Factor 5 is a rather interesting company. With the many project that came and went, notably the Turrican and Star Wars Rogue Squadron series, along with a rollercoaster of failed projects and bad business mistakes that eventually shut down the studio, until a recent surprise revival in 2015. But regardless, it was an ambitious studio, to the point that staff would even create their own devkits to gain an edge over the competition.
Recently, Nintendo Life has interviewed Factor 5 co-founder Julian Eggebrecht, dropping information about two ports and an original game that were intended for the SEGA Genesis.
The first was a port of the SNES classic Super Castlevania IV. It was made from scratch, more specifically based on one level to highlight how the SNES’ signature Mode 7 effects can be replicated on SEGA Genesis hardware. It was designed to convince Konami to port over the game to the SEGA Genesis, but was turned down for more ambitious projects. However in the end they did work on a port for Konami, Contra 3/Super Probtector for the Game Boy.
We did recreate one of the SNES Castlevania 4 levels, or at least part of one, that used Mode 7 in one part. I vaguely remember it might have been the huge swinging chandelier bit. They were quite impressed but Konami Osaka at the time decided to get into Genesis game creation in a bigger way and pulled all Genesis work internal.
The Game Boy work ended up being a lot of fun, though. It was so tough and constrained but that made us double-motivated.
The second was a Bomberman game. It was a demo, notably being fully playable with up to 8 players with two multitaps. But it was rejected, and instead Hudson Soft would port of Bomberman 94′ as the (inferior) Mega Bomberman, developed by Westone. However, Factor 5 were given permission to create B.C. Kid (aka Bonk’s Adventure) for the Amiga.
We also did a fully playable 8-player Bomberman demo for Hudson Soft on Genesis, using two 4-Player multi-taps. Unfortunately Hudson [ported] the mediocre Bomberman ’94 from the PC Engine to Genesis 1:1. But we did end up making BC Kid for them on the Amiga.
Interestingly Factor 5 also created a port for the game Indiana Jones’ Greatest Adventure. It was a 1:1 conversion to SEGA Genesis, even retaining the Mode 7 effects. But it never happened simply due to the publisher U.S. Gold going bankrupt at the time.
We did a 1:1 port of Indiana Jones to the Genesis that was not released due to US Gold, who was financing it for LucasArts, going out of business. We were pretty proud that all the Mode 7 and transparency effects made it on the Genesis.
Maybe one day these game will leak online, but until then we got new bits of history from Factor 5 of what could of been.Ad: