Former ASCII Corporation employee reveals an unreleased pitch document for a Wizardry game intended for Nintendo's ill-fated Virtual Boy, offering an intriguing glimpse of what might have been.

Unveiled Pitch Document of 'Wizardry' Game for Virtual Boy

The Wizardry gaming series from Japan has witnessed numerous iterations over time, recently stirring interest with a mysterious, never-released installment intended for the now-defunct Nintendo Virtual Boy platform. This revelation comes courtesy of Masaki Nakagawa, a former employee of ASCII Corporation.

Nakagawa recently discovered a pitch document for a Wizardry game distinctively designed for the Virtual Boy console. He clarifies that despite not participating in the project, he remembers 'Wizardry Gaiden VB' being presented at an ASCII company planning meeting during his tenure. The document dates back to 1995, a time when the gaming world was abuzz with speculation regarding Nintendo's forthcoming console, the Nintendo 64.

The pitch exhibits ASCII's ambitions to secure a development kit for the N64 console, with the company's business manager indicating a strong commitment to the Virtual Boy project. Nakagawa believes this might be an effort to curry favor with Nintendo, albeit at the cost of taking on a Virtual Boy project.

The unproduced game is unique in that it would have featured 50 short, digestible scenarios. Each scenario would have taken about 30 minutes to complete—a likely nod to the Virtual Boy’s notoriously uncomfortable play experience that discouraged lengthy gaming sessions.

Sadly, despite Nakagawa’s optimism about the red and black monochrome display of the ill-fated console potentially enhancing the game experience, Wizardry Gaiden VB never transitioned beyond the pitch stage. The former ASCII employee speculates that the game was not pursued or had to be canceled due to Virtual Boy’s market slump. Yet Nakagawa can't help but ponder on the commercial success that might have been realized had the game been launched.

The Wizardry series has historical significance, firmly rooted in the gaming corpus since its introduction on the Apple II in 1981 by creators Andrew C. Greenberg and Robert Woodhead. The series notched up a devout fanbase in Japan and the West, credited with spawning popular games like Final Fantasy and Dragon Quest. The franchise continued to evolve past its last western development output, Wizardry 8, in 2001, with succeeding titles primarily being developed in Japan.

Although the latest release from the series, Wizardry Variants Daphne, has been released on smartphones, the original game Wizardry: Proving Grounds of the Mad Overlord has been remade, further perpetuating the franchise's legacy.

This surprising revelation of the unreleased Wizardry game for the Virtual Boy provides a fascinating glance into a chapter of gaming history that was never fully realized. The intent behind the project, the vision for the gameplay, and the reasons behind its non-development enhance our understanding of the creative processes and commercial considerations in the gaming industry's earlier days. While it's regrettable that Wizardry Gaiden VB wasn't released, its story underscores the fascination and enduring influence of the Wizardry franchise in our contemporary gaming landscape.

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Aaron Chisea

Hey there, I'm Aaron Chisea! When I'm not pouring my heart into writing, you can catch me smashing baseballs at the batting cages or diving deep into the realms of World of Warcraft. From hitting home runs to questing in Azeroth, life's all about striking the perfect balance between the real and virtual worlds for me. Join me on this adventure, both on and off the page!

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