Sound Fantasy (found build of unreleased Super Nintendo music game; 1993)
Title screen to the Sound Factory prototype.
Date found: 09 Apr 2015
Found by: LuigiBlood
Sound Fantasy (known as Sound Factory during production) is a cancelled music video game intended to be released in 1994 for the Super Nintendo Entertainment System and its Japanese counterpart, the Super Famicom. The game was designed by interactive media artist Toshio Iwai in the early 1990s and borrowed concepts from the installation art piece Music Insects; a piece he created during his time as an Artist in Residence at the San Francisco Exploratorium. However, this project was never picked up by Nintendo for reasons unknown.
Gameplay and Development
Sound Fantasy was to have featured four games. These included Pix Quartet, Beat Hopper, Star Fly, and Ice Sweeper. Pix Quartet is a Qix-style game where the objective is to paint a picture of a note and race across it to create music. Beat Hopper is said to be a Q-Bert type of game. Star Fly involved aligning stars in the sky to create music. Lastly, Ice Sweeper is a game resembling Arkanoid and had the player controlling paddles to knock a bug around and pop musical spheres on the stage.
The game was going to be packaged with the SNES mouse and be available in a larger box, similar to Mario Paint and Earthbound. Mario Paint was released in 1992 and was the game that introduced the SNES mouse to the public. Sound Fantasy made an appearance at Nintendo Space World 1993 and was then quietly cancelled for unknown reasons, but it's speculated that the game was cancelled due to the lack of popularity of music games at the time. The concept was later picked up by Maxis and converted into SimTunes in 1996, with many of Sound Fantasy’s gameplay elements implemented.
There exist two prototypes of Sound Fantasy: an earlier build from when it was called Sound Factory and a later build with the final title. It is not clear how much of the game was finished at the time of its cancellation, but magazine articles suggest that the game was completed and ready to be released.
The box art and instruction manual were allegedly made available in an exhibit at the Harajuku Station in Tokyo, Japan in April 2005 to celebrate the release of Iwai’s latest creation Electroplankton. It's said that the game itself was not playable, however.
On April 9th, 2015, the Sound Factory/Sound Fantasy prototype SNES ROM has been dumped and released to the public by YouTube user LuigiBlood.
- A download link of the Sound Fantasy prototype. Retrieved 19 Aug '18
- SNES Central's article on Sound Fantasy. Retrieved 19 Aug '18
- Unseen64's article on the game. Retrieved 19 Aug '18
- IGN's article on the live show of Electroplankton, mentions the display of Sound Fantasy's box art and instruction manual. Retrieved 19 Aug '18