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Scans from Video Game Quest
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TheRedEye
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PostPosted: Sun Oct 25, 2009 9:23 pm    Post subject: Scans from Video Game Quest Reply with quote



I just bought a strange 1990 book called Video Game Quest: The Complete Guide to Home Video Game Systems, Video Games and Accessories for cheap on Amazon (and you can too!). The book is an attempt to catalog every video game available or coming soon to each of the systems that were alive in the United States at the time of its publication, which Amazon says was July, 1990. It also has a brief "history of games" chapter that no one bothered copyediting, a parent's guide to making sure games don't break your children (which I didn't read), and a checklist in the back so you can keep track of which games you and your friends own.

As you might imagine, quite a few of the games in here never came out. Some of these scans were available on the Grand Nestral Station unreleased NES games page (mirrored here), but that dude's scanner was crap. Plus he missed some stuff.

I'm under the impression that just about all of the art and information in here came directly from publishers and distributors. In fact, some of the tiny, tiny artwork looks like it is literally a scan of a flyer given out at CES. So if I ever manage to find someone who attended these shows (I'd guess the Summer 1989 and/or Winter 1991 CES in Chicago and Las Vegas) who picked these flyers up, we might get better art than this. But for now, this is all we've got.

The full set is here, but I'll highlight some pieces of interest here too.



Bruce Lee Lives was going to be a Mindscape-published port of the Software Toolworks MS-DOS game. Amiga and Atari ST ports were also under development (source) but I don't think they came out either. I haven't played it, but at a glance it looks like one of those overly complicated one-on-one fighters that computer users really liked for some reason.



Block Out was one of several early 90s attempts to over-complicate Tetris. It was released on most computers by California Dreams, and also licensed to Atari and Electronic Arts for release on the Lynx and Genesis, respectively. The NES version was licensed to Technos, and though we have screenshots from what appears to be a playable build, the game did not come out in any region.



Ninja Taro was to be an English localization of one of Jaleco's Ninja JaJaMaru games (I believe it was the second one, Jajamaru no Daibouken). It, like Squashed and Taro's Quest, never came out.



This is Dweebers, which Video Game Quest said was an NES game by Vic Tokai. This is how the game is described:

Quote:
So what if you've got a Styrofoam face? Hey, it's a dweeb world out there! Dweebers knows that. That's why we've given your hero a steam iron face, grasshopper legs, and little booties that look like Volkswagons. Think that's outrageous? Wait till you meet up with your fish larvae enemies! Come on. What are you waiting for? Be a dweeb!


This description does not correspond to any Vic Tokai game released for the Famicom, so this is either something that is completely unreleased, or was actually a Game Boy game that I'm not familiar with. Games were often announced for "Nintendo" when they were specifically on the Game Boy, which I suspect has caused a lot of misinformation over the years.



This is a photo of Square's The Great Warrior Saga for the Game Boy, which is probably the original American title for Final Fantasy Legend. This was the first game in the SaGa series that is still around.



This is artwork from a Kemco-Seika Game Boy game called Heart Attack, described as follows:

Quote:
You must fearlessly capture all the hearts to avoid heartbreak on the danger grid in...Heart Attack. This go-anywhere maze game is non-stop amazing. Heart Attack keeps the adrenalin [sic] pumping without a letdown through 50 levels of escalating jeopardy. Relentless deathballs strike at random while you try to stay on course and maneuver through landscapes with ever-changing barriers. Arrows on the pathway can supercharge your progress or throw you fatally off course. Heart Attack. Where danger is always a heartbeat away!


I'm afraid I'm not familiar with the Game Boy's library, does this sound like a Japanese game that may have come out, probably from Kemco Japan?

Anyway, the full set contains more art like this, including four unreleased Fisher-Price NES game boxes, some miscellaneous CES promo flyers (since I like them and think they're worth preserving, even in this tiny unreadable state), and full page scans for every page that contains an unreleased game. I'll attempt to link them all here, some will be duplicates since they're on the same page. Don't forget to click "all sizes" for a larger view. Some of these are well-known on the internet and some are "new," at least to me.

Game Boy

Death Ball (Kemco-Seika)
The Great Warrior Saga (Square)
Heart Attack (Kemco-Seika)
Monster Master (Sofel)
NFL Football (Konami)
Pinball Quest (Jaleco)
Popeye (Seta) (released in Japan)
Red Arena (Capcom)
Selection (Kemco-Seika)
Ultima Shots (Meldac) (nerdiest alcoholic mixer ever)


NES

007: License to Kill (Tengen) (Amiga port)
Block Out (American Technos)
Bruce Lee Lives (Mindscape)
Chase H.Q. (Taito) (released in Japan)
Cosmic Epsilon (Asmik) (released in Japan)
Deadheat Scramble (Electro Brain) (released for Game Boy, may be a typo)
Dweebers (Vic Tokai)
Fisher-Price Fun Flyer (Gametek)
Fisher-Price Little People Bowling Alley (Gametek)
Fisher-Price My Grand Piano (Gametek)
Fisher-Price School Bus Driver (Gametek)
Fun House (Hi-Tech Expressions) (original, unreleased version)
Hard Drivin' (Tengen)
Jack and the Beanstalk (released in Japan)
Monster Truck Rodeo (Matchbox)
Ninja Taro (American Sammy) (released in Japan)
Police Academy (Tengen) (one of two versions, both were canned)
Putt Master (Taxan)
Return of Donkey Kong (Nintendo)
Super Rescue (CSG Imagesoft) (released in Japan as Flying Hero)
Super Sushi Pinball (CSG Imagesoft) (released in Japan as Super Pinball)
Urban Convoy (Matchbox)
War in Middle Earth (Hi-Tech Expressions)
Web World (Matchbox)
Xybots (Tengen)

Genesis

Hard Yardage (Activision)
Vette (Sega)

Sega Master System

Slap Shoot (Sega)

TurboGrafx-16

TV Sports Boxing

SPECIAL BONUS!

Ugly pre-production Super Mario Bros 3 box

ALSO, SOMETHING QUESTIONABLE!

This description of "Street Fighter" for the NES does not sound like Street Fighter 2010 to me, but I haven't played it much. Any thoughts? It sounds like the original arcade game. I guess it's possible that there were plans to port it to the NES, but it's equally possible that Capcom announced "Street Fighter" and the book's author just grabbed a description of the arcade game, assuming it would be the same.
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Smeg
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PostPosted: Sun Oct 25, 2009 10:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

That cover photo makes me feel inappropriate.
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Vlcice



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PostPosted: Sun Oct 25, 2009 10:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

"Ultima Shots" sounds quite a bit like Meldac's 1990 Game Boy game Mercenary Force. They might have been planning on localizing it with the Ultima license and dropped it before release.
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kap
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PostPosted: Sun Oct 25, 2009 10:39 pm    Post subject: Re: Scans from Video Game Quest Reply with quote

TheRedEye wrote:


Ninja Taro was to be an English localization of one of Jaleco's Ninja JaJaMaru games (I believe it was the second one, Jajamaru no Daibouken). It, like Squashed and Taro's Quest, never came out.


If they put this out today as Ninja Tard, which is what I confusedly thought it was at first, I would probably buy it.
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Sardius
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PostPosted: Sun Oct 25, 2009 11:22 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Red Arena might be Gargoyle's Quest, since it was released in Japan as Red Arremer.

Monster Master is Monster Maker, released in Japan by Sofel.

Ultima Shots is probably Mercenary Force, but I'm going to pretend it's the drinking game sequel to Wisest Wizard.
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GDRI



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PostPosted: Mon Oct 26, 2009 7:30 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ninja Taro would have been Ninja Kun: Ashura no Shou. I just looked it up in Game Player's, and it even says the same thing in the Taro's Quest article on this very site.

Slap Shoot is Slap Shot, which was released and was based on a System E arcade game called Slap Shooter.
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GDRI



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PostPosted: Mon Oct 26, 2009 11:01 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Winter Games for the Genesis is another one that wasn't released.
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Tootai



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PostPosted: Mon Oct 26, 2009 1:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Is Dweebers the same game as Yeah Yeah Beebiss? Maybe i'm confusing things but weren't both games about nerds? Vic Tokai sure was good at leaving games unreleased. How did they ever make money?
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TheRedEye
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PostPosted: Mon Oct 26, 2009 3:34 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Tootai wrote:
Is Dweebers the same game as Yeah Yeah Beebiss? Maybe i'm confusing things but weren't both games about nerds? Vic Tokai sure was good at leaving games unreleased. How did they ever make money?


We don't know anything about Yeah Yeah Beebiss I other than the name, which in itself may have been a typo/mistake.
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Tootai



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PostPosted: Mon Oct 26, 2009 3:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

TheRedEye wrote:
Tootai wrote:
Is Dweebers the same game as Yeah Yeah Beebiss? Maybe i'm confusing things but weren't both games about nerds? Vic Tokai sure was good at leaving games unreleased. How did they ever make money?


We don't know anything about Yeah Yeah Beebiss I other than the name, which in itself may have been a typo/mistake.


I was probably hallucinating again. Sorry.
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TheRedEye
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PostPosted: Mon Oct 26, 2009 3:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote



If you stare at it long enough, it will reveal its secrets. The secrets of the Beebiss.
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Tootai



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PostPosted: Mon Oct 26, 2009 4:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Despite the lack of hard facts about the game, I choose to believe in Beebiss.
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TheRedEye
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PostPosted: Mon Oct 26, 2009 7:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Here is literally every hard fact about Beebiss:

Yeah Yeah Beebiss I made its first known printed appearance in an ad for New York-based mailorder company Play It Again (which is where that image comes from) in the June, 1989 issue of Video Games & Computer Entertainment. The exact same ad, with the exact same list, re-appears in the July, August and September issues. The Play It Again ads printed both before and after this period do not feature the game.

Immediately after Play It Again stops advertising the title, a new mailorder company called Funco advertises its own list in the October issue, and it too features the game (shortened to "Yeah Beebiss I"). However, a closer look reveals that Funco's list is an exact copy of the one Play It Again had been running previously. This same list also shows up in the November and December issues, before Funco changes to a new list in January and Yeah Yeah Beebiss I quietly disappears from the world.

There is still a large discussion to be had about Beebiss, and I have WAY more to say, but for now those are the facts as we know them. It was advertised seven months in a row, only by these two companies, and all seven of these ads are based on the exact same list, which was generated in early 1989.
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shawnphase



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PostPosted: Tue Oct 27, 2009 4:48 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

im actually working on a cover of the block out opening theme for my next video game cover album. pretty interesting to see that it was slated to come out for nes too. that opening theme is really bonkers, im pretty excited to see how that one comes together. thanks for postin this, lots of good info here!
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Tongueman



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PostPosted: Tue Oct 27, 2009 3:36 pm    Post subject: Re: Scans from Video Game Quest Reply with quote

TheRedEye wrote:


This is artwork from a Kemco-Seika Game Boy game called Heart Attack, described as follows:

Quote:
You must fearlessly capture all the hearts to avoid heartbreak on the danger grid in...Heart Attack. This go-anywhere maze game is non-stop amazing. Heart Attack keeps the adrenalin [sic] pumping without a letdown through 50 levels of escalating jeopardy. Relentless deathballs strike at random while you try to stay on course and maneuver through landscapes with ever-changing barriers. Arrows on the pathway can supercharge your progress or throw you fatally off course. Heart Attack. Where danger is always a heartbeat away!


Death Ball (Kemco-Seika)
The Great Warrior Saga (Square)
Heart Attack (Kemco-Seika)
Monster Master (Sofel)
NFL Football (Konami)
Pinball Quest (Jaleco)
Popeye (Seta) (released in Japan)
Red Arena (Capcom)
Selection (Kemco-Seika)
Ultima Shots (Meldac) (nerdiest alcoholic mixer ever)

Urban Convoy (Matchbox)

TurboGrafx-16

TV Sports Boxing

ALSO, SOMETHING QUESTIONABLE!

This description of "Street Fighter" for the NES does not sound like Street Fighter 2010 to me, but I haven't played it much. Any thoughts? It sounds like the original arcade game. I guess it's possible that there were plans to port it to the NES, but it's equally possible that Capcom announced "Street Fighter" and the book's author just grabbed a description of the arcade game, assuming it would be the same.


This book was written by a talentless hack, with information "gathered" EGM-style: With only a blurry screenshot scanned from a Japanese magazine (or flyer, in this case), or only a title to go by, they create a whole 100-word scenario.

They're using promotional materials and schedules straight from the 1990 Winter CES, obviously.

Anyway, my guesses:

The only game whose screenshots (and timing) match the description of Kemco's Heart Attack is, surprisingly, Mickey Mouse(JP)/Bugs Bunny's Crazy Castle(US), possibly before they could acquire the Bugs license.

That "artwork" is, I bet, not from Kemco, but some primitive graphic put into the book by the author/publisher. It looks like your typical early '90s book filler crap. (Turbografx Encyclopedia, anyone?)

Death Ball could be anything, really. Blodia? (not by Kemco) Snoopy's Magic Show? (This GB game originally didn't have the Snoopy license.) Possibly shown at CES but not released?

That Urban Convoy game sounds like Matchbox's Motor City Patrol.

TV Sports Boxing might have possibly become Champions Forever Boxing, although the developers/publishers are different.

Street Fighter had been advertised in Capcom's flyers (inside NES carts) for a while before '2010' came out. That's probably what it became.

I'll try to find out what Dweebers was (in some Famicom books...)
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Asaki



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PostPosted: Tue Oct 27, 2009 6:47 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Call me crazy, but Ultima Shots sounds like Ultima: Runes of Virtue.
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Tongueman



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PostPosted: Wed Oct 28, 2009 1:06 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well, whaddya know! A quick search of Famitsu's New Soft All Catalog: 1989 November - 1990 March insert found Death Ball exactly as written:



edit: The description of Heart Attack sounds exactly the same as the gameplay for Death Ball (minus the "arrows" present in Mickey Mouse...)


Last edited by Tongueman on Wed Oct 28, 2009 1:19 am; edited 1 time in total
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Asaki



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PostPosted: Wed Oct 28, 2009 1:10 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Kemco sure liked to use the heck out of their random cartoon licenses.
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TheRedEye
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PostPosted: Wed Oct 28, 2009 1:41 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

So if I'm interpreting what you're saying correctly, Heart Attack and Death Ball are both pre-license names for Snoopy's Magic Show?
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Tongueman



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PostPosted: Wed Oct 28, 2009 2:06 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well, it does sound like the most likely interpretation. Now that Heart Attack graphic makes sense, looking at the Death Ball screenshot.

Does the book contain any mention of the Mickey Mouse/Bugs game?
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