News Article

Buck Rogers SNES Prototype Materializes

Posted by Tim Latshaw

From the 20th and 9/10 Century

Licensing can be a fickle playground for developers. The rights that were secured for a brand may suddenly change or be revoked entirely, calling for a change in plans at any time. More evidence of this fact has arrived in an alleged ROM of a prototype Buck Rogers SNES game made by French developer Loriciel in 1993.

Nintendo Lifer Shiryu was kind enough to post footage of the game, titled Buck Rogers: The Arcade Game in their write-up on it:

If it looks familiar, your eyes aren't deceiving you. This game emerged into the world as Jim Power: The Lost Dimension in 3D, starring Loricel's own flagship character instead of the better known, media-spanning space hero. Although it looks like Loriciel couldn't keep rights to using Buck Rogers, a game such as this was not going to escape production without a macho name, dang it!

Footage of Jim Power's first level is found below, which matches up with that found at the 2:05 mark in Shiryu's video. An immediate difference can be found in the background scrolling, which is likely to heighten the intended stereoscopic 3D effect in Jim Power whereas the Buck Rogers prototype does not seem to be going for any 3D effect at all. You might also notice that both look crazy hard and have some sweet music:

Names aside, which version of this game appeals to you more?

Thanks, Shiryu!

[via tay.kotaku.com]

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User Comments (36)

Pod

#1

Pod said:

When I saw the title screen I thought of Bucky O'Hare!

I guess Buck Rogers wasn't ever a bit thing in norther Europe.

Emblem

#2

Emblem said:

I had no idea what Buck Rodgers was until the Mega Drive game, i played that to death, i still actually have it lol. This looks okay but like most games it hard to tell if its fun until you play it.

Spoony_Tech

#4

Spoony_Tech said:

I recently seen Buck Rodgers again and when I was a kid thought it was great. Um yeah, no, terrible show!

outburst

#5

outburst said:

@Pod
LOL was there a Bucky O'Hare on SNES that I don't know of? I've only played the Famicom one. I did love it when I was a kid. :)

Anyway, I prefer the second video on the article.

sleepinglion

#6

sleepinglion said:

If it weren't for the Sci-Fi Channel re-runs back in the 90s I'd have no clue who Buck was.

Shiryu

#7

Shiryu said:

Such weird and wonderful stuff out there still waiting to be discovered. Without a doubt I prefer the prototype version. Yes, the game is rock hard as it is, requiring precise jumping skills in the many 2D European platformers, they probably believed the 3D stereoscopic glasses gimmick would help sell more copies of the game, but for me it just turned a real hard game into an impossible one. That Chris Huelsbeck soundtrack is what kept me going.

ogo79

#8

ogo79 said:

@outburst
there was an nes bucky o hare and an arcade one. maybe yer getting it hazy with biker mice from mars on snes?
anyways, im sure buck rogers will get a cart dump. speaking of protoypes, the nolan bros have acquired the famous monster party (parody world monster party) for famicom. only one other monster party famicom prototype at that time had been discovered, and the owner didnt want to share it. well now theres 2 out there. monster party never came out on the famicom but now that yet another prototype has fallen into the right hands, a cart is being made for that now...

raghouse

#13

raghouse said:

@Emblem
The Genesis Buck Rogers game is my vote for the most underrated game of all time. That game was awesome! It was even better than the PC version.

DanteSolablood

#15

DanteSolablood said:

@Emblem @Raghouse I'm fine that this never came out, it meant that I instead ended up with Buck Rogers on the Megdrive/Genesis which was one of the most amazing, fun RPG experiences I ever had as a young man. It's ridiculously underrated and still have more features than the average space game out now (space battles leading to boarding ships, leading to hacking, leading to upgrading, landing on planets, exploration, etc,etc,etc...).

shaneoh

#18

shaneoh said:

@raghouse

It was better than the PC version, but unfortunately Matrix Cubed never made it to Mega Drive, would have been great to import your party to a new game.

Bring Doomsday to VC!

andrea987

#20

andrea987 said:

@Pod Yes Flash Gordon was more a thing in my country too. I still knew Buck Rogers, but mostly because of the C64 games, XD

StarDust4Ever

#22

StarDust4Ever said:

@DenisNinja Short answer: you can't. DKC 1,2,3 were pulled from the Wii shop in 2012 shortly before Wii-U launched. The good news was if you have them on Wii, the license could still be transferred over to Wii-U. I had downloaded the first one (wish I had the others) before it got pulled. Oh well; I can just play them on SNES as I have the original carts. Derp. :p

9th_Sage

#23

9th_Sage said:

So, is this company related to Factor 5 at all? All the Turrican sound effects are bugging me.

Grimlock_King

#24

Grimlock_King said:

The background on the snes version gave me a headache and motion sickness. Them trees are moving in the wrong direction.

MayhemStaff

#26

Mayhem said:

Drat, and I was hoping it was a SNES version of Countdown to Doomsday heh...

brianvgplayer

#27

brianvgplayer said:

This explains why the SNES version's sprite was changed from the Amgia original. The original game has a goofy looking guy with a green hat. The "the arcade game" part of the title is very misleading since there was an actual Buck Rogers arcade game from Sega that was a precursor to Space Harrier.

DaemonSword

#28

DaemonSword said:

Looks cool, but a Buck Rogers game without Twiki, Col Deering, or Princess Ardala isn't worthy of the name. lol

TheRealThanos

#30

TheRealThanos said:

@9th_Sage Nope. Factor 5 were Germans, Loriciel was a French company. Maybe there's a thing like "European game music" which could sound similar in some places. Although come to think of it, there were a lot of limits on what they could do with sound back then, so a completely original soundtrack was already quite an achievement. Smaller companies may have lent a few chiptunes from each other here and there, who knows...
@DaemonSword And that's why it became Jim Power... ;)

Anguspuss

#31

Anguspuss said:

i thought it was going to be the amazing buck rodgers game for the megadrive/genisis.

9th_Sage

#32

9th_Sage said:

@TheRealThanos Oh no, it's not the music so much as the sound effects (though the music does have a certain sound that brings to mind Turrican). On watching the Jim Power video (didn't watch enough of that earlier it seems)...apparently those other effects in the Buck Rogers that sound like they are literally the SFX from Turrican were changed. Maybe they were used as place holders?

TheRealThanos

#35

TheRealThanos said:

@9th_Sage Might be. I wouldn't be able to tell you for sure. I'm definitely no programmer so I was just thinking about possible solutions.
@dustin_g The Buck Rogers game will never come out; it was a prototype. The Jim Power game however, was released and can be bought. More than likely it can also be found online...

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