Thursday, May 27, 2010

Korean Week: Korean games that weren't

Looks like a week of awesome timing. Unseen64 has just posted screens from an unreleased Mega Drive game I submitted there a while ago, which gives me the opportunity to introduce some more games that even Korean gamers never got to play while advertising the post over there ;)

I'm concentrating mostly on games that would fit into the second part of my article, not only because I want to keep the first one interesting when it is finished next month, but also because I can't wait to show these. If you want to see more screens of Softmax' Halloween Capsule, head over to Unseen64. For other awesome things that don't exist, check out the full text.


Some people might have heard of Byteshock, the developer of a beat 'em up game with "RPG elements" called Electronic Popple, which was released in the West by Capcom. This would have been their second game, an action adventure with prerendered graphics, taking place in a Blade Runner-esque dystopian future.

Box Ranger Returns

The sequel to a horizontally scrolling shmup by Soft Action, Box Ranger Returns looks like a nice Zaxxon clone. For some reason this was later included in the products section on Soft Action's homepage (now offline), despite the game not being released.

Power Ball

The Mega Drive was somewhat of a tragic console in Korea. Not because of a lack of success (I think it did reasonably well in Korea), but because of the ill fate for most of the Korean games. The only one ever seeing a release was Uju Geobukseon (often refered to as Uzu Keobukseon on the web) but there were at least seven more that were cancelled at varying stages of their development. One of them was Power Ball, supposedly a sports/action game. I can't realy imagine how that would have played out from the side view seen on the screenshots ...


A screenshot of this game was shown in 1996, and it got my attention for looking like 2D GTA with mechas. The game resurfaced in 1998, but I've only seen an ad showing cutscene images of some dudes on flying motorbikes. Given that another game by the same people change from an overhead-view RPG to a sidescroller, it's impossible to guess how the actual game would have turned out by then.

Woman Power

The order I post these things in makes no sense. Woman Power was actually the earliest game from this page, people following the Korean Game Marathon thread on the forums might remember "Super Cop", a game very similar to old Apogee sidescrollers. Woman Power by the same company looks like goes in the same direction, actually it almost seems like a counterstatement to Duke Nukem (but that was before he became the super macho he is depicted as in Duke Nukem 3D and the following games).

Rhapsodian Occulteller

Did someone order RPG with gorgeous 2D pixel art on top? The game seems to have two battle screens, the one with the five headed party above, and a more zoomed in one showing only one character dueling with a single monster. This was done by Mantra, the guys responsible for the Korean YS 2 Special, but they had to cancel it due to financial difficulties (the company also disappeared not long after).


Speaking of RPGs with gorgeous graphics, here's another one (by Namil Soft).


  1. Those last two look amazing! Shame no one picked them up after cancelation and ported them into english... Ah well, maybe one day a beta will appear and someone will finish them.

  2. I can't tell you what I'd give to actually play Rhapsodian Occulteller. That looks so unbelievably cool. You've got to wonder what sort of reclusive Korean collector has an ISO or actual discs hidden in their stash.

  3. Oh wow, Rhapsodian Occulteller looks like it was going to be great. That's unfortunate.

  4. Power Ball, that looks EXACTLY like Power Spikes II on Hyper League mode by Video Systems Co. for the Neo Geo, only zoomed in closer on the characters and a really ugly background. Basically just volleyball with a futuristic theme.

  5. Rhapsodian Occulteller looks fantastic. It reminds me of Ogre Battle and Suikoden. The last game also looks nice, sorta like a cyberpunk anime RPG. I would love to have played these, I am sure some collector has information.
    It is sad the only games I picked up from Korea when I lived there were GBA bootlegs and Berserk for PS2. I don't recall any exclusive Korean games, and I looked around the Yongsan Electric Market many weekends.

  6. Awesome post.
    Never heard of any of them.

  7. Interesting stuff... I particularly like the look of the isometric shooter :)