In 1998 a small team of Japanese developers spent eight months working on a game called Magic Castle, which they sent off as a pitch to seven major publishers, including Sony. It never went anywhere, but thanks to emulators and the efforts of one member of the original team, we can now play it and enjoy it anyway.
One of the team members, PIROWO, recently found the source code for the project—created on Net Yaroze—and decided to tie up its loose ends and release it to the public. This game looks cool as hell, not just for its isometric style, but for a number of very modern touches like a customisable UI and dynamic music.
This video is from a VHS the team first created back in ‘98 to accompany their pitch, which Sony loved—but then also blew by asking the developers to abandon Magic Castle and go work on something else, which they weren’t very keen on doing.
For more on the background of the game, Net Yaroze Europe have an interview with two of the original developers where they talk about stuff like how they got close to making the game with another “company that produces famous Japanese RPG’s,” but then that fell apart as well.
You can download the game here.