As we can read on Wikipedia, Marble Madness is an arcade video game designed by Mark Cerny, and published by Atari Games in 1984. It is a platform game in which the player must guide an onscreen marble through six courses, populated with obstacles and enemies, within a time limit. The player controls the marble by using a trackball.
An arcade sequel titled Marble Man: Marble Madness II was planned for release in 1991, though Cerny was not involved in the development. Development was led by Bob Flanagan who designed the game based on what he felt made Marble Madness a success in the home console market.
Because the market’s demographic was a younger audience, Flanagan wanted to make the sequel more accessible and introduced a superhero-type main character. Marble Man expanded on the gameplay of the original game by featuring new abilities for the marble such as invisibility and flight, included pinball minigames between sets of levels, and allowed up to three players to traverse isometric courses.
Flanagan intended to address the short length of the first game and, with the help of Mike Hally, developed seventeen courses. Atari created prototypes for location testing, but the game did not fare well against more popular titles at the time such as Street Fighter II.
Atari assumed the track balls accounted for the poor reception and commissioned a second model with joystick controls. Because the new models were met with the same poor reception, production was halted and the focus shifted to Guardians of the ‘Hood, a two-dimensional beat ’em up game. Marble Madness 2 was never officially released, but the few proto machines are in the hands of various collectors.
Thanks to kieranmay and Celine for the contributions!
Black ICE / White Noise (originally known as Chaos Agenda) is a cancelled action game that was in development for the Jaguar.
In 1995 Atari corporation was desperately rushing to keep their Jaguar system alive and in competition with the next generation of gaming systems such as the Sega Saturn and Sony Playstation. Atari promised a Virtual Reality helmet and cd add on in order to try and keep up with Sony and Sega.
Unfortunately the VR helmet was canceled due to how expensive production of the unit would have been. However the cd add on eventually made it into mass production and was released in mid 1995 along with about 15 games and promises of more to come such as Jack Nicklaus Cyber Golf which was canceled and Atari’s major in house project for christmas 95. Originally Atari planned to release a platforming mascot game which would rival Sega’s Sonic or Nintendo’s Mario.
Some designs that were suggested were ducks, alligators and armadillos but none of these mascots ever caught on so Atari decided to go with a more adult cyberpunk game that would star a “slick, stylin’ Aresenio Hall-esque black hacker dude, a beautiful, ass-kicking Japanese female street samurai, and a long-haired, mirrorshaded, leather-jacketed caucasian borderline alcoholic burnout” (copy and pasted from an inteview with one of the game’s designers).
The game would have been quite similar to Grand Theft Auto 3 in that the player could wander through a huge city and either talk to people or shoot them and would have featured a fully 3d environment as well as fmv cutscenes.
Players could have stolen a futuristic air car and gone for a joy ride or gone on foot. Players could also use something called “My first deck” in the game in order to jack into something called the the C net which would allow players to hack into companies c space in order to access information, get addresses or look for job opportunities. Players could then accept missions from a variety of different characters.
Missions included finding someone in C net, hacking into a part of C net to get information, destroying a renegade C net program, Breaking into a building to rescue someone and successfully take then back to safety, or taking out a gang.
The game takes place 40 years in the future in the city of New San Francisco where a large company known as Megasoft is attempting to gain control of the C net and apparently the world. In the game you could either work with Megasoft or against them.
If you blast a couple of cops and they begin chasing you all over the city you could simply enter the C net and hack the police data base to get rid of your police record. Or you could do a favor for the government to get your record wiped clean.
Unfortunately the game was not to be, after Atari laid off an integral part of the Black ICE/White Noise development team a Christmas release slipped away and instead the game was targeted for a July 1996 release.
However very quickly more team members were laid off as Atari went further and further into bankruptcy. Finally, the game was canceled and drifted into gaming history.
However recently two different prototype builds of the game have surfaced / leaked and are available for purchase for your Jaguar CD system! One build is Revision 18. Although this build does not have as many features as the other available build it is much more stable and does not crash as much. The other available build is Revision 23, the last build of the game produced. Although there are several new features such as the infamous “zebra hooker” this build is much more unstable.
The official soundtrack (created by Andy Armer) is also available for purchase since it was never implemented into the game.
War: Final Assault is a first person shooter that was developed by Atari Games and released in 1999 for arcades. In the game the player needs to fight through 8 levels, each one with its own final boss, with a fun coop multiplayer mode up to 4 players. A Nintendo 64 port was planned to be released the same year, published by Midway, but something went wrong during the development and the project was soon cancelled. We are not sure about how much work went into the Nintendo 64 version: some screenshots from the presumed N64 port were found in an old magazine (but they could just have been from the original Arcade game). It’s a shame that this game was never released on the N64, as it could have been a fun multiplayer game to play with friends at home, between Perfect Dark and Mario Kart 64.