Cancelled Super Nintendo Games

Super Nintendo Entertainment System

The Super Famicom & SNES had an extensive library of games, but not all games that were announced made it to release. A number of these games were announced for release late in the system's life, around the launch of the Nintendo 64.

This article contains what we know about the lost first-party SNES titles. If you have more information on any first-party games that didn't make it, please contact NinDB.

Star Fox 2

Star Fox 2

Created by Nintendo and Argonaut, the developers of the original Star Fox game, Star Fox 2 expanded the original Star Fox team, introduced the rival team Star Wolf, and changed the gameplay from a linear progression through stages to a strategy-style game where you defended Corneria and rescued other planets by clearing missions in battle arenas.

The new models of Arwing were now capable of more complex movements, and could even transform into ground-based walkers. The aim of planetary missions was to take out the enemy forces or hit a number of targets in order to make a switch appear. As a walker, you could hit the switch and enter the enemy base in order to take out the power core.

On the map screen, enemy ships and missiles would hurtle towards Corneria, and you would have to intercept them to prevent the home planet from taking too much damage. If it took too much damage and fell to the forces of Andross, the game was over.

Star Fox 2 was completed, previewed at trade shows and had been featured in numerous magazine articles. The game was due to be released in 1995, however by that time the Nintendo 64 had been revealed. Nintendo were keen to break the distinction between 3D games on the SNES and its upcoming system. The game was dropped from release schedules and eventually cancelled altogether.

Nevertheless, many of the ideas used in Star Fox 2 survived. Shigeru Miyamoto admitted that around 30% of the content of Star Fox 64 was adapted from Star Fox 2. Dylan Cuthbert, formerly of Argonaut, revealed that some programming elements, such as the camera, were used in Super Mario 64. Finally, Dylan Cuthbert's new company Q-Games revived the map strategy elements when developing the sequel Star Fox Command on Nintendo DS.

Kid Kirby

Kid Kirby

Briefly revealed in a couple of gaming publications, Kid Kirby was a prequel to the Kirby series starring a baby Kirby, and developed by DMA Design (who also developed Lemmings and Uniracers).

While very few details are known about how the game would play, a former DMA employee revealed several pieces of official artwork and maps from the game.

The game was designed to be played with the SNES Mouse, but sales of the device were declining by the time the game was revealed, and Nintendo cancelled it when the game suffered from being ported to a standard controller input.

Sound Fantasy

Sound Fantasy

Designed by sound artist Toshio Iwai (who later designed Nintendo DS title Electroplankton), Sound Fantasy was to be an early music game starring a range of colourful bugs that would have been packaged with the SNES Mouse. The game was so far along in its development that Japanese and U.S. boxart had been created for the game.

Sound Fantasy featured music-based minigames: Pix Quartet, Beat Hopper, Ice Sweeper and Star Fly.

In Pix Quartet, you would choose 4 bugs from a range of 16, each representing an instrument. The bugs crawl over the TV screen while you draw a picture out of coloured lines in the background. Each time a bug crawled over a coloured line, a musical note would play.

In Beat Hopper, you played as a grasshopper on a pogo stick. The level is made up of numbered blocks representing drum beats, with the aim to clear all of the blocks by jumping on them the same number of times as the number on the top without falling off the stage.

In Ice Sweeper, you controlled paddles using the Mouse, with the aim to keep the bug on screen and break all of the coloured musical bubbles (similar to Alleyway).

In Star Fly, you could light up Stars, each representing musical notes, and create your own music box style sounds.

The game may have been dropped due to its unusual and, at the time, unpopular premise. However, many of the ideas were later revived and released in the game SimTunes, developed by Toshio Iwai and Maxis for the PC.

Rumoured Cancelled Games

The following games appear on a number of Japanese or U.S. cancelled game lists, but without a source cited. If you have more information, please contact NinDB.

  • Super Mario FX

    Rumoured to be a 3D Super FX Mario game that was eventually developed into Super Mario 64.

  • Fighting Polygon

    Appears in Japanese cancelled game lists, and is presumably another Super FX title.

  • Blackout

    Appears in Japanese cancelled game lists, but no further details are currently known.

  • Special Tee Shot

    A cartridge release for a Satellaview game developed by HAL Laboratory. The basic gameplay is identical to Kirby's Dream Course, but featuring new courses and no Kirby characters.