Lufia 3: Ruins Chaser [PSX – Cancelled]

In early ’98 japanese publisher Nihon Flex announced that it was funding the development of the third game in the Lufia series (known as Biography of Estpolis in Japan ). Lufia 3: Ruins Chaser took place 300 years after Lufia 1. Neverland Company intention was to conclude the popular SNES story line and at the same time begin a new one. There were six main characters and the graphics was said to be isometric 2D similar to past Neverland Company work, Energy Breaker.

At Spring Tokyo Game Show ’98 , held at Makuhari Messe in Tokyo from March 21 to 22, Flex unveiled Lufia 3 for the first time giving out a 12 pages booklet, and a video with it, with preliminary artworks and details. The title was reported to be 20% completed. Natsume , the american publisher, confirmed at E3 ’98 that the game was scheduled for the second quarter of 1999 for Playstation.

However in July ’98 Nihon Flex declared bankruptcy thus forcing the project to be put on hold. In mid 1999 the development was resumed but on the more modest Game Boy Color and completely changing the previous work, the game dropped the III and was subtitled “The Legend Returns”.

Below you can see the original Lufia 3 artworks, the video bundled with the booklet at Spring TGS ’98 and a music video with a song shared by composer Yukio Nakajima thanks to Forfeit Island and SinReVi. Also japanese site RPG Data Library was a good source of information.

In February 2016 the full design doc of Lufia 3 was offered on the Japanese Yahoo auction website, here’s a Google translation of the description (if you can make a better one, let us know!):

Released in 1998, it had been scheduled is planning specifications set of “Lufia III”. Released from Japan flex company had been planned, but now on sale canceled due to the company’s bankruptcy. This exhibit will be the complete set of game specifications at that stage.
※ total 320 sheets, it will print out basically A4.

Scenarios related (plot, dungeon maps) 109 sheets
– Battle screen specification layout 43 sheets
– Eight field map specification layout
– Five world map specification layout
Camp specification layout 30 sheets
· Balloon specification layout nine
Movie picture 27 sheets Conte
Capsule Monster rough design 13 sheets
Party character combat pattern, 40 sheets monster material
Image board 22 sheets
Image board 14 sheets (B4 size)
Not included in the material to a floppy disk of the scenario data is lost ※.

If you read this article, Lufia, or it was supposed III become what game is in response to the Lufia II. In addition, you can understand, but was scheduled to use how hard that PlayStation. To save the state was bad, torn envelopes you put a document, a stain, but there is a folding trace etc., There is no problem to read the article. In addition, there is a folding mark at the center in all of the image board of B4 size, There is a tear marks on the part of the character rough image.


Spring TGS ’98 Trailer:

Yukio Nakajima original song:


Dark Eyes [Dreamcast – Cancelled]

In 1999 Sega announced that two PC fantasy RPG were heading to its flagship console. One was Bioware’s Baldur’s Gate while the other was NextTech‘s Dark Eyes. Sadly neither of them would end up running on Dreamcast. Set in a fantasy world, Dark Eyes enabled hundreds, if not thousand, of simultaneous players to interact and do battle via the Dreamcast’s built-in modem. An article appeared on PlayerOne issue 99 suggested how 3000 player could reside in the same universe and that the game was compatible with the ZIP drive.


Dark Empire [GBA – Cancelled]

Dark Empire is an unreleased RPG that was in development by Marvelous Entertainment for the GameBoy Advance. This project was previusly unknown, untill an auction for its prototype was posted by Sample_Seller on Ebay in June 2009. As we can read from the item description:

DARK EMPIRE for the Gameboy Advance !!



Will run on any US Gameboy Adance system. Original promo/sample game was never released or completed, game is playable but only around 30% complete. Very good graphics for Gameboy Advance, you have a world map, a castle you can go to and a village. Ingame text is Japanese, developer most probably Marvelous Entertainment.

It’s fun to notice how the developers used some real photos (as one of Mel Gibson from the Braveheart film) as placeholders for the characters avatars in the game, before the final ones were finished. The gameplay would have probably been like a traditional RPG / SRPG, and looking at one of the photos added in the auction it seems that there were some 3D scenes too (maybe for the combats?).


Pokemon Heart Gold & Soul Silver [DS – Beta / Unused Stuff]

Before Pokemon Heart Gold & Soul Silver were released, there were beta pictures from CoroCoro magazine that showed Silver’s, Chikorita’s, Pikachu’s and Pikachu-colored Pichu’s beta sprites. These were changed later on. There is also a beta back sprite of Ethan. His hair is slightly different and there is a symbol on his hat.

Beta screenshots also exist, one of the Slowpoke Well that instead shows a Team Rocket grunt standing where Proton is in the final version, as was the case in the original games, and another of the Mystri Stage in Sinjoh Ruins that shows the three circles being identical instead of three different colors in the final version.

Also, Cyndaquil’s sprite in the intro is different from its front sprite in the main games. 

Breath of Fire 3 [Beta Concept – Playstation]

Breath of Fire 3 (III) is a RPG developed by Capcom Production Studio 3 and published in September 1997 (Japan) for the PlayStation. The project went through a lengthy development phase with numerous delays, mostly due to several writing and design changes mid-progress.

Character artist Tatsuya Yoshikawa went through numerous preliminary beta designs for each character, only settling on a finalized set of drawings after many character sprites and portraits were already completed. As a result, some character’s in-game appearances differ from official promotional material, such as child Ryu having a different hairstyle and wardrobe than his final design. [Info from Wikipedia]

In EGM #83 (from June 1996) there was a small article about the initial development of Breath of Fire 3, in which they shown some of the earliest character designs for Ryu and Nina, with a style more similar to Breath of Fire 2’s one.

Early Beta Concept Art:

Final Design:

More concept arts can be found in the Breath of Fire III Memorial Book and other Capcom’s official Art books. Some of these can be seen in the Dragon Tear gallery!