Akira is arguably one of the greatest animated films of all time. As would be expected, several video games based on the property were produced, though none of them were nearly as good as the movie or manga. You may have played or heard of the Akira games before, but did you know that the Gameboy was set to get one as well? Thanks to a collector, four copies of the game’s prototype have been discovered.
These Akira games were found inside of a “large game stash” by video game historian Patrick Scott Patterson, who is in the business of hunting down retro video games in order to salvage them for posterity. He has found and saved a lot of awesome retro games before, but he certainly hit the mother load with this latest haul. You can see him talking about his find in the video below.
THQ was producing this Akira game not just for the Gameboy, but also for all of the major systems of the time (the Super Nintendo, Sega CD, Genesis, and Game Gear). According to some of the folks behind the game, Akira wasn’t cancelled, just neglected. There was apparently some misunderstanding about what could and couldn’t be done on the hardware. Due to a series of unfortunate events like the game’s lead programmer leaving, Akira was just forgotten.
Patterson will be doing a Let’s Play of Akira at the Portland Retro Gaming Expo next week. What type of game this is and how much of it is actually playable is unknown at the moment so it will be fun to find out what these prototypes consist of. We have to give Patterson a lot of respect for finding a true gem of forgotten retro gaming history. Uncovering one long-lost prototype game is one thing, but to find four is most definitely impressive.