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Wonder Momo 2 [Arcade – Cancelled]

Wonder Momo 2 (ワンダーモモ2) is a cancelled sequel to Namco’s 1987 cult classic beat ‘em up, that was in early development by the company around 1993. It seems this time players would have been able to choose between 2 super heroes / magical girls protagonists, and possibly a multiplayer coop mode could have been available.

As far as we know the game was never officially announced, but as noticed by VGDensetsu former Namco artist Tatsuya Ishikawa shared his Wonder Momo 2 some details and concept art on Twitter:

“In 1993, there was a time when we proposed a project called Wonder Momo 2 and proceeded to the p1 prototype, but at that time many VS development personnel were introduced to Tekken and it became a phantom project due to various circumstances.”

“One of the reasons for the Wonder Momo 2 project was that after the development of Newman was completed, there was a talk about whether to do Newman with Tekken’s polygon technology, but he refused to make girls cute with Poly at that time.”

Many years later a sequel to Wonder Momo titled “Wonder Momo: Typhoon Booster” was developed for Android smartphones and MAC by WayForward Technologies and published by ShiftyLook in 2014. A PC version was also planned but then cancelled.

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Nandemo!? Taihoman [Super Famicom – Cancelled]

Nandemo!? Taihoman (なんでも!? タイホマン) is a cancelled action platformer that was in development by Namco around 1995, planned to be released on the Super Famicom / SNES. A short preview of the game was also published in EGM (April 1995 issue), but in the end the game was never released in any region. It seems gameplay would have been similar to Kirby and MegaMan, with the robotic protagonist (Taihoman) being able to absorb abilities / fuse with other objects to gain new skills.

“The robot cop from a popular manga bounces into side-scrolling action! Taihoman is an unbelivably advanced mech who has been designed to combat an inept criminal syndicate. He can fuse with many devices to gain powers, line a fan to fly, a lighter to spew flames, a battery to zap foes and even a pop machine to bombard enemies with cans of cola!”

To promote the game Namco also released a Nandemo!? Taihoman manga by Taku Koide and phonecard, with a proposed anime by Sunrise that was also canned (only a pilot seems to have been seen by industry insiders).

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Xevious 3D Reboot [PS2 – Cancelled]

Around 2002 Namco wanted to reboot their Xevious series of shoot ‘em up, by creating a new 3D Xevious for Playstation 2. The team hired for this mission was Project Aces, the same people behind Ace Combat 04: Shattered Skies and the following Ace Combat games. You can imagine this would have been the perfect team to develop a new Xevious, thanks to their great 3D engine and experience with Ace Combat.

Unfortunately it seems Namco considered this Xevious remake to be less profitable than a new Ace Combat. After creating an early prototype using Ace Combat 4 engine and a few Xevious 3D models, Project Aces was moved to develop Ace Combat 5: The Unsung War.

A video from the Xevious PS2 prototype was shared by Project Aces on Twitter when they reached 5.000 followers.

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Earthbound (Mother) [GameCube – Cancelled]

In 2003 Baten Kaitos director Yasuyuki Honne proposed to Nintendo a new Mother / Earthbound RPG for GameCube, but in the end the game was cancelled. This project was pitched in summer 2003, just a few months before the release of Baten Kaitos: Eternal Wings and the Lost Ocean, possibly to become their following collaboration between Nintendo, Monolith Soft, tri-Crescendo and Namco.

While Earthbound for GameCube was never officially announced, in July 2019 Honne shown a couple images from their pitch-document on Twitter:

As you can see the game was imagined in a quirky felt-made diorama graphic style, that would have been somewhat similar to classic Earthbound promotional clay models. As translated by Nintendo Everything:

“I’m looking forward to the forthcoming book about Iwata-san. I met both Iwata-san and Itoi-san at the same time – it was back in 2003 when there were talks between Namco and Nintendo about a GameCube version of Mother. I was happy to come up with a visual concept, and when I went to Aoyama Iwata-san was also present. Itoi-san didn’t seem very interested; he felt it was a little strange, and yet we continued talks. Itoi-san said, ‘I wonder if Iwata-kun has any ideas?’ He seemed flabbergasted, he had an aura of something akin to ‘Aw jeez.’ In the end nothing came of it, but Itoi-san enjoyed the felt-like recreations of 1980’s America that I had come up with. Here are some images that I didn’t think I’d show off more than once. Ah, memories of the summer of 2003.”

Unfortunately it seems after the cancellation of Mother 3 for Nintendo 64, they were quite cautious about working on a new 3D chapter. 3 years later, Nintendo published Mother 3 on GBA and Yasuyuki Honne’s Baten Kaitos prequel (Baten Kaitos Origins) on GameCube.

By knowing what Monolith Soft were able to achieve with their RPG series, we can only imagine how much we lost with the cancellation of this “Earthbound GameCube” project. The Baten Kaitos team also had a third Baten Kaitos in development that was later canned, but they successfully released other beloved games such as Soma Bringer, Disaster: Day of Crisis and the Xenoblade Chronicles series.

You can take a look at the Sedna city in Baten Kaitos Origins (a strange world made of clay) to imagine how Earthbound Gamecube could have been like. 

Dancing Eyes HD [PS3 Move – Cancelled]

The original “Dancing Eyes” was a quirky puzzle game developed by Namco for Arcades in 1996. You move a small monkey on a grid around 3D girls to cut out their clothes piece by piece while avoiding enemies, somehow similar to the concept behind cult classic QiX.

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An “HD Remake” of Dancing Eyes was announced in 2011, to be part of the Namco Generations digital releases, along with Pac-Man Championship and Galaga Legions. As wrote by Siliconera:

“Namco announced three “models” for Dancing Eyes on the official site – Crisitia Saietta, Francoise Mystere, and Musaki Kikka who appears to be tied to Japanese voice actress who played Alicia in Valkyria Chronicles.”

It seems this Dancing Eyes HD would have been a PS3 exclusive (with PS Move support) but in the end the project was canned for unknown reasons.

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