Platforms: Arcade, Atari 2600, Atari 8-bit and Commodore Vic 20 (Probably C64 too)
Ixion is an intriguing arcade title that was due for release from SEGA back in 1983, and was based on Zaxxon’s hardware, even though you may not think it looking at the game. The game was a top-down 2D grid based action title, where you must collect all the letters to spell out the word IXION, whilst shooting enemies and avoiding being shot yourself.
According to Segaretro.org , it is suggested that Ixion likely failed its location test, considering that it was largely finished. Thankfully the game has been dumped and is actually fully playable in MAME.
However, what is interesting is that the game was also due for release across some of the main home platforms of the time, including the Atari 2600, Atari 8-bits and also the Commodore Vic-20 – all of which were also unreleased like the arcade itself.
It is unknown exactly who was working on the Vic 20 edition (which is still at large today), but is likely to have been one of the developers who did Buck Rogers or Congo Bongo. The fate of the Atari 8-Bit edition was a bit more upbeat, with it being released online in later years – developed by Fred Mack.
Oddly, two versions for the 2600 were created overall, one by Jeff Lorenz and another by Stance Nixon. Jeff’s version has leaked over the years and has even seen a full reproduction made. Stance’s edition is still very much at large. The 2600 edition is actually very playable and is pretty unique overall. Atariprotos.com has a very detailed analysis of the prototype which you can check out here.
With SEGA and U.S. Gold releasing games in the UK (the Atari 8-bit edition credits U.S. Gold), we suspect that a Commodore 64 edition was also on the cards as well, therefore we’ve also added a quick entry in the GTW64 archives for now. Could anything of the Commodore editions ever be found and do you know anything more about them?
Independent games researcher, Ethan Johnson got in touch to say that they had talked to the artist on Ixion, and provided link to a SEGA/Gremlin still images archive at https://archive.org/details/sega-gremlin-photos – which contains sprite sheets for Ixion.