flying simulation

Crimson Skies 3 [Xbox 360 – Cancelled]

The first Crimson Skies is an arcade flight video game developed by Zipper Interactive and published for PC in 2000 by Microsoft Game Studios. In 2003 Microsoft published a sequel titled “Crimson Skies: High Road to Revenge“, developed by FASA Studio for the original Xbox. Both games still have a cult-following, thanks to their fun gameplay and interesting “dieselpunk” story-settings (an alternate history of the 1930s), with a good single-player campaign, plus online and offline multiplayer

A third chapter in the series was in development by Fasa Studio around 2003 / 2004 and planned to be released for Xbox 360. Probably Microsoft wanted to offer one of their “hardcore” IPs for their new console, but in the end the project was never completed. There are currently no screenshot, videos or images preserved

Crimson Skies 3 would have expanded its gameplay by offering on-foot missions and we can speculate that FASA tried to create a much more ambitious project, making it a full open world flying game. High Road to Revenge already had many levels structured similarly to the open-world missions of GTA, where you could fly around and choose different missions located throughout the game map. We can assume in Crimson Skies 3 we could have explored cities with our character and then freely flying around the world using our planes to resolve missions and fight against enemy aircrafts

Unfortunately the game was soon cancelled and the team was moved to work on Shadowrun, the 2007 multiplayer game released for Xbox 360 and PC. Many other FASA games were canned in the mid ‘00s, such as Cesium, Mechwarrior Prime and Shadowrun: The Awakening. The company was then shut down by Microsoft on September 2007.

We tried many times to get in contact with people who worked at FASA on Crimson Skies 3 but without luck. If you know someone who worked on this lost project, please let us know. 

Pilotwings 2 (Super FX Prototype) [SNES – Cancelled]

The original Pilotwings is an arcade flying simulator developed by Nintendo and published in December 1990 as one of their first games for the Super Nintendo, soon becoming a cult 16 bit classic. Players can use different flying vehicles to complete various missions within a time limit, trying to get high-scores for such tasks as flying through rings and landing on specific parts of the levels.

Pilotwings sold about 1.4 million copies worldwide and Pilotwings 2 for SNES was already in early development before Nintendo decided to cancel it and instead working on a fully 3D sequel on their Nintendo 64.

A few magazines in mid ‘90s mentioned Pilotwings 2 in their news / rumors sections, but Nintendo never officially announced Pilotwings 2 SNES, so it could have been one of those fake speculations with no real evidences. Luckily a few years ago John Szczepaniak (author of The Untold History of Japanese Game Developers books) asked to Dylan Cuthbert (who worked with Argonaut Software and Nintendo on such games as Star Fox and Star Fox 2) about Pilotwings 2 and Dylan confirmed that it was really in development for the Super Nintendo, using the Super FX chip 2. Dylan also mentioned Pilotwings 2 / Super FX 2 prototype in a Reddit AMA:

“I think it was just light experimentation, such as the FX chip based Pilot’s Wings experiment too, just to see what could be done and was quickly re-worked on the prototype N64 hardware. They were already experimenting with motion capture for better animation in 1995 or thereabouts.”

It seems that only an early prototype was created, but we really hope to see something more from it in the future.

Thanks to Celine for the contribution!

Images:

  

Dune: Ornithopter Assault [GBA – Cancelled]

Frank Herbert’s Dune: Ornithopter Assault is a cancelled flying / shooter game made by Soft Brigade that was going to be published on the Gameboy Advance by Cryo Interactive. Development of the game started in 2001, but in summer 2002 the project was shelved, even if it was basically finished (all the missions are completable), before submission to Nintendo due to Cryo’s financial difficulties.

This is the game’s fact-sheet published at the time in the official website, now offline:

Trained by Gurney Alleck, the most efficient and honoured officer of the House of Atreides, you are going to become a specialist in piloting and fighting ornithopters. Involved in all-out war for the spice, you must surpass all of your flying skill to survive the fall of the House of Atreides and help Paul and the Fremen in their fight for Arrakis.

  • Spectacular 3D Universe on Advanced Game Boy, seen from the cockpit of the ornithopter.
  • More than 20 different missions with various objectives simple recounting, escort duties, guarding, destroying troops and buildings, capturing vehicles, collecting spice and water, etc.
  • 5 solo and multiple player modes (using 2 cable linked Advanced Game Boy) with various levels of difficulty solo mission, campaign, joint campaign and deathmatch.
  • The first adaptation of Dune, the most famous of all science fiction universes, on hand held console.

Thankfully, a rom of Ornithopter Assault was leaked online and preserved. The game can be played on GBA emulators.

Images:

Videos:

 

Radio Flyer [SNES – Cancelled]

Radio Flyer is a cancelled flying game that was in development by Ocean in 1992 for the Super Nintendo. It seems that the project was based on the film with the same name from Columbia Pictures, in which 2 young brothers escape their chaotic family life with dreams of flying. Inspired by a local legend, they attempt to build a working airplane from their ordinary red wagon.

Celine was able to find a couple fo screenshot from the game in Console Mania #13 (an italian magazine), PlayerOne #23 and EGM #25. Looking at those we can speculate that Radio Flyer could have been somehow similar to Pilot Wings SNES. The project was canned for unknown reasons but as Evan G from SNES Central has wrote, it could be because the movie was a flop / sucked.

Thanks to Celine for the contribution!

Images: