Mario Takes America (cancelled Philips CD-i edutainment game; 1992-1994)
|Magazine article about Mario Takes America.|
In 1992, Toronto-based developer Cigam pitched a CD-i game featuring Mario to Philips, who were impressed and funded the game.
The game was to be an educational game featuring Mario visiting various locations in the United States, Mario Takes America.
In this game project, Mario arrived in New York and travelled across the country in various vehicles to reach Hollywood so he could star in a feature film. It was to use full-motion video footage, some of which was already recorded, featuring shots taken from helicopters, cars, and speedboats. It used 2D sprites and animation, inspired by the recent Mario television cartoons.
In case of the developers couldn't use Mario anymore, sprites and sequences depicting Sonic the Hedgehog as well as original characters named Metal and Heavy were produced and coded into the game as "backups."
The video footage taxed the CD-i's memory greatly, and performance was poor. Philips ended up being unimpressed with the progress the developers were making and cut funding.
Cigam cancelled development and went bankrupt.
All the game's assets were repossessed by the Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce. The developer who revealed most information on the game has two VHS tapes of footage but he won't release any footage he owns without permission from the late producer Howard Greenspan's family.