1988-1993 NEC

Platform: PC Engine

Aka: Wardner no Mori and Wardona Forest

Toaplan’s Wardner is a side scrolling platformer, similar in some ways to Ghosts n Goblins, and was ported to a number of platforms over the years. One version that never saw release was on the PC Engine (A NES edition also never made it, which you can read more about over at Unseen64).


Development was announced back in 1988, originally as a hucard release, and but would never see release. Later the game was moved to CD-ROM format, but was cancelled after too many delays, even though it is suggested that the game was fully complete. Oddly, it seems the cancellation was as late as 1993, some 4-5 years since its announcement.

Within the announcement, the names Tamakichi Sakura (possible artist for the game?) and Toshio Tabeta (possible producer?) were mentioned – so it is hoped they might be able to shed more light on why there were so many delays, and if crucially anything may still exist today.

When you look at the various previews from magazines such as PC Engine Fan and Gekkan PC Engine, then you can see that it was clearly very close to completion, which makes this more of a tragic shame that it never quite made it out.

There were a number of inclusions of the game within the press, and a few brief segments we have included below thanks to tweets from @ohfivepro. We have since added improved scanned screenshots with the thanks of ParanoiaDragon for his research (flagging up posts from @PCEngineCLUB) and also Gaming Alexandria, who had done hi-res scans of magazines such as PC Engine Fan and Gekkan PC Engine.

@VGDensetsu found another scan via Marukatsu PC Engine magazine (which had been scanned by Gaming Alexandria), where ParanoiaDragon suggests that it looks like parallax scrolling was trying to be implemented just like the arcade version. The bottom of the article mentions beautiful double scrolling and later that it creates a realistic atmosphere.

So what caused all the delays, and could anything of the game be recovered and preserved? ParanoiaDragon speculates that perhaps trying to get the parallax scrolling in was what delayed the game a lot to try and get it as close to the arcade as possible? Early days for our entry on the game, but if you know anything more about the development itself, please get in touch.

With thanks to Fabrizio Bartoloni for highlighting, @ParanoiaDragon for screenshot research, @PCEngineClub for screenshot mag locations, Gaming Alexandria for the scans, @VGDensetsu for flagging up more screenshots and scans and @ohfivepro for the advert images.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *