News/Tom Vs. Jerry: The Chase is On
Today we have something very special to share with you. We have two prototypes of an unreleased SNES game called Tom vs. Jerry: The Chase is On!
The game was published by Hi Tech Expressions who also published some of the other Tom & Jerry games for the Game Boy, NES, SNES, and Mega Drive. The game itself was developed by Software Creations Ltd., the same company that had a hand in the original Tom & Jerry for the NES. Throughout it’s brief life the game was also called “Tom & Jerry”, “Tom & Jerry 2”, and “Tom vs. Jerry”. The game was mentioned a few times through late 1994 and sometime in 1995 in various game magazines in Europe. Unlike Atmosfear for SNES, this game did in fact have some previews in magazines such as Nintendo Fun Vision. According to Ação Games issue 76, the game was reported to be present at WCES 1995, but we weren’t able to verify this at the time of writing this article. According to producer Vince Desi, the game was among many Hanna-Barbera related projects that were canceled due to the company being purchased by Ted Turner in 1991. However, it's also possible that the game was canceled along with many other Hi Tech Expressions projects because of a possible company closure that same year.
Prototypes of the game have circulated amongst collectors for a few years, often being sold and never to be seen again. The only evidence of the game’s contents were in two YouTube videos posted by Steven Seventyeight (also known as steven78). Other than that, the game remained undocumented and undumped...until now.
The game was rediscovered by drx a few years ago while assessing a lot from a magazine based in Germany. Two prototypes were discovered on exposed PCB carts, one early prototype and one late prototype many months a part. A third prototype exists in the same lot on mostly unmarked loose EPROMs dating back to September 13, 1994 - but we are still trying to locate one of the missing EPROMs. Both prototypes were dumped using an EPROM programmer and were confirmed to be good dumps by comparing each dump’s checksum against each other. The later prototype was confirmed to be a good dump by discovering a second PCB which contained the same exact build.
The game itself is relatively simple. The goal of the game is to outrun Tom by running to the other side of the level while creating obstacles to aid in your escape. The early prototype seems to only consist of one level, as it doesn’t appear you can complete it. The first playable level in the later prototype however was shortened considerably and broken into different segments. One admirable aspect of this game is Tom’s animations which consist of many unique frames of animation, despite being a rather large sprite for the SNES.
That’s all for today. Stay tuned for more in the not so distant future!
Until next time!