Inside North American packages for the mid 90s AKIRA English dub VHS was a coupon slip; a voucher that read, “coming soon to your 16-bit home gaming systems,” and offered a $5.00 rebate off the upcoming AKIRA video game.
With the world wide web still in its early days, fans had to take the slip as gospel that a game was on its way. And when one never showed up, the game was forgotten, lost to time.
Or so it seemed, until last year when footage surfaced of a CRT displaying scenes from that AKIRA game at a trade show. An eclectic mix of gameplay, the footage presented select stages ripped straight from the film: a Road Rash esque 3D bike race sequence; a traditional 2D platforming section through the sewers as Kaneda; a strangely ambitious first-person 3D level in the style of Doom starring Tetsuo in the military hospital.
So, what happened? There’s no definitive answer out there, but one might speculate based on the range of gameplay and the ambitious graphics that getting the game to work the way its developers wanted proved too challenging.
Have a look at the CRT footage yourself: