In a new episode of his Game History Secrets series on the DidYouKnowGaming? YouTube channel, video game journalist Liam Robertson (in collaboration with Frank Gasking of Games That Weren’t) provides details and first-ever gameplay footage of a canceled Green Lantern video game for SNES. The game was in development in the mid 1990s at UK developer Ocean Software, which had built quite a catalogue of licensed games at that point, notably including games for fellow DC Comics character Batman.
In the Green Lantern game, players were to take advantage of the character’s ring to create objects like anvils to crush enemies. Originally, Hal Jordan was planned to be the protagonist, and the story was to draw inspiration from an obscure 1963 comics story involving intelligent warmongering insectoids from the planet Xaos. The main antagonist would have been the queen of Xaos, an original character inspired by the alien queen from James Cameron’s Aliens. In 1994, when DC decided to turn Hal Jordan into a homicidal maniac named Parallax for a while, Ocean Software had to swiftly replace him with new heroic Lantern Kyle Rayner, and Parallax was at one point to become a boss.
Gameplay in the canceled SNES title would have included both platforming levels and horizontal shoot ’em up levels, employing Mode 7 where possible. However, the project was poorly managed and different aspects of the game were handled by different teams; Ocean Software was essentially “winging it” with the game design.
Nonetheless, the game was largely completed in late 1994. But then DC did its Zero Hour comic, effectively altering the comics canon again and requiring even more changes from the SNES Green Lantern game in order to line up properly. Remaining Ocean Software management wasn’t keen to make these somewhat costly changes, particularly as the company felt like the end of the SNES’s lifespan was approaching. Thus, the Green Lantern SNES game was canceled, despite being virtually finished.
But then the game was revived by apparently a singular employee looking for extra work hours, who went back to redevelop the game after employees from the previous version had been fired and took significant portions of their Green Lantern game code with them. This version was more of a typical sidescroller, with the ring just being used like a gun, and a skeleton team worked on it into 1995. Nonetheless, this version was eventually canceled too for largely the same reasons as before.
Check out this Game History Secrets video for even more details.