Joined: 15 Mar 2013
|Posted: Fri Apr 15, 2016 4:55 pm Post subject: Unreleased Famicom game concept art
|As long as I'm checking in here, I thought I'd post a couple of scans I've had sitting around for a while now.
As the old mags they're taken from might have put it, please enjoy this "SUPER SHINSAKU HOT SOFT INFORMATION!!!"
First up we have this nifty little piece of artwork for Square/DOG's "Chicago Connection", taken from a larger preview of upcoming games in a September, 1986 issue of Marukatsu Famicom. Sifting through my collection, this seems to be the only image associated with this title to ever slip out (no screenshots were ever released). I believe the artist responsible for this also did some of the artwork for the early Deep Dungeon titles. I've translated the little text blurb that accompanies it, as well as the only other substantial description of it that seems to exist, from an August, '86 issue of Famitsu. As you can see, it would have been some sort of mystery/adventure, with a very outlandish plot and the need to rely on audio-visual clues in order to apprehend your foes. An interesting concept, but DOG was tossing out wacky vaporware announcements at the time like they were going out of style, so I doubt it ever got very far into development.
"1930s America: The FBI and the gangs are at war. The evil scientist, Wells, has invented a drug that can make men invisible. Enjoy thinking and reasoning in this adult-oriented game. Can you successfully silence the gangs!?"
"The gangs have taken an invisibility drug and are swarming around the city. Your enemies are the gangs - your clues are the creak of a door; the rustling in the trees; the paint-smeared footprints..."
Next, we have the only known visual reference and extensive descriptions of Scramble 21, an unusual 3D shooting game from Victor. From a write-up in a June, 1986 issue of Marukatsu Famicom:
"Scramble 21 is a 3D shooting game. As the picture shows, it utilizes a split screen, and looks kind of enjoyable. According to Victor's Mr. Minami, this game contains three separate elements that make it three times as fun:
- A 'flight simulator' element where you control your fighter
- A one-on-one 'dog fighting' element
- An 'RPG' element where you power-up your fighting ability in stages
Also according to Mr. Minami, the enemy emerges in swarms, and the 'Nephilim Base' that appears at the end of each stage is suitably formidable."
In the next issue of the magazine, there was a further blurb about the game (with the same accompanying concept sketch), where another Victor employee, "Mr. Honda", (who was a dead-ringer for notorious mustachioed Shaw Brothers kung-fu villain Wang Lung Wei) described it as a "rousing simulation" and claimed that it would be the first "simul-multi-sceen 3D shooting game" (!?). He also stressed that they were trying to make the aerial combat as "intense and stylish" as possible. It all sounds rather technically ambitious for the time, and seeing as Victor was just entering the Famicom market, seemed to farm out most of their game development to outfits like Micronics, and that their contemporaneous MSX titles were also far from top-tier efforts, it can probably be assumed that this was ultimately abandoned due to programming difficulties. It sat on the magazine "coming soon" lists for months, and then quietly disappeared.