Action RPG

Sword of Legendia [Wii – Cancelled]

In September 2006, just before the Wii launch, Nintendo asked to producers of various japanese publishers to share their thoughts about the new platform in an interview. The first interviewee was Tales Studio‘s producer Makoto Yoshizumi. While discussing the system he talked about Sword of Legendia briefly showing an artwork about the project.

After that the title was cited on Namco site as an RPG exclusive to Wii but nothing else was released for several years. In 2008 Tsutomu Gouda confirmed that he was in charge of the project and that contrary to what was thought it wasn’t related to “Tales of” franchise ( conclusion inducted by the likeness with a past “Tales of” game, Tales of Legendia).

In 2009, while discussing Fragile, Kentarou Kawashima confirmed that Sword of Legendia was still on going but after that another information blackout began until Japan Expo 2011 where Makoto Yoshizumi revealed the project “was cancelled several years ago”. Very little is known about this mysterious game and ironically the only evidence ever show to prove its existence was the initial artwork that you can see below.

Thanks to Kurosaki Ichigo for the old NeoGaf thread.



Tales of Phantasia [Beta – SNES]

Tales of Phantasia is a Jrpg developed by Wolfteam and published, only in Japan, by Namco for SNES in 1995. The game was originally based on an unpublished novel, Tale Fantasia, but, as we can read from Aselia wikia, the programming team encountered many difficulties in dealing with the publisher:

Several changes exist between the initial concept of Tale Phantasia and the published game, due to Namco’s interference with Wolfteam’s efforts, eventually cutting them out of the process and removing them from the credits towards the end of development. This includes changing the character artist from Yoshiaki Inagaki to the now-familiar Kousuke Fujishima, resulting in entirely redesigned and renamed characters with in-game sprites that are based on original artwork and not Fujishima’s revisions, which are shown in the status art, along with several alterations to key chars and plot points. A grand majority of the story was cut from the game, and no attempt was made to close the plot holes that were created by Namco’s actions.

In the beta pics below we can see the original character design of Inagaki and a scan of a pre-release version of Tales of Phantasia. I played the game ten years ago, so i don’t remember it too well, and the scan is low quality, but i don’t see any major changes. If you have more informations please make a comment and we’ll update the post.

Thanks to Youloute of the Assembler forum for the scan.

Below is a few sprites that are ripped from the final version of Tales of Phantasia, but these sprites go completely unused. They’re ‘angel’ sprites for when Raise Dead is used. Some of them are completely unknown, but clearly Brambert, Rhea and Morrison are in the list. Brambert was in the beta of Tales of Phantasia, as seen in the image below. Not much is known about Rhea but it appears NPC’s may have been usable in battle. There’s also a ‘Tactics’ icon for both Brambart and Rhea as well. Not too mention both of their names are stored in the same area as Cress and Co.’s.

Thanks to Justin3009 for the contribution!


Chiisana Kyojin Microman [Cancelled – GBC]

Back around the year 1999, Takara decided to revive their old line of toys called “Microman” so they reissued a lot of the old toys from the 70’s and started a new line of toys. These toys had an anime and manga to go with the relaunch. The Microman line also had 2 games, Chiisana Kyojin Microman which was an 3rd person action game on the PSX with the old toy and Chiisana Kyojin Microman: Generation 2000 which was a more clunky game for the PSX with voiced parts of the characters from the anime.

However there was a game in development for the GBC which seems to have never seen the light of day, probably due to the failing sales of the 1999 version toys and the declining interest in the anime/manga. Below you can see a proposed cover art and a few screens form the game.

Thanks a lot to Maverynthia for the contribution!



Folklore [Beta – PS3]

Folklore is an action adventure developed by Game Republic and published by Sony Computer Entertainment for the PlayStation 3 in 2007. The 2006 beta trailer shows only Keats, but the finished game has two playable characters, the other being Ellen, who could be called the “main character” of the story. Keats is also referred to as a detective, and not a reporter.

The story also focus on a “murder mystery”, rather than on “the girl in the black coat” mentioned in the beta. On the whole, it seems like a lot of the story has changed, keeping pretty much just the setting and the village of the dead theme. Another difference in the beta trailer are the cutscenes. The trailer has plenty of “the normal stuff”, that is, what seems to be CGI and realtime animation. The finished game instead tells the story through a rather unique kind of 3D comic book cutscenes, or however to describe them.

The gameplay also looks very different. Though you absorb enemy souls to use in the final game, the trailer makes it seem more like a regular, turn-based RPG with summon attacks rather than the quite fast-paced action RPG that was the final result. Summon attacks happen extremely quickly in the final game, in a way that they are really different “weapons” that the main character uses.

Also, not sure if Keats is being chased at the end of the trailer or if it’s just a companion creature. Judging from the way it’s following him (keeping the same pace, etc) the latter seems more likely. Either way, nothing like that happens in the final game.

Folklore was originally supposed to take place in the same universe as Monster Kingdom: Jewel Summoner for the PSP (Folklore being Monster Kingdom: Unknown Realms.) From the beta trailer it seems like the gameplay of Folklore would have been similar to Jewel Summoner, before they decided to split it off from the Monster Kingdom series. It also seems to share some story aspects with Coded Soul (the sequel to Jewel Summoner) which was never released in the west. And for that matter the name; Folklore is known as FolksSoul in Japan.

Thanks a lot to Saga for the contribution!



Sorcery [PC – Cancelled]

Sorcery was to be the first, ambitious project of game developer Starbreeze Studios, who have been responsible for such titles as the Chronicles of Riddick series, and Enclave. They have developed games that have been seen on all of the major consoles since the Xbox. Sorcery was conceived in 1997, long before either of these well-received titles.

Little information is available about Sorcery, and what we do know comes largely from interviews with the developers. Sorcery would have been a fast-paced RPG, with a “high fantasy” setting. The player would have taken the role of a young mage seeking to restore order in a war-torn continent.

The unique thing about Sorcery‘s gameplay is that it was being created with an almost exclusively magical combat system. Instead of using weapons, the protagonist would have used various spells to take down opponents. The creators described the gameplay of the concept as “a cross between Diablo and Quake, with a huge world to explore and lots of quests to solve”. Indeed, the game would have contained a number of different activities and tasks for the player outside of the main plot, giving the game a heightened sense of freedom. Despite its fast-paced nature, strategy and puzzles would have been important gameplay elements.

Another promising aspect of the game was its custom-made 3D engine. The engine, created by Starbreeze, included support for movable mirrors/portals, illuminated volumetric fog, skeleton animation/deformation, animatable multitexturing materials, dynamic lighting, day/night cycling and curved surfaces with variable tesselation degrees depending on a user’s computer’s capabilities. In 1998, when 3-dimensional gaming was still in its infancy, these technologies would no doubt have been a very impressive.

Sorcery would also have contained a multiplayer mode, although the developers have admitted that this part of the game was only going to be included after the single-player game was completely polished. We know that the multiplayer side would have included team play, action and “plenty of possibilities to develop your own playing styles”, according to one of the game’s developers.

Starbreeze Studios originally found a company called Gremlin Interactive to publish Sorcery. However, after Starbreeze merged with O3 games in 2001, the game was sadly deprioritised, and never reached completion. However, the company has gone on to make excellent games since the project’s demise.

Thanks to Megalol for the contribution!