Interactive Studios

Glover 2 [N64/PSX/DC – Cancelled]

Glover was a 3D platformer game developed by Interactive Studios Ltd and released for the Nintendo 64 and Playstation in 1998. A sequel was announced for Nintendo 64, Playstation and Dreamcast with a launch originally slated for mid 1999, but was later cancelled.

In 2010, NESworld recovered a playable beta of the Nintendo 64 version of Glover 2 and by October 2011, the ROM was leaked online.

Thanks to Nesworld and Goomther for the contributions!

The Bizarre Story Behind Its Cancellation

On February 25, 2015, James Steele, a programmer formerly of Interactive Studios, released a blog entry detailing the unusual circumstances which led to the cancellation of the game. According to the developer, a huge misstep at Hasbro involving one worker severely over-estimating the amount of cartridges required for the game blemished the Glover name at the company, ultimately resulting in the discontinuation of its sequel:

“…as far as we were told, Glover 2 had been canned because of Glover 1. Now this seems strange, because the first Glover has sold fairly well for a non-Nintendo N64 title. And it was on the back of those sales that Glover 2 had been given the go-ahead at Hasbro in the first place.

But Hasbro had messed up. They had screwed the pooch big time. You see, when ordering the carts for the first game, the standard production run was something like 150,000 units. And this is what the management at ISL had advised Hasbro to order – because the N64 wasn’t really fairing that well compared to the PS1 at the time and non Nintendo titles tended to sell poorly. They thought that Glover was a good game in its own right, and a moderate 3rd party success would sell around 150,000 units. And that is exactly what happened. Hence the go ahead for the sequel.

So Glover was a money maker for Hasbro, right? Right? Nuh-uh. As it happened, Nintendo had a special on N64 carts at the time the game was being schedule for production. Some bright spark at Hasbro thought it would just be absolutely SUPER to order double the normal amount – so they put in an order 300,000 units at a slightly reduced cost.

The problem was that none of the retailers wanted to take that stock off Hasbro’s hands. The game had been moderately successful, but the demand just wasn’t there. And thus Hasbro was left with 150,000 or so copies of Glover for the N64 that nobody wanted. That’s something like half-a-million dollars worth of stock that they can’t shift. And with Hasbro Interactive not being in the best of financial shape Glover became a dirty word around the company, as it became apparent over the course of Glover 2 development that they were stuck with all those carts.

Of course, the blame was put on the game and brand itself rather than the idiot who ordered the extra 150,000 carts from Nintendo. And that ladies and gentlemen, is why Glover 2 had been cancelled.”

According to Steele, who we later caught up with, the game was around 80-85% complete at the time development ceased.

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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!

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