Original Post

Hey everyone,

I’ve been thinking about this as I’m sure many of you have for years now. I was wondering if there’s a trail of leads people have followed to try and find this game. I wasn’t around when Bound High or the Faceball prototype resurfaced, but I find it so fascinating.

I’d be interested, if others were, to start a systematic approach to try and find every lead or at least coalesce what likely fruitless attempts have already been made. I know this is pretty unlikely to yield anything but the hunt is always fun I think. Anyone down for some organized work?

24 Replies

Maybe 15 years ago, there was a claim by someone that they knew the publisher of a gaming magazine who had received a copy of DH in exchange for putting some other Nintendo game on the cover of his mag one month. A few of us got together and pursued that lead – we asked the middleman to talk to the publisher about it. We told him that, given that the game was supposedly on a proto board, it should be copied onto something more stable to preserve it. The offer was made to send him the equipment to make a copy, and let him keep the copy. The priority was just preserving it with no commitment to share it. The response from the middleman was that the owner of the game wasn’t interested.

Frankly, I got the impression that the middleman was full of crap – there was no DH. But who knows?

Here is a lead, might not get you DH but it may get you other VB games. There is a game called Virtual Racing that is out for 3ds if you could contact them in Japanese you may get info on how they got the programming for Zero Racers. You may find other info as well. Unfortunately I can’t find my 3ds so I can’t give you the name info on the programming house but at least I got you the name of the software.

Some years ago, I found the personal website of a Japanese game developer who claimed to have worked on Dragon Hopper. After my own attempts to get in touch remained fruitless, I asked a native Japanese speaker to try their luck and send a message. Haven’t heard of them anymore afterwards, I think, and the website no longer exists.

I can’t seem to find this Virtual Racing game, but I have heard of it before. Do you have a link to the specific game?

VectorRacing perhaps?
https://www.arcsystemworks.jp/arcstyle/overseas/vectorracing/eng/

Though I don’t see how it relates to VB other than visual similarities.

by Dave_ on 2020/4/23 11:14

VectorRacing perhaps?
https://www.arcsystemworks.jp/arcstyle/overseas/vectorracing/eng/

Though I don’t see how it relates to VB other than visual similarities.

Let’s see, It’s made of vectors like red alarm. and it has a fog like system know for in the n64 and the Virtual boy. and it’s half finished there is one track of music for the whole game. Not only that there is a feature that allows you to use red as the only color…Huh somethings fishy.

I really hope someday we can all see at the very least gameplay footage from Dragon Hopper that’s not from the E3 1996 showcase… 🙁

For Dragon Hopper, I’d be satisfied if just the whole original story of the game got released. It was probably written all out at some point, and just getting those notes would be great.

I wondered if this might yield something:

https://linustechtips.com/main/topic/1188538-wii-source-code-leaked-on-4chan-after-hack-on-broadon-servers/

They’re calling it the biggest leak Nintendo has faced.

Looks to be mainly GCN era though, VB might just be too old by this point.

I’ve been curious about the leak myself. But I don’t have a clue how about 4chan, and I can’t find the leak to actually look through it and see if there is anything Virtual Boy related in there.

Been crossing my fingers too but haven’t seen anything really much related to VB

Benjamin Stevens wrote:
For Dragon Hopper, I’d be satisfied if just the whole original story of the game got released. It was probably written all out at some point, and just getting those notes would be great.

Some days ago I contacted Jim Wornell. I found his name in the ‘special thanks’ section of the Galactic Pinball credits. As Dragon Hopper and Galactic Pinball were both developed by Inteligent Systems I figured he might have been involved in both games.

He actually responded quite fast and told me that he was indeed involved in Galactic Pinball, Bound High, Dragon Hopper and Zero Racers. Back then he was responsible for localizing games that came out of their parent company in Japan. Writing screen text, debugging, overseeing the manual/package, getting the ESRB rating, working with legal, marketing, and advertising. Anything that had to do with the US release of a game, he was responsible for. You can actually hear his voice on the title screen of Galactic Pinball.

He assumed that all three games (Bound High, Dragon Hopper and Zero Racer) never got leaked. He was surprised when I’m told him about Bound High and the different ways it got released. He assumed that either all of them or none would find its way to the Internet.

He told me that he actually played all of the games as part of his jobs but that he doesn’t have anything left from those days, not even screenshots or the like. He also told me that those who worked on VB games back then weren’t too sad that it got discontinued. I asked him if he could sum up the story of Dragon Hopper or could tell me someone else to contact about the games but he didn’t respond to that question.

Problem Child wrote:

Some days ago I contacted Jim Wornell…

Neat! Too bad he hasn’t had much to add to the story, but it’s cool that he responded to you about it.

Benjamin Stevens wrote:

Problem Child wrote:

Some days ago I contacted Jim Wornell…

Neat! Too bad he hasn’t had much to add to the story, but it’s cool that he responded to you about it.

I forgot to add that he told me that both games (Dragon Hopper and Zero Racers) where finished but I guess that was already known?

He didn’t seem to be bothered at all by me asking questions. If someone has something he want’s to ask I could forward the question.

There must be a ROM of Zero Racers out there somewhere. Either a Japanese developer or magazine editor is holding on to as a holly grail. It will appear someday, I can feel it 🙂 Especially since Problem Child was able to talk to one of the English developers and confirm it was completed. Great work my man, thanks for taking the time to contact him.

All this talk about Zero Racers and Dragon Hopper got me started down a rabbit hole, downloading old issues of Nintendo Power magazine. Reading through them brought back all the warm fuzzies, drooling over each screenshot of Zero Racers when I was a kid back in 96. I couldn’t WAIT for that game to come out… and then, poof…. it was gone. I was too busy being a kid to even realize that the Virtual Boy itself had disappeared. My last memories of the Virtual Boy as a kid is picking up a few games in the clearance bin at my local Blockbuster Video. I remember picking up Red Alarm, Tetris 3D, Vertical Force, and maybe Mario Clash for $5.00 a piece.

Ahh, good times indeed.

-Retro

Yep, he did. All three games went through lot check and were approved but shelved. Wish I could help find them.

Welcome, Jim! What a pleasant surprise. 🙂

Thanks for the confirmation that Bound High, Dragon Hopper and Zero Racers went through and were approved by lotcheck. At least that means that ROM images should be safely stored somewhere. Maybe we will see them one day.

My hope is still with the leaks

Maybe there’s still hope after all! It would be really cool to get ahold of either of these games. Perhaps we just need to wait for them to surface? I’ll keep looking, thanks for everyone who has helped contribute to the search.

That’s some neat information that’s come to light regarding DH! Welcome to the forum too, Jim!

 

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