Official Virtual Boy Port Of Mid 1990’s Title “Faceball” To Finally Be Released In 2013
Over the past few months, I for one have been very impressed with the number of fans there are with the short lived Nintendo Virtual Boy system. This past November we brought you the story of the new homebrew title “Fishbone“, and of course there are various sites all over the internet created by fans of the console. So when we learned that an official title that was in the works back in the mid 1990s was not only confirmed as being nearly completed, but having it be released to the public, we got very excited.
For those that have not heard of Faceball, it was an early first person shooter maze game, originally programmed for the Atari ST computer, and was first known under the title “MIDI Maze”. The game utilized local area networks using of all things, the MIDI interface. The game area occupied a quarter of the screen and featured a first-person view of a Pac-Man style maze with a center crosshair. Players were shown as Pac-Man style characters in different colors. Bullets were shown as small balls. Some retro gamers feel that MIDI Maze played a significant part in introducing the entire concept of death match combat. Versions for other game consoles such as the Game Boy, Super NES, Game Gear and PC Engine had been released. Due to the short life span of the Virtual Boy port, it was cancelled before it was fully completed.
A few months ago, a person who calls himself “Mr. G” had announced on the Planet Virtual Boy forums that he had obtained a copy of the unreleased program, and very quickly offered a lot of details and many screenshots from the ROM. It would have normally just been a fantasy to have a typical gamer get the chance to play the title for themselves, due to the rarity of the game. However, a fellow Planet Virtual Boy contributor known as “Bigmak” wanted to see the game be shared to fans of the system, and ultimately purchased the game, and is now in the process of releasing the program to the general public.
The current plans are to release the game in physical cartridges, in a very limited quantity. These cartridges would not only allow fellow Virtual Boy fans the chance to play the game, but would also help Bigmak with his out of pocket cost to obtain the cartridge in the first place. Once the initial production of cartridges are sold out, Bigmak is planning to offer the game available as a downloadable ROM image at no cost.
While there is currently no official timeline for the release, it is said that the game will be published sometime in 2013.