About Lost Levels

Hi! My name is Frank, and I started this website with some friends in the year of our Lord 2003 because, as it turns out, I’m not the only person interested in video games that never made it to market.

In fact, there’s a whole mess of us that enjoy video games to such an extent that we became amateur historians, digging around dark corners of Google and talking to video game creators, collectors and experts to peek behind the curtains and learn new things about the medium we love most.

Sometimes we post things on our forums, and sometimes we write long feature articles. We’re interested in the art of game development, and do our best to provide interesting stories and insight from game developers about projects that may never have been publicly discussed, were it not for our community’s thriving interest.

A lot of the things we do and are excited about are of very little interest to anyone outside of our little community, but sometimes our efforts get major media attention and indirectly do some incredible things to make the world a better place, which inspires me to keep the site going.

Lost Levels may not be the most prolific website on your radar, but I’d like to believe it’s important. As I write this, we are celebrating our fifth year online (and our tenth year as a brewing idea), and things are looking better for our unique hobby all the time. Other sites with similar interests have either been formed or ramped up their efforts, articles about unreleased games have populated major print and web media at a rapid pace, and game preservation as a whole is finally getting serious.

And preservation is the key word here. Truthfully, I’d prefer to live in a world where sites like mine aren’t necessary, but video game preservation is just not where it needs to be. We’re getting there, slowly but surely, but the sad truth is that without sites like Lost Levels, information, media, and even completed projects could be lost forever. It took far too long for film preservation to become a serious pursuit, and we lost some very important relics because of it. Let’s not make that same mistake with games.

Did you work on a game that never materialized? We’d love to hear from you, whether you kept your work or not. Even if you don’t think you have much of a story to tell, chances are that someone, somewhere wants to hear it, and if trends are any indication, that audience is growing. I’d love to hear from you, please contact me directly at frank@lostlevels.org.

-Frank Cifaldi, August 25, 2008


Block Out for the NES

In which the guys who made Double Dragon and River City Ransom almost published a 3D puzzle game.

Hard Drivin' for the NES

A Q&A with the author of Tengen's surprisingly impressive attempt at putting the 3D racer on the underpowered NES.

Spotlight: Bio Force Ape

The legendary lost game from Seta has finally been found! But is this the end of Lost Levels?!

Spotlight: Star Trek V

It should come as no surprise that the worst Star Trek movie would have made the worst Star Trek game.

Review: Colors

In this exclusive Lost Levels review, we take a thorough, introspective look at Colors, the GTA-alike that would have saved the Gizmondo. SPECIAL BONUS: Sodomy inside!

Elusions: Thunder Force VI

A brief retrospective of the butt-rockingest series of shooters that ever was, and the Dreamcast sequel that wasn't.

Spotlight: Pescatore

A glitchy puzzle game with multi-colored seafood that bears more than a striking similarity to PuyoPuyo? Not very fresh.

Elusions: Final Fantasy 64

Is it possible that yet another title from this popular series has eluded fans for over a decade?

Spotlight: Bashi Bazook

We promise this is the last unreleased Jaleco game we'll ever talk about. Maybe.

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