Action Drive (lost production material of cancelled Namco fast-paced driving game; 2000)

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Fully colored concept art.

Status: Lost

Action Drive was the given title for a prototype developed by Namco. The project was never announced by Namco and it was scrapped very early into development. As the years have gone by, Keita Takahashi has discussed his short time on the team as a visual artist.[1] So far, he has been the only member of the development team to speak about his experience.


Information regarding the development of Action Drive is scarce. Over the years, Keita Takahashi has come out about his role as an artist for this cancelled title. Being described as a copy of Crazy Taxi, Action Drive was planned to be a fast-paced driving game. However, the designer of the game wished for the game to be spy-oriented. Artists of the project agreed that the concept wasn't very interesting, so they decided to brainstorm something new. Unfortunately, shortly after new ideas came up, the project was shut down. Keita Takahashi has stated that he finished models such as a car and shopping mall.[2]

Keita Takahashi's Concept

Having no knowledge regarding game development, Keita Takahashi initially failed his interview with Namco. However, an art manager from the company admired Keita's creative abilities and encouraged an executive of Namco to hire him. After training and working on a scrapped photo booth project[3], Keita was hired as an artist for a project titled "Action Drive."[4] While brainstorming Action Drive's characters and story, he thought up a damsel-in-distress storyline about the Queen being kidnapped by evil scientists on Earth. The King is concerned yet too lazy to rescue her, so he sends the Prince to do so. Being incredibly tiny, the Prince has another plan: Human-jacking. The person's head would be struck by the Prince's oblong head and become stunned. While unconscious, a tiny steering device would be implanted into the back of the human's head. From then on, The Prince would follow the King's inaccurate directions towards the Queen's location. Keita's concept was scrapped and later the whole game was too.[5] However, these same characters designed for Action Drive were repurposed for Katamari Damacy.[6]


More from Keita Takahashi

External Links


  1. 2019 PULSE Art + Technology Festival: Opening Lecture with Keita Takahashi Retrieved 9 August '23
  2. Katamari Damacy, Boss Fight Books P. 23
  3. Katamari Damacy, Boss Fight Books P. 24-25
  4. Keita talks about Action Drive Retrieved 9 August '23
  5. Katamari Damacy, Boss Fight Books P. 26
  6. Keita discusses the repurposing of Action Drive's characters Retrieved 9 August '23
  7. King and Queen concept art Retrieved 9 August '23
  8. King concept art Retrieved 9 August '23
  9. Human concept art, 1 Retrieved 9 August '23
  10. Human concept art, 2 Retrieved 9 August '23