OMG, RARE NES GAMES!!!111111eleventyone!!!!
By: Jeff

There were over 600 NES games released throughout the system's lifetime and that's not counting Japanese and European (lucky assholes got the awesome version of Ghostbusters 2) only titles. However, for every 18 or so games, there was one that never saw the light of day. Sure there were screenshots and descriptions in magazines but for some reason or another companies pulled the plug on them leaving their existence to question. At least until Rom Dumpers can get their grubby mitts on the prototype carts and depending on whether or not they rock enough (a good number do) to share these unreleased relics with us all.

Now I'd love to talk about some great prototype games like California Raisins: The Grape Escape or Sunman but I'm gonna do one better and talk about games that not only was everyone completely unaware of but weren't even considered to be made in the first place. So... here we go.

The Legend of Zelda: Blade of the Ancients

Developer: Nintendo
Genre: Action/Adventure
Players: 1

Evil has once again shown it's fugly self in the land of Hyrule and the only way to stop it is to stab it in the face with the Master Sword. It's a damn shame the sword was destroyed centuries ago and its shards scattered across the far sides of the kingdom. Of course, a game about people crying and yelling "We're doomed!" wouldn't sell on any system so that means it's up to you, as Link, to track down the missing pieces and reforge the sword so you can then stomp a mud hole in Ganon's zombie ass.

This game was to be a return to norm for the series by using an overhead style and focusing on item-based gameplay. Players were free to explore the world and search out dungeons, towns and hidden areas while looking for clues to the locations of the shards. Dungeon exploration was more puzzle-based than before and the inclusion of Destiny Dice added an opportunity to tempt fate.

Here's how it worked: upon picking up the dice from a randomly killed enemy, they'd be rolled revealing a number (1-6) and a rule such as projectiles only or no bombs allowed. This rule would be in place for 30 seconds after which, you'd be rewarded all the things you picked during that time multiplied by the number on the first die. Break the rule and a bucket will fall on Link's head with the first die's number being the amount of damage received.

Unreleased: Cancelled so the development team could work on the 16-bit Link to the Past.

Monster After-Party

Developer: Bandai
Genre: Action/Adventure
Players: 1

Sequel to the cult favorite "Monster Party" this game continues right where the previous game left off with Bert and Mark returning to Bert's homeworld only to discover Anarchy, an ancient demon imprisoned in the center of the planet by the Grim Reaper, has consumed the populace. The only way to return Anarchy to its prison is by retrieving enough Crystal Skulls to reseal the Reaper's Gate. Sounds pretty simple except each skull is guarded by a Boss (over 30) ready to throw down at a moment's notice.

While the core gameplay would have been the same, everything else had been changed somewhat. The stage-by-stage setup is gone, replaced by an open world to explore that only got bigger as you collected more skulls. Bert and Mark are still fused together but now you can switch them in and out at will, each with their own strengths and weaknesses that are necessary for exploring areas. Blue Pills bring out a new transformation merging Bert and Mark in a somewhat Angelic being complete with laser eyes and invincibility. The Bosses really shine as you'll have to contend with handicapped ninjas, a bipolar moon, screaming school children and many more.

Unreleased: The Prototype cartridge was lost after a tear in the space-time continuum caused the east wing of Bandai's offices to come under attack by RX-506 Attack Drones from the Deep Blue Rebellion of 2025. There were no survivors.

The Wizard

Developer: Nintendo
Genre: RPG
Players: 1

Based on the commercial of the same name, The Wizard puts you in the role of three children as they embark on a road trip to compete in Video Armageddon, a tournament held to advertise Super Mario Bros. 3. Of course, being an RPG, the story had to be expanded a bit so now there's a plot about a group of Libyan nationalists hiding stolen plans for a nuclear warhead in a copy of Ninja Fighter, a game created entirely for this title.

As with most RPGs you'll spend a good deal of time fighting off enemies and wandering around areas, getting information and buying equipment. What beating up an old lady has to do with kicking ass at Balloon Fight I'll never know but sometimes you just have to accept what's given to you. Seeing as this is a game based on a movie that's about playing video games, I was expecting something like Skate or Die where you'd compete for points in a mock tournament instead of walking around towns hitting people with blunt objects.

Unreleased: After learning that people only watched the movie to get a glimpse of Super Mario Bros. 3, Big N decided to stop production on the game and sealed the prototype in the warehouse shown at the end of Raiders of the Lost Ark.

Mighty Street Fighter II

Developer: Capcom
Genre: Fighting
Players: 2

Hot off the heels of Mighty Final Fight comes a NES Port of the arcade classic: Street Fighter II. Travel around the world challenging a diverse group of fighters in a super-powered sissy fight.

Played remarkably like the original although the small and super-deformed graphics take some getting used to. All the moves and characters are present but there's only one button for punch and kick thanks to the limitations of the NES controller.

Unreleased: This game was cancelled after the Lead Programmer, half insane for having to port another Street Fighter II game, Hurricane Kicked himself right off the tallest building he could find.

Gringo: A Face Full of Buckshot

Developer: LTM Interactive
Genre: Action
Players: 2

Shoot the pets and punch the neighbors, Finland's favorite Sheriff is about to embark on his most pointless adventure yet! Evil genius douchebag, Leslie Fruitloop, has imprisoned the citizens of El Town, New Jersey and put them to work in his Nacho Mines but, more importantly, he's stolen Gringos favorite gun: "El Rhinoplastero". Join Gringo and Deputy Mimosa as they unleash semi-automatic fury in the name of freedom loving Americans EVERYWHERE!

Gringo had players running, jumping and shooting their way through eight amazing themed levels ranging from El Town to a Vietnamese Sweatshop. Along the way you could grab six power-ups for your gun and ultra-powerful "EL-KABOOM" bombs to increase your killin' fun. The one-hit deaths and limited continues ultimately added up for a satisfying game that would have no doubt lead to several broken controllers.

Unreleased: Inept Developer suffering from a severe lack of programming knowledge/ability.

There you go, five games that were never made. I'd like to think I succeeded in what I set out to do here today: waste everyone's time.

This website is © 2001-2008 Listen To Me. All pictures, sounds and other stuff which doesn't belong to us is © its respective owner(s). Everything else is a free-for-all. Steal anything we created (as if you'd ever want to) and we'll...well, we probably won't be motivated to do anything. But you never know. And yes, that is Colonel Sanders throwing a punch at this copyright notice. SMACK