team ninja

Dead or Alive: Code Chronus [Xbox / 360 – Cancelled]

Dead or Alive: Code Chronus was a cancelled rogue-like game set in the DoA world, that was in development at Team Ninja during early 2002 for the original Xbox. It was intended to take the fighting game series in a new direction, transitioning it into a full action adventure similar to Ninja Gaiden. Code Chronus was meant to serve as a prequel to the main series and Tomonobu Itagaki spoke in various interviews of how the game would have told the story of Ayane and Kasumi before the first Dead or Alive tournament.

In March 2014, Itagaki replied to a question from one of his fans from his Facebook page about the game:

I miss games made by you! I still wish that dead or alive code chronus got made. Is it true that the game would have been more of a double dragon type game than a regular dead or alive game? but with ayane and kasumi?

Me too, I love DOA:Code Cronus as it is the father of the DOA universe. So I find it strange that some people said DOA:Code Chronus was never in production. If that’s “true”, I guess that means I’m free to say whatever I want about it? ;D Let me fill you in on the “truth”
DOACC was a Rogue-like in production. If someone wants to try to reverse that reality, they’ll first have to own up to their lies. But it’s not something you should worry about too much. ‘Cause creating a game isn’t easy, you know? Only people with an ability to play inside their own head, even before sitting down to write code, are able to be a game designer. Whoever thinks that development is only concerned about things “visible” and “playable” should pack up their bags and go back to the countryside.
This is also an important truth – I’ll put that down here as a tip for anyone interested in developing brand new original games.

As we can read on Wikipedia, the game was supposed bear some relation to the part of the opening cinematic of Dead or Alive Ultimate that showed the child versions of Kasumi and Ayane.

As Dead or Alive Ultimate was released for Xbox in 2004, it’s possible that this video could have been originally made for Code Chronus and was later reused as the intro for Ultimate. With the release of Xbox 360 in 2005, it seems that the game was moved to the “next generation” console, as a placeholder box for Code Chronus can be seen in a Dead Or Alive 4 promo ad published in various Japanese magazines:

dead or alive code chronos promo

In 2008, Itagaki left Team Ninja and Code Chronus was lost; its legacy limited to being nothing more than a dream project of his that never was. In 2010, the new CEO of Team Ninja told Famitsu magazine that Code Chronus was officially cancelled. Unfortunately, Team Ninja never released any screenshots or videos from this project to the public and only its logo can be found online. We hope to be able to preserve more from this lost game in the future.

dead or alive code chronus cancelleddoa code cronus box 

DOAX: Dead or Alive Xtreme Beach Volleyball [Beta – Xbox]

DOAX is a title most people don’t take very seriously, and I guess that’s fair in a way. Regardless of the nature/content of the game, I was curious to find out if there had been any interesting changes during the course of its development. While browsing the image archives of such sites as, I stumbled across a few screenshots that depict early versions of certain items, etc.

Anyone who is familiar with the interface of the retail version of DOAX should instantly notice slight differences in the look of these early menus. It isn’t incredibly unlike the ones we have now, but the icons for the items/bikinis appear to be 2D as opposed to the 3D rotating models that appear in both the icon view and the main window of the final. The names for most of the items are quite different from what we see in the final game as well, not to mention sold at a drastically reduced rate than we are used to now (the devs must’ve had a VIP membership at Zack Island). For example, the “camisole” bikini is shown in one screenshot, and is listed at $900. Certainly a more realistic price than the released version (in a twisted way), as this same bikini is sold as “Ariel” in the final at a whopping $80,000… although, assuming that the Zack Island currency is based on yen, then the former price would have been a bit silly.

Anyway, it seems like at this stage of the game the developers were simply labeling the bikinis by type or style. Maybe they were cheaper just to make testing easier, or maybe there really wasn’t much of a reason at all. An entirely unused item can be seen in one screenshot, labeled as “cat ears.” Interesting that this was intended to be a separate accessory, because ultimately the devs instead included them as additional pieces to specific bikinis. In other words, they cannot be worn unless the player equips their character with a bikini like the “raccoon.” Regardless of this fact, the original cat ears accessory still remains unused because the color and exact texture is not found for ears as an addition on any bikini.

So, it’s safe to say we got shafted with the released version of DOAX, right?! Nah, just joking… it really isn’t much different.

Article by Trebla Yevrah



Metroid Other M [Wii – Beta / Unused]

Metroid: Other M​ is an action-adventure developed by a team consisting of staff members from Nintendo, Team Ninja, and D-Rockets. Metroid Other M did something that no Metroid game before it even attempted. It gave samus a human side. Known as being the cold bounty hunter, Samus was given a softer yet unrefined image. Other aspects of the game rocked the boat to a degree, but overall, it still has that metroid gameplay that true fans of the series have come to love.

Production had a really large scale, with over 300 storyboards which took six months to be completed, and ten teams being employed to develop cutscenes. To make a game though, you have to decide what to put in, and what to leave out. Thanks to the unlockable art gallery, we can see some of what was left out of the game, over it’s 3 year development period.

Thanks goes to Proto1 for pointing out these differences and to Metroid Database for sharing the artworks!

In the beta gallery below you can see:

  • Samus’ beauty mark was not part of her conceptual design, likely added towards end of development.
  • Unused GFtrooper armor.
  • A conceptual, streamlined powersuit. Not in game.
  • A shot of an unused Lyle character model that depicts him unarmored (no helmet, w/undershirt). Not in the game at all.
  • Alternate, unused designs of MBs hair piece.
  • Concept art depicts Waver once had the ability to infect other enemies. Further, art shows them recoiling off of walls. Not in game.
  • Grippers might have at one point been able to fly.
  • An unused baby Dragotix.
  • Alternate design for Biosphere terminal.
  • Unused Ian and Samus photographs
  • Teenage Samus w/different hairstyle.
  • Unused Samus civilian clothes, purple shirt.
  • Unused Phantoon design

Also, FacePunch are currently hacking apart Other M, and have found some interesting unused assets:

  • Unused Power Suit, likely beta. It’s missing several creases along the shoulder pads, arms, legs and has a different colored arm canon.

Here’s a list of several unused character models that have yet to be ripped:

  • 249-zss body HQ
  • 250-young samus (from prerendered cutscenes)
  • 251-adam in uniform (from prerendered cutscenes)
  • 252-255 hq samus powersuit
  • 257/260- metroid

Another member found test rooms and unused clothing:

“There are some development left over files for sure. So far i found the old suit model i posted earlier, a few characters/outfits which are only appearing in pre-rendered sequences and some test rooms from a very early stage of development.”

Thanks to Zero7 for the contribution!


Ninja Gaiden [XBOX – Beta]


Ninja Gaiden for the Xbox was released in 2004, but it was first shown in 2002, with a trailer that contain many beta elements and differences. In 1999, Team Ninja started work on the “Next-Generation Ninja Gaiden Project”. The first stage of development was to create the game on the Sega NAOMI arcade system board. They then planned to move the project to the Dreamcast console for further development and release, but this was abandoned when Sega announced the end of Dreamcast product line in 2001.

At this point, Tecmo decided to release Ninja Gaiden as a launch title for the Sony PlayStation 2 in the United States. Itagaki, however, had other plans; the Team Ninja Leader was impressed with the software development kits for the Xbox and pushed for his team to develop for the Microsoft console.

In the 2002 beta Ryu’s model / suit is slightly different from the final one.  The copter boss was in the train turnstyle area, instead than on the bridge like the final game. In this same area we can see Ruy on the electricity tower, but he cannot go over there in the final. Other scenes, as the one with a ninja that  came out from the ceiling of the first level, were never used. Also the graphic of the game was still incomplete, with ugly textures and a lot of aliasing. There are a Green “U” Nimpo in the same screenshot of the “X” item, this Nimpo doesn`t appear i the final version and this “X” neither appear in this level, in the final version, this appear in an alley where you find the windmill shuriken.

There are even some screens with a removed (?) puzzle in wich Ruy has to find an X item (that looks like the Xbox prototype  / development hardware) to open a passage. It’s possible that this puzzle was used in some demos or side missions from the Black version, but we dont have any confirmation about it. The X item was reused in Ninja Gaiden 2 as an easter egg and it heals all your magic and health.

Thanks to for some of these screens!



train turnstyle