Before Ensemble Studios was closed, they worked on serveral prototype games, such as Nova, Sorcerer, Wrench and Phoenix, an RTS which featured humans fighting aliens (which later evolved into Halo Wars). Another protype was known as “Bam” which Ensemble describes as a “Ratchet & Clank-Style Platformer”. As seen on various images posted by the company’s employees , in the game you would have played as Sprocket and the levels had a cartoony look to them.
Originally released in Japan as Aigiina no Yogen: Balubalouk no Densetsu Yori for the Famicom, Aigina’s Prophecy is a platform with RPG elements that was supposed to be published for the NES in USA in 1988 by Vic Tokai. As we can read on Strategy Wiki:
The goal of the game is to kill enough enemies to make progress through six dungeons, each of which contains a hidden portion of the Aura Star which has been broken into five pieces. The final dungeon contains the kidnapped princess who knows how to restore the Aura Star, which will allow you to complete the game. While most exits from a room become visible when enough enemies are defeated, the entrances to the rooms which contain pieces of the star are hidden from sight until the player jumps three times in the correct place to make the entrance appear.
Some days ago Tootai was able to buy the USA prototype, that was found by an user of the RacketBoy Forum, and he confirms that Aigina’s Prophecy seems fully translated in english, but somehow it was never officially released. The previous owner has put a video of the game in his Youtube Channel, so we can have a look at it
Knuckles’ Chaotix, is a platform game in the Sonic the Hedgehog series, developed by Sonic Team, and published by Sega for the Sega 32X. The project was build on the Sonic Crackers prototype as the concepts, engine and various other materials of Crackers were almost the same (in Chaotix you can even find some unused Sonic & Tails sprites from Crackers). When Sega decided to create Chaotix, initially Espio the chamaleon was meant to be the star of the game: also in some early screens we can notice a different select screen, there were no objects in the special stages. Various beta builds of the game were released by DRX during the February 23rd, 2008 proto release.
Miss Honeybee was going to be a platform game for the Amiga: it was in development by Kaiko, but they never finished the project for some reasons. Some of the sprites, like the chikens, were used even in Timet / Mr. Nutz.
Agent 9 is a character from the Spyro The Dragon game series, a space monkey that first appeared in Spyro: Year of the Dragon for the original Playstation. Sometimes in 2003 / 2004, Vivendi Universal wanted to use Agent 9 to be the protagonist of his own platform adventure game, out from the Spyro world.
Vivendi asked to Blue Tongue Entertainment to create the initial concept for this new project, in which Agent 9 became a James-Bond-alike spy, but after a series of focus group with kids, they had to redesign the character to make him more “cool” to appeal more to the right audience. Agent 9 became Prime 8, with a more “hip” look and a gameplay that should have been similar to the Ratchet & Clank series. Sadly, even after this redesign, something went wrong during the development and Prime 8 was never released.
The Blue Tongue project was not the only Agent 9 in development: another pitch was asked to Backbone Entertainment. Backbone created a series of concept designs more true to the original character (as seen in Spyro the Dragon). In the end there were at least 2 different “Agent 9” projects, but we can speculate that Vivendi Universal did not like any of them and these games were never finished.
Clarity Jones from Backbone Entertainment wrote:
Prime 8, which was a game we were developing as a spinoff of Spyro The Dragon, actually eventually became Death JR for the PSP. When Prime 8 was cancelled, we still kept messing around with the engine and eventually Death Jr was conceived.
Thanks a lot to Peter Overstreetfor donating his artworks, created for “Agent9 Backbone”!