Prerelease:Journey to Silius
This page details prerelease information and/or media for Journey to Silius.
Journey to Silius began life in 1988 as a licensed game of the film The Terminator. Unlike other licensed games, it was not presented to the licensor until it was finished in 1989; the license was then reportedly revoked because it did not follow the plot of the film at all, but instead focused entirely on the future war between humanity and Skynet that is shown in a few brief flashback scenes in the film. Thus, the game was turned into an original property (cf. Sunman). All that currently survives from this stage of development are screenshots from Nintendo Power and a 1989 promo video for WCES; no prototype of this version has yet surfaced.
Nintendo Power preview
Get a higher-resolution scan of this.
Nintendo Power featured a brief preview of The Terminator in its July/August 1989 issue, showing the title screen and two in-game screenshots on the upper-left of page 86. The title screen is clearly based on the famous poster for the film. Both in-game shots portray a post-apocalyptic landscape colored to match the film's blue lighting, the hero fighting robots patterned on the Hunter-Killers from the film, and a vertical lifebar compared to the final's horizontal bar. None of these graphics remain in the final game, which uses more traditional color schemes as well as robots which do not resemble any Skynet design.
WCES 1989 promo video
For the WCES in Las Vegas in January 1989, Sunsoft produced a promo video for The Terminator. Starting from 0:47 in the video, the game is shown. The game was originally going to be a Dragon's Lair styled game. Due to memory constraints, the entire game was scrapped, turned into a platformer, and focused entirely on the future war between humanity and Skynet. Because the game no longer followed the plot of the movie, Sunsoft's movie license was revoked. The game was rebranded as Operation S.S.S. before eventually being changed to Rough World. However, it is clear that The Terminator game is connected to Journey to Silius, as the exact copyright graphics that remain unused in the final game appear in the title screen.
The cutscenes include Sarah Connor and Kyle Reese fleeing the T-800 driving the fuel tank, which crashes and explodes; the time-traveling Reese landing in 1984; Reese attempting to find Sarah Connor (possibly in the police station); and a shot of the T-800 pointing a gun at the player, seemingly based off the Tech Noir scene (with the caption "You're hit bad!"). These (and the advertising) imply that at this stage, the game was to be a straight adaptation of the film. Indicating its early nature, the pseudo-3D graphics used in some of these scenes are simplistic, with only two shades of color; and one scene shown is a cartoony skull with stars around it that would likely have been replaced with something else when the game was finished. Apart from the copyright text, nothing from this video survives in the final game.