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Someone Might Have Found A Canceled Castlevania Dreamcast Prototype

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In a mysterious new video (h/t Polygon), an off-camera player navigates through what appears to be a prototype of Castlevania: Resurrection, a canceled Sega Dreamcast game from the early 2000s. If legitimate, this is the first time gameplay footage has been made publicly available.

The brief video appeared on a newly created YouTube channel and lacks a description. The disc is marked “11’ 5 ’99” and looks like a typical re-writable GD-ROM of the sort Sega commonly used internally for development and distributed to press in the Dreamcast era. It’s unclear where the person in the video obtained the disc.

Konami / cvr exists (YouTube)

The player loads up several areas from a debug menu but only moves the character with one hand, so it’s unclear if combat or other features are implemented. And while the main character takes damage from a few enemies, she also traipses through a lava pit to no obvious ill effect, suggesting much is left unfinished.

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According to Unseen64, Castlevania: Resurrection would have followed Castlevania Legends protagonist Sonia Belmont and a new character named Victor Belmont as they traveled into the past to deal with Dracula before the events of the first game. While the game did make appearances during a private showing at E3 1999 and in the September 1999 issue of the United Kingdom’s Dreamcast Magazine, Konami quietly canceled it in March 2000.

Castlevania: Resurrection was a game doomed from the start,” former Konami artist Jason Lee Elliott writes on his personal website. “The team itself had a lot of troubles when I came on board. Most of the team had only ever worked on sports games, so they had no idea how to make a 3D action platformer. The art team wasn’t very cohesive and couldn’t agree on a direction. The game had been in development for almost two years and had little to show.”

Konami / Jason Lee Elliott (YouTube)

Since its cancelation, various Castlevania: Resurrection assets have appeared online—including concept art and music—thanks to folks who had a hand in the game’s development.

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I don’t think the world missed out on anything mind-blowing when Konami sent Castlevania: Resurrection out to pasture, but that doesn’t mean archival efforts like this aren’t still vitally important to preserving video game history. We lose out on so much more than a few hours of gameplay when a major studio cancels a project. Kudos to the fans who continue to scrounge for information; it’s by their efforts alone that we continue to learn about these games.