Green Lantern has not had the same history of games as his fellow DC heroes like Batman and Superman, though there was one more Green Lantern game very close to the finish line at one point. The game never released however due to a mix of editorial curveballs and problematic development. The good news is though that thanks to the work of The Games That Weren't and Did You Know Gaming we now have our first look at that unreleased Green Lantern game, the full story of why it never released, and how it went from being an outer space story with Hal Jordan to centering on Kyle Rayner's origins.
The game was made by Ocean Software, who had a knack for delivering licensed games on time and to a profit, which they had done previously with Robocop. The Green Lantern game started as a game for the Commodore Amiga and Atari ST with Hal Jordan in the lead role, but it was cancelled after a few months,.
It would get revived for the Super Nintendo though, with the team using recycled code for the Dennis the Menace game as its base. Hal Jordan was once again the star, and he would utilize constructs like giant green Anvils to take out his foes. The story was pulled from an obscure 1963 storyline that took place on Xax's homeworld, and because of that featured Hal facing similar bug-like creatures until he could get to the Queen as the main boss.
The core gameplay was a sidescroller, but it featured other types of gameplay, including a top-down shooter, and each of these sections was designed by a different team. This is how Ocean developed all their games, and there was a general winging it mentality, and DC would give them a major curveball at this point.
In 1994 DC introduced Emerald Twilight, which resulted in a major change to Jordan. Jordan would turn on his fellow Lanterns to get their Power Rings after his grief over losing so many at the Coast City disaster overtook him. We now know this was the work of Parralax, but at the time their hero had just been turned into a villain, and the worst part is no one told Ocean until it was about to happen.
DC mandated that Kyle Rayner be swapped with Jordan, and so Ocean put Parallax into the game as a boss that Rayner would fight midway through. At this point the game still had a 1994 release date, but things suffered another setback when the VP of Development, who many attribute to much of the company's success, resigned after fearing a takeover was coming, but that was before another big curveball from DC.
DC launched Zero Hour, a book that would make Parallax not just the biggest Lantern villain but a villain of the entire DC Universe, and because of all the story surrounding the event DC mandated the game needed to take place after Zero Hour, despite the fact that the game was almost content complete at this point.
As a result, it would need a refresh and even more money, and that's when they canceled the game a second time since Ocean also thought the SNES was nearing the end of its lifecycle. That is until they found a cheaper way to move forward. They would assign the game to Bobby Earl, who was working on the game on the side alongside a skeleton team of a few artists.
This version of the game used Jurassic Park 2's engine and became a sidescroller completely, though other sections were planned. This method did not hit Ocean's bottom line as hard, so they decided to keep work going on the game and try to appease DC.
As you can see in the video, the game featured Kyle Rayne and a focus on his origin story, and you can see that some dialogue was pulled directly from the books. The game was extremely comic accurate story and character-wise, though the gameplay was now a simplified shooter, so instead of constructs Rayner's ring would just shoot projectiles, though that would change depending on what kind of weapon Rayer wanted to use.
This version of the game was worked on from 1994 to 1995, but with the PlayStation and Nintendo 64 on the horizon, Ocean officially pulled the plug for the last time,
It's definitely interesting to see what could've been, and I am said I didn't get a Kyle Rayner game, but hopefully that does happen down the line. What did you think of the game? Let us know in the comments or as always you can talk all things Green Lantern and gaming with me on Twitter @MattAguilarCB!