Saturday, December 19, 2015

Why didn't someone tell me Square worked to port its Aliens MSX game to the Famicom Disk System and that the ROM had found its way on line?

Anyone new to this blog may not yet know this bit of oh-so-interesting news, but I am an absolute Alien nut.

Both Ridley Scott's 1979 film and James Cameron's 1986 sequel (called Aliens, naturally) are among my all-time favorite pieces of cinema.

Combine that with my love of video games, and you've got a situation where a person (that would be me) scours the globe in search of quality games that were inspired by the above-mentioned films.

Sadly, that lifelong search has turned up only a few worthwhile possibilities, such as Konami's side-scrolling action game from 1990, 1994's Aliens vs Predator title for the ill-fated Atari Jaguar, WayForward's Aliens Infestation for the DS and last year's Alien: Isolation for PS3, PS4, Xbox 360 and Xbox One.

Is the awkwardly named Aliens: Alien 2, made by Square for the MSX computer platform all the way back in 1987, another example? I've never played it, so I have no idea, but videos such as this one certainly make it look like a contender.

I share all of this because I just--well, a couple of days ago--became aware of the fact that the fine folks at Square worked on a Famicom Disk System port of Aliens: Alien 2 at some point in time.

For whatever reason, though, the company's higher-ups weren't happy with the effort and scrapped it before it could be released.

Amazingly, some wonderful person got his or her hands on the game's not-quite-finished prototype and leaked its ROM onto the Internet in 2011--another piece of news that only recently reached my ears.

If you, too, are an Alien buff and this is the first you're hearing of the Famicom Disk System port of Square's Aliens: Alien 2, you may get a kick out of the footage included in the video above.

Personally, I prefer the more minimalist aesthetic of the MSX original, although the FDS version is far from unappealing. What do all of you think?

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