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Video Game Graveyard

Video Game Graveyard

Extreme Dreams
Publisher: CAPS

The Basics
It’s another failed product with the term “Extreme” in the title. You would’ve played as Dim in this single-player action-racing game.

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Dim was designed to be just as his name implied: a muscled-up guy on a rocket board with all of the advertising-worthy buzz-lingo attitude a polygonal character can pack. You would’ve cruised around on the board, avoiding obstacles and such. The game would’ve been filled with cartoon-like art and comedy-bound commentary. With all of the landscapes potentially rendered in real time, they would have been created to add to the depth of the game. Apparently, some of the backgrounds were going to morph into other graphic displays, as well.

WHAT HAPPENED?
Unknown

Future Strike
Publisher: Electronic Arts

The Basics
This PlayStation version of EA’s Nuclear Strike came out in 1997, and THQ’s N64 version came out in 1999. Somewhere in between, a sequel, Future Strike, was in development by EA for the PlayStation. The game would have continued the long-running Strike action game series, only it was canceled before the N64 version game even shipped.

WHAT HAPPENED?
Electronic Arts stated back in January of 1998 that the game formerly known as Future Strike (mentioned at the end of the last Strike title, Nuclear Strike) would no longer be part of the company’s Strike line.

The reason? EA decided that it should not be constrained by the theme of the series. “Now, there’s no ceiling to what they can do,” a representative commented at that time. And what the company did was develop a game called LAPD 2100, which then became Future Cop: LAPD, also for the PlayStation. The action game shipped in August of 1998 and turned out fairly well.

Hellraiser
Publisher: Konami

The Basics
According to EGM’s West Coast editor, Wataru Maruyama (who participated in the project as an artist), the Hellraiser game was loosely based on the movie by the same name, and would have revolved around the goal of your character collecting “charms.” Although the license would suggest fairly gory creatures with chains and piercings, the development teams were told to let their imaginations run amok and create whatever they thought the creatures should look like. The only prerequisite was that the characters needed to resemble whatever their assigned names were. The only character that had to be drawn exactly was Pin Head.

WHAT HAPPENED?
Maruyama explained why the game apparently wasn’t picked up: “According to the developer, Konami pitched the game and the Hellraiser people didn’t bite or wanted too much money. [The developer’s] not entirely sure. A small attempt was made to change the game enough to avoid lawsuits, but the whole project was scrapped. [The developer] didn’t know why Konami looked for artists here [US] since development would have taken place in Japan. As legend goes, it was slated for Japanese PC (probably 9801 series) and as a Super Famicom title.”

HyperBlade
Publisher: Activision

The Basics
This future-sport game was released on the PC, but did so poorly that Activision canned its conversion plans. The game was billed as a mix of Jai Alai and Lacrosse, although it also shared similarities with the PlayStation future-sport titles League of Pain and Pitball. (It also stole a fair share of gameplay inspiration from the 20-year-old movie Rollerball, which basically spawned the entire future-sports genre.) Put bluntly, Hyperblade simply didn’t play well enough to compete with “real” sports games.

WHAT HAPPENED?
Unknown

Incredible Idiots in Space
Publisher: ASC

The Basics
Incredible Idiots in Space was to be a comedy adventure complete with talking toilets and other such slapstick touches. Thirty-six different alien life forms would have participated in the game and you would have been able to select your own dialog when talking to them. IIIS would have supported two players.

WHAT HAPPENED?
ASC didn’t really believe that the PlayStation market was ready for a comedy game. The humor was very Simpsons- like at the time, and could probably be compared to South Park now.

Island of Dr. Moreau
Publisher: Psygnosis

The Basics
The Island of Dr. Moreau might have been a bit like taking a field trip through H.G. Wells’ brain. Psygnosis never said much about the movie-to-home-game, other than offering enthusiasm-building lines of description such as “Manbeasts yearn for the warmth of fresh blood. And it’s yours they can smell. Feel the fear as it grows inside.” But we do know that it was to be a 3D action-adventure game with real-time rendered characters and hi-res FMV backgrounds. The FMV would’ve included real actors in motion-captured sequences.

WHAT HAPPENED?
It’s said that the French developers made the game look gorgeous, but the playability wasn’t there, so Psygnosis scrapped the project.

Iznogoud
Publisher: Microids

The Basics
Iznogoud, from Microids, planned to combine all the elements of an action game with traps to avoid, various secrets to find, and a puzzle game with riddles to solve. Iznogoud had a cartoon look and would have featured a wide cast of characters you’d meet on your quest. A huge single-player world would have been furnished for you to thoroughly explore.

WHAT HAPPENED?
The game Iznogoud quietly slipped out of the light shining on US shores but came to fruition in Europe. It’s probably for the best that it was never released in the US.

Jewels of the Oracle
Publisher: Sunsoft

The Basics
Jewel of the Oracle did arrive on the PC, but never found its way to the PlayStation. The story: Archaeologists unearthed an ancient region where people were trained to use the now-lost skills of logic, reason, and, most importantly, magic. Contributor Eric San Juan wrote of the PC version, “Jewel of the Oracle was a Myst-inspired puzzle game that made it to the PC but didn’t complete the leap to the Saturn. The theme behind the game, according to the packaging, was ‘Only one legacy remains of the civilization known throughout the Fertile Crescent before the Sumarians. People of extraordinary intellect, their pursuits were of the mind instead of conquering and fighting. They built a secret complex to train and practice their skills of logic and reason. Using technologies and ancient magic long since forgotten, they constructed devices of incredible ingenuity. Those who entered the domain of the Oracle and resolved all the tasks set before them went on to greatness. Those who failed… were lost forever. This structure, lost to the archeological record, has been sought for millennia but never found… until now.’

What this means, in plain English, is that you are going to solve puzzles. A lot of puzzles. Rather than follow the ‘mysterious place with a mysterious past’ formula that Myst popularized, Jewel OTO used its backdrop as little more than an elaborate excuse to throw puzzle after puzzle after puzzle at you, all of the sliding-tiles/matching items/moving blocks variety. Think of those wooden-block-and-pegs puzzles you find on the table at Denny’s or the brainteasers found in the back of the Sunday paper and you know exactly where this game is coming from. There is no plot to speak of, just wandering from stumper to stumper.

Like Myst, it boasted top notch graphics and snazzy-looking (for it’s time) stationary screens that you moved to and from via mouse clicks. Unlike Myst, it featured smooth scrolling animation – which actually looked quite nice – when journeying from screen to screen rather than the slide show of the former game. Also like it’s better known predecessor, Jewel attempted to add a sense of ambiance through spooky and mysterious sound effects. A nice effort was made in this department, but they were never on par with other puzzle games of the time.”

In addition, this almost-existing single-player combination game would’ve have featured 3D-rendered graphics with a photorealistic quality, excellent sounds, and quite a few interactive puzzles.

WHAT HAPPENED?
Unknown.

The Journeyman Project: Pegasus Prime
Publisher: Acclaim

The Basics
The Journeyman Project was originally released back in the early ’90s, and was one of the very first CD-ROM games for the Apple Macintosh computer (back when people actually shipped games for the Macintosh). The action/adventure was later converted to the PC, and has since spawned two sequels. As is the trend in this retro-update era, Presto Studios decided to heavily revamp the original game with new graphics and sound and touched-up gameplay. Tragically, the game never found a home, although Acclaim looked to be the publisher at one point.

WHAT HAPPENED?
Unknown

Kill Wheel
Publisher: Apt Productions

The Basics
Have you ever had the urge to get inside a large, wooden wheel and roll down a hill, flattening everything in your path?

Yeah, and maybe while you’re in the wheel you could whack at villagers, animals, and trees with your spiked club? Maybe, if you were a two-headed ogre living in 15th-century Europe, you’d get that urge. At least the makers of Kill Wheel certainly hoped so. The game attempted to combine Monty Python-like humor with action-oriented destruction. The game took place in Old England, and in the role of the two-headed ogre, you had to destroy entire villages using nothing more than a couple of clubs and your trusty wooden kill wheel you rode inside. With several wheels and clubs to choose from, you’d roll down the hill, whacking everything in sight.

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You could also collect points for hitting taverns, shrines, bungalows, and hospitals. Offering fewer points but as much entertainment was hitting the townspeople, warriors, and even the cows. If you could complete each level in the allotted time with the point collections required to do so, you could move on to the boss scenarios.

WHAT HAPPENED?
From what we understand, Sony wouldn’t approve this one for publish in the US. Go figure.

Killing Time
Publisher: Acclaim

The Basics
The 3DO version was one of the system’s best games, with wonderful level design, an outstanding soundtrack by Bob Vieira, and an excellent storyline backed up with excellent full-motion video, which appeared within the game as ghostly projections. There’s also a PC version available, but it plays like crap.

WHAT HAPPENED?
Unknown

Kumite: The Fighter’s Edge
Publisher: Konami

The Basics
Kumite: The Fighter’s Edge was to be a 360 degree fighting game with realistic characters, fluid motion during combat, and fighters who reflected physical damage during battles. The game was touted as the next generation fighting game – something to move the genre along and break the mold.

Kumite was definitely not going to be your kick-punch-block type fighter. Instead it was to be based on various types of real martial arts fighting styles such as Tai Kwon Do. The game’s graphics, even early on, were forming into what might have been considered a step forward at the time, with complete 360-degree character rendering for full character movements in 3D. This would have allowed you to sidestep your opponent’s attacks and also cross into and around him to allow you to perform side and rear attacks.

The character design plans were also relatively innovative. The fighters were to be rendered with enough detail that you would be able to measure at what location on the fighter’s body you landed your attack, and to what degree you injured him. This would have been done through animated texture mapping. Bruises would have actually appeared after three degrees of damage.

kumite1 kumite2 kumite3 kumite4

Also, the combat moves would have streamed in from the CDs in sets. And there were special moves in the game that you didn’t have access to but would have found out about through codes. Then you could have loaded them into the game on the fly. Some of the special sets planned were weapons moves, so if you were playing an opponent and he hit a special set of buttons, a whole new set of moves for this weapon would have loaded.

At one point, we learned of about ten of the characters: Karambi, whom the story centered around; Marshall; two female characters, Lu and Yamashita; Morgan; Reese; Master Lo; Pal; Otaki; and Kim. And where would these guys fight? Their neighborhoods. Karambi, for example, would have battled in the mountains of Indonesia and Marshall faced-off in Arizona. The environments could have been compared to those in Tekken and Soul Edge. 47-Tek also had some interesting plans for the sound and music.

Kumite wouldn’t have been a fatality-wielding, finishing move fest, but rather a realistic fighter, focusing on actual martial arts. The game also would have included special characters and moves and different endings for the various characters.

WHAT HAPPENED?
Konami never officially said why the game was canceled.

Legion

The Basics
Very little is known about Legion, besides the fact that it would have been a 3D platform shooter that took place in the year 2028. Your objective would have been to save any existing humans (or life in general) on post-apocalyptic Earth. How would you have done it? With a reportedly huge arsenal.

WHAT HAPPENED?
The apocalypse must have been postponed or canceled, as the game just quietly disappeared from the PlayStation’s lineup.

Mace: the Dark Age
Publisher: Midway

The Basics
The arcade port of Mace: The Dark Age would have been to 3D fighting games what Doom was to first-person shooters: the darkest of a dark genre. It was originally set in the 14th century (though not based on actual events), where feudal princes and warlords ravaged the land at the bidding of rogue demon Asmodeus, who fed off the death, despair, and disease they caused (the wicked princes and evil warlords were known as “the Covenant of Seven”). In return, the demon granted them limited power beyond that of normal human beings – but that was just not enough for them. They all craved the source of Asmodeus’ power, the ancient artifact known as the Mace of Tanis and schemed to wrest it from him. Meanwhile, a few warriors emerged from the oppressed masses, intent on either destroying the demon and the Seven to free their countries or using the Mace to rule themselves.

The basic characters which would have been available for play were: Lord Deimos, an armor-clad member of the Seven who planned to expand his kingdom; Al’ Rashid, an assassin hired to bring back the Mace; Koyasha, a young female ninja sent to kill Asmodeus; the Executioner, a sadist with a megalomaniacal itch; Mordos Kull, a mercenary orphaned by the Seven who vowed revenge; Takeshi, a samurai entrusted with the twin tasks of keeping the evil from spreading to Japan and finding his lost brother Ichiro; Namira, the lost princess of Arabia who seeks vengeance against Al’ Rashid and the Seven; Ragnar Bloodaxe, a huge Viking warrior with only Lord Deimos’ blood on his mind; Taria, an evil sorceress and daughter of one of the Seven, who wanted to take her father’s place; and Xiao Long, a blind monk who sought to destroy all evil, including the Mace. In the arcade title, four more characters were available through a Tekken-like time release process and two through codes. These characters included the undead paladin, Lord Dregan; the evil samurai Ichiro (hey, isn’t he somebody’s brother?); the hulking winged demon Hell Knight; a medieval conception of Marvel Comics’ Iron Man, War Mech; the stone gargoyle sub-boss, Grendal and Pojo, “the amazing fighting chicken.”

WHAT HAPPENED?
Mace was canceled because it just wasn’t capable of looking good enough on the PlayStation, and Midway wasn’t happy with how it was turning out. It was released on the Nintendo 64 only.

Major Damage
Publisher: Capcom

The Basics
It may have been a comic game, but nota kiddie game. Major Damage would have taken the 2D shoot-em-up formula and added a sense of humor, supported mainly by the cartoony rendered characters, enemies, and city landscape. Major Damage would’ve placed a premium on one- or two-player simultaneous mass destruction, in which anything on the screen would have become a potential target: buildings, windows, garbage cans, etc. Also, items in the background were planned as destructibleoccasionally revealing power-ups if destroyed.

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WHAT HAPPENED?
Major Damage was canceled once Capcom halted US development plans, shortly after the disappointing performance of its Fox Hunt title.

Marvel 2099: One Nation Under Doom
Publisher: Mindscape

The Basics
Is there any future to the future? That’s what you, the player, might have decided in Mindscape’s Marvel 2099: One Nation Under Doom for the Sony PlayStation. Based on Marvel Comics’ 2099 line of comic books, this game would have taken place in a bleak, dystopian future where major corporations controlled a polluted, “used car” tech-intensive planet that was set roughly 100 years after the normal Marvel family of titles. As luck (and sales quotas) would have it, future counterparts to modern Marvel characters would have popped up, many intent on changing the world. In some cases, these heroes and villains were limited to parallels of same-named forebears (like Spider-Man 2099, Daredevil 2099, and Punisher 2099), while others (such as The Fantastic Four 2099 and Doom 2099) were being designed as time-travelers from the 20th century – or possible clones of the originals.

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With the entire world as its stage, the game’s plot would have loosely played out 1995’s “One Nation Under Doom” comic storyline, told through impressively rendered cutscenes. In it, the decidedly Machiavellian Dr. Victor Von Doom has wrestled control of the United States from its corporate-controlled puppet government and declared himself president. Meanwhile, Anthony Herod – a villain of such epic proportions that even Doom is put to shame – has begun machinations to destroy not only this new head of state, but also dominate the entire world. Trapped in the middle of this conflagration, you would have controlled a group of superpowered beings using them to return some semblance of freedom to the planet.

Much along the lines of Playmates’ Skeleton Warriors or Acclaim’s Iron Man/XO Manowar, this would have been a 2D side-scrolling game with 3D rendered characters. But unlike the aforementioned others, it would have given you the choice of a whopping eight different heroes to play, including Spider-Man 2099, Hulk 2099, Thing 2099, Punisher 2099, Ghost Rider 2099, Daredevil 2099, and characters from the X-Men 2099 team. If nothing else, this title promised quite a bit of variety and replayability for those of us who never really got over our side-scrolling platform-game fixation.

WHAT HAPPENED?
Mindscape went through reorganization and trimmed back all console titles. Marvel 2099 was one of the games to go.

Megarace 2
Publisher: Mindscape

The Basics
Megarace 2 would have been a racing game where you could play alone or against a friend on tracks that lifted you quite a ways into the skies. In Megarace 2, you would have raced on a track of eight opponents – each fully equipped to drop oil slicks and mines and destroy anyone in his or her path with a slew of missiles and other such projectiles.

The vehicles were to be 3D rendered, within six environments, from Tibet and outer space to a bayou and a futuristic foundry. TV guy Lance Boyle was written in for the voice work.

WHAT HAPPENED?
Mindscape trimmed back console titles and Megarace 2 was one of the games to go. A PC version was released.

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4 Comments

Leave A Reply
  1. November 19, 2013, 12:07 am

    […] Video Game Graveyard […]

    Reply
  2. Charles says
    April 3, 2014, 4:35 am

    Man a lot of these games would have been great to own, but such is history. Plus why did Psygnosis cancel a lot of games for the PS1? I love their games and they don’t have too many on the PS1 🙁

    Reply
  3. Leonardo Culver says
    June 8, 2014, 9:54 pm

    Damn,that sucks.I would’ve loved to play Beavis & Butthead Do Hollywood.It looked like so much fun.

    Reply
  4. Profile photo of Wesley Campbell
    April 14, 2016, 2:59 pm

    Beavis and Butthead Do Hollywood should exist. 🙁

    Reply

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