Au (partially found build of cancelled arcade shoot 'em up game; 1983)
Au (アゥ) is a shoot 'em up game that Tehkan (Later Tecmo, now Koei Tecmo Games) planned to release in 1983. The "Au" comes from the elemental symbol for gold. Gameplay is on a fixed screen, where you shoot flying enemies to capture them, and then shoot more of them to destroy enemy bases on the ground with them. The game is cleared when only one enemy base can be destroyed until only one remains. The one remaining base is carried over to the next stage.
This game was first shown to the public at the 21st Amusement Machine Show on September 28th, 1983. It was well received at the time, and although a location test was conducted afterward, it was never officially released. The reason for the cancellation was that few customers played the game during the location test and sales did not increase.
However, in 2011, we found a ROM board with this game in the warehouse of Koei Tecmo Games. Although it was in an unbootable condition, a repair company was hired and was able to restore it.
On June 7th, 2014, the Tecmo Arcade Game Chronicle, a collection of arcade game soundtracks and archival footage released in the 1980s and 1990s, was released and included a video of Au playing the game.
On the same day, Au was also available for the public to try out at Mikado, an amusement arcade in Takadanobaba, Tokyo, as an event to celebrate its release.
Currently, this game has not been released on Arcade Archives or other platforms since its trial at the event and is not available for public play. Only one board has been identified, so the chances of it being playable in MAME are slim to none.