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Prototype Neo Geo fighting game discovered on development board

For all the games that see a release there are many more that never make it past the concept stage, prototype build, or first playable publisher feedback meeting. These games typically fly completely under the radar of gamers with the code existing only on the hard drives or backup discs of developers who worked on the project. Well, one such project has recently been discovered, and it takes the form of a unnamed prototype Neo Geo fighting game.

Neo Geo Forums user NeoTurfMasta is the person who discovered the game. He purchased a development board for $750 from Yahoo’s Japanese auction site. The auction included a Neo Geo development board from the 90s, two 16MB Panasonic flash memory cards, and two Adtek SRAM cards.

NeoTurfMasta managed to extract 6MB of data from the two flash memory cards, but was disappointed to find a game titled Voltage Fighter Gowkaizer. VFG is a game that saw a release by Technos Japan Corp. for the Neo Geo arcade and home consoles, so it was nothing new. However, further inspection revealed a game that looked nothing like VFG.

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With a little more work NeoTurfMasta managed to get the game to boot, revealing a completely new Neo Geo game that never got finished. You can see the character select screen in the video below complete with unfinished character art:

In total, the game has 12 characters which have the option of three classes (Chaotic, Neutral, and Lawful) that impact the character’s speed, stance, special moves, and special bar changes. Effectively giving the player 36 character variations to fight with and defend against. The game also contained boss characters and two of the player selectable characters had the option of animal companions used during specific attacks.

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There are many more images and in-depth information about the individual fighters over on the Neo Geo Forums. Even so, very little is known about the development of the game or what the final game would have been called or played like. So everyone on the forums is hoping one of the original development team members sees the thread and comments. Further digging has so far revealed this game may be a 1997 project called Dragon’s Heaven which was outsourced and possibly worked on by a few ex-Technos staff.

NeoTurfMasta decided to release the prototype and demonstrated it at the Midwest Gaming Classic held last week. You can see the game being played in the two videos below.

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