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Insane Warrior (Core Design) [Playstation – Cancelled]

Insane Warrior is a cancelled game by Core Design, that was planned to be developed for the original Playstation. Assembler Games Forum user Decapicitated found a few screenshots from this lost project in the online portfolio of a former Core Design developer who worked on it. As we can read from Decapicitated’s posts:

“Insane Warrior was developed by Core Design and was unfortunately cancelled. It wasn’t exactly a playable game, more or less a tech demo. Part of the team which developed the game went onto developing Ninja: Shadow Of Darkness which was released September 1998. The game itself looked very similar in terms of the camera style, it was identical to Ninja. I also believe some of the ideas of this game were implemented into Ninja therefore, it could be quite possible to just call it an early tech demo of Ninja.”

“Yeah, it’s definitely a PSX exclusive. It was nothing more than a tech demo which was developed after Tomb Raider, but before Ninja as the team working on this was pushed on to making Ninja in 1997 to be released for 1998. This game got canned or the engine was probably re-used for Ninja. The game is very similar as I said before and these are the only screenshots in existence, I got these off a website which belonged to one of the devs a VERY long time ago; the website is now defunct”

At the moment there are no other details about this cancelled game. If you know someone who worked at Core Design between the original Tomb Raider and Ninja, please let us know!

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Zorro [SNES – Cancelled]

In the mid ’90s US Gold was developing a SNES action game in which you would play as Zorro, the popular hero created in 1919 by writer Johnston McCulley. Some screenshots were published in gaming magazines at the time, but in the end Zorro for the Super Nintendo was never released. As it often happens with these cancelled 16-bit tie-in projects, we can speculate its gameplay was not much fun or changed idea on the profitability of the Zorro IP.  US Gold halted development on the game and switched resources to something else.

Thanks to Celine for the contribution!

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Deep Scanner [Mega Drive – Cancelled]

Deep Scanner (ディープスキャナー) is a cancelled run & gun / action game that was in development by Sammy for Mega Drive. A single screenshot was published in french magazine Joypad (issue 18, March 1993) with a short description:

“[…] an action game with multi-directional scrolling. Developed by Sammy, Deep Scanner may well contend more than one, given the quality of the graphics and the various difficulties encountered during this game. Armed with a laser gun and other weapons you may find during your peripeties through bonus areas, halfway between Rolling Thunder and Double Dragon, Deep Scanner will allow you to freely choose between a half-dozen of levels, each ending with a final boss monster. […] you have to be quick because time is limited and enemies do not wait to jump on you.”

More images and details could be still hidden away in other Japanese magazines.

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Gremlins (Krome Studios) [Xbox 360 – Cancelled]

As you probably know Gremlins is a 1984 comedy horror film directed by Joe Dante and released by Warner Bros, a commercial success spawning a sequel and lots of merchandise. A few officially licensed video games were published for Atari 2600, Commodore 64, Game Boy Color, Wii and DS. A Playstation 2 Gremlins was in development in the mid ‘00s, but soon cancelled.

Many years later, Krome Studios (mostly known for Ty the Tasmanian Tiger and Spyro: A New Beginning) pitched another Gremlins video game, planned for Xbox 360. In the end the game was not green lighted by Warner Bros, and it became another cancelled Gremlins game we’ll never play. A few screenshots were found by fans of the series, preserved in the gallery below to remember the existence of this lost project.

A former Krome developer shared some details on this pitch on NeoGAF:

“[…] you played ad gizmo running around hiding from adult gremlins setting up elaborate rude goldberg – incredible machine style physics traps to kill them in all sorts of gruesome ways. Even had a little street scene modelled of the town in the first movie with snow and Xmas lights, gremlins everywhere running amuck overturning cars and shit.”

Thanks to Roy for the contribution!

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Joust X [Nintendo 64 – Cancelled]

The original Joust is a 1982 arcade game developed by Williams Electronics, that became quite popular at the time. As we can read on Wikipedia, “The player uses a button and joystick to control a knight riding a flying ostrich. The objective is to progress through levels by defeating groups of enemy knights riding buzzards”.

The game boosted a fun 2-players coop mode, that probably contributed to its popularity in arcades, where friends could play together to survive against dozens of enemies.

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Midway tried many times to resurrect their Joust franchise in 3D, but with no luck. Dactyl Joust for the Atari Jaguar and Joust 3D for Xbox & PS2 were soon cancelled and forgotten. Adding to this list of canned Joust reboot, there’s the lost Nintendo 64 version, titled Joust X or Joust 64.

The game was officially announced by Midway / Atari Games and was featured in many N64 release lists in gaming magazines and online, as this one by IGN from 1998. In the end the game quietly vanished, and Midway never released any official screenshots of the project.

We can assume Joust X would have been a fully 3D game, set in arenas where to fight against hordes of enemies, riding your 3D ostrich and possibly playing it in coop with one or more friends. Imagine it as a mix between 007 GoldenEye and the Battle Mode from Mario Kart 64. The Nintendo 64 was a great multiplayer console thanks to its 4 controllers ports and many great multiplayer titles. Joust 64 could have been another fun game to play with friends, but unfortunately it never seen the light of day.

In the end Midway did release other remakes / reboots of their old catalogue on the N64, such as Gauntlet Legends and Paperboy 64. If you know someone who worked on Joust 64, please let us know!

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Scan from 64 Magazine, issue 5