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2009 VIDEO GAME

In February 1996, Mindscape Inc. announced they would produce a video game based on the 2099 universe. Promoted as one of their top five games for the year, the game would be released on December 1, 1996, just in time for the Christmas rush. Available in CD-Rom format, two versions were announced: Sony Playstation and Windows 95.


This pic comes from Doomscribe's site personal collection.

By May CD-ROM and VHS video demos were being shipped to game magazines for pre-release reviews, along with a one-page color brochure. The first public demo was shown at the E3 show, and featured a playable single level of the Punisher 2099 fighting SHIELD troops, and also opening menus and some cut scenes. Electronic Gaming Monthly had two quarter-page previews of the game, showing grainy shots of actual gameplay, and a group shot of the player characters. Joe Fielder, game reviewer for Mindscape, didn't give it a glowing review on their website, however.

(see pic: Marvel 2099 EGM1.JPG)

A second showing of the work-in-progress game, this time boasting more playable levels game in July, at the 1996 San Diego Comicon. The booth also handed out brochures, and raffled off One Nation Under Doom pins, shirts, and posters. Some attendees were even allowed to play the demo at the booth, although no copies of the demo were actually distributed to the public.

About this same time, 3D Design magazine (a trade magazine for graphic artists) did a cover story on the Marvel 2099 game. Although most of the article centers around designer Jeff Bunker and not the game itself, it's worth getting for the pictures.

After July, things fell apart for Mindscape. Mindscape was having a disastrous year financially. Ongoing production of the game slowed down, and eventually stopped for financial reasons (the game was never officially cancelled). Mindscape reorganized it's entire organization at least once between July 1996 and December 1996, effectively gutting it's entire games division, including the game's executive producer and nearly everyone else involved in the promotion of the game.

The effect was retailers and distributors were NOT notified that the game had been delayed. The only indication that the game was not being released was it's absence in the Mindscape 4th quarter '96 product literature. Mindscape reorganized again in early 1997, reducing even more staff, further removing all knowledge of the missing game from inside their own ranks.

So what actually killed the game?

In 1996, both Mindscape and Marvel were at the edge of bankruptcy, and both needed a financial success badly. Two years earlier, the 3D game DOOM had been released for the PC, and it's unimaginable success meant that the 2D gaming world had been dealt a deathblow. Although Marvel 2099 was boasting fully 3D characters, the demos showed game play that was side-scrolling, jump-and-punch style action using those 3D characters. Although the visuals were impressive, the actual game play was old hat. Mindscape needed a hit, and early reactions from the E3 and Comicon shows gave them the impression this wasn't it.

On top of that, the game was first announced at an unusual time - not thirty days earlier, Marvel had just fired 2099 group editor Joey Cavalieri, and prompted a walkout by most of the 2099 creative team. Marvel then publicly announced, in mid-January, the titles were being cancelled. It was about three weeks later when Mindscape made their announcement that they had been awarded the 2099 license. According to newly-appointed writer Ben Raab, the entire purpose of the 2099:World of Tomorrow title was to insure there would be at least one 2099 title on the shelf when the game was released. Coincidentally, when production halted completely on the game (approx. January 1996), Marvel abruptly cancelled 2099:WoT.

Two animated cut scenes from the game are shown here. In the first, we look up from the streets of Latveria, to see Libera Cielo departing for parts unknown.

In the second, recreating the cover of Doom 2099 #29, we see Libera Cielo crossing behind Mount Rushmore.

The game's advertising proclaimed it would contain "as many as 50 - 60 CGI rendered enemies and Super-Villains" including Anthony Herod and ultimately Doom 2099.

Shown here are other characters - boss and otherwise - from the game. They include:

Brimstone Love


Herod's Puzzle Samurai

 

SHIELD single trooper

 

SHIELD lineup

 

Tyger Wilde

Also known to be in the game is Blue Max, from Punisher 2099.

All of the pictures shown here were created some time between February and May 1996, prior to the showing of the first demo.

Starting the game, you can choose from any one of eight players - each represents one of the active 2099 titles at that time:

Spider-Man 2099

Punisher 2099

Hulk 2099

Skullfire (X-Men 2099)
no picture available

 

Ghost Rider 2099

 

The Thing (Fantastic 4 2099)
no picture available

 

December (X-Nation 2099)

 

Daredevil 2099 (2099 AD Genesis)

 

After selection, you are shown a CGI animated sequence of that character (example: for Hulk 2099, you see the Hulk climbing down a ladder, and running down a hall towards you, roaring). You can play any character in any order, but you must play all eight characters before you can finish the game.

Each character begins in a related setting: the Hulk in Lotusland, Ghost Rider in Transverse City , Spider-Man in Nueva York, etc. Each setting is comprised of five or so locations or levels, which can be selected in any order - including the boss level.

Take on the boss any time you like, or retreat to the other levels. You CAN defeat the boss at hand-to-hand combat if you're good enough, but added firepower is hidden among the locations if you want it. Defeating the boss gains you access to the other characters and their associated levels.

Eventually you'll face Anthony Herod - and if you beat him, you'll take on the baddest of the bad, the supreme villain in 2099 or any era...

Doom!

The actual game play takes place in three formats - side-scrolling city fighting, 3D over-the-shoulder perspective cyberspace, and one-on-one head-to-head combat, all found within a platform gaming format. Game characters were modeled using 3D CGI

(all pics shown on this page are the actual CGI models for the game, NOT cut scenes), including more than 50 enemies to fight - all of them lifted from the 2099 books. Likewise, virtually every other 2099 hero makes some type of cameo as well. Cameos could come as an assist, i.e. Reed Richards stretching his body to form a chasm-crossing bridge for you. Or cameos may take place as a computer-controlled assistant, to fight at your side for a while.

All of the pictures shown here were created some time between February and May 1996, prior to the showing of the first demo.

 

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