Psygnosis

Super Shadow of the Beast (IGS/ Psychnosis) – [SNES – Cancelled]

Super Shadow of the Beast would have been the Super Nintendo port of an old Amiga side-scrolling action game which was originally developed in 1989  by Reflections Interactive and published by Psygnosis. The game since then has been ported to almost every known platform at that time, so why not a Super Nintendo version?

The SNES version was developed by a company called IGS (Information Global Service) and was first reported seen at the summer edition of the 1992 Consumer Electronics Show (CES): in an article on Nintendo Power it was mentioned as a promising upcoming title for the SNES.

The original Shadow of the Beast game and most of its ports to other systems contain many grim, dark looking and bloody details such as bloody spikes, bouncing bloody eyeballs, flying skulls and decapitated enemies. To get approval from Nintendo and thus a license to publish the game on the SNES platform this port of the game had to undergo some serious censoring, mostly graphical adaptions like removal of blood,  redesigned levels and removing or redrawing of enemies.

Some screenshots of this censored SNES port were found at a site called Schnittberichte.com: they did an excellent job in showing the differences between the SNES version VS the Mega Drive one. Apparently all the efforts from IGS to change the game weren’t good enough for Nintendo USA and thus Super Shadow of the Beast was not approved.

Other rumors however state that the mature content cannot have been the only reason why Nintendo dropped the game. It’s possible that Super Shadow of the Beast was just not good enough to be released, with its poor graphics and colorful style it became something too much different from the original game and its dark atmosphere.

However  the SNES version of the game is not entirely lost: a rom of the game was leaked a while ago and it appears to be fully playable (segameplay videos below). I even came across some reproductions of actual SNES cartridges of the game if you prefer to play it directly with your original Super Nintendo console (if you still own one in working condition of course)

Censored SNES version vs SEGA Mega Drive version (Thanks to Schnittberichte.com):

Youtube gameplay video, end sequence & credits & music:

Gameplay

End Sequence & Credits

Soundtrack

 

 

 

 

 

 

Screenshots various:

Nintendo Power August 1992

  

Entropy [PSX – Cancelled?]

Among Psygnosis‘ games showed at E3 1995 there was this mysterious game called Entropy. Aside from one image found in Cd Consoles issue 8 and GameFan issue 3-7, nothing concrete is known about it. Please contact us if you have more info!

Image:

 

Urban Decay [PC – Cancelled]

Urban Decay is a cancelled action game that was in development by Andrew Spencer Studios and it would have been produced / published by Psygnosis for PC. The project was to be an ellipsoid game like Ecstatica, but it was put on hold at one point to focus on Ecstatica 2. When they went back to work on Urban Decay the design switched to a traditional polygonal engine from which no images have surfaced yet. Relationship with the studio went south after this and the game disappeared forever.  Pcloadletter sent an e-mail to Ken Doyle, that graciously replied and says in his own words:

I did work on it. The ol memory’s a bit dim but basically various issues assailed and eventually sunk the project. Firstly the main creative and design force behind the game, a guy called Eamon Butler left to pursue a successful career at Disney. He became frustrated with endless requests for design and style changes. It was originally due to be an ellipsoid game but later changed over to a more regular poly look for the sake of realism. Urban Decay was shelved so work on Ecstatica 2 could begin. We returned to Urban Decay but the studios relationship with Psygnosis soured and that was that. Studio closed and we all moved on. That’s about it. Hope this helps.

Some more info on Urban Decay can be found at Games That Weren’t (web archive, the site is currently down). Also, check the video from Ecstatica to have a better idea about how the game would have looked like in motion.

Thanks to Pcloadletter and derboo for the contributions!

Images:

Video from Ecstatica:

 

Wipeout [Beta – Playstation, PC, Saturn]

Wipeout is the first in a series of futuristic racing games developed and published by Psygnosis in 1995 for Sony PlayStation and PC, in 1996 for the Sega Saturn. Wipeout was designed in part by The Designers Republic, while the game’s vehicle designs were based on Matrix Marauders, a 3D grid-based strategy game whose concept was developed by Psygnosis employee Jim Bowers. Nick Burcombe, the game’s future designer, was inspired to create a racing game using the same types of vehicles from his experience with Powerdrome, F-Zero and Super Mario Kart. [Info from Wikipedia]

In the gallery below you can see a couple fo screens from a beta version and what is seems a FMV / target render.

Beta:


Final:


In an interview on Grumpy Old Gamers with Andy Satterthwaite we can read some memories from the early days of Wipeout:

As for the “Inspiration” the original game was very much “Mario Kart” to techno music. Nick Burcombe and Jim Bowers had designed the game from those beginnings; and an early concept video  was made.

Wipeout Target Render / Concept Video:

Thanks to Rod_Wod and Celine for the scans! Thanks to Ross Sillifant for the interview!

Images:

The Fallen [PSX PC – Cancelled]

The Fallen is a cancelled action adventure game that was in development in 1995 / 1996 by Sensory Deception and it would have been published by Psygnosis for the original Playstation and PC. Sadly just few screenshots were found by Celine in CD Consoles magazine issue #19 and Edge magazine issue #33.

Below you can read the story / setting of the game, as announced at E3 1996:

The Lords are the law enforcers of the future, maintaining their own brand of vicious law and order in cities across the U.S. The Fallen are their prey, the drop-outs from society who fall foul of The System and want to find their own way without rules. When the two meet, only chaos can follow.

Play Lord or Fallen in this huge and minutely detailed strategic adventure which takes you from coast to coast across America and offers so many real-life options, you’ll think you’re there. And with bribery, corruption, gambling and violence all on the agenda, there might not be the place you want to be.

Some of the promised features:

  • Unique characterisation system introduces realistic characters capable of complex interaction.
  • Fully textured real-time 3D graphics.
  • Non-linear structure allows the player to dictate the action strategy.
  • Huge array of fully interactive vehicles, weapons and special objects.
  • Combat includes hand-to-hand fighting, vehicle ramming and use of futuristic weapons.
  • Multi-player options (PC version)

Even if we don’t know much about the project, from this description it seems that the gameplay could have been somehow similar to a futuristic Grand Theft Auto. The Fallen was cancelled for unknown reasons, maybe because it was too ambitious for 1996.

If you know someone who worked on this game and can share some more info or media, please let us know!

Thanks to Celine for the contribution! Thanks to Jason for the english corrections!

Images:

 

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