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The Hidden Palace is a community dedicated to the preservation of video game development media (such as prototypes, hardware, source code, artwork, and more). This website can be utilized as a catalog for the items that we and others are able to collect and share.

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Past news
Jan 1 2020: Holiday 2019 (Day 8) - Super Star Wars (Canceled Mega Drive Port)
Dec 31 2019: Holiday 2019 (Day 7) - Flintstones
Dec 30 2019: Holiday 2019 (Day 6) - Putty Squad and Mega Drive Treats
Dec 29 2019: Holiday 2019 (Day 5) - Ecco
Dec 28 2019: Holiday 2019 (Day 4) - Superman: Battle for Metropolis (Unreleased GBC game)
Dec 27 2019: Holiday 2019 (Day 3) - N64 Goodies
Dec 26 2019: Holiday 2019 (Day 2) - Some Stocking Stuffers!
Dec 25 2019: Holiday 2019 (Day 1) - A.D. 2019 - AKIRA (Sega Mega Drive)
Nov 16 2019: Sonic Month Part 5 - Before Hard Times - Sonic 3 (MD)
Nov 9 2019: Sonic Month Part 4 - Filling Blanks With Sonic 2 (MD)
Nov 2 2019: Sonic Month Part 3 - Sonic Chaos (GG/MS)
Oct 26 2019: Sonic Month Part 2 - Sonic CD, You Say?
Oct 25 2019: Sonic Month Part 1 - Sega No. 1
Oct 8 2019: Silent Hill 2 (v0.10)
Sep 28 2019: Mr Tuff + Donations/Discord
Jun 22 2019: Run Saber and Atari Collection (SNES)
Jun 8 2019: Universal Wrestling Corporation (Unreleased NES game)
May 5 2019: The Jungle Book + Some Extra Goodies
Apr 20 2019: Tom Vs. Jerry: The Chase is On
Apr 7 2019: Atmosfear / NightMare
Mar 31 2019: Dreamcast Month Part 4 - Ecco the Dolphin
Mar 24 2019: Dreamcast Month Part 3 - Tony Hawk & Stunt GP
Mar 18 2019: Dreamcast Month Part 2 - Sonic Adventure 2 Review
Mar 10 2019: Dreamcast Month Part 1 - Internet Game Pack
Mar 6 2019: Pinocchio SNES
Feb 24 2019: Star Wars & Star Trek
Feb 17 2019: Doom Troopers And Some More SNES
Feb 14 2019: What Was Once Old Is New Again
Feb 11 2019: NBA Jam and Atari Jaguar
Feb 3 2019: A Proto Sandwich
Jan 27 2019: When You Wish Upon a 32-bit Star
Jan 20 2019: An Old Can of Worms!
Jan 1 2019: A Spooky New Years!
Dec 25 2018: A Merry Eidos Christmas
Jan 11 2018: F-1 World Grand Prix Prototype (GBC)
Jan 1 2018: Early Battlecorps Prototype for the Sega CD
Dec 25 2017: Sonic CD (8/1/93) prototype
Feb 25 2017: Captain Lang and Mickey Mania Prototypes
Feb 6 2017: Lion King (SNES)
Jan 8 2017: Sonic the Hedgehog Pocket Adventure Prototype
Jun 28 2016: Defender of the Universe (Dreamcast) (Ecco month part 2)
Jun 17 2016: Ecco II - Sentinels of the Universe (Ecco month part 1)
May 27, 2016: Final ROM Archive Release Part 4
May 20, 2016: Final ROM Archive Release Part 3
May 13, 2016: Final ROM Archive Release Part 2
May 2, 2016: 10 years of Hidden Palace / Final ROM Archive Release Part 1
Oct 22, 2011: Tomb Raider E3 Demo
Oct 12, 2011: Miscellanea
Mar 22, 2011: 15th Anniversary of Resident Evil
Jul 30, 2010: Stone Protectors Genesis + Super Mario All-stars
Jul 20, 2010: Sonic Spinball 1910 5/8
Jul 16, 2010: Sega Art Tool, Sega Sound Tool, GEMS 2.8 ROM
(earlier news)
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Death Track (Prototype).2020-02-06 20.26.33.png

Death Track (Prototype)
Discuss this release on our Discord server!

Happy late Valentines Day! We're back after a long break from the holidays and are ready to get things rolling again!

Today we have an early prototype of the unreleased Game Boy port of Death Track (also known as Trail Blazer) which was developed by Argonaut Games of Star Fox fame, donated courtesy of speedyink!

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Death Track is a first person driving game set in a futuristic version of America where the player races against other opponents and competes in events to collect money. The player can use the money to buy weapons and upgrades to help seal their place in the competition and for taking on harder tracks. Death Track was a game originally developed for DOS computers by Dynamix (later acquired by Sierra Entertainment, known at the time as Sierra On-Line) and published by Activision in December 1989. The game was a nice success for its time, featuring very impressive 3D models and courses for its time.

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With the success of the original PC release, interest was shown in porting the game to other systems that were popular at the time. Sometime in 1992, Activision began working with Argonaut Games on creating an equally high ambitious port of the game for the Nintendo Game Boy. Today Argonaut Software is mostly known for their work on Star Fox 1 & 2 for the SNES, Stunt Race FX, and both Croc 1 & 2. But back then, Argonaut was mostly known for their games on the Atari ST, Commodore 64, and Amiga. Just like its predecessor, the Game Boy version was set to push the hardware to its absolute limit to create a game with a third dimensional perspective running in real time on a 4.12 MHz processor and 8 Kilobytes of RAM and VRAM.

The lead programmer on the Game Boy version was Steven Dunn, who would also contribute to the port's artwork and game design. Additional artwork was provided by Nick Cook, with music and sound effects provided by Neil Baldwin. Development on the game was primarily done on a Commodore Amiga with a hard disk drive and Game Boy developer's kit. This version of the game utilizes a vector based engine using a method designed by Dylan Cuthbert for the Game Boy ports of Days of Thunder and X. Vector line code was written and a sprite system was implemented as well to add more complexity to the rendering. Steven Dunn created an even more complex 3D rendering system by implementing stipples and a flood fill system as well. These methods were eventually used for games such as Hard Drivin and another unreleased game called Crazy Pilot, which only went as far as a tech demo.

The main selling point of Trail Blazer for the Game Boy was the ability to race up to four players in combat focused 3D races. Combined with the game's weapon and upgrade system, the game would have provided a lot of variety for a game that went far beyond the expectations for the system it was running on.

The game didn't receive much media coverage during the course of its development. Many gaming magazines at the time would mention the game in their software lineup lists as being planned for a 4th quarter release in 1992. Surprisingly the game was still listed in Electronic Gaming Monthly's software lineup every month up until mid 1993, where it quietly disappeared into obscurity. In researching for media coverage on this version of the game, we couldn't find any extensive media coverage for this port. It doesn't appear that the game was featured in any trade show events at the time either. The game was quietly canceled for unknown reasons and quickly vanished as soon as it was mentioned.

That is until recently. A prototype of the game in an early form was discovered a few years a go where the game was shown for the first time. This early prototype of the game features two playable courses, a password menu, multiplayer support (support for four players possibly implemented, but untested), as well as a shop menu. The game features no sound or music, and is possibly missing the other courses, but who knows what could be discovered with hacking?

Again, we'd like to thank speedyink giving us the opportunity to release this game for others to enjoy and analyze. He has also done amazing work in researching this game as well.

That's all for now. We'll be back with another release soon.

Until next time! ❤️