RPG

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.

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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 !!

RARE ORIGINAL SAMPLE/PROMO VERSION !!

FIRST ONE EVER FOUND !!

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?).

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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!

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Ring Age [Dreamcast – Cancelled]

Ring Age is a cancelled turn-based RPG that was in development by Takuyo Kougyo for the Dreamcast. The project was meant to have an online multiplayer mode along with a traditional single player story mode, but not many info were ever released about the internet features. Ring Age was soon forgotten and vanished from the Dreamcast’s release list.

Thanks to Celine for the contribution!

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