26 years ago the Neo Geo was the original home of a number of fighting games that would go on to be long running series, such as the King of Fighters games. Another potential Neo Geo masterpiece may have been discovered by Neo Geo enthusiast Brian Hargrove, who purchased an unlabelled ROM board a year ago for the sum of around $750, in the hopes of discovering any chunks of leftover data he could play with.
Upon first inspection of the data dumped from the board, it appeared to be an early protoype of Voltage Fighter Gowkaizer, a superhero fighting game developed by Technos. Dumps of the flash cards that came with the board seemed to contain nothing to do with Voltage Fighter, however. Eventually, Hargrove was able to get the game to boot up, despite two of the flash cards being dead. This revealed a character select menu for a perhaps never-before-seen Neo Geo fighting game.
While the data containing things that may have been able to identify the game, such as a title screen, is inaccessible, what is available is interesting. The game looks like it may have been related to a franchise such as Dungeons and Dragons. Many of the character sprites are rough at best, but all of the characters contain one of 3 alignments that often appear in D&D – Lawful, Neutral and Chaotic. Choosing different alignments appears to change the character’s sprites too, which could have provided interesting depth and choice to the game. Overall, the game appears to have been rather ambitious, and it has been noted that it appears more complex than many of Technos’ other games, which raises the question of who developed it.
There is always the chance that this game is just a hoax, created and uploaded to an old Neo Geo board by a joker. The amount of effort that must have been used to create the advanced sprites featured in the prototype seem to contest this though. A number of the characters in the game even seem almost entirely complete. It may never have been finished, but from what you can see of this game, it really makes you wonder what it could have been had it been finished.
The eBay listing for the headset includes a number of pictures, which show how it differs from the regular “Explorer” edition of the device that had been on public sale. It features hinges that allow it to be folded like a regular pair of glasses as well as changes to the charging port, which appears to be a proprietary connector with more in common with Apple’s MagSafe chargers than micro-USB. Additionally, this headset appears to match one found in an FCC filing last year for the Enterprise Edition of Google Glass, which would also mean that it may sport that device’s larger display, camera LED, and more efficient hardware, although images cannot support this.
Where this version of the Glass came from and how it came to be in the ownership of a pawnbroker remains unknown, with A to Z Pawnbrokers having multiple outlets in the San Francisco area and supplying no details about which store had received it. Whether this could be a blunder that reveals a new version of the Google Glass that is planned for a future release is unknown, and we can only hope that someone willing to examine the device ends up making the purchase which currently stands at $2,550.00, closing in on double the price of the original Explorer edition Glass.
The 1990s was an incredible period of transition in the video game world. For the early part of the decade, Nintendo had been working on its ‘Project Reality’ with SGI, in its attempt to bring “photorealistic” 3D graphics to consoles. Sony became a newcomer to the console market, with similar ambitions. Nintendo’s efforts later became the legendary and history-making Super Mario 64 on the Nintendo 64and Sony’s the cult-classic Crash Bandicoot on the original PlayStation.
Meanwhile, struggling Sega was wondering how to fight back. The company was developing a game called Sonic X-treme that was to be Sega’s first fully 3D Sonic game. However, it was not to be. It’s development was not at all free from trouble, with the title eventually being cancelled.
Fortunately, a copy of the unfinished game was discovered in 2006, and now, fans have joined together to release a version that can run on Windows. Be warned though, it really is nowhere near finished. The ‘game’ is essentially a playable demo, one not free from bugs. The video below however, helps us to get an idea of what Sonic-equivalant of Super Mario 64 may have looked like.