Saturday, December 11, 2010

Unreleased: Dando

When I'm paging through old videogame magazines looking for something of interest to share, I often run across ads for obscure games that I don't even remember hearing about at the time.  And sometimes, this is because the game in question never actually came out.

Such is the case with Dando, an unreleased game planned by Treco for the Sega Genesis.  It's become one of those much-desired unreleased titles in collectors' circles, but no prototype ROMs have surfaced to date.  Given that no screenshots appear in the magazine ad, it's possible the game never existed in any playable form.

But Treco anted up the cash for this full-page magazine ad anyway:

I suspect this is one of those unreleased games that wouldn't have made much of a splash if it had seen the light of day.  It's desirable only because gamers can't have it, not because it would have necessarily been worth having. 

I say this because the plotline as described in the ad copy sounds thoroughly generic.  The oddly-hairstyled dude depicted is not Dando, actually, but the young Warrior, Duro, or perhaps his spiritual successor, Link-style.  The titular Dando, we learn, is the evil god who seeks to rule the land of Aurobia with his Black Death, again, heralded by the arrival of a giant fireball in the Northern lands yadda yadda yadda.

Frustrated publisher Treco was a subsidiary of Sammy Corporation that focused on Sega's 16-bit platform; the company scavenged the dead hulk of the bankrupt UPL Limited to bring some of its worthwhile arcade games to the Genesis, including Atomic Robo-Kid.  Treco survived from 1990 to 1993, converting a number of NCS/Masaya PC Engine games to the Mega Drive/Genesis and bringing them to the US along the way.

Why didn't someone make a game about that?  Some sort of business sim/hack-and-slash side-scroller?  The Adventures of Treco might be tons of fun, with hero executives struggling against retailer indifference and critical reviews to get one more title onto retail shelves!

Maybe not.  But it sounds more interesting than Dando.


  1. Actually Dando would have been in the Legendary Axe series. Those games were awesome.

  2. Screenshots of the game do exist. They were published in early issues of Electronic Gaming Monthly.

  3. It would essentially have been a 16-bit version of the NES version of Astyanax. Astyanax and Legendary Axe share the same creator.

  4. there is 3 screenshots in a turbographx magazine i have for a very long time - it was show at the "The tokyo toy show" in 1991. one screenshot seem to be someone in play - it wasnt released but maybe it was working (like pre-beta stage).