Thanks to Brendan Phoenix for the heads up. Zzap 64 in October 1986 had a small news snippet about Scarabaeus 2 coming soon from Ariolasoft.
Apparently the Zzap team had seen something of the game and thought it was very good. Coded by the same Andromeda team as the original game. So certainly, this sounds a lot more than just basic vapourware and there could well be something out there of a sequel to save.
Interestingly in 2017, contributor Hank got in touch with GTW64 to inform us that a strange video reporting to show the sequel had popped up on Vimeo at https://vimeo.com/110227340 . The person behind the video (Thomas Sunhede) informed us that it was picked up as part of a bundle of Greve Graphics games, which were mostly master disks of the released games (see gallery).
In September 2021, Genesis Project arranged a preservation effort on all of the disks kindly loaned by Thomas, and now the demo can be checked out for yourself thanks to the efforts of Hedning and Zyron, who had to piece the game together into a more cohesive package.
There are 3 segments in total, an introduction sequence quite similar to the first game, where now you come out and take off in your ship. The next segment is a strange multi-scrolling area where you can click and interact with panels to change the direction of the scrolling. Not entirely sure what the purpose would have been at this stage.
The final part (press Run Stop to see this), has a very neat early 3D section with the screen split. For 1986, it looks particularly impressive at this early stage. Perhaps the split screen indicates that a two player mode was to be present?
As for how Greve Graphics came to have the demo, we are not sure just yet. We believe that a demo was sent by Andromedia, either to draw up interest in the game or to perhaps get another team like Greve Graphics to take it on. More mystery solving to come, but for now – check out this cool early preview for yourself!
Contributions: Brendan Phoenix, Hank, Thomas Sunhede, Hedning, Zyron