Playable Demo Of Cancelled Dreamcast Game Agartha Discovered

Here's a turn up for the books. It seems that No Cliché's long-lost Dreamcast adventure game Agartha does indeed exist in playable form...and below you'll find some video of it running. The video was posted to the Assembler forums recently and upon asking about the origins of the demo, it appears to have been discovered in a bundle of GDs purchased on eBay some time ago. The most important takeaway here though, is that the footage shown in the video below confirms the existence of a fully playable section of one of the most enigmatic games ever teased for the Dreamcast:

The story of Agartha is an interesting one, and up until now it was thought that the game never actually got past the concept stage, with various rumours swirling around the internet that the images released to the press back in the day weren't actually from a build of the game running on genuine Dreamcast hardware. Happily, we can now report that yes, there is a playable version of No Cliché's long-lost snow-bound adventure out there.
The game was to be No Cliché's second major foray into the Dreamcast library after Toy Commander, and is set in 1920s Romania. The main theme is supernatural in design, and the search for the entrance to the mysterious titular city of Agartha is a key plot thread. The video gives a glimpse at the interactions players could expect with card-playing villagers, a look at the menu screens and items, and some of the snow-covered outdoor areas. There's also a (fairly gruesome) demonstration of the real-time lighting used in the engine. Sadly, the promising title was cancelled and promptly vanished after Sega announced discontinuation of the Dreamcast.
Naturally, the Agartha shown in the video is very early, but the fact that a playable version exists is pretty incredible. The footage here (and the image below) is taken from an emulator, but the GD does run in a Dreamcast too according to the owner. It's slightly annoying that all we're allowed to see is this video (but hell - it's better than nothing!), and we're hopeful that at some point the owner will release it for everyone to have a good look at.
In the meantime, why not check out this previous article exploring Agartha's cameo in Toy Racer?


Florian Wallin said...

This is one game i would pay alot money for if it ever was finished. So sad that it got cancelled, it looks awsome, and the athmosphare feeling (sry my bad english but i think you understand) seems to be great. Ghanks for posting Tom. And to the owner of the demo gd, do the dreamcast community a big favour and let someone rip this demo before the gdrom gets destroyed.

Damon Fillman said...

This would've turned out great considering it's the same team that developed Toy Commander. Here's hoping the demo will be released at some point!

Luiz Fernando Nai Ribeiro said...

Awesome! I always wished to play this game, I love the atmosphere very dark!!! I hope the demo gets released <3

Great article, I love this website!

Anthony817 said...

He had to have ripped the image to run it on an emulator, so it is not a huge leap to release it now. All that remains to be seen is if he wants to do so.

cbxade said...

I was really looking forward to the release of Agartha. I was gutted when it was cancelled.

Matthew Shea said...

What will be really interesting is once someone gets a chance to dig into the demo, they likely may find more to the game that can be unlocked. Most demo's are just artificially limited versions of early builds that block areas or progression in some fashion. This could be an interesting one if that proves to be the case.