MMORPG

Fate [XBOX – Cancelled]

Fate was a persistent, Massively Multiplayer Online Role-Playing Game (MMORPG) slated for Microsoft’s XBox. Fate planned to be the first MMOPRG for the console, and one of the pioneers in the Online RPG console genre along with Final Fantasy XI: Another World, for the Sony PlayStation2 and Phantasy Star Online, for the Sega Dreamcast. Fate promised to be XBox’s answer to Sony and Sega’s flagship Online RPGs, but more importantly hoped to be the premier Online RPG for the XBox itself. Sadly, the project was cancelled and is unknow how much work was done before the decision.

 

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Mutant Chronicles: Warzone Online [XBOX / PC – Cancelled]

Warzone Online is a cancelled Massively Multiplayer Strategy Game (MMORTS / MMORPG) that was set in the universe of the Mutant Chronicles RPG. The game was scheduled to be released on PC and Xbox, developed by Paradox Entertainment in 2000, but it was officially cancelled in early 2002.

Warzone Online was created on the Valpurgius graphics engine, developed for this game by Paradox. The 3D engine was supposed to be reused in Mutant Chronicles: Warzone, which was to be an offline single player game with the same settings.

The gameplay would have been based on the management of a small squads of soldiers, that would have improved their skills with the progress of the game.

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Phantasy Star Online (PSO) [Beta – Dreamcast]

In one of the first PSO videos, which showed the forest stage, there were four characters in front of a kind of locomotive on rails. A similar object, activated  by using the usual  pressure pads, could be found in a PSO Vr2 challenge, but in the PSO beta this was far more interesting, because the characters moved it themselves. It’s a pity that these puzzles were removed from the final version.

You can select the FOmar class from the beginning in PSO Ep. I&II, but with the gameshark you can unlock it in PSO vr2 for the Dreamcast too . Maybe it is just a leftover from the planned unified servers for PSP Ep. I&II and PSO vr2, because they were required to have the same features.

In these screenshots, we can see the beta central zone of the Pioneer 2. On the left we can see some kind of palace, which in the final version became the entering point of the ships and the meeting place for the Quests. There were many advertisement signs, but the holograms with the various sentences were still absent. In one of the screenshots we can see, other than the three main characters, some hunters in the background, gathered at what looks like a fire. In the original design of the Pioneer 2, it seems that there was another path under the city, maybe for other sections of the mothership.

In these screenshots of the beta Forest we can see many features that were removed from the final game, like wood stairs, fences and underpasses. In another video, we can see that the dragon originally made his entering through the rock wall. Another series of screenshots shows the beta version of the ships, even if on the left side of screen it is possible to see, to the contrary of the released version, the other character’s bars. Moreover, some warps are different in the Online Lobby.

In the concept arts of the Book of Hunters : PSO Settei, there are drawings of many classes (HUmarl, HUnewmn..) and mags not found in the final version of game. Some of these later resurfaced in PSO for Xbox and Gamecube, like HUcaseal, FOmar e RAmarl. Also, the beta mags could be equipped even on arms and feets.

386 Wren is a unused character, so described in the Book Of Hunters: “The character called Searren is a battle robot who was introduced in Phantasy Star III: Successors of Time (Megadrive/released 4/21/1990). According to comments made by a member of Sonic Team, “This got drawn for me when I said, ‘What if Searren appeared in PSO?’. We couldn’t use him due to time constraints. It’s a pity for it go to waste, so we’ll publish it.” Searren is a robot, borne of an ancient culture possessing extremely advanced science; as such, he differs from androids in that he lacks emotions. Programmed to obey orders only from Orakio’s people, he assists the human heroes across all three generations.”

Some more details regarding the beta video shown below were noticed by Leonkh:

  • The title screen of the game indicates “Auto Demo”, which implies that, much like the found Sonic Adventure “Auto Demo”, the game is on auto play with various areas being loaded after a set amount of time.
  • Also on the title screen, we can see a sort of opening FMV prior to the title screen of which the final game has no such thing. In particular, the final game simply fades from the opening splash screens to the the static image title screen whereas this demo has the FMV’s final shot be that of what the title screen’s static background is (albeit with a strange “water transition” effect from the final shot to the static title screen).
  • This “Auto Demo” contains the beta town location / hub “Pioneer 2” shown in some of the screenshots in the Unseen64 article.
  • As the games are Online Multiplayer games, the video shows four screens each showing the game from another players’ perspective. This is a fact that I bring up as this prototype has a completely different loading screen from the final game which also shows the artwork of the character used on that particular screen.
Furthermore a known public beta for PSO named “Network Trial Edition” was released some months before the final game. A forum post detailing some of the differences can be found here.

[Original intro in italian by monokoma, english translation by Yota]

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Phantasy Star Online Gameplay Phantasy Star Online Gameplay (02)

 

Ghouls & Ghosts Online [Proto / Cancelled]

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Ghouls & Ghosts Online was planned to be a MMO of CAPCOM’s cult classic Ghouls ‘N Goblins with platforming challenges and hordes of monsters to battle as well as community features like guilds. This project was announced at GDC in 2003 but the ambitious multiplatform MMO never saw the light of day.

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Prospero [Cancelled Valve MMORPG]

Prospero is a cancelled PC game that was in development by Valve while they were working on Half Life / Quiver. Initially the game was meant to be an action adventure, with an “science fantasy epic” storyline, lots of exploration and a complex combat system with psionic powers, but after a while the project became a MMORPG in which Valve wanted to let users to create their own worlds to have an ever-expanding universe. Prospero was canned in 1997 when Valve decided to move their effort to Half Life. Key features that were planned for Prospero were later integrated in other Valve projects, as Steam and Portal 2.

 As we can read on Half Life Wikia:

In the Half-Life sound files folder (Steam version), the music files commonly known as “Dimensionless Deepness”, “Steam in the Pipes”, “Threatening (Short)”, “Traveling Through Limbo” and “Vague Voices” are named “prospero01” to “prospero05”, which could imply that the tracks were initially made for Prospero.

Thanks to an interview with Marc Laidlaw by François Aymes for Jeuxvideo.com, we can read some more details on the project:

The Prospero development was halted in 1998, was it because of Half-Life ?
It was halted because some of us went to game shows and saw things that looked like Prospero, and felt that we weren’t doing anything that was going to make us stand out in the crowd. The project was flailing, struggling for identity, and there wasn’t a sense of great confidence. It was a natural thing to move more of our attention to Half-Life. Prospero was dead in the water well before Half-Life 2 came along.

Was Prospero supposed to feature a single player adventure ? Can you give us an idea of the plot ?
It straddled the line between single player and MMO, which was not something we could have pulled off back then. There were all sorts of possible plots, but we never got far enough to have to decide which one would work for what we were building.

Thanks to Valve Time we are able to know more about this interesting project, check the video below!

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