Action

G.I. Joe: Operation Ultra [PS2, Xbox, GameCube – Cancelled]

G.I. Joe: Operation Ultra is a cancelled action game that was planned by Radical Entertainment (mostly known for their The Simpsons: Road Rage, The Simpsons: Hit & Run, Crash of the Titans, Prototype series) and Hasbro around 2002, to be developed for Playstation 2, Xbox and GameCube. As you probably assume it was meant to be a tie-in for the popular G.I. Joe franchise, conceived when Hasbro published a new G.I. Joe vs. Cobra toy line around the same time. While the game was never officially announced, in 2018 a former developer shared a few details and some photos from their design document:

“One day I’ll be able to discuss how in 2002, Hasbro and Radical Entertainment secretly concocted a mission-based G.I. Joe video game. Dubbed G.I. Joe: Operation Ultra, the game broke down into sixteen separate missions of 4 acts each. Developed for 6th generation consoles (XBox, PS2, and GameCube), Hasbro went quite far in the design process – to the extent where they assigned mapping for the consoles’ controllers.”

As far as we know, Radical Entertainment did not fully start development on the game and the project was canned before any prototype was made.

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Evil Twin 2: The Messenger [Cancelled – PS2]

The original Evil Twin: Cyprien’s Chronicles was a horror platformer developed by UbiSoft and In Utero originally planned as a Dreamcast project, but then also released on PlayStation 2 and PC in late 2001 / early 2002. Players takes control over a young orphan called Cyprien, who is taken to a nightmarish world and possesses the ability to transform into a “demonic” version of himself.

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As told us by Omar Cornut during an interview published in our “Video Games You Will Never Play” book, in 2002 In Utero started working on a sequel to Evil Twin, planned to be released on the Playstation 2:

“Near the end of the company they started designing and prototype what would become Evil Twin 2, with an older character manipulating a stick. After the company closed Diego, Nino and Cedric from In Utero formed their studio Fandango working on a PSP game called Carnival: Theorem One which I think was inspired by those early Evil Twin 2 design. The game unfortunately was not finished.”

This cancelled sequel was also referred to as “The Messenger”. While we were not able to get a confirmation (other former In Utero developers never replied to our emails unfortunately), we can speculate that as the first game received mixed reviews and low sales, they later decided to change their sequel into an original IP, trying to find another publisher.

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In the end In Utero closed down soon after and Evil Twin never got a sequel. Only a couple of screenshots from their early Evil Twin 2 prototype are preserved in this page, to remember its existence.

If you know someone who worked on this lost game and could help us to save more, please let us know

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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