The Japanese Lifeline (AKA Operator’s Side) could have become another clone of Resident Evil (a special forces girl, a spaceship full of monsters …), if not for one feature: the main character was guided by only one voice. In the PS2 version, which was released in 2004, the game understood up to 5000 words, that is, the player could give complex orders like “shoot the nearest monster in the head, step back two steps.” With numerous NPCs, communication also took place through voice.
The sales were satisfactory, but it was obvious that such an idea would not go far. And it turned out to be difficult for the players to have a continuous conversation with the game for several hours. As a result, Konami had to abandon porting the game to PC (by the way, the demo version was preserved on the Web), and Lifeline remained in history as an unusual game ahead of its time.
Information is taken from «Игромания» magazine, 03 (114) 2007
Battle Jungler is a cancelled sequel / reboot of Konami’s 1981 Jungler, planned to be released on PC Engine around 1992. In the original game players move a long creature inside a maze, trying to eliminate three similar enemy creatures, so we can assume Battle Jungler would follow a similar gameplay (but with anime-style protagonists). This PC Engine version was showed in PCE Fan magazine, but then vanished forever and is mostly forgotten even by hardcore PCE players.
We can’t find much more information about this canned Konami game, but if you can read Japanese let us know if there are any interesting details in the scan below!
Battle Choice is a cancelled fantasy style chess – beat ‘em up that was in development by Konami for the NES / Famicom, around 1988. It was based on the Japanese game of chess, Shogi, but mergeing simulation and action gameplay. In addition to fantasy knights, it seems there would have been even high school girls as playable characters in the game. We can assume it would have been a fun, comical take on classic Shogi.
The gameplay would have been the same as in the original shogi, up to the point where players take turns. When the pieces come into contact with each other, action-battles begin. The combat gameplay was basically a beat ‘em up.
Unfortunately the game was never seen in screenshots from magazines of its time and little is known about it. Music tracks from Battle Choice were included in the soundtrack album “Konami Famicom Chronicle Vol.3 ROM Cassette”, released in August 2015.
Dear Blue (親愛なる青 ?) is the name of a new Konami RPG for Nintendo 64 that seems to have been quietly announced in 1998 on the March issue of Nintendo Power Magazine (Volume 106) and later seen in many list of “in development” N64 projects (such as this on by IGN). In Nintendo Power’s “Pak Watch” section we can read:
“Konami told Pak Watch to expect a new NBA title, a hockey title, an RPG tentatively called Dear Blue, a new fighting game and a game that has something to do with graffiti.”
The game was never mentioned again by magazines or websites, so we can speculate 3 possible reasons: the game was canned, the title and genre was a mistranslation of something else that was released (Goemon’s Great Adventure?), the game was canned for N64 and then released for another console (maybe Lost in Blue for Nintendo DS?).
It’ also interesting to notice that there’s a song titled “Dear Blue” in Konami’s Kukeiha Club Pro-Fusion Salamander OST released in 1996. If you’d like to dream, we could say Dear Blue was a planned Salamander RPG for Nintendo 64. But actually that’s highly improbable and we’ll never know the truth.
If you have more details about this lost N64 RPG, please let us know!
After the cancellation of Castlevania: Resurrection and the death of the Dreamcast, the same team at Konami of Americapitched a few other projects for different consoles. One of these unrealized games was a new 3D Contra with online multiplayer, planned to be developed for PS2, Xbox and PC.
They wanted to have classic single player and local coop story mode for old-school fans of the series, but at the same time testing online multiplayer for the first time.
Some details about this lost Contra game were found by fans, and preserved below to remember the existence of this cancelled concept.
“Contra’s HQ have intercepted SOS from the biggest Russian nuclear submarine that is sinking to the bottom of Barents Sea. While Contra’s HQ continues monitoring the unsuccessful rescue attempts, suddenly the submarine crews stop responding to the Russian Northern Fleet hails. Meanwhile, Contra’s spy satellite registers the beginning of nuclear missiles launch form the sub, and transmission to Russian Navy operations that Red Falcon is demanding to stop the rescue attempt otherwise there are will be a missile strike retaliation. After analyzing the spy satellite data, Contra intelligence realizes that Red Falcon is preparing its third attempt to conquer Earth by using Russian submarine as its base to assemble and power it’s robotic war machines in the safety of deep sea.
Members of Contra Forces are called in and ordered to stop the Red Falcon, and were successful in defeating evil alien entity and its forces. Or, at least they thought so. The “Red Falcon” had actually been merely wounded. It escapes the submarine blast to a secret retreat located in the mountains of Bosnia. Were alien forces lie dormant aviating for decoy Barents Sea invasion to begin, so they can start a real attack of the Earth forces? The Contra intelligence is learning that Red Falcon is not the brains behind an operation but just a pawn controlled by a mysteries alien only know as “Dark Queen”. Contra marines are called again for the final showdown.”
Story mode would have been divided into 3 worlds (Submarine, Mountain Trail and Underground Base): each one with several levels and Bosses. Past Contra protagonists could have been unlocked during the game, to be used as playable characters.
The team planned many different modes for online multiplayer. An idea was to have online coop up to 4 players, split in 2 teams that would fight through different missions before meeting again to kill the boss together. Online Versus mode was also planned, set in a virtual-reality world similar to VR missions in Metal Gear Solid. This could have been a third person or first person shooter, depending on the best prototype they could work on.
As this was only an early pitch they were still thinking about the best Konami IP to use for their first online game. If Contra could have been a risky series (because of its hardcore fans), other possibilities were open such as using the Project Overkill IP instead.
In the end disagreements between Konami of Japan and Konami America killed the american team. Many of their latest games were canned, such as Survivor: Day One for Nintendo 64.
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