Survivor Day One [N64 – Cancelled]


Announced officially at E3 1998, Survivor Day One is an interesting action game that was in development by Konami. As in Fade To Black, the protagonist had to escape from a spaceship infested with mysterious aliens, but unlike Delphine’s game, Survivor Day One’s hero is much more athletic and we would have been able to perform various actions to explore the levels, as in the various Tomb Raider. In the screenshots released we can see the protagonist while jumping, climbing, swimming and so on. The gameplay would even had some puzzle elements, as usual with this kind of action adventures.

From what Konami had promised, the enemies would have react realistically, according to the context and to the player moves. The Original music from the only trailer ever released was composed by Mark Lindsey.

Unfortunately the graphic was pretty bland for a 1998 game and while the game was still in early beta, some management problems slowed down the development team: in the end the project would have not be able to be released before the death of the Nintendo 64 and so they decided to just cancell it all togheter.

italian_flag.jpg [spoiler /Clicca qui per la versione in Italiano/ /Nascondi la versione in Italiano/]Mostrato ufficialmente all’e3 98, Survivor Day One era interessante action game tridimensionale sviluppato da Konami. Come in Fade To Black il protagonista si ritrova a dover scappare da una nave spaziale infestata da misteriosi alieni. Fortunatamente a differenza del titolo delphine il nostro eroe è nettamente più atletico e ci si ritrovare ad effettuare azioni non troppo dissimili dai vari tomb raider, come saltare, arrampicarci, aggrapparci al volo a piccoli appigli, nuotare e via dicendo, sebbene non mancassero gli enigmi e le parti esplorative tipiche degli adventure.

Inoltre particolare enfasi doveva essere posta nell’AI dei nemici, che dovevano reagire realisticamente secondo il contesto. Sfortunatamente il titolo era piuttosto blando tecnicamente per un gioco di seconda generazione, e diversi problemi di organizzazione fecero rallentare il team di sviluppo:  Konami non sarebbe riuscita a finire il gioco prima della morte del Nintendo 64 e decise quindi di cancellare del tutto il gioco per evitare ulteriori perdite di denaro.[/spoiler]

Thanks to Hey Hey & Mark for the contributions!




Body Harvest [N64 – Beta / Unused Stuff]

The owners of a Nintendo 64 had to wait several years before being able to get their hands on this title developed by DMA Design. Body Harvest was announced as one of the first launch titles for the N64, but it was released only in October 1998 and it ended up clashing with Zelda: Ocarina of Time.

Body Harvest is one of the most interesting projects for the Nintendo console, but due to the clamor for the release of the first three-dimensional Zelda, Body Harvest was missed by many gamers, as they were already too busy to play with an ocarina.

Body Harvest’s levels are huge, probably some of the bigger areas available on the 64-bit console: players can use many vehicles from small cars to powerful alien ships, to move and kill all the enemies in their path. Sadly a lot of the beta vehicles (shown in the gallery below) never made it into the final game. BH’s development team is the same one that a few years later created one of the most popular games of the last generation: GTA 3.

Perhaps if Body Harvest would have been released in a different time, it would have had a better success in sales. All the images in the gallery below are from the beta version, with different HUD, incomplete graphic and target renders. In the early version, the energy bars were oval and the radar was circled by a red line. Also, there are some unused logos created before the final one!

Missions in Japan, Hawaii and Antarctica were removed from the game or changed into the Alien Cometh, Java and Siberia. As was noticed by SilverStingray on the GameSpot Forum:

It’s interesting to note that there was originally a Japan 2010 level which looks a little bit like the comet. I guess Japan morphed into the comet when the game was struck by a speeding deadline. Also America looks a lot greener, I guess it felt too similar to Greece so the devs killed the grass.

Many interesting info on Body Harvest’s development can be found on this article by Edge:

The Body Harvest story begins a long time ago, in a small development house just outside Dundee. In 1995, Nintendo saw great potential in a game design document drawn up by DMA Design. […]

After two years of hard slog DMA eventually presented an action game to Nintendo. Unsurprisingly, it was not what Nintendo had seen in the design document and more importantly, it was not to its taste. A crack team of Nintendo experts, including a producer from the Zelda series, flew over to sort out the mess. It was suggested that the game be reincarnated as an RPG – not what DMA wanted to hear. […]

On its return home, DMA noticed a distinct pattern emerging – more bad news. Body Harvest was being developed alongside another game called Zenith – an original mix of platform and racing action. Zenith was to be canned and several people were given the unpleasantly singular option of joining the Body Harvest project. […]

If you can notice more differences in the beta images, please let us known!

Some screens from:




Dragon Sword (Storm) [N64 – Cancelled]

Dragon Sword, officially announced in early 1998, is another cancelled game for the Nintendo 64. More precisely, it was a coop action-adventure / hack & slash developed by Interactive Studios / Blitzgames (the creators of Glover) and set in a fantasy world called Avantaria, where a group of four heroes had to stop the evil plans of Xyrus the mage.

It seems that originally Dragon Sword had a strong emphasis on exploration and adventure elements, but in the latest builds (shown in the screenshots below) it became a frenetic action game, similar to many memorable arcades of the past, as Gauntlet or Golden Axe. In fact Dragon Sword was supposed to play a lot like Gauntlet Legends 64, with generators that must be destroyed in order to  avoid the respawn of the enemies.

One or two players were able to play together and to chose from 4 different characters (Cutter, Kailan, Gouranga and Aisha)with which fight hundreds of soldiers. Each character had its own set of attacks and abilities.

Some features betrayed clearly a greater ambition than the usual hack &  slash, such as the presence of different weather conditions, large and  varied enviroments, a rpg-like experience system and many different magical weapons.

Other than the 2 players coop in the story mode, there was a fun 4 players deathmatch mode, that was more enjoyable than many of the standard fighting games released for the Nintendo 64. A “Time Trial” mode was also available!

Dragon Sword was basically finished, but unfortunately, like many other N64 titles, it was destined  to never see the light of day:  it seems that the game was cancelled because MGM Interactive (the publisher) though that it would have not sell enough to gain profit.

Supposedly the english 64 Magazine was able to play an almost-final build of Dragon Sword, which got 93% in their review. They liked the game so much that they tried to organize a petition in order to convince the  MGM to release it,  but sadly their effort didn’t work.

In the gallery below you can see many screens from the latest Dragon Sword build and some early target renders that look very different from the “final” game.

In April 2010, thanks to an anonymous collector, a playable beta of Dragon Sword was shared online: there are 7 levels available and even the deathmatch multiplayer mode is working! There are some bugs, but for an unfinished N64 game that was in development more than 12 years ago, the game is fun enough, especially if you can play it in coop mode with a friend.

From the internal HEX code, it seems that they planned to have 9 levels for Dragon Sword, but after you finish the 7th level in the beta, the game crashes. We still dont know how to load the 8th level or if it’s in the game at all. It’s possible that only level 1 to 7 are playable. A test-level could be hidden in the beta too.

You can see a lot of concept arts created for Dragon Sword in Ohnhai’s DA Gallery. In there, you can notice many scenes that were never developed into the “final” game, as a town filled with people, magic system and the possibility to ride a dragon to explore the world.

Edward Kirk was able to find some codes to access to all the playable levels and some test-areas, you can find more info at his website!

I looked at complete levels and found the following Gameshark code (after checking some fifty or so addresses): 801249B3 000X. X denotes the different level value. The Level Section Select code has been found. Gameshark code 801249B7 000X, where X is usually a value from 0 to 3, but this may depend upon the level. As you cannot progress beyond the first part of Level 8 if you use just the Level Select code, use this code to see the other parts of the level

Thanks to Celine for the contribution! Thanks to Christian Mohr Jensen for some of the videos below!




Superman 64 [N64 – Beta / Proto / Tech Demo]

It would be nice to say that this game developed by Titus was completed with a better graphic than the one we can see in the screenshots below: unfortunately this has not happened. The bare polygonal models of the scenario in those early images are almost identical to the final version. To be honest, the final version is so much worse than those early screens. In 1999, Superman 64 was released with a pandemic and ugly fog that the player had to see all around the levels. That “fog effect” is a common feature in many N64 games, but it’s really too much in this game and the developers thought to justify it somehow. In the plot of the game, the fog is presented as a weapon created by Superman’s enemies, a lethal gas that surrounded the city. Brilliant!

Certainly at the time of these images, the fog was not yet included in the game and the graphics had a cleaner look that Superman 64 can only dream of. In one of the screens, the light effect was probably created with Photoshop! Breathtaking. Probably these images were taken from a target render, created to show what the game could have looked like.. if it could have been released on the Dreamcast. For sure, the Nintendo 64 was never able to show such a definite graphic.

Yet, if these images can look bad, the final version is even worse. It’s like if Superman 64 was put on sale in a Beta version, without worrying too much about the poor result. We must therefore thanks Titus, for giving us the opportunity to play a beta game in our N64!

It seems that the reason Superman 64 was so bad was because the license owners crippled their creativity and keeping them from releasing the game they wanted to. As we can read at Proto Jon’s Blog:

Superman 64 was the first 3D action/adventure game that Titus worked on, as your prior 3D releases were racing and chess games. Do you feel that this hindered development?

Eric: The main issue was working with the licensor. They caused us so much trouble. Also our design originally was too ambitious compared to what an N64 was able to deliver…

Jon: Did Superman 64 turn out to be near what your team had envisioned at the start, or was the finished product sidetracked by hardware or other limitations?

Eric: Of course not. It is not even 10% of what we intended to do, but the licensor killed us!

Jon: What content was cut from the game? If you cut a lot from the game, then what were the big things that you wish you could have kept in the game?

Eric: I am not allowed to detail what we had to remove, but it was a lot.

Also, at Rareware Central we can read some interesting info from a beta versione of Superman 64, that… seems to have been better than the released one!

What it really seems like is that Titus were forced to completely remake the game one month before release. There are no rings, none of the stupid metropolis missions exist in the early version. And since the metropolis missions seemed very quickly made, it would make sense that they had to add them in the final stages of development.

A common problem with Superman 64 is how common glitches can be. In this version, glitches do still exist but it’s actually less glitchy than the retail. Also, remember when flying and you’d always get stuck? That rarely happens in this version.

One thing that actually shocked me was how they could remove the mission objectives screen. In the early version, at the start of a mission, text on the screen will let you know what your objectives are, once you’ve completed an objective, the objective screen get’s shown again with a check next to your completed objective. Along with that, you can pause the game at any time to view all your objectives, something Superman 64 really needed.

Kevin Ames also wrote a detailed article on the leaked beta:

Now this is where things get a little interesting. In 2011 An early and unfinished prototype version of Superman 64 came out of the woodwork. This prototype version was owned by someone working at The guy at RareWareCentral uploaded a 14 minute gameplay video and did the first article on beta Superman. For the first time ever we got to really see how the game should’ve been, before the licensor had gotten to it. Let me tell you it looked awesome. Some began to wonder, when would this get dumped? The guy at RareWareCentral had no intention of releasing the game.

Thanks to Celine, Andrew, Zero7, Kevin Ames and Rareware Central for the contributions!




Roswell Conspiracies: Aliens, Myths & Legends [N64 – Cancelled]


Roswell Conspiracies: Aliens, Myths and Legends is a cancelled Nintendo 64 game that was based on the animated series with the same name, which (as you can guess from the subtitle), is inspired by sci-fi themes and aliens. The TV series was enough popular in the USA and the producers decided to create an action adventure for the Nintendo 64, Playstation and GameBoy Color. As already happened many times, the N64 version was cancelled, but you can check some screenshots in the gallery below. The Playstation version was released in 2001, developed by Red Storm Entertainment, and probably it’s similar to the unreleased N64 one.

In the end the game is just a mediocre, repetitive and linear action game, with two mini-games to try to cure the lack of variety in the gameplay. For once, we are almost happy that the Nintendo 64 version was never released .

italian_flag.jpg [spoiler /Clicca qui per la versione in Italiano/ /Nascondi la versione in Italiano/]Roswell Conspiracies: Aliens, Myths and Legends è una serie animata uscita in america nel 1999, che da come si può intuire dal sottotitolo, si ispira ad uno dei luoghi comuni più utilizzati all’interno della sci-fi: gli alieni in realtà sono sulla terra da migliaia di anni ma preferiscono mostrarsi come il lupo mannaro e il conte dracula in modo da non far scoprire mai la verità sulle loro solite mega-cospirazioni.

Visto che la serie a quanto pare aveva incontrato discreti consensi in USA, i produttori decisero di farne un action adventure per N.64, Playstation e per buona misura anche GBC. Come già accaduto molte volte in passato, la versione N.64, i cui primi e unici screenshots sono apparsi nell’estate del 2000, non ha mai visto la luce. Impersonando i due protagonisti del serial Nick Logan e Sh’Linn Blaze, dovevamo cercare di investigare le conspirazioni in cui erano coinvolti gli alieni facendo attenzione nel contempo a mantenere segrete tali indagini.

Sembra accattivante come premessa, ma la versione Playstation, identica a quella che doveva essere la release N64, risulta essere un gioco veramente mediocre, ripetitivo e lineare per quanto riguarda il level design, e soltando due mini-games a cercare di rimediare alla scarsa varietà delle varie conspirazioni.. Anche la grafica, che in teoria doveva essere uno dei punti di forza per la sua particolare estetica, rivela che ci vuole ben altro che una ricercata stilizzazione per creare comparti tecnici originali e godibili. Corollario: Per una volta siamo quasi contenti che un titolo Nintendo 64 non sia stato rilasciato. [/spoiler]