There are the well-received success stories in the world of game development and creation, and then there are the titles that failed to see the light of day. Among the sea of incomplete and lost projects is an early prototype of the Sega Mega Drive adaptation of anime classic Akira, which was originally intended for an official launch in 1995.
But as life would have it, not everything will pan out as planned. Following an initial debut in various media and the Summer Consumer Electronic Show (SCES 94) in 1994, developer Black Pearl Software made the decision to pull the plug, and the project was thought to be lost for eternity.
Until now, some 20 odd years later.
For the first time, the world is finally able to yield a glimpse of the full, unreleased cut of the Akira prototype. With the aim to attempt a faithful adaptation of the original film, the team sought to present various key scenes from the source material in unique ways, which led to an amalgamation of styles from first-person shooting and racing (of course), to platforming and beat-’em-up.
The genre mix didn’t seem to have carried over to the game well, if the one-hour reel is of any indication. It does, however, look pretty rad and slick, especially with the smooth, elaborate animation between the cutscenes – something one usually doesn’t see on the Mega Drive.
It’s truly a pity about the failed execution, but that really shouldn’t stop you from checking out the whole prototype above. Enjoy!
Si Jia is a casual geek at heart – or as casual as someone with Sephiroth’s theme on her Spotify playlist can get. A fan of movies, games, and Japanese culture, Si Jia’s greatest weakness is the Steam Summer Sale. Or any Steam sale, really.