Unreleased/Cancelled Virtual Boy Games
In my last few articles I’ve talked about if the Virtual Boy is as bad as people say, Virtual Boy games worth playing, and the Japanese Virtual Boy games. But now, for the last Virtual View article, I’ll be talking about the unreleased/cancelled games that were planned to be on the Virtual Boy. 33 games were confirmed but never released for the Virtual Boy. While their isn’t information about all 33, I’ll be informing you about the games that have information about them.
This game was planned to be a first person science fiction tank simulator like Atari’s 1980 arcade classic, Battlezone. Announced at 1995’s E3, it was developed by Boss Game Studios which today is long gone with the three people on the dev team. One of the members, Todd Downing, said that the game was nearly finished, but Boss Game Studio and Nintendo dropped support of the system.
Developed by Hideyuki Nakanishi of Japan System Supply, this was said to be one of the best games on the Virtual Boy, and a console saver, but it was never released even though it was finished due to Nintendo abandoning the Virtual Boy. You play as Chalvo, a robot who is after alien invaders that plan to destroy the Earth. You destroy the aliens on a playing field by landing on them and then throwing them off the field. The game has 4 modes to choose from: Adventure of Chalvo, Score Attack, random game, and Pocket and Cushion. The game has a password feature and excellent 3D effects if you’re playing on the console. Physical copies of Bound High are available but it’ll cost you a pretty penny.
Donkey Kong Country 2
Not a great deal is known about this version of DKC2, except that it was developed by Rareware and was only in the works for a few weeks before being canned. I’d imagine the game would basically be a mix between the SNES version of DKC2 and Donkey Kong Land 2 on the Game Boy.
Hardly anything is known about this game except that it was developed by Epoch Co. and it was based on the manga series “Doraemon: World of Faries.” It had a scheduled release for March 1996.
Like Bound High!, Intelligent System’s Dragon Hopper was planned to revive the Virtual Boy, but it was never released due to, once again, Nintendo dropping support of the console. The game even had a release date for August 26, 1996. The game was shown at Space World 1995 and e3 in 1996 and would’ve been a 3D action adventure game with an overhead view. You control Dorin, a dragon and the goal is to get to the end of multi levelled stages. On your journey you would’ve explored levels, helped friendly creatures, and battle foes to find four spirits which give Dorin elemental powers. Dorin isn’t a lone on his journey either; he has a fairy like how Link has Navi in Ocarina of Time, but probably not as annoying. The game had 7 worlds to explore with a battery save feature.
Although released to the public recently, Faceball was made by Bullet Proof Software and was planned to be released in March of 1996. The game is a first person shooter where you shoot smiley faces throughout a maze. You can’t plow through the 56 levels like your typical FPS; the game has eleven different enemy types like Ninjas and Hydras, each require strategy to defeat. The game would’ve supported the Virtual Boy link cable like what the Game Boy systems had. This game was released on the Game Boy and SNES with the name Faceball 2000 for the latter release.
Don’t get confused, this game was not going to be like the Nintendo 64 and FPS classic, but rather an action racing game where you drive one of James Bond’s sweet cars. It is unclear if Rareware or Nintendo was developing the game and only one screenshot of the game exists in a brochure.
VB Mario Land
Rather than a sport game or a 3D remake of the 1983 Mario Bros. arcade game, Nintendo’s mascot was going to get a full-fledged game. However, things didn’t go as planned and development of the game shifted with the end result being Mario Clash. This element the developers focused the entire game of Clash on was only a mini-game in VB Mario Land where as the actual game was a platformer like Super Mario Bros. The game would’ve used the same plane switching that Virtual Boy Wario Land uses. What would’ve made this game stand out though is the games adventure game mode where you control Mario from an overhead view through Zelda like dungeons. Only the first level was ever shown including the adventure style gameplay at the winter CES 1995.
The company Bottom Up was developing a 3D version of Arkanoid/Breakout/Alleyway (whatever name you know that type of gameplay as). The game was shown and playable at the Nintendo Space World in 1995.
Hudson Soft’s Virtual Bomberman would’ve had your typical story mode and challenge modes, but Bomberman would be able to use armor with five different types: Launcher Armor, Rick, Tibu, Lock On Armor, and Ninjirou. This game was shown at the Nintendo(Famicom) Space World 1995 and was set to be released in December 1995, but was pushed back to late February 1996 and then cancelled all together due to the Virtual Boy failing. The game would’ve still played like your typical Bomberman game but with a 3D playing field and 3D explosions.
This game was going to be a first person shooter similar to Virtua Cop with the player shooting through five levels. The game was developed by Victor with a planned release date of March 1996 for Japan with the game being shown at Nintendo(Famicom) Space World 1995. It was most likely canceled due to the short life of the Virtual Boy.
A horse racing game developed by Right Stuff. Not much else is known about the game.
Team17’s smash hit was planned to be made with the help of Ocean Software for this red machine. The game did not get very far in development once the news was given that the Virtual Boy would not get a European release. Team17 also found the Virtual Boy to be a dead on release console which, history has shown to be the case.
Nintendo had plans to re-release/revive the Virtual Boy with three tiles: Bound High!, Dragon Hopper, and Zero Racers. The problem was that this revival never happened and like Bound High! And Dragon Hopper, Zero Racers had loads of potential. The game was set as a sequel to F-Zero, but rather than using futuristic settings, you’d race in another dimension in vehicles that looked like spaceships. You would’ve raced through tunnels moving at crazy speeds, and with a health bar which like in F-Zero in which once it’s gone your car explodes. The game used wireframe graphics like Red Alarm, let you pick between one of fare vehicles; each with different attributes with one new vehicle named Origammy replacing the Golden Fox. There were two different gameplay modes, Grand Prix and Practice. One cool thing Zero Racers had going it was the ability to see obstacles and other hazards on the track with the camera before each race. The game was planned for a fall 1996 release in North America.
Games Lost in Localization
House of Insmouse
Be Top’s horror FPS was planned to be released in North America by Acclaim. The game’s prototype appeared in 2004 in a bankruptcy sale auction for the public when Acclaim fell under. The point of the game is to find your way out of a haunted mansion through labyrinth halls before the timer reaches zero. While looking for the exit you’ll be fighting a variety of monsters with a gun that has limited ammunition.
T&E Soft’s 3D Tetris was going to be released in Japan around February 1996, but it remained a North American exclusive. The game could be seen at the Nintendo(Famicom) Space World 1995. This game takes the simple concept of blocks falling and adds an extra dimension. Rather than clearing rows, you clear layers. The camera slowly rotates, letting you see where to place a block along with a radar and shadow to show where the block will land. Although graphically simplistic like most Tetris games, the game has excellent 3D when played on the system even though it’s just wireframe for the most part.
This Japan exclusive was planned for a fall 1996 release in North America. Created by Pack-in-Video Co., it would have been published by THQ. You’d be fishing in the game with 2 options for you to choose from, tournament and time attack. In tournament mode you would have 8 minutes to catch as many fish as possible, while time attack has you catching 5 fish as fast as you can without any lines breaking.
These games were confirmed for the Virtual Boy, but little to no information is known about them.
- J-League 3D Stadium
- Mighty Morphin Power Rangers
- Night Landing
- Out of Deathmount
- Proteus Zone
- Shin Nihon Pro Wrestling
- Signal Tatto
- Sora Tobu Henry
- Star Seed
- Strange Animal School
- Sunday’s Point
- Virtual Dodgeball
- Virtual Double Yakuman (Mahjong)
- Virtual League Baseball 2
- Wangan Sensen Red City
Virtual Boy Developer’s Ideas for Future Virtual Boy Games
In an interview with Hideyuki Nakanishic, the creator of Bound High!, he stated that his boss and other companies developing games for the Virtual Boy wanted to make software for correcting eye sight. Before you say anything about the Virtual Boy causing blindness or eye cancer, the stereoscopic capabilities of the Virtual Boy is effective in training the muscle of your eyeballs. The eye strain one may get from the Virtual Boy is similar to when a person lifts weights and their arms are sore afterwards. The soreness goes away the more you workout the muscle. As for headaches, if you get them, they could be reduced by adjusting the IPD & focus, having the automatic pause feature on, and by playing in the dark.
As with all my Virtual Boy blogs, I’d like to thank Planet Virtual Boy for providing me with information about these games and the console itself.
Thank you for reading the final entry of the Virtual View article series and feel free to leave a comment. I’d like to thank 1MoreCastle, Eric Bailey, Jason Lamb, and anyone else who I forgot for letting me provide information about Nintendo’s famous red failure for their site.