Virgin Interactive

A playable proto of the cancelled Freak Boy N64 has been found at a carboot sale

If you had a Nintendo 64 in the late ’90 you probably remember one of the most interesting games announced but never released for the console: Freak Boy.

Here’s a short snippet from the original press release:

IRVINE, CALIF., May 16, 1996 — Enter the world of FREAK BOY in Virgin Interactive Entertainment’s (VIE) first NINTENDO 64 (N64) game. Three-dimensional graphics, addicting play mechanics and cutting-edge technology that uses morphing special effects define the world in which FREAK BOY lives – an alien world N64 players won’t ever want to leave. Created by Burst, VIE’s in-house development team, FREAK BOY is scheduled to be in stores in early 1997.

Unfortunately the game never seen the light of day, cancelled after its publisher decided to made the team to rework the project multiple times because of marketing decisions. While many cancelled games risk to be lost forever, deleted by the same developers or forgotten in some dusty archives, we could have more luck with Freak Boy.

In september 2015 a reader of Unseen64 randomly found a working early prototype of Freak Boy at a carboot sale in Guildford, UK. It seems that the seller at this flea market did not know much about the historical importance of the strange cart that he was selling, along with other old games, probably in a dusty cardbox. Luckily our friend recognized the title written with a marker on the dev-cart and quickly bought it before other retrogamers. It seems that along with Freak Boy the same seller had 2 other prototype carts, one had written “casinò” and the second one “mario 2“. Unfortunately a the moment we don’t know what was the content of the other 2 carts (if the new owners of those protos are reading this article, please send us an email!).

The Unseen64 reader that found this Freak Boy prototype would like to remain anonymous, but if you are interested you can contact him at [email protected]

Untill now the only available video from Freak Boy was an ugly, pixellated footage from E3 1996, finally we are able to see more from the project, even if in its incomplete alpha. Take a look at the short playlist below with the all the new Freak Boy videos, we hope to be able to have some longer ones soon. Enjoy!


Dino Crisis [GameBoy Color – Cancelled]

Dino Crisis [GameBoy Color – Cancelled]

The original Dino Crisis was a widely popular survival horror (marketed as survival panic) game developed by Capcom and released on the original PlayStation in 1999. It was created by the same team that made the first Resident Evil game and contained many of the same tense elements but focused on more of an action feel.

A portable version of Dino Crisis was being developed for the Gameboy Color by British studio M4 Ltd, who had released Tasmanian Devil: Munching Madness and were due to release Jerry McGrath Supercross 2000.  M4 stated that the game would not be complete until Q4 of 2000 but development had started early in the year, this was reported by IGN who spoke to the developers. M4 said that Dino Crisis for the GBC would be a top down adventure rather than how the original was, it would also be developed exclusively for the GBC by-passing any kind of black and white compatibility. Virgin interactive handled development for Capcom in the UK and so they were handling this game, there was no word on where it would be released. M4 Ltd version of Dino Crisis GBA was never released, but they developed top-down Resident Evil Gaiden, published by Capcom in 2001.

It seems that this unreleased version of Dino Crisis was used as a base to develop the released Resident Evil Gaiden. As we can read at NowGamer:

As I recall, we produced a very impressive demo for a GBC version of Dino Crisis. Resident Evil was already in development as an over-ambitious port from the PlayStation version. This was scrapped and Capcom asked us to do a bespoke game with our Dino Crisis engine.

Capcom had requested Virgin for a Dino Crisis demo, Virgin asked us to create it. It used the exploration mode and [similar] battle system as Gaiden would use.

It was playable. The dino sprites in exploration mode were large. I have entire backups of everything from M4, absolutely everything, but I’m in Brazil and the backups are in the UK.

This is not the only version of a GBC Dino Crisis that can be found on the web though, as on two separate Spanish websites Vandal and Dino Crisis Wiki the game was reported to be being developed by a different studio. This other cancelled game was said to be being developed by the now missing Fluid Studios another British developer who released games such as Top Gun: Firestorm (GB) and Army Men: Air Combat (GB and N64). This was also said to be being developed late 1999 early 2000, for the GBC.

There are a few more details for this version of the game though: it would not be a top down adventure but rather using static backgrounds and images accompanied by text sequences. Some presumed screenshots from Fluid Studios’ Dino Crisis seem to have been leaked online too, but we don’t know their source. These sites also report that the game was to be 7 maps with 100 rooms in total. There were to be four characters in the game Regina, Rick, Gail and Dr Kirk all who appeared in the original game on the PlayStation. Also it was said that there was going to be five types of dinosaur two unspecified with the others being the Tyrannosaurus Rex, Velociraptor and Pteranodon.


Update: While this article was being uploaded to the site I have been looking through documents that were released (you can find the design doc online) regarding the game that was in development by Fluid Studios. In this document it is revealed that what Fluid actually wanted to produce was a scaled down version of the original Dino Crisis, they wanted to keep all the original maps, plot-lines, dinosaurs and the look and feel of the original. This is quite a bold statement as the original was on the PlayStation 1 which is a more powerful system. Fluid were worried about the restrictive nature of the GBC especially in regards to the sprite size and how they would recreate the dinosaurs.

The story had a very brief background written about it, there was to be an undercover agent (Regina who had infiltrated the compound and was trying to capture Dr. Kirk and take him back to her government agency. Fluid also intended to have different game modes for this and it was said that they would have bonus missions if you had completed the game. This was said to contain three missions in which the player would have to kill a set amount of dinosaurs in a certain period of time.  

Technomancer [Cancelled – XBOX / PS2 / PC]

Technomancer – A Calcaphon Adventure is a cancelled action game that was in development by Qube Software for the original Xbox, Playstation 2 and PC, that would have been published by Virgin Interactive Entertainment. The project started in early 1999 and the development continued till 2003, with a playable prototype / beta version, but they never finished the game. As the main focus of Qube has always been the development of 3D software for 3D middleware and not games,  maybe they had some development problems and Technomancer was  cancelled. Only a video is archived in the below, to preserve its existence.

Thanks to MegaMoto85 for the contribution!



Professional Sportscar Racing [PSX/PC – Beta?]

Update: thanks to Anonymous we found out that this game was released as “Sportscar GT” by Electronic Arts, that bought out Virgin Interactive. The screens below could still be different from the final game, so let us know if you see any differences!

In 1997 / 1998 Virgin Interactive were working on a new racing game for the original Playstation and PC know as “Professional Sportscar Racing” but it seems that the project was never released. The game was based on the license for the pro organization of the same name, a competition that was sponsored by the same Virgin Interactive.  Maybe Virgin had some problems with the PSR  license and the development could have been stopped. In the original press release we can read:

Fast driving, intensely competitive Grand Touring racing simulation game. For the player’s driving pleasure, all of the dream cars racing in the 1998 season of the Professional SportsCar championship will be authentically re-created including the internationally famous Panoz Esperante.



Converse Hardcore Hoops [Cancelled]

Converse Hardcore Hoops  (also know as Converse City Ball Tour) is a cancelled basketball game that was in development by Virgin Interactive Entertainment for the Genesis / Mega Drive, Super Nintendo, Playstation and Saturn. It was based on street basketball and there were 10 cities in which to play in 3vs3 half court matches. Converse Hardcore Hoops was shown at E3 1995 but after a while it vanished from release lists and it was never released on any console.

It’s unknown if the project was somehow connected to the Converse brand of shoes or  why the game was cancelled. Celine was able to find some screens from magazines GamePro #72 and CD Consoles #8.



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