Ecco the Dolphin
Ecco the Dolphin creator Ed Annuziata has a new game coming out called Space War Arena for the Nintendo Switch. If you kept up on Ed’s social media, he has had meetings at Nintendo these last few years and this has lead to people assuming (more like hoping) was working on a new Ecco related dolphin game for the Nintendo Switch, but its actually a new IP! In a interview with Nintendo Life, Ed Annuziata talks about returning to work on some of his past titles including Ecco the Dolphin, Mr. Bones and Tiny Tank:
“One of the OCD characteristics of my personality is I never give up! When I was trying to convince Sega about Ecco the Dolphin it took me years to get them to bite. There are some challenges I need to overcome but eventually, there will be a new Ecco!
Also, I am trying to find a way to port our Saturn game, Three Dirty Dwarves, to the Switch. I think that’s an excellent game for the platform. Also, if I have it my way, modern versions of Mr. Bones (Saturn) and Tiny Tank (PS1) are heading over to the Switch someday!”
Its a pretty interesting interview and its awesome to see a creator of some of my favorite video games still doing new work. I’d be totally excited to play a brand new entry into the Mr. Bones and Three Dirty Dwarves franchises. Who’d of thought that we would be saying that in 2019?
Creator of the Ecco the Dolphin series Ed Annunziata has settled a recent lawsuit regarding to SEGA and the ownership of Ecco the Dolphin series. The series was originally developed by a company called Novatrade International (later Appaloosa Interactive), about a dolphin named Ecco who travels through time and space to save his friends from a race of evil aliens, using elements such as the controversial practices of John C. Lilly and Pink Floyd albums as inspiration.
After the bankruptcy of the company Appaloosa in 2006, the Ecco the Dolphin name would be obtained by SEGA for future usage. Because of Ed no longer having access to the series, he tried to create a spiritual successor in 2013 called The Big Blue on Kickstarter, which failed to reach it’s financial goals. After the failed Kickstarter, he shifted focus on getting back the Ecco the Dolphin name from SEGA.
A recent update claims that the lawsuit has been settled between Ed and SEGA. However despite this, neither party have commented on the matter. Whether or not this will effect the Ecco the Dolphin series in the future is unknown. Maybe there might be a revival in the future, and we’ll get to swim in the mysterious seas once again as everyone’s favorite time traveling dolphin? Only time will tell.
[Source: Venture Beat]
Ecco the Dolphin is a familiar face for SEGA fans, appearing in 4 different games and gaining a bit of a cult following due to it’s bizarre and surprisingly dark premise of a dolphin traveling through time to save his comrades from evil aliens. What many people didn’t know is that there was a fifth game in the series that was in development, acting as a sequel to the Dreamcast game Ecco the Dolphin: Defenders of the Universe. The game titled Ecco II: Sentinels of the Universe started in development sometime in 2001-2000, around the time the Dreamcast was on it’s last legs, with the build leaked in particular being made on February 19th, 2001. The game did not reach far into development, not receiving press coverage of any type and being silently cancelled when SEGA started to move away from the console business, though Ecco the Dolphin: Defenders of the Universe receiving mixed reception may of also contributed to the cancellation.
SEGA and Atlus have given 3DS owners another reason to check out their games on the eShop, where the companies have put ten of their games on sale.
The following SEGA 3D Classics titles are being sold for half-off at $3 a piece until July 2:
- Streets of Rage
- Space Harrier
- Sonic the Hedgehog
- Shinobi III
- Galaxy Force II
- Ecco the Dolphin
- Altered Beast
- Super Hang-On
If you haven’t ever played these games before, now is a good a time as any to try them!
Atlus, meanwhile, is selling both Shin Megami Tensei IV and Shin Megami Tensei: Devil Survivor Overclocked for a third off, at $20 each, until June 29.
Not too long ago, we speculated that a physical release of SEGA’s 3DS 3D Classics was in the works, and shortly thereafter such a release was revealed to be happening! Releasing December 18th, and featuring cover art by Ken Sugimori, the compilation is to include a mix of wave 1 and wave 2 titles: 3D Space Harrier, 3D Fantasy Zone, 3D Outrun, 3D Streets of Rage, 3D Shinobi 2, and 3D Ecco the Dolphin. Also included are two bonus titles, Space Harrier 3D and Outrun 3D which originally released to the SEGA Master System and utilized the 3D glasses.
For a sampling of what to expect from the compilation, check out the trailer above. If you have a Japanese 3DS or alternate means of playing import titles, you can pre-order the game from Play-Asia. In the meantime, I’ll just sit here watching the trailer, fingers crossed for a US release. Tears running down my face.
SEGA Channel Retro presents a showcase of fan-driven projects regarding classic SEGA favorites as well as a vintage PC shooter making it’s debut on the SEGA Genesis. Today Bartman3010 checks out Ecco the Dolphin PC retooled for modern platforms by a key member from Caverns of Hope, GASEGA68K’s port of Wolfenstein 3D to the Mega Drive as well as finishing up our sporadic playthrough of Sonic the Hedgehog 3 with Sonic 3 Complete made by members of Sonic Retro.
If you are reading this, the feed should be live very shortly.
You can check out the archived stream in it’s entirety on Twitch here as well as view the videos on YouTube if you prefer. If you want to play any of these for yourself, the links will be listed below.
Uncut Stream [Twitch]
Ecco the Dolphin fan site Caverns of Hope have been hard at work on a fixed and enhanced version of Ecco the Dolphin for Windows PC. The original game, which was released for Windows 95, had become harder and harder to play thanks to the inevitable new versions of Windows over the years. You might say “well I can always emulate the SEGA CD or Genesis version of the game”, but then you’d be missing out on the many enhancements found in the PC version. Ecco the Dolphin for Windows PC features redrawn high resolution graphics, the CD Audio soundtrack from the MegaCD/SegaCD versions, the 3D rendered videos from Tides of Time, a save/restore system removing the need to use Passwords, a new difficulty system and translations to several languages.
Today is a big day for classic SEGA releases, as the 3DS will see the release of 3D Ecco the Dolphin and 3D Galaxy Force II and Sonic the Hedgehog 2 has released to iOS and Android devices. Those who have experienced M2’s 3D Sonic the Hedgehog, 3D Altered Beast, 3D Space Harrier, and 3D Hang-On should expect the same level of quality and features in 3D Ecco the Dolphin and 3D Galaxy Force II. 3D Ecco the Dolphin features a much touted “Super Dolphin Mode” for those who found the original game too difficult.
Sonic the Hedgehog 2 for iOS and Android is every bit as solid as SEGA’s previous remastering of Sonic the Hedgehog by Sonic Retro forum members Taxman and Stealth. The biggest addition that has excited many fans is the inclusion of the long lost Hidden Palace Zone stage. There are also a few new surprises, but we won’t spoil them for you just yet.
This week on the show Barry and George talk about the future of the Shenmue franchise, their take on its future and of course Project X Zone, which recently came out. Besides that we cover your weekly news, for more on whats on the show check the show notes after the break.
From what it seems, all the Sonic the Hedgehog games are 99 cents on Android and iOS, but on iOS most titles are discounted to 99 cents too. There are also a few other titles on sale on Android, but mostly Sonic titles.
If you have been waiting for these games to be discounted, now is your time to pick them up. What games are you guys planning on getting?
Looks like Sonic the Hedgehog won’t be the only Genesis game getting a 3D make over. If PEGI’s ratings website is anything to go by, Ecco the Dolphin will soon be coming to 3DS with a new 3D coat of paint. I hope this sells: its superior sequel Tides of Time would be a real sight to behold in 3D.
The game hasn’t officially been confirmed by SEGA, but given the track record of the ratings boards in predicting SEGA’s 3DS digital titles as of late, I am definitely willing to take this at face value. Is it too much to ask for this to use content from the SEGA CD version, SEGA?
It appears that Ecco the Dolphin creator Ed Annunziata was unsuccessful with convincing SEGA to back his next project, so he has done what many developers are now doing – he has turned to Kickstarter to crowd fund the game. Annunziata, as well as Spencer Nilsen (Ecco the Dolphin, Sonic CD) and Bear McCreary (Walking Dead, Battlestar Galactica) are all onboard for a title called The Big Blue, which Annunziata says “isn’t based on the original Ecco the Dolphin series” but it “is the next evolutionary step in underwater adventure games”.
Despite not being based on Ecco, the game does very much look like it is based on the old SEGA series, complete with undersea creatures, dolphins, Spencer Nilsen music, and even a game title that shares the name with an Ecco the Dolphin character. Of course, not being SEGA developed, it makes sense that Annunziata wouldn’t proclaim that this is the next Ecco game. Sort of like how Child of Eden and Crimson Dragon aren’t sequels to Rez and Panzer Dragoon. To learn more about the project, check out the video above and check out the Kickstarter page. The project goal is $665,000, and with 34 days to go they have raised $1,171.
ECCOS was shown last year, creator Andrew Norman Wilson took gameplay footage of the SEGA Genesis game and modified the music in Final Cut Pro. He changed the speed and added echo effects, making it a very different beast from the original soundtrack. Andrew calls it “Furniture music”, not mean’t to be on its own but serve as background noise.
Now Andrew has released the ECCOS soundtrack, you can download seven-tracks, 48-minutes of furniture music. If you are interested in seeing his art project, called ‘Center for Wave Change’, check it out here.
Could another Ecco the Dolphin game be in the works? The designer of the original SEGA Genesis titles, Ed Annunziata, is pushing for a new title and so far signs are looking good! Scott Foe, a consultant on mobile and social games who worked with SEGA during the Dreamcast years, got Annunziata a meeting with SEGA to discuss reviving the franchise. Annunziata tweeted:
Ecco fans, I need you to follow & tweethank @scottfoe, he convinced SEGA to meet with me now chances of a new Ecco the Dolphin x100!
If that news wasn’t good enough, Annunziata later tweeted: “Spencer is on board! (puttn’ the band back together!) :)”. Annunziata is referring to Spencer Nilsen, the man who composed the beautiful music for the original SEGA CD and Genesis games, as well as the American Sonic CD soundtrack. Could it truly be happening? A new Ecco game? While SEGA is being very careful when it comes to big budget disc releases, releasing another 2D Ecco title as a digital download is surely doable. Just look at Sonic 4, and another Ecco isn’t so crazy in that realm. Better yet, get Christian Whitehead to work on rereleases of the first two titles to accompany a new game. While we all speculate, enjoy some Ecco music after the break. Thanks to ROJM for the tip!