Documenting unreleased, cancelled and prototype video games.
Covering unreleased and cancelled video games, plus prototypes and early versions of games on a variety of consoles and computers. We are a large archive dedicated to preserving games that were never released to the public. Sharing history and stories from the developers, assets and more before it is too late.
We are a non-profit digitisation project, aiming to digitally preserve software and history which would otherwise be lost for good. If for any reason there is anything that you do not wish to be on the website, please contact us for removal.
This summary of yet another lost Amiga conversion comes from contributor, Termie Gen, who talks about the unreleased Gryzor and Contra conversions for the Amiga.
Developed between 1987 and 1988, but never released it seems. Screenshots of an Amiga version found their way onto various print material, including the box art of other home computer versions of the game, shown below.
The September and October 1988 issues of Amiga World magazine make multiple mentions of Contra. They even provide 2 price points for the game, as part of a list of Amiga software that are available through phone or mail order.
Like the DOS and Commodore 64 versions of the game, a putative Amiga Contra would not be developed by Konami themselves, but another company. It could have been handled by a European developer, such as Ocean Software, given the Commodore 64 Contra is simply a North America regional release of Gryzor, also handled by Ocean. This is less likely, however. Interesting side note: Contra for DOS would in turn be released in Europe by Ocean, re-dubbed as Gryzor. Talk about a real mix-up with their conversions.
The fact that a smaller developer house, and not Konami, had likely worked on Amiga Contra means that getting a lead on this title will be much more daunting of a task. Judging by the screenshots, this looks to have been the definitive home computer conversion, graphically at least. It is one that definitely needs to be brought closure. Out of all the home computers that Contra was converted for, the Amiga could have handled Contra the best.
Less concrete information is available for this title than Contra. Most of the references to it are in magazines that advertise or cover the versions of the game from Ocean. It’s possible that this would have been the same case as the DOS version, where the North-American developed Contra was simply renamed to Gryzor when localized to Europe.
The following advertisement is present in many computer magazines, such as ACE and Amstrad Action:
Although focused on Ocean Software’s Gryzor releases, it also mentions that the title is available for PC and Amiga. The latter 2 are even interestingly grouped together and separated from the CPC, Spectrum and Commodore 64 releases.
In their article reviewing the DOS and Commodore 64 versions, German magazine Power Play lists Gryzor as being also available for Amiga (as well as Amstrad CPC and Spectrum):
A less credible reference is/was on a few websites, where they claimed that there is a Gryzor game for Amiga that was developed by Ocean Software and published by Sega. A game such as Gryzor for the Amiga computer would not go unnoticed if Ocean Software was indeed the developer.
An Amiga version of Gryzor could have fared pretty well compared to the other 4 available ones. Perhaps more information about this game may be unearthed if its counterpart, Contra, is recovered first.
Here are some additional scans thanks to Ross Sillifant – suggesting that Gryzor was not going to be outsourced.
A massive thank you to Tom Roger Skauen, who passed on a copy of this very obscure and rare sample release of Dragon’s Lair – which he fully preserved in TAP format.
Tom cannot remember how he obtained the game, but was probably in some kind of package deal.
The tape data is different, so there was the possibility of differences to the final game – however, contributor Hank (see comments) has confirmed that apart from the loading screen – the game is identical. Possibly there are some minor bugs, but its essentially the same game. The only major difference is that the game ends at the Falling Disc 2 stage and has no further levels to load or ending. So it is really a unfinished sample like it says!
The Museum of Art and Digital Entertainment have yesterday made Habitat Open Source, by releasing all of the code on GitHub.
Work has been going on since 2013 to try and preserve everything, and now the goal is to try and get the server running once more. Hopefully some day we may yet get to play this again on our C64’s and see something of the game running once more!
Games That Weren’t is a freely ran project, 100% non-profitable and done in our own free time. To ensure minimum downtime, storing vast amounts of scans, downloads and information we have to pay for our hosting.
UPDATE! – We have raised all our funds for 2016/17 – many thanks to everyone who contributed. Full details of who contributed can be found on our Donation page.
Please note that donations only cover our hosting/domain costs, and that we remain a purely non-profit project. Each year we will try and raise money to cover our costs. Once we hit our target, no more donations will be accepted. If donations go slightly over the amount, then this will contribute towards our PC drive and Kyroflux purchase for the archive.
Been a while, but here is a new update with a brand new game release, and a digest of updates that have happened since the 27th February.
Evil Garden fully recovered and released today
Thanks to Lenny Bronstein for highlighting originally and the coder Lutz Vieweg, we are proud to present the long lost C64 conversion of Evil Garden by Demonware. Intended for release in 1989, but the risk not taken due to possibly poor Amiga sales. It’s an interesting Centipede clone with some lovely samples and features worth checking out!
DISCLAIMER: We are a non-profit digitisation project, aiming to digitally preserve software and history which would otherwise be lost for good. If for any reason there is anything that you do not wish to be on the website, please contact us for removal.