rpg

Project Exile (Studio Archcraft) – [GBA – cancelled]

Black Sigil: Blade of the Exiled is a role-playing game produced by a Canadian company Studio Archcraft and published by Graffiti Entertainment in 2009 on the Nintendo DS platform. After their first ideas for a game in 2001, actual game development started way back in 2003 on another platform: the Game Boy Advance.

The project became known as “Project Exile” and it was meant to be a Super Nintendo style RPG in the likes of Chrono Trigger. In June 2006 Studio Archcraft however took the decision to port the complete game over to the Nintendo DS instead of releasing it on the Game Boy Advance. In an interview (see screenshots below + another interview in here) developer Archcraft described the change of console as mostly a business decision. The Game Boy Advance was nearing the end of it’s life cycle and the Nintendo DS would provide them more freedom design-wise and more flexibility in memory/ screen space.

Although the Nintendo DS was capable of playing Game Boy Advance titles the company took the decision to completely port the title and abandon the Game Boy Advance version. Development must have been quite far judging the quite good looking screenshots of the game as well as a promotional/ gameplay video dated 2006 I found. I also retrieved a progress report stating a 70% completion dating back to June 2004.

Also found below are some screenshots dating June 2006 from Archcraft’s old website: all Game Boy Advance material but also the announcement of porting the game to the Nintendo DS.  So June 2006 end of a promising game: Black Sigil: Blade of the Exiled aka Project Exile for the Game Boy Advance.

Images:

promotional/ gameplay Video by Archcraft – 2006:

progress report & interview 2006:

 

 

 

 

 

website screenshots archive.org:

Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic 3 [Cancelled – Xbox 360, PC]

Star Wars Knights of the Old Republic 3 is the cancelled third chapter in the popular RPG series developed by BioWare and published by LucasArts. The project was started by LucasArts in 2003 / 2004 when they canned another Star Wars MMO for console named “Proteus” and planned to reuse the same team and part of the already created designs to develop a new KotOR game. Unfortunately KotOR 3 followed the same fate and they later decided to cancel the project because of LucasArts’ financial problems, when the management did not want to invest money and time in such an expensive game.

A few KotOR 3 concept arts created during the design phase were leaked online and we can see new robots (Q-10), spaceships (Dashaad Fighter, Sith Troop Transport, Coruscant Vehicle) and characters. Some more details on KotOR 3 were published in 2008 in the bookRogue Leaders: The Story of LucasArts”, in which they revealed that one of the new characters was a woman named “Naresha”.

“Upon the cancellation of the Proteus project, team and elements of the designs were applied to Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic 3, which, according to designer John Stallford, “got quite a bit of traction… we wrote a story, designed most of the environments/worlds, and many of the quests, characters, and items.” However, this new game direction fell victim to LucasArts hitting possibly the most difficult period in the company’s history.”

We can only hope that one day someone could share more artworks and info from the early development of KotOR 3.

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Videos:

 

Eternal Chain [Playstation – Cancelled]

Eternal Chain (エターナルチェイン) is a cancelled RPG that was in development in 1998 / 1999 by Victor Interactive Software, a gaming studio created in 1996 when its parent company Victor Entertainment wanted to focus on music publishing business and the remaining developers merged with Pack-In-Video. Victor Interactive is mostly known for the production of the Harvest Moon series, but in late ‘90 they developed and released a few other Playstation games, as “Boundary Gate: Daughter of Kingdom”, “The Airs” and “My Home Dream”: unfortunately Eternal Chain was never completed for unknown reasons.

Character design for the game was conceived by popular artist Range Murata (mostly known for his work on such anime as Last Exile and Blue Submarine No. 6.) and a few promotional phone cards were even released in Japan. Eternal Chain was shown (in playable form?) at Tokyo Game Show 1998 and 1999 so it’s possible that out there there could be some footage of the game to be found. The plot of Eternal Chain was summarized by RPG Gamer:

“16,000 years ago humans lived on Mars. After using up the resources of Mars, the humans started moving to Earth. At that time another lifeform, Gods, inhabited the Earth. After the humans settled on Earth, they eventually split into 2 groups, those who liked the Gods, and those who disliked Gods. It was only a matter of time before battles between Gods and the two groups of humans began.”

A few articles, screenshots and Murata’s comments about Eternal Chain were published in different japanese gaming magazines:

  • “Megami Magazine” (メガミマガジン, Animedia September issue separate volume special edition) Vol.1
  • “Game Walker” Vol.54
  • “HYPER PlayStation” 98 / December issue
  • Weekly “Famitsu” [ASCII Corporation] No.513.98.11 / 20 No. -99.1 / No. 22
  • “PlayStation magazine” 98 / No.21
  • “Famitsu PS” [ASCII Corporation] Nos. 98 / 10.23
  • Weekly “The PlayStation” [SOFT BANK] Vol.122.12

If you are able to find scans for these magazines, please let us know!

The theme song for Eternal Chain titled “Before the Celebration Festival” (祝祭の前) was composed by  Akino Arai and published in 2002 by Victor Entertainment in a CD titled “RGB”. As we can read on vgmdb:

  • 09 PlayStation canceled game Eternal Chain (エターナルチェイン) theme song
  • Composed by: Akino Arai
  • Arranged by: Akino Arai & Hisaaki Hogari
  • Vocal by: Akino Arai
  • Background Vocal: Akino Arai
  • Piano: Akino Arai
  • Strings: Hijiri Kuwano Strings
  • Synthesizer Manipulating: Shunsuke Sakamoto
  • Programming & Manipulating: Hisaaki Hogari
  • Lyrics by: Akino Arai

In 2003 Victor Interactive Software was acquired by Marvelous Entertainment and officially became Marvelous Interactive.

Thanks to Youlute for the contribution!

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Videos (main theme):

 

Oriental Blue [Nintendo 64DD – Cancelled]

oriental blue nintendo 64dd cancelled

Oriental Blue is a cancelled RPG in the Far East of Eden (Tengai Makyō) series that was in development by Hudson and Red Entertainment for Nintendo 64DD in late ‘90. The Tengai Makyo series was started in 1989 with the help of Oji Hiroi, the same author behind the Sakura Wars series, and even if it was one of the most popular RPG series in Japan in the ’90, only one chapter of Far East of Eden was officially translated in english. Oriental Blue 64DD was announced by Hudson in japanese gaming magazines (?) as one of the few RPGs planned for Nintendo’s ill-fated Disk Drive, but as the add-on was postponed many times and then discontinued soon after its release in Japan, the game was quietly canned and Hudson never shown any official images from the game. A few years later, in an interview published on the japanese Nintendo website, Kaori Shirozu (director and designer at Hudson at the time) explained that the project was resurrected and re-developed as a GBA game and finally released in 2003 as Oriental Blue: Ao no Tengai. The Nintendo 64DD version of Oriental Blue would have probably looked like the GameCube remake of Tengai Makyō II: Manjimaru (also released in 2003), with 3D low-poly environments and sprite based characters.

Oriental Blue: Ao no Tengai on GBA:

oriental blue gba

Tengai Makyo II: Manjimaru on GameCube:

Tengai Makyo 2 Manjimaru GameCube

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Labyrinth / Legend [Playstation – Tech Demo]

In the first months of 1994, before launching its first console, Sony created a few tech demos in order to show to the public the hardware capabilities of the new Playstation: F-1, T-Rex, Fighting Demo  and so on. In june 1994, Edge published an article about a video with some PSX tech demos that recently aired on japanese Tv Asahi’s program Tonight. One of them, a yet unnamed  platform game, eventually became Jumping Flash, but the most interesting of them was “Legend“, a first person dungeon crawler (no relation with King’s Field) that remained just a tech demo / concept:

legend labyrinth 1994 psx
In this tech demo video the player moved around the dungeon‘s fully textured, highly detailed corridors and encounter a massive dragon. Another screenshot of Legend (now called “Labyrinth“), appeared in august 1994 on Edge 11:

labyrinth tech demo psx

We don’t know which team developed the Labyrinth / Legend concept for Sony or if the latter was ever planned to become a full game. If you have more info about this tech demo, please let us know in the comments below!

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