • The world’s graphics are very different from the real game, showing a different ‘skirting board’ and ‘ledge’ pattern.
  • White Mushrooms only appear in a room when a special Map Card is used, and they’ll be the only enemies there.

Seventh screenshot: Cloud’s summon

  • Cloud’s cards in this screen are coloured grey; in the final game all the Summon Cards are classed as Magic Cards and are blue.
  • The Enemy Cards in the final game show the enemy’s faces.

Eighth screenshot: Fighting Darkside

  • Same as the previous screenshot, the Enemy Cards here don’t show Darkside’s face, when they should be.
  • The graphics on the Thunder and Fire cards are different to the final graphics.

Thanks a lot to Umiyuri Papaeyra for the contribution!

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[Images from: www.kh2.co.uk]

Pirate Battle [GBA – Cancelled]

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As we can read from Richard Knight site :

Pirate Battle was a turn-based strategy RPG developed for the Game Boy Advance. The concept itself was inspired primarily from Square’s epic PlayStation RPG Front Mission 3, but also gave a lot of credit to Fire Emblem, Advance Wars, and Final Fantasy Tactics. The story and art, meanwhile, were inspired primarily both my previous project and the famous manga One Piece. Our goal? Make a game so authentic to the big titles of the genre that you would assume it was Japanese.

Similar to Front Mission, characters would have a set amount of AP to manage. The changing point was that a lot of the environment was meant to be interactive; you could knock over a statue to hurt the guy behind it, drop a barrel in the water to bridge a gap, or even cause a chain reaction effect (this guy hits this guy which hits this guy, and so on…)

Adding to that was the idea of standard character classes (for multiplayer reasons) and house pillaging (for character building). Each of the story characters were also meant to have special abilities – AP sinks that could have mission-changing effects (hookshots, super attacks, etc.)

The team for Pirate Battle was small. In fact, for the lion’s share of it, there was just an artist, a programmer, and myself. Nonetheless, progress on the game was so fast on our agile team that we announced the game – screenshots and all – to IGN just prior to E3 2004. (I think we planned on asking virt to do the soundtrack again, but I don’t recall if those talks ever actually happened.)

The first version of the game was actually for the PC – Sean had put together a simple networking client, I put together some art from other games, and we just battled it out to see what worked and what didn’t with the gameplay – a crucial concern given we were trying to slam mechanics from two different games together but still keep it multiplayer-relevant. (Not to mention that most of our development hardware was typically locked down for use on the other two games in the studio.)
I think we were going to attempt to do a single-cart multiplayer mode – something we wanted to do even on Racing Gears – but the odds of that working out were 50/50 (GBA games using single-cart requires copying all data to RAM, which is a big problem since our games would always be pulling info directly off the cartridge.)

Eventually, Scurge: Hive and Juka were put on the fast track and we no longer had enough programmers for all three projects – our core programmers from the early Racing Gears days had since departed for Pandemic Studios. I departed some time after the programmer gap. It’s neither appropriate to explain nor really clear why the game never finished, but I will say that Pirate Battle is perhaps the game I am most proud of. Maybe I can do something for it again some day.
A year later, Orbital released some new screenshots with a dramatically different look (more Fire Emblem) and a new platform (DS). While the world map is either similar or based on some design work I had done – the free roaming ship mode was always part of the plan – I’m not in a position to know what the gameplay changes were (or if the game was in fact playable in its new incarnation.)

The studio appears to be gone now, so I’m not even sure who was tasked to the project after me, but it’s a shame it will never see the light of day.

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