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Trailer for unreleased horror game 'If It Happen' found!

'ello! Been a while since I wrote an article here hasn't it? Anywhoo, I have a video here that - as far as I know - has not been documented online before. Weirder, I actually found this video hidden within a released game! Check it out in all its 240p upscaled to HD glory! It's proper spoopy!

So where did I unearth this, I hear you ask? The game this trailer was found on is called Bokomu no Tatsujin, a quirky life sim created by Fujicom Co, who's only other released game on Dreamcast is the building topplin' sim Bomber Hehhe, which also has a trailer on this disc.

I plan to talk about Bokomu more in a future article, but to summarise there is a shop in this game that lets you purchase appliances for your home such as a computer, an air conditioner and - most importantly here - a television. Once you eventually pony up the cash for this TV you can view both the Bomber Hehhe and this horror game trailer on it.

It took me some time but I saved up enough cash to buy the telly...
...and this is how the trailer is displayed in-game. All squashed and rubbish.

Obviously the above is not a great way to watch the video so I directly extracted the TV.SFD file from Bokomu's GDI, which was thankfully at a proper 4:3 aspect ratio. This is how I actually discovered the video in the first place, rather than the technique described above, as I was digging through the files for reasons I will go in my upcoming Bokomu article. Oooh, intrigue!

Within the assets of the game there is this unused menu showing the two game trailers, where the game is listed as (roughly translated) 'Horror Short Stories', although that is likely to be a placeholder name.

I had a mooch around Fujicom's web archived website to see if there was any mention of the game but no dice. The only mentions of this games existence online is a IGN article from 5th June 2001 called 'New Dreamcast Titles revealed' which lists the game as 'If it Happens': the English text that appears at the start of the trailer, along with a list of other games that were cancelled such as 'Hamster Story' by Culture Brain, which was apparently a microphone compatible pet sim! Oo-er.

I also stumbled across this little snippet in an issue of Dorimaga magazine that is scanned and available on Sega Retro. Here is a very rough translation of what the article says:

"In this interactive adventure game, an old hotel on the outskirts of town has a new watchman. Inside, a mysterious story unfolds.  It's not just a building, it's a place of drama, fear, danger, and crazy scenarios."

All this evidence seems to point at 'If it Happens..' being the actual title of the game, as kind of broken English-y as that sounds. Apparently Fujicom also had a racing game in development for the Dreamcast called 'Top of the Formula Racing' (more wonderful broken English for you) that is also documented online in name only. A shame there wasn't a trailer for that hidden on Bokomu too!

2 comments:

Tom Charnock said...

Fascinating! Love proper esoteric stuff like this...if only we knew about this prior to the Video Game Esoterica podcast would have been good to discuss on that episode. I wonder what happened to that game or if it was simply a concept. Very mysterious...

J├║lioSlayer Oliveira said...

Awesome!! Maybe one more prototype to be found :).