RPG

Magic Formation WARS [WonderSwan Color – Cancelled]

When Bandai unveiled a GPS add-on for WonderSwan at Spring Tokyo Game Show 2001, Namco shown three games compatible with the new device. Magic Formation WARS (known in japanese as 魔放陣WARS) was an RPG that used the peripheral to determinate where battles were held and monsters formation. You could draw a spell on the map to cast a magic. The only other detail known was that the story was divided in scenarios. When the GPS for WonderSwan failed to be marketed it’s likely that Namco cancelled the project.

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Final Fantasy 3 Remake [WonderSwan Color – Cancelled]

Bandai‘s Wonderswan was an handheld system released exclusively in Japan in 1999. This console was especially sought after because around December 1999 Bandai struck a deal with Squaresoft to bring their games to the console. The first projects announced were the remake of the first three Final Fantasy, a chocobo game, Romancing SaGa and a port of Seiken Densetsu 2 (known as Secret of Mana in the west).

However not all of these games would seen a release at retail as Seiken Densetsu 2 was never seen again. Final Fantasy III shared the same destiny although it was shown on the official Squaresoft site: Final Fantasy III Wonderswan archieved site

This cancellation was especially notable because the Final Fantasy remakes , which were bundled with the system, were the biggest sellers on Wonderswan Color. Later, after a brief rumor on a possible remake on PlayStation 2, Final Fantasy 3 was unveiled as new 3D remake for Nintendo DS that eventually sold around 2 million units worldwide. This 3D remake, very different from the 2D remake proposed for Wonderswan, would be made available on PSP, iOS and Android years after the original DS release.

In 2007 Hiromichi Tanaka explained why the Wonderswan remake was canned:

When we developed FF3, the volume of content in the game was so huge that the cartridge was completely full, and when new platforms emerged, there simply wasn’t enough storage space available for an update of FF3, because that would have required new graphics, music and other content. There was also a difficulty with how much manpower it would take to remake all of that content.

The strange thing is that Final Fantasy I and II remakes and Final Fantasy IV were all deployed on a 4MB cartridge and Wonderswan theoretical biggest cartridge size was 16MB in fact a few games (even Squaresoft own Front Mission) were stored on 8MB cartridge, with Konami’s Beatmania being the only game weighting 16MB so storage space limitation is unlikely to be the main culprit.

It’s very likely that the shaking Wonderswan market in 2001/2002 (the system was discontinued by Bandai in 2003) along with the costs in developing a 2D remake sealed the fate of this project.

Scan from Playmag issue 52.

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Black-Eyed Noir: Cielgris Chronicle [WonderSwan – Cancelled]

In March 2000 game developer Gust announced the sequel to their PlayStation 1 simulation RPG Kuroi Hitomi no Noir: Cielgris Fantasm for Bandai’s Wonderswan. Called Kuroi Hitomi no Noir: Cielgris Chronique or 黒い瞳のノア ~シェルグリスクロニーク~ in kanji (translated as Black-Eyed Noir: Cielgris Chronicle) the game is actually a prequel.

The main character is a young swordsman known as Sels, who is a pioneer of the foundation of his kingdom. After he gathered 8 warriors, they get blown into the storm of war.
The game’s system was supposedly been made simpler for the portable version and a new feature was added so that the weight of the characters’ equipment influence the turn order, allowing more strategy when equipping characters. This RPG was planned to be released in June 2000 but for unknown reason it was never distributed.

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Princess Maker: Yumemiru Yousei [WonderSwan Color – Cancelled]

A new game in the Princess Maker (プリンセスメーカー) series was in development for Wonderswan, but cancelled in the end. The title was revealed back when Wonderswan Color was announced, it was to be published by Bandai Visual but after it was postponed, it never saw a release on Bandai’s system.

As noted by xdaniel the game disappeared from Bandai release lists around March-August 2001 so it’s likely it was cancelled in that period.

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Lufia 2 [Beta – SNES]

As we can read on Wikipedia, Lufia II: Rise of the Sinistrals, released in Japan for the Super Famicom under the name Estpolis Denki II, is an RPG developed by Neverland and published in Japan in 1995 by Taito, as a prequel to Lufia & The Fortress of Doom. In July 2012, Jackhead shared in the Assembler Games forum some screens and videos from an early beta version of Lufia 2, that has many differences from the final one.

The proto has many difference to the final Version! Complete other worldmap, other skills, many different screens. Awesome! I have to replace the battery, than i can show more from the proto.

The differents are big. The last two picture are the same dungeon. In the Final version Maxim has a bow and sword. In the proto you go complete different way without an bow.  In the Final Version you have a skill “GUT” in proto “FAI”. You also start with 50 elixier, and the difficult is much higher as in the Final version. Playtime on the proto also show seconds. And of corse the worldmap is complete different. Fighting animation, menue options… Thats what i see in the first 5 min off the game.

First bossfights never seen in retail version

While trying to dump the cart to preserve the game, something went wrong:

I was trying to dump the eproms with my willem. After that i replace it on the pcb but something is wrong… Game crash now after intro, sound is bad.
This is really really bad. The dumps also crashed after intro… All Dumps merged, nothing wrong with the dump itself.
I conatct a few persons, maybe the eproms are corrupt or a conection problem.
At this point i quit and give the cart away. I really hope someone out there can fix it. Im sorry…

Luckily Trevormacro with the help of JLukas from the Assembler Games Forum, were able to fix this problem and saved the Lufia 2 beta!

The prototype is way different from the final and a lot of different sprites, tiles, and possible music and sound

Thanks to Michel for the contribution!

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