RPG

Blunders (Branders) [PC Engine – Cancelled]

Blunders (AKA Branders, ブランダーズ) is a cancelled cyberpunk RPG that was in development around 1992 by IGS (AKA International Games System, アイ・ジー・エス) for PC Engine. From the available screenshots it looks like players would have been able to explore sci-fi cities in a top-down view, with turn based combat similar to Phantasy Star. At the time PC Engine Fan magazine published a 2-pages preview of Blunders, so there are some details available: if you can translate the most important parts in English, please let us know!

Thanks to Celine for the contribution

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Monster City Naga (Irem) [NES / Famicom – Cancelled]

Monster City Naga (魔獣都市ナーガ – Maju Toshi Naga) is a cancelled JRPG that was in development by Compile and it would have been published by Irem for Nintendo Famicom (NES). It was quite an ambitious project for its time: it would feature an internal clock to track real-life hours (similar to Animal Crossing), so NPCs could move and act according to the time of day.

Japanese websites seem to indicate the game was completed, but never released for unknown reasons. In november 2020 some screenshots were found and shared on Twitter (thanks to Heimao!). By looking at these images the main protagonist looks a bit like the one from the manga “Bio Booster Armor Guyver”, but as far as we know they are unrelated.

Apart from its interesting real-time mechanic, gameplay seen in these images seem on par with classic 8-Bit JRPGs: world and city exploration, talking to NPCs and turn-based battles against monsters.

If you find more images or details about Monster City Naga in old gaming magazines, please let us know!

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The King of Cosplays [Neo Geo Pocket – Cancelled?]

The King of Cosplays is a cancelled RPG that may have been in development around 1999 – 2000 by Viccom, possibly to be published by SNK for their Neo Geo Pocket. This is quite the strange and previously unknown game, but our friend and Korean-gaming expert Sam Derboo found a short article about it in Korean Game Power magazine (July 2000 issue):

“The King of Cosplays supposedly in development 1999~2000 at Viccom, NGPC RPG where your characters get stronger the more convincingly cosplay as SNK characters”

Could Viccom and SNK really have been working on a Cosplay-RPG? While the concept sounds weird, we know there were quite some strange / original titles on Neo Geo Pocket, such as Dark Arms: Beast Buster, the “SNK vs. Capcom: Card Fighters Clash” series, Biomotor Unitron and Ganbare Neo Poke-Kun. Also as noted by Sam, “Viccom is known to have cooperated with SNK on several levels (development support / training for Fight Fever, NeoGeo distribution in Korea including NGPC, ties to The Real Kim Kap-hwan) so it’s not completely incredible.

At the moment this scan is the only proof we have of the existence of The King of Cosplays. Could this have been a Game Power magazine inside-joke? While we may never know the truth, for sure it could have been quite the amazing niche RPG if ever released. If you’ll find something else about this mysterious NGPC game, please let us know.

Thanks to Sam Derboo for the contribution! 

Meiyaku no Teigi [PC Engine – Cancelled]

Meiyaku no Teigi (盟約の定義, tr. “Definition of a Pledge”) is a cancelled RPG that was in development around 1991 – 1992 by Human Entertainment, planned to be published for the PC Engine. While in an old magazine ad it was labeled as “science fantasy”, from the look of its characters and settings it looked more like a traditional medieval-fantasy RPG.

Some more details were published in the “Human Club Vol. 8” promotional leaflet, so if you can read Japanese and would like to translate a short list of its main features described in there, please leave a message below!

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Western Lords [GBA, Nintendo DS, PC – Cancelled]

Western Lords is a cancelled Old-West RPG in development around 2004 by Blossomsoft for GBA, Nintendo DS and PC. In its initial version it looked like a classic 16-bit 2D RPG, but it seems it was later rebooted in 3D for Nintendo DS before being finally canned.

As we can read in some old messages in their (now closed) forum, the game was related to another unreleased game titled “Sagrada Guardians”:

“We’re currently working on a new game project titled Western Lords. Note, however: even though Sagrada Guardians was once titled Western Lords in the past (and then changed due to the theme issue), these games are not the same.

While Sagrada Guardians focus on ‘the cities made of gold’ theme, Western Lords will focus more on outlaws and cowboys in a merciless environment similar to Mexico. However, some story elements of Sagrada Guardians will be introduced via Western Lords.

Even if Sagrada Guardians and Western Lords shouldn’t be considered as the same series, they will be running in parallel to one another. Western Lords will have an entire new cast of characters, and should take place approximately one century before Sagrada Guardians on the same world. Take note that the environment will be darker unlike the fantastic ambiance of Sagrada Guardians. This will remind everyone how harsh the western era looked like (well, at least in literature!).

We hope to complete the game during this coming winter, exactly as we did with Oracle Adventure with the creative side. The game will possibly be sold for around $25 on PC. We’re also planning multi-languages, English and French as initial languages.

Also key members of Sagrada Guardians will be working on Western Lords. For instance, Xavier Dang will be the main composer and William Knight will be in charge of the dialogues. Min ‘keiii’ Kwon will possibly stay on as the artwork designer, though this is unconfirmed as of yet. “

The game was cancelled when the team was disbanded, as confirmed by the team leader on their old website:

“It was the very first project I created back around 2004. The Game Boy Advance and later the Nintendo DS were the main targeted platforms. Sadly, the team disbanded because of my inexperience and since then I’ve been honing my skills to become a one-man team. Fact is, the release of Eternal Eden in 2008 was some sort of Plan B to get Western Lords back on track. But then things escalated to Plan C, etc. I still intend to revive this project with a different style after 2016, if things go well.”

Blossomsoft also worked on other interesting cancelled games such as Mimic Book and GUNNARr (both for Nintendo DS). In 2016 an early prototype version of Western Lord GBA was found and preserved: you can download it from here.

In 2008 Blossomsoft released a different RPG titled “Eternal Eden” on PC as their first commercial project. As of 2020 it seems Western Lords was resurrected and it’s now planned to be released on Nintendo Switch in the future.

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