Alien VS Predator: Nightmare on Ryushi

1993 Activision

Platform: PC DOS (Possibly Amiga TBC)

Alien VS Predator has been somewhat of a mystery ever since its early announcements from Activision in the likes of Commodore Format and other magazines. We have long had a page regarding a possible C64 development, but this has only been because news featured in C64 format magazines.

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It wasn’t until a little while later that we saw a beat-em-up console release, with an unreleased Mega Drive edition. Then of course, Rebellion would eventually go on to do the famous Jaguar game of the same name (which had a Lynx version that never saw the light of day) and then Aliens Vs Predator, which saw PlayStation, Jaguar CD and Saturn versions never released.

But what of this very early Activision development, and did it ever get beyond initial announcements? Well, yes it did and it looks as if it got pretty far too. On the AVP Galaxy forums back in 2010, Shinigami1016 reported that he had found reference to the game in a small catalogue of Activision titles due for 1993, eventually digging out a scan to share.

The full title was known as Alien VS Predator: Nightmare on Ryushi (with a different Game Boy game also announced). It was based on the Dark Horse comic of the same name, and according to PowerPlay magazine, there was even rumours of a film in the works.

Within the advert, the game was listed as coming soon for PC DOS, and would uniquely allow you to play the game in three different styles with three different protagonists. You could play an adventure version of the game as the horrified human base commander, as the Predator in pursuit of your Warrior title in an action version of the game, and then finally a simulation mode as the ever-clever Alien queen.

The Predator version of the game would take the approach of an Operation Wolf-style shooter, which used the creature’s infrared vision mode along with its triangular targeting system to take down its enemies.

The Human version would be a point and click adventure game, controlled with the mouse.  With the Alien Queen mode, you would have more of a strategic stance where you had to design and deploy your Alien brood to try and take control of the planet.

According to Abandonware France, the game was cancelled during the summer of 1993 due to licencing issues with Fox. We’re not sure how far the game had reached at this stage, and where this information came from (if anyone knows, please let us know).

Perhaps due to the three different games being implemented, the team was overstretched and the game delayed – to the point where the licence had expired. We don’t have any names as of yet of anyone who was involved on the game, but hope some day we’ll get to learn more details.

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A lot more information is needed on this title. If you come across any related magazine articles, screenshots or details – please do get in touch with us. It is hoped that something of the development has survived after all this time and which could be saved.

Finally, it is not known if an Amiga version was ever in consideration – we suspect not, though the Amiga was still popular at this point and it would be strange if it wasn’t considered. A C64 version would have been a huge stretch – perhaps that version was to be a simple action game like the Game Boy. Maybe one day we will find out for sure.

With thanks to Ross Sillifant for information and scans, Unseen64 and Abandonware France for some of the screenshots and for remaining scans.


2 Responses to Alien VS Predator: Nightmare on Ryushi

  1. To this day, I am surprised that there haven’t been any adaptations of that original AVP comic book series, be it movie, TV series or videogame. This looks like it could have been fantastic, though the three different play styles seems like overkill… Essentially three independent games in one package.

    Makes me want to revisit the concept I started on the Spectrum and then swapped over to the SAM Coupé back in 1990/91 (as previously found

    • That would be very cool if you did revisit your old concept Gordon – I agree that it’s been a huge shame that an adaptation hasn’t been done yet!

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