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.

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Robocop Vs Terminator (NES)

1993 Virgin Games

Platform: Nintendo Entertainment System

Well, if you’ve been following the GTW Youtube channel we have, you probably have seen the clips to this already. You’ve probably even already got the roms (you naughty people!) and played it yourself. Its about time we said a little something therefore on the game.

You think these days that it is bad with sequel after sequel and various bits of recycling going on in films and games. Well, the early signs of ideas running out became apparent when someone came up with the idea of taking the two big film characters and merging them into one game, which would be quite naff for a film (Though don’t doubt for a second that a film wont eventually appear!), but would probably be excusable enough for a game – Robocop VS Terminator was born.

The game is typical of the past Robocop games, with a controllable Robocop that shoots in all directions, and who runs and jumps their way through various levels, climbing ladders and along pipes while avoiding sewer sludge and destroying force fields. At the end of levels you’ll find bosses from the Terminator range of games. Its a tried and tested formula, and not a game which is gonna grab you for too long.

The relevance of this particular title is its history. The game was produced across a wide range of platforms, which included the NES system, which was just about surviving in the world of 16-bits. Creator of Mc Kids on the NES, Gregg Tavaress was assigned to the conversion over the space of a few months. However, once the game was pretty much complete, baring testing and some fixing, it was 1993, and most people had begun to leave the NES behind as they moved onto the 16-bit platforms. For these reasons, Virgin dropped the NES before Robocop VS Terminator ever made the shelves.

But no-one even knew that the game was in production, with no press on the conversion. It was in 1998 when Gregg Tavaress spoke about the game in an interview. Gregg was told that the game would most likely only make a European release, though this was never to happen. Although Gregg didn’t have the game, it mysteriously turned up not long after the interview and it was exclusively ported for TSRs NES Archive (http://www.atarihq.com/tsr/).

Few have labelled it as the first ever unreleased NES game to be released to the public via emulation. Quite possibly Gregg put the site in touch with someone who probably did have a prototype cartridge, or the source code, though it isn’t confirmed.

In his interview, Gregg commented

“It was a very bad game. The artists couldn’t deal well with the limits of the NES so it looks very bad and the designer was a recently promoted play-tester and he didn’t really know what he was doing.”

Gregg was certainly right, it wasn’t the hottest NES game ever seen and certainly wouldn’t have lived up to his previous Mc Kids effort. Graphics were particularly poor, and music was not as good as it maybe could have been. Gameplay was not too bad, but there were already hundreds of better games from this genre on the NES.

Although looking to be the complete game, there are many glitches in places for graphics and sprites, but these are luckily not fatal. Although not the best game ever, its finding is of large importance for preservation and is a particularly good finding for the NES community.

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Bubble Bobble

2004 Pieland / Taito

Platform: Mobile

Just a brief review to show you an unseen glimpse of a rather nifty Bubble Bobble conversion which never was on the Mobile platform. Mobile gaming became big business during the turn of the millennium, and just as with old consoles and computers, the platform also sees its fair share of scrapped titles.

Bubble Bobble was very ironically being developed by Ste Ruddy, the very same developer who did the fantastic C64 conversion 20 years or so before. In fact, a fair bit of the games code has actually been borrowed from the C64 source code, including the airflow and baddie data from the game.

This particular development for Ste was done shortly after the bankruptcy of Acclaim to strengthen up his CV:

“I was looking around and educating myself in Java and mobile gaming to see if it was a viable option. There’s a lot of development in it and yeah, it is a bit like the old days tight memory constraints and one person doing everything.

Working on a version of Bubble Bobble for mobiles was very interesting. It was a demo to show what was possible on a low spec phone, which made it feel similar in terms of development – at least the memory squeeze – and strangely familiar considering it was almost 20 years since I last worked on the C64 version.

The game actually turned out very similar, probably due to the fact I extracted the airflow data and baddie data from the Commodore game. And I did include all 100 screens! There are no plans to release it, although I play it on my phone whenever I’m waiting for owt!”

Sadly the excellent conversion was not to be finished or picked up by any developers, which is a huge shame. It seems the game is pretty much there, but just lacks some sound. Paul Drury discovered Ste’s conversion when talking to Ste for an instalment of Desert Island Disks for Retro Gamer magazine many years ago. Its thanks to Paul that we are able to show you the video clips you can see of the game running.

So for now we can at least take a glimpse of a great little conversion, but it seems that no-one will be playing this anytime soon apart from Ste himself.

Thanks to Paul Drury and Ste Ruddy for the information and video clips.

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Gamma Strike salvaged!

Gamma boxGreat news, but thanks to the games author Simon Phillips, we have managed to preserve possibly one of the only copies and packages of the obscure Gamma Strike game set on the Commodore 64.

What is particularly interesting about this finding is the use of the two guns which shoot plastic pellets, and of which probably caused the downfall of the package and its very limited release.

Now, it is pretty hard to fully preserve this title because of the hardware packaged with it, but by time of the Christmas update we should have a semi-playable download version of the 3 games that you can check out. Also with this will be various high quality photos/scans of the hardware, box and technical details of how the target and gun worked (So maybe you could rebuild the thing! ) to completely preserve this wonderful obscurity.

Look out for the Christmas update of GTW64 for the full story and all the findings, but for now check out the current entry in GTW 64.

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Long lost Jeff Minter games found!

After some digging around and very careful tape backing up, Jeff Minter has discovered and released a whole range of unseen Llamasoft games on the Vic 20 platform (and one on the Commodore PET). In maybe a weekend of preservation fever, some of these games may have just been saved in time before Jeffs work tapes decayed for good.

Theres some nice titles discovered here, not on the scale of “Hellgate” or “AMC”, but very nice none-the-less and definately worth checking out

Checkout the things that unfolded : http://www.yakyak.org/viewtopic.php?t=58477

and downloads themselves at : http://www.medwaypvb.com/llamadloads.htm

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Ninja Grannies (Spectrum) recovered

Ninja GranniesThe guys at World of Spectrum have just worked with Dean Hickingbottom to recover remains of a rather neat little game called Ninja Grannies which was developed by Clockwise Developments. Well, its a one on one beat-em-up which isnt Street Fighter 2, but its quite a comical little game.

Unfortunately no publishers wanted the game, and so it remained unpublished. Spectrum and CPC versions were developed in parallel, and its believed a C64 version was also in development (Of which an entry exists on GTW64). Hopefully other versions will follow through in the future.

Grab it here, and enjoy!

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Unseen version of Catalypse released

Catalypse was a pretty nifty C64 sideways shooter which challenged the likes of Armalyte and Delta towards the end of the C64s lifetime. Sadly Zzap 64 were strangely critical of the game and gave it a low mark, although the game is quite awesome from its intros, the game and the end sequence.

Recently the guys at ready64.org interviewed Andrea Pompili and managed to get an unreleased version of Catalypse which features a number of bug fixes, some including a level 2 loading screen, fixes to the bosses of 1st and 2nd level, etc.

Grab the new version from here:

http://ready64.org/giochi/scheda_gioco/id/2710/catalypse-1.1

If also you wish to read the interview with Andrea Pompili, then check it out here: (Note that its all in Italian, and you may need to run it through a translator!)

http://ready64.org/articoli/leggi/idart/79/intervista-ad-andrea-pompili

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