In the past year or so we’ve seen some Japanese developed prototype games come to light, particularly Hammer Away, Kung Fu Master 2 and Wing Force. Now get ready for this look at a failed test game by Sega, Segasonic Bros.
Posted to the Shou Time Tumblr, these two pictures below show us a glimpse of this unreleased game, which was developed by Bubble Bobble creator Fukio Mitsuji in 1992. Judging by that date and this image posted to Segabits, it looks like it was intended to run on Sega’s System 32 hardware, which just so happened to power the released Segasonic The Hedgehog arcade game. This apparently was a second and never-released Sonic title however, not a prototype/alpha of the aforementioned Segasonic game (also note this odd Segasonic Popcorn Shop game done the same year so Sega was on a Sonic kick) As you can see from one photo, this game allowed single and VS. play although it’s impossible to say how it played from the pictures unveiled so far (more are on their way):
UPDATE: TSSZ News has posted a description of the gameplay. It was a Sonic-themed puzzle game that blended elements of Sega’s Columns and Puyo Puyo. That also explains the VS. below. Arcade puzzle games in the 90s usually did fine but 1992 was also the era of the fighting game where apparently Sonic wasn’t enough to win players over. Atari Games also had puzzle games in development back then such as Beat Head and Freeze but those also didn’t test well given the environment and ended up getting the axe.
Sega developer Oga tweeted about it where he shared this thought (thus confirming that this is real – Oga has credits on numerous Sega games from Gunblade NY to Transformers Human Alliance is is currently in the UK working on arcade/amusement developments for Sega there):
— oga (@oga_gicho) February 5, 2016
Which translates (very roughly):
Bobble mitsuji‘s (already been left Taito and like I was) involved in theproduction, but in the rocket didn’t sort of into the next world. Of it is >segasonicbrothers
I take it to mean that after leaving Taito, Mr. Mitsuji worked on this project but the location test failed (in Japanese, online translators tend to translate their word for location test as “rocket”). I reached out to Mr. Oga for more details but he stated that this happened before he joined Sega so he wasn’t privy to any details. In the meantime we will have to wait for Shou Time to unveil more. What are your thoughts on this discovery?