Pyross (lost build of cancelled NES port of arcade platformer; 1990)

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Advertisement flyer for the game distributed to retailers by American Sammy.

Status: Lost

Pyross (sometimes called Wardner) is a side-scrolling platformer originally released sometime in September 1987 for Japanese arcades, with a North American release in December of the same year. It was developed by Toaplan and published by Taito. You play as Dover, a young adventurer wandering in a mysterious forest trying to save Mia, a princess that was kidnapped by the titular main villain and his minions. Despite mixed reviews, especially concerning the game's originality, it ended up being a commercial success, with several ports being developed and released in the coming years. However, some were unreleased, including an NES version that was developed and set to be published by Sammy.[1]


As with the arcade version and most other released ports, the NES port would contain five levels, including a castle in ruins, a dark forest and a volcano. Gameplay is very similar to Ghosts n' Goblins, where you attack enemies using daggers, magic spells and such. You can also spend currency in shops to upgrade or acquire new weapons and magic spells.


The NES port was announced at the Summer Consumer Electronics Show in 1990 by American Sammy, who planned to release in in early 1991. It also received some coverage in magazines, notably Electronic Gaming Monthly, who previewed it on their 13th issue in August of the same year. It was decently advertised and even had a VidPro card, implying the game was finished and ready for pre-orders. The game was submitted to Nintendo of America on February 1st, 1991 and got successfully approved for manufacture as indicated in the leaked Nintendo Lot Check spreadsheets.


Not much is know about when the game got cancelled, as its cancellation was never announced publicly.


While Tatsujin, a company formed from Toaplan alumni, acquired the rights to the IP and the original arcade version from Taito, the NES version was made by Sammy Company, who merged with SEGA Enterprises to form SEGASammy Holdings, so the NES version may be housed at SEGA. Nintendo also most likely has the finished ROM in the archives, as it's listed in the leaked Nintendo Lot Check spreadsheets as NES-8P-USA PYROSS. No prototype ever surfaced to the public as of the writing of this article.