platfom

Fuzz and Rocket (Halfbrick) [GBA – Cancelled]

Fuzz and Rocket is a cancelled side scrolling platformer inspired by Yoshi’s Island, which was in development around 2003 by Halfbrick Studios (Ty the Tasmanian Tiger 2, Fruit Ninja) for Game Boy Advance. It featured an aim mechanic similar to Yoshi’s 16-Bit adventure, where you threw the protagonist’s sidekick (Rocket) to resolve puzzles or to kill enemies. At the time a few gaming websites posted news about the game and it even had a nomination at the 2003 Australian Game Developers Awards. As we can read from the old Halfbrick website:

“Fuzz and Rocket is an immersive 2D action platformer which incorporates both substance and style. It is centred around the main character, Fuzz and his sidekick, Rocket as  they try to restore order to the land of Fulu. Mysterious masks have possessed the rulers of the 8 kingdoms of Fulu causing them to make life difficult for their subjects. It is up to Fuzz and Rocket to figure out what’s going on and trace the masks back to their source! Many challenges and obstacles stand in their way.

Fuzz and Rocket features over 8 unique worlds encompassing over 32 levels, numerous bonus games, in-game cutscenes and varied gameplay to keep players entertained for hours.

Fuzz and Rocket is Halfbrick Studios’ first Game Boy Advance title based on an original concept, which is currently in development. Fuzz and Rocket has been developed in-house using Halfbrick Studios’ proprietary engine and tools. We are currently looking for expressions of interest regarding its publication.”

The game was last seen at E3 2005 and as far as we know it was pretty close to being done, but in the end the team was not able to find a publisher before the GBA was replaced by Nintendo DS: Fuzz and Rocket was canned and forgotten by everyone.

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Pac-Man World 4 [Cancelled – Xbox 360, PS3]

After releasing Pac-Man World 3 in 2005, between 2008 / 2010 Namco America (Namco Hometek) were working on a “Next Gen” Pac-Man 3D platformer for Xbox 360 and Playstation 3. While this “Pac-Man World 4” was never officially announced, fans of the series found a concept trailer created for the project by a former Namco animator. Gameplay looked similar to previous Pac-Man World chapters: Pac-Man would have been able to roll and run around the levels, transforming itself into different forms such as a propeller and some kind of spiky drill.

We don’t know why this project was never completed and fans had to wait till 2013 for another Pac-Man platformer, when Namco released Pac-Man and the Ghostly Adventures. Concept art created for this lost game are preserved below, to remember its existence.

Thanks to Marie for the contribution!

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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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Trunski (Core Design) [Game Gear – Cancelled]

Trunski is a cancelled platformer that was in development by Core Design (Chuck Rock, Tomb Raider, Fighting Force) around 1993 – 1994 for Sega Game Gear. The game was shown at Winter CES 1993 and a single screenshot was published in Consoles+ magazine (issue 29, February 1994, found by Youloute):

“Trunski is an elephant. After a little tour away from his native jungle, he returns to realize that it is now populated by infamous rhinoceros. Under the leadership of Rhinus P.Itus, they plan to set up a mining installation in the middle of Trunski’s territory. In summary, this platform game is non-violent, humorous, ecological and politically correct.”

Not much is known about this cancelled project as most details about its existence are already forgotten and lost in time. If you know someone who worked at Core Design on Trunski and could help to preserve more screens, footage or details about the game, please let us know!

 

Bonk 64 (Ultra Genjin) [N64 – Cancelled]

Bonk (also known as “PC Genjin” in Japan and “BC Kid” in Europe) is the name of the main character in a series of platforming games that was started on the PC Engine in 1990 when the first title, Bonk’s Adventure, was developed by Hudson. Bonk soon became the mascot of Hudson in an 8/16-bit market filled with mascot-platformers (Mario, Sonic, etc.) and they released a few sequels for PC Engine and Super Famicom.

When Nintendo announced their Ultra 64 in late 1994 many Japanese companies started to plan 3D versions of their main properties for the 64 bit console and with the showcase of Mario 64 it looked like 3D platforming was finally finding its roots. At the time Hudson had a very good relationship with Nintendo, in 1997 they released Dual Heroes and Bomberman 64, while sometime later they also co-developed Mario Party together, a title that became a popular hit with the N64 user-base.

What most gamers do not know is that in 1995 Hudson in cooperation with A.I Studio (the team that already worked on other PC Genjin titles) were also planning a new, exclusive Bonk game for the Ultra 64, tentatively titled “Ultra Genjin”, that would have been the first 3D Bonk game to be released.

Unfortunately the Ultra Genjin team was still not used to creating 3D platforming games and they were not sure about how to develop this new version of Bonk or how to implement its characteristic 2D design into 3D graphics. In the end they decided to cancel the project and focus on other titles. The images you can see on this page are the only remaining documents on the development of Ultra Genjin with the first draft of Bonk in 3D.

bonk 64 Ultra Genjin Nintendo64 cancelled

bonk 64 Ultra Genjin Nintendo64 cancelled

After some years Hudson and A.I took the early work they had done on Bonk 64 to develop Bomberman Hero which was finally released in 1998 on the N64. As we can read in an interview by GDRI with Shouichi Yoshikawa:

GDRI: What happened with Ultra Genjin [N64]?

Yoshikawa: Ultra Genjin was being planned during the game industry’s transition from 2D to 3D games. I studied the practical aspects of this quite a bit, but I think that nobody really knew what should be done with games at the time. As a result of trial and error, we were able to adapt the design for Ultra Genjin to Bomberman Hero.”

The last original Bonk game released for consoles remains Cho Genjin 2, published in 1995 for the Super Famicom and the series never had a proper 3D incarnation. Other 3D Bonk games were cancelled many years later including Bonk 3D for Nintendo 3DS and Bonk: Brink of Extinction for Wii, Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3.

Because of several financial losses Hudson sold most of its shares to Konami and in 2012 Hudson Soft Co. Ltd completely ceased to exist and fully merged with Konami, losing all of their IPs. It’s currently unknown if we’ll ever see another Bonk game in the future.