irem

Monster City Naga (Irem) [NES / Famicom – Cancelled]

Monster City Naga (魔獣都市ナーガ – Maju Toshi Naga) is a cancelled JRPG that was in development by Compile and it would have been published by Irem for Nintendo Famicom (NES). It was quite an ambitious project for its time: it would feature an internal clock to track real-life hours (similar to Animal Crossing), so NPCs could move and act according to the time of day.

Japanese websites seem to indicate the game was completed, but never released for unknown reasons. In november 2020 some screenshots were found and shared on Twitter (thanks to Heimao!). By looking at these images the main protagonist looks a bit like the one from the manga “Bio Booster Armor Guyver”, but as far as we know they are unrelated.

Apart from its interesting real-time mechanic, gameplay seen in these images seem on par with classic 8-Bit JRPGs: world and city exploration, talking to NPCs and turn-based battles against monsters.

If you find more images or details about Monster City Naga in old gaming magazines, please let us know!

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Geopolitic Shima ni Okeru Kokka Kobo Ron [NES / Famicom – Cancelled]

Irem developed and published many games for the NES / Famicom, such as Holy Diver, Hammerin’ Harry and Deadly Towers. They also had many projects that were never released, and this “Geopolitic Shima ni Okeru Kokka Kobo Ron” is one of them.

This is a really obscure and forgotten strategy / simulation game planned for the Famicom, and only a couple of images were found in a japanese magazine by Youlute.

Geopolitic-Shima-ni-Okeru-Kokka-Kobo-Ron-Irem-Famicom

It seems players would have been able to plan their war against enemy armies, to control the whole world. As it happens with old, cancelled 8 bit games, we don’t know much more about this one: at least we can now remember its existence. Maybe one day someone could find a prototype and share it with the world. 

Zettai Zetsumei Toshi 4: Summer Memories [Cancelled – PS3]

Zettai Zetsumei Toshi 4: Summer Memories was going to be the fourth installment of the franchise known variously in the west as SOS Escape, Raw Danger or Disaster Report. Developed by Irem only for Playstation 3, it was supposed to be released in march 2011, but it got delayed after the Tōhoku earthquake that struck Japan and in the end the game was cancelled probably also due to Irem’s financial difficulties.

According to Andriasang blog, these were the main features of the game:

The game takes place in a big city in the year 201X. It’s July, the heart of summer, and your character is visiting the city for a job interview. The city is suddenly hit with a major earthquake.

The game will feature over 60 characters, the largest in series history. You’ll need to work with these people to escape.

There are a few new features Irem highlights for Disaster Report 4:

You can enter collapsed buildings, within which you’ll find survivors and additional escape routes.
You’ll find new items, including crutches for when your legs are injured.
The game has a new “cleanliness” parameter for your character. If your character gets too dirty, your stress will rise. To increase your cleanliness parameter, you need to…
Use the toilet!. This is a new facility for Disaster Report 4. You can use the toilet to increase your cleanliness parameter

You’re free to customize your character. At the start of the game, you can set gender, face style, and hair style. As you work through the game, you’ll earn over 100 clothing items, including suits and casual outfits.

Also, here is the 1up interview where the director talks about the game cancellation, and the article on hardcoregaming101.

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Steambot Chronicles 2 (Bumpy Trot 2) [PS3 – Cancelled]

Steambot Chronicles 2 (AKA Poncotsu Roman Daikatsugeki: Bumpy Trot 2 in Japan) is a cancelled steampunk sandbox / action mech game that was in development for the Playstation 3 by Irem, originally announced on September 2006, at the Tokyo Game Show. Steambot Chronicles 2 was officially canceled along with several other Irem games following the Japanese tsunami / earthquake in march 2011. It’s possible that Irem had already some problems with the development of Steambot Chronicles 2 and the natural disaster in Japan was just the nail in the coffin for this interesting project.

As wrote by Tollmaster on Mecha Damacy:

it seems that the original Steambot Chronicles is doomed to remain a one-off work of genius, an inexplicably deep and mold-breaking PlayStation 2 game where players finally got to see the civilian side of mecha. There was a living, breathing world outside the game’s mechanical boss battles and pitched tournaments; loading up lumber on your clunky steam-powered robot’s flatbed to help construct a bridge in-between playing the harmonica in a touring band and helping root out vast conspiracies seeking to control the world’s oil supply immersed you into something deeper than any other game has ever hoped to.

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