We love a bit of lost media getting found, and this time it’s a game that never even got released, Carnivalé: Cenzo’s Adventure for the Nintendo 64. Another win for video game preservation.
Carnivalé: Cenzo’s Adventure was an unreleased 3D platformer for the Nintendo 64. It was developed by Terraglyph Interactive Studios and published by Vatical Entertainment. The game was based on the 2000 animated film Carnivalé, which was directed by former Tim Burton art director Deane Taylor. The film featured voice acting by Helena Bonham Carter and Hugh Laurie in its English dub.
The film follows a group of children who are lured into a time travel portal that takes them to an amusement park. Of course, in twisted Burton fashion, not all is as it seems. Though the film was considered lost media for several years, it looks like a copy is now available to watch on the Internet Archive.
The N64 video game tie-in, on the other hand, was showcased at E3 1999 but never released. In a new video from the video game preservationist YouTube channel, Hard4Games explains its disappearance. The game was never released due to the studio facing financial issues.
Thankfully, the game has been found and released to the public. It comes thanks to Baker64 and Nintendo preservationist group Forest of Illusion.
Today we have quite a special one! We’ve released Carnivalé: Cenzo’s Adventure, a cancelled Nintendo 64 title developed by Terraglyph Interactive Studios! It was based on the animated film by the same name and was first shown off to the public at E3 1999 in an unfinished state. pic.twitter.com/gF2iFKP8lu
— Forest of Illusion (@forestillusion) March 5, 2022
The game seems to roughly follow the plot of the film, where a group of kids get stuck in a wacky amusement park. However, the gameplay looks like it’s less a story and more like a collection of mini-games, consisting mainly of grinding for coins and playing carnival games.
While the YouTube video covers more content than the E3 showcase seemingly did (the E3 build was ‘noted for being pretty incomplete’), commenters have also suggested that there’s more to the game than shown in the video. So while it seems like the game hadn’t finished being developed, they definitely got a fair bit of it done.
If you’d like to check it out for yourself, you can find it on the Forest of Illusion website.