Argonaut Software

Spyro PS2 Tech Demo (2001) [Fake]

Update: as wrote by a former Argonaut Games developer “Hi All… just to let you know this article is false. Croc 3 was never in development at Argonaut (beyond a 2 page proposal I put together) and there was no Spyro demo.

Original post:

In 2001 during development of Croc 3: Stone Of The Gobbos, Argonaut Games developed a tech demo for an unnamed Spyro The Dragon game. The game was not intended to be released, however it was playable and had a homeworld. The game prototype was done to expand on the engine both Croc 3 and Malice used. It was a tech demo developed for Playstation 2. Nothing else is known.

Thanks to a former Argonaut Games employee for the information. 

Croc: Legend of the gobbos (1997) [Beta / Prototype – PSX / Saturn / PC]

Croc Legend Of The Gobbos was a platformer game released in 1997 by Defunct game developer, Argonaut Games. Using the BRender engine, which was a state of the art engine capable of powering games released between generations (PS1 and PS2 gens), it took full advantage of the consoles it released on and pushed the game engine to its limits.

Recently, a beta and tech demo was uncovered by a few fans of the game on a now defunct forum, “Croc Fan Forums” , and released to a very few people. A newely formed YouTube channel called Video Game Beta Book, posted videos from both builds that leaked a few weeks ago.

These videos show many things that were changed or cut. In the tech demo, croc appears to be voiced by an entirely different voice actor opposed to His voice actor in Croc and Croc 2. Next, many level designs are different, and some levels are even entirely unseen in the final game. The main island also looks severely different.

The tech demo that leaked was dated November 1996, and appears to be a very early alpha of the game engine, that was likely released to internal testers to test physics.  In the Prototype dated March 1997, it features slightly different animations, has cut levels, and even has something not at all in the final game: Results Screen. The results screen is similar to the ending of levels on the Spyro The Dragon Trilogy games released by Insomniac Games from 1998-2000, where it shows your gems you picked up and score.

Additionally, in the tech demo Croc is more lighter than He appears in the March 1997 Proto and the final game.

Videos of the tech demo and prototype can be seen below:


Reactor [SNES – Cancelled]

Reactor is a cancelled project in development by Argonaut Software for SNES in 1991. Contrary to other 3D productions Argonaut got famous for on SNES and GB (think Star Fox on SNES or Hard Drivin on Game Boy)  this game was an isometric 2D shooter with a futuristic setting. Reactor was never released for unknown reason however Howard Phillips found a prototype of it in his archive and shared some photos with the community.



Croc 3: Stone of the Gobbos [Cancelled (Rumor) – PSX / PS2 / XBOX / GameCube]

Update: OldClassicGamer sent us some info to prove that these info about Croc 3 are fake, so we’ll just leave this page as a “rumor” to let people to still find the original story and the updated info. Here is what OldClassicGamer wrote:

 I don’t know who sent you that info but whoever did it was not from Argonoaut and was probably someone with too much free time since he came with all those details.

Where is my proof? Well, first of all, here is website:
This is new game from creators of Croc and they are asking for donations. They promised they will include Croc characters in-game if they get enough donated money. Here are more details you can read first post and find out everything.

Story Box developers do not own the IP, but they are currently contacting Jez to see if they can get permission to use Croc characters in their game called Story Box. Jez San is founder of Argonaut. Here, you can read all the info about Jez:

And two final evidences I have are conversations with Story Box developers and Zenimax. I will attach screenshots in email as a proof. So if Zenimax confirmed themselves that they never owned Croc, then the whole story and Croc 3 playable build that cannot be leaked because Zenimax is not allowing it is fake. I would like to ask you nicely to take down that article because it is spreading lies and it can damage potentially new Croc games that will come after Story Box is successful.

Also, if game was started being developed in 2001, then how come no info was known even in 2004 befor Argonaut bankrupt. The truth is, Croc 3 was going to happen but they only started talking about it in 2004, before they went bankrupt. Prototype for game was never created since game was never in developement.

What do you think about this? Leave your comment below!

Original post:

The original Croc is a platform game published by Fox Interactive and developed by Argonaut Software (AKA Argonaut Games) in 1997 for the PlayStation and Sega Saturn. A sequel, Croc 2, was released in 1999 but the third chapter of the series was never released, even if development was started. The game was called Croc 3: Stone of the Gobbos (also known as Croc 3: Barons Revenge and Croc 3: Croc Returns! during development). It was to launch on Playstation 2, Gamecube and Xbox in 2005. The game would of been a direct sequel to the events of Croc 2, and would feature 2 player on all 3 platforms. In this game, Croc was to yet again, be faced with stopping Baron Dante and saving the Gobbos. However this time Dante has a spell that is not able to be stopped unless Croc finds the Sacred “Stone of the Gobbos”.

Sadly after Argonaut Software closed in 2004, the IP for Croc was sold to Zenimax Media Inc, and Zenimax Media had Mud Duck Productions continue development of Croc 3: Stone Of The Gobbos. However, the game was cancelled after trouble with the developer and thus, ended the Croc Franchise.

The world shown in the render below is the Croc 3 castle hub. In Croc 3, rather than the former games, Argonaut Software were using Full Explorable Hub Worlds sorta like Spyro The Dragon. This way it was more easy for younger kids to play the game. Some of the Croc 3 inspiration was coming from Spyro Year Of The Dragon (One of the biggest being hub worlds with portals).

croc 3 cancelled

Croc 3 started development in the summer of 2001. Argonaut Software had split into three teams to work on their big games, Malice (Which started development in the 90`s but later bumped dev up to PS2), other small projects (like Carve), and Croc 3. Croc 3 was having trouble finding a publisher. They had contacted Fox, and they wanted no part of Croc 3 due to the sales of Croc 2. Argonaut then contacted EA and they said they would publish it, but their fees were too high. The Publisher they stuck with was Activision, who said they would publish it and help Argonaut work around their budget. With a team of only 10 people working on the project, Croc 3 went through many changes.

First it was in development for Dreamcast, Playstation, Playstation 2, Xbox, Gamecube and PC, however with the failing sales of Dreamcast (And due to Croc 2 never appearing on sega), Argonaut stopped working on the Dreamcast version and focused more on the PS,PS2,XB and GC versions. They later cancelled the PC version as well.

The next problem Argonaut ran into was the voice actor for croc had no wish to return to the role. So they would need to recast. The engine they were developing on was an unstable version of their in house engine, BRender, which also powered Malice and a couple of other Argonaut games. This version was a new updated one exclusive to Croc 3 to allow for certain things to try to push the 4 consoles to their limits.

What started to take more time was the Playstation 1 version. This was due to the fact that Argonaut were using croc 1/2 version of BRender because BRender for Croc 3 was not compatible on Playstation 1 due to the “Next Gen” graphics. The new console versions would feature top of the line graphics developed in house to push them to their limits, while the PS1 version was simply the same graphics as croc 2. The reason Argonaut were insisting to release Croc 3 on PS1 was to keep the trilogy in line with each other on Playstation. The series was always planned as a trilogy and the third was supposed to be the final one.

Croc 3 on PS2, GC and Xbox would of been 2 player. Player 1 was Croc, and player 2 was a new crocodile named Ginger, who was a love interest to croc. (Kinda like a Amy/Sonic relationship). To appease players who hated multiplayer, Ginger would only appear in the story IF you were in 2 player. If not, she would disappear. As for the soundtrack, Justin Scharvona from croc 1, who composed the C1 soundtrack would make a return to compose it in this game.
Thanks to former Argonaut Employees from the Croc 3 Team for the contribution! 

FX Trax (Stunt Race FX) [SNES – Beta]

Stunt Race is a racing game for the Super Nintendo that used the Super FX chip to create 3D polygons for the cars and tracks. FX Trax is the original name of the project  (aka Wild Trax in japan), from when it was still in early development by Nintendo EAD and Argonaut Software. In the gallery below you can see various images from the beta version, with different HUD and WIP graphic! If you can notice more differences (removed tracks?) please let us known!

Scans from Banzzai #14, Super Power #12, australian Nintendo Magazine System from October ’93 (very early screens!) and April ’94 (showing a game much closer to the finished product but still with many differences).

Thanks to Celine and ezri85 for the contribution!



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