Technos Japan

Kunio-Kun RPG [NES, Famicom – Cancelled]

Kunio-kun is a cult-classic series of action adventure games originally conceived by Technos Japan in arcades and for the Nintendo Famicom console. In its main titles you take the role of Kunio, a japanese high-school delinquent (bancho) with a good heart, punching and kicking other gangs to free the streets of your city. 

While in the west the series is mostly known for Renegade and River City Ransom on the NES, in Japan many more Kunio games were developed and published. In 1988 Super Dodge Ball (a sport-based Kunio-Kun spin off) was released on the Famicom. A strategy guide was published by Technos in Japan and as noticed by Arc Hound on Twitter, at the end of the volume there was an announcement for a cancelled, forgotten Kunio-Kun RPG.

kunio-kun-rpg-river-city-nes-famicom-cancelled

Luckily japanese user 3Ways posted a photo of this page on Twitter. In the same thread we can read that Masaki Wachi wrote the scenario for this lost Kunio RPG: he’s mostly known in the west for his work on such classic games as Shining Force, Time Stalkers and PoPoLoCrois Monogatari.

By looking at the only enemy concept art published in the Super Dodge Ball strategy guide and by thinking of what kind of RPGs were mostly published on the Famicom in those years, we can speculate Kunio-Kun RPG would have been a turn-based RPG very similar to Dragon Quest, but with its usual modern high-school, bancho settings.

Thanks to thingumajig13 who translated the short Kunio-Kun RPG description:

“Nekketsu series – Part 4

RPG Kunio Kun (tentative title)

Wow, an RPG where Kunio-kun plays a big role is in the works! Set in Tokyo, this game features Kunio-kun and his friends battling it out against an army of delinquents. This standard RPG is chock-full of unique characters, puzzle solving, and Nekketsu drama! Kunio-kun and his friends set out on a great adventure filled with laughs and tears! It takes place in Shinjuku and Shibuya, so it’s pretty realistic! Currently, the script is being written with plans to release the game in the summer of next year. We hope you look forward to it!

v Planned enemy character. He looks pretty strong!

^ These kinds of enemy characters are appearing one after the other!”

Images:

 

Kunio-kun Polo [SNES – Cancelled / Concept]

Kunio-kun is a famous series developed by Technos Japan and it was their mascot in Japan. Despite the first game was a beat’em up, soon Technos used the characters for games in other kind of genres, even puzzle games. The most well known Kunio-kun spin off were those concerning sport games ( dodge ball, beach volley, football, basket, hockey, baseball ), always presented through Kunio-kun crazy and not-so-serious atmosphere the series is known for.

Yoshihisa Kishimoto, one of the main men behind Kunio-kun, revealed on his site how a polo (?) game starring Kunio for Super famicom was in a preliminary phase in early ’90. As expected by the series tone, horses were replaced by other kind of animals ( even pigs !). Unfortunately it seems the game never went into production and soon after ( 1996 to be exact ) the japanese developer declared bankruptcy.

Many thanks to Johnny Undaunted.

Images (Concept arts): 

Kunio-kun: The Claw of Kowloon [PSX – Cancelled / Concept]

Kunio-kun: The Claw of Kowloon is a cancelled sidescrolling beat ’em up game in the famous Kunio-Kun series, that was in development by Technos Japan for the Playstation. The project was probably still in early concept phase before being canned, but from what we can see in the images below, they planned to make the characters more “realistic” than the usual super-deformer style of the previous Kunio-kun titles.

A big thanks to Johnny Undaunted for the contribution and translation from japanese.

Images (Concept arts / documents):

  

Kunio-kun Kart [SNES – Cancelled / Concept]

Kunio-kun is a famous series developed by Technos Japan and it was their mascot in Japan. Despite the first game was a beat’em up, soon Technos used the characters for games in other kind of genres, even puzzle games. The most well known Kunio-kun spin off were those concerning sport games ( dodge ball, beach volley, football, basket, hockey, baseball ), always presented through Kunio-kun crazy and not-so-serious atmosphere the series is known for.

Yoshihisa Kishimoto, one of the main men behind Kunio-kun, revealed on his site how a go-kart racing game starring Kunio for Super famicom was in a preliminary phase in early ’90. The idea probably sprung after witnessing Super Mario Kart huge success on the platform. Unfortunately it seems the game never went into production and soon after ( 1996 to be exact ) the japanese developer declared bankruptcy.

Images (Concept arts): 

Popeye [GEN MD – Cancelled]

A platform game based on the Popeye character was in development by Technos Japan for the Genesis / Mega Drive, but in the end this project was cancelled. A Super Nintendo Popeye game was also developed and released in 1994 by Technos, but the sprite of the main character is much different from the one seen in the few Genesis / MD screens, so we can assume that these are 2 different games. As far as we know, Popeye for the Genesis / MD was never released in any territory.

Thanks to Celine and John Doom for the contribution! Scans from Console Mania #28, Game Fun #94 and Mean Machine #17

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