Asking Big Questions

Asking Big Questions #004: “What IP would you bring back from the dead?”


“Life is for the living.
Death is for the dead.
Let life be like music.
And death a note unsaid.”
―Langston Hughes



So I know we just did one of these Big Question things and this particular question is a little more on the average size than the monumental, but today was an important day and this is a question I love to talk about.

I was just talking this morning to friends and associates about the many dead franchises in gaming, particularly I mentioned Capcom as having a few choice series of games that they seem to have forgotten about. There are only so many resources a company can draw upon and money talks, so I understand, but having just reviewed Breath of Fire IV, which may as well be the last respectable Breath of Fire JRPG by Capcom, I got to wishing for more. I wished that there could be more console Breath of Fire games. I wished that the story of dragons could go on. I wished that Ryu or Nina or Bleu/Deis could appear in a Marvel vs Capcom game.

As I wished, I even got to wishing for more. Wouldn’t you know it? One of those Monday wishes came true. Today Capcom celebrated the 30th anniversary of Mega Man by announcing Mega Man 11 for PS4, Switch, Xbox One, and PC, due late 2018.

Aside from things like the Legacy Collections, it seemed like Capcom had let their boy slide into obscurity, but maybe they were just sitting on this announcement for the Blue Bomber’s thirtieth. This retro gamin’ fan couldn’t have been happier seeing “Mega Man” trending on Twitter in 2017! Maybe I’ll just keep wishing for more… another Mega Man Legends… a new spin off title…


Dreams do come true.

So that got me thinking… if I had the power to bring any franchise I wanted back from the dead, what would it be? For our purposes here, I’m talking “dead” as interchangeable with “forgotten”, or even “stuck in development hell”. This is any series that hasn’t had a new game for a noticeable length of time. I’ll leave the specificity up to you.

Then it dawned on me. If I could resurrect any dead franchise it would most certainly be the Chrono series from good ol’ Square (now Square Enix). Chrono Trigger, as I’ve documented, is an immensely great game. You may not agree with me that it’s the greatest game of all time (if you’re okay with being wrong… I kid, I kid), but following it up with just Chrono Cross as any sort of real sequel is a crime. No Chrono BreakChrono CrisisChrono Resurrection?

The time traveling JRPG expanded with the parallel dimensions concept of Cross but it was almost as if the series never had a chance to spread its wings and continue to develop these ideas. Yeah, there’s always the risk of sequelitis but maybe Square could use a set of RPGs that haven’t been diluted into storytelling messes (Final Fantasy and Kingdom Hearts, I’m looking at you).

Would Chrono Trigger somehow be even more beloved if they had continued to tell the tale? In a world where you can take a nap and wake up to a new Call of Duty game hitting the shelves, a mage can dream, can’t I?


Today I got pretty excited by the Mega Man 11 announcement. What about you? What prospective announcement tomorrow would thrill your heart of hearts if you hopped online and saw someone was bringing back some dead franchise from gaming’s past? Again, we’re treating “dead” loosely here.

Whatever it is, I wanna hear about it! This is meant to be a fun little community event, a little less serious than games as art or what you learned from blogging, or even how to cope with so-called writer’s block, but maybe something to help ease the stress we can fall into at this time of year. So you can do this in two ways, my friend.

You can leave us a comment below or you can go the extra mile and write up a whole new blog post. Maybe you were looking for something to write about? Either way, let us know what dead franchise you’d bring back and why. Maybe tell us about what you want to see this franchise do differently, if it’s a failed one. If you do write a post, be sure to leave us a link and invite your own readers to participate as well.

In your service,
-The Well-Red Mage



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51 replies »

  1. I would Want to bring back Castle of the winds for PC.

    I was my “Diablo” long before Diablo was something I could get my hands on. (Loved playing the entire first half of the game for free, eventually purchased and beat the other half of the game).

    Unlike so many games in it’s time, this game not only had a great assortment of items, it also had items that were cursed, in order to remove the cursed item once you accidentally equipped it, you either had to go back to town and pay a shopkeeper (Shaman/Priest, not sure I remember) to remove the curse (This didn’t actually remove the curse from the object, it just removed the object from you).

    Was one of the first Norse Mythology based Rouge-RPGs I have ever played. Even though it’s Graphically inferior to most of the rouges that appear now I still find a way to play it 2-3 times per decade. (When I first purchased the second half of the game I Beat it 2-3 times a week almost religiously for an entire summer).

    Liked by 1 person

  2. For one people might actually have heard of, I’d bring back the Panzer Dragoon series. Sega sort of vaguely remembers it – there was a Panzer Dragoon-themed track in one of their recent racers – but it hasn’t had a game since the Xbox. It got a lot of flack for being an on-rails shooter when people REALLY wanted free-roaming games, but I think the fairytale/post-apocalyptic setting would do well today.

    For something kind of obscure, I’m a big fan of the Suchie-Pai mahjong game series, which had a game on the Super Famicom, a ton of games on the Saturn, one game each on the PSP, DS, Dreamcast and PS2 (in 2007) and hasn’t been heard from since as far as I know. It may have gotten too expensive, it was a series with a lot of original music, high-profile voice actors and hand-drawn animation and that doesn’t come cheap. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you for the comment! I was just chatting with a friend about Panzer Dragoon. I only know it by vague memories and reputation but it would be nice to see the series make a comeback. Considering how heavily retro this year was with throwbacks and remasters, it may not be too far off!


  3. I always feel this question requires the Chrono series with an * at the end. Not just Chrono, but Chrono*.
    * meaning “if it’s like Chrono Trigger much more than Chrono Cross”. No millions of characters and weird color-coded spells and stories where you need a For Dummies guide to understand it.

    Liked by 1 person

    • A billion times yes. I like the ideas in Chrono Cross, for the most part, but the gameplay is bizarre and off-putting. The copy and paste characters leave a lot to be desired and the magic system is just as bland. I’m curious as to how those development talks went down…

      Liked by 1 person

  4. I’ve never played a Mega Man game, still, so I’m very excited to check out this new one. Thanks for another post idea, Mage Dude! I’ll do a response via blog entry at some point 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  5. This one was surprisingly hard for me to find an answer to- mostly because it turns out, a surprising number of series I -thought- were dead actually either aren’t, or just haven’t come to the States in awhile. And then there were ones whose main series technically aren’t gone in the first place, so that mixes up the answer even more. (I was originally aiming for SaGa Frontier, who hasn’t seen an entry since 1999; SaGa itself had one in 2015, though.)

    The most definite runner-up would be F-Zero, which has been absent from the console scene since 2003. I absolutely adore futuristic racers, and with Studio Liverpool’s closure a few years ago (and the disappearance of wipEout with it), it seems like there’s an awful, untapped void left in the market. I miss F-Zero in particular, though, because the series itself just seems to have so much going for it that other properties never really stuck with, most notably a cast of 30+ characters who somehow wound up being so memorable, I can remember them all over a decade later and their individual storylines. The aesthetic of GX in particular was just so blatantly 90’s Sci-Fi, I couldn’t help but love it for making the future actually look like the future, not at all afraid to bask in the absurdity of its plot or setting. It’s a future where vehicles hover, grown men dress like comic book heroes, and nobody seems at all concerned about having a race track built directly over a populated city, even though 1000+ kg masses of speeding metal regularly go careening off it at 2000 kilometers an hour. Yes to that. Yes to all of that. In an age of online multiplayer, there’s just no excuse to have not explored this in 30-man mayhem glory.

    This one definitely stretches into the realm of hypothetical, Rare and all, but I feel as though Perfect Dark had a lot of room to grow. Its last entry in 2010 left a little more to be desired, even more after it turned out to be another prequel- already played out by the Game Boy entry that came out shortly after the original on the N64. I honestly could not figure out why they were so eager to keep revisiting Joanna Dark’s backstory, when post-Perfect Dark 64 Jo is a person who literally saved a president, hijacked an alien ship, and paid a visit to their homeworld to blow up their leader. I’m pretty sure that’s the Agent Dark we’d love to see come back for another story.

    I’d like to ask for the ever-fabled Chrono Break, but I feel as though that is inviting chaos itself in a way; I once asked for a Chrono Trigger 2, and we wound up getting Cross, who only took about ten playtime hours to horrifically imply the cast I grew fond of in the previous game all died. Way to really traumatize your players, Square! I don’t know how we went from the Millenial Fair to fire everywhere, but, geez, I’m scared of seeing what Break would have done to the Cross cast.

    One last one from my childhood that held me for an entire summer- as a rental, no less- was Brave Fencer Musashi. I was actually surprised to learn that the PSX game had a follow-up on the PS2 a couple years later, which I hadn’t heard about until two minutes ago- so that’s pretty neat. But still, it’s hard to believe that’s been it for that series. I remember it being amazingly popular around here when it came out, and it was one of those Square titles we all thought would keep going on.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I missed responding to this comment! And what a shame because this comment is awesome! I love your suggested titles, especially of course with the Chrono series but I completely understand your apprehension there too. It’s tough to think of Cross as a sequel more than a spin off. It’s different in so many ways and it seems like it effectively sucked all the air out of the “series”. It’s almost like if there was a Break that it would have to be just as different from either Trigger or Cross, or it would need to retcon or ignore Cross to get back to Trigger.

      Someone else mentioned Musashi and now I really need to replay that game! 😀


  6. I find it difficult working out which games have been forgotten or games have been released that I have not experienced. One series I would nominate is Goemon. I bought Goemon and Goemon 2 on the Nintendo 64 and found both games unique and highly enjoyable. The designs were bizarre and the stories were light and comical. One game was a large open-world game which prioritised exploring the location, finding objects and developing the characters. The sequel was cooperative, featured a wide range of challenges and the strangest extra feature I have encountered in a game.
    Another series is Ecco the Dolphin. I owned the original game and the sequel (Ecco the Dolphin: The Tides of Time) on the Mega Drive game. Both games used an interesting mix of difficult gameplay and serene music. The games also featured a time travelling dolphin and some interesting locations. I would have been interested in how exploring deep sea environments would be translated into a 3D game.

    Liked by 2 people

    • With today’s modern advances, it would be interesting to see how a new Ecco the Dolphin would play. Something like Abzu, maybe? I would definitely be interested in playing a new Goemon game! It seems like Goemon has achieved a cult following and it’s time for those gamers to be rewarded 😀


      • I also have experience of playing sequels released many years after the original game. After the initial excitement of playing a new game in the series, with improved graphics and developed gameplay, the sequels can feel inferior and unable to replicate the positive aspects of the previous game. An example would be the NiGHTS: Journey of Dreams game, which, while fairly enjoyable and used some interesting designs, did not feel as imaginative or have as good a gameplay as the original. There have also been a number of 3D Sonic games that are not as good as the 2D games.

        Liked by 1 person

  7. I’d love to see a proper return of Bullfrog’s Syndicate. Loved that game and its sequel Syndicate Wars. Of course, EA, who now own the rights, released a new Syndicate back in 2012, but it was an FPS that had very little in common with the originals other than the name and the setting. Also, Mike Diskett, who worked on the original games, released a spiritual successor called Satellite Reign a few years ago, and while not a bad game(it does have a great atmosphere and some lovely cyberpunk visuals), it didn’t quite scratch that Syndicate itch.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Well if EA survives what they’re going through now, then keep your fingers crossed. If there’s one thing I learned this week it’s that you never know when that game you’ve been waiting for will be announced!


      • Oh, I’m sure EA will survive; they’ve seen out other big controversies in the past. But, to be honest, if there was to be a new Syndicate game, I wouldn’t want EA to make it (besides they’ve actually stated that they’re not really interested in making single player games any more because you can’t monetise them enough). When Mike Diskett made Satellite Reign, he said he looked into buying the rights to Syndicate, but it was just far too expensive for a small indie developer.

        Liked by 1 person

  8. Man there are so many I could choose.

    If EA wasn’t so bass ackwards lately with the Battlefront II, NFS, and UFC fiascos all going on, I would say Mail Order Monsters. M.O.M. is great. You get so much money, pick a monster, and then use the money to level them up with all kinds of new attacks, and weapons. Make a giant tree, that pulls enemies in with vines, then shoots them with death beams. Make a giant lion, with a giant mace. The possibilities are endless. Then you go out, kill opponents, complete objectives, and use experience points to buff your monster even more. Then you save your monster to a disk all levelled up, and bring it to a friend’s house. Where you get slain in 9 seconds because he made their hominid far more badass than you made you giant squid. Anyway, once upon a time EA made great games that didn’t nickel, and dime you to even be playable.

    Forbidden Forest is another one. These games were basically boss rushes, but they were damn good ones. The first one was one of the earliest examples of parallax scrolling, while the sequel let you go in, and out of the background. In both games, you’re an archer who has to kill boss monsters in a sequence to get to the dreaded Demogorgon. Made by a composer named Paul Norman, these games made budget software house Cosmi, a household name for 15 years before fading back into obscurity. FF games were also featured violent fatalities in 8-bit block form long before the Mortal Kombat games were a twinkle in Ed Boon’s eye.

    Power Blade. You’re Arnold Schwarzenegger. With a boomerang. And you single handedly stopped basically Skynet in two platformers that cribbed from Mega Man, and Castlevania. But who cares? It’s Schwarzenegger killing robots, and mercenaries with a boomerang. Even if it were converted to a third-person action game, it’s a badass concept. Taito’s still around in some capacity so you never know.

    Viewtiful Joe. I mean, Capcom brought back the Blue Bomber without its head honcho. So why not make this one too? The first two were great (Except Fire Leo. Don’t bring back Fire Leo. He’s a pain in the ass.)

    Interstate ’76/Vigilante 8. These car combat games were a lot of fun. They feature many of the same characters, and have similar settings. I76 is a much deeper game than V8 but both are awesome series that gave Twisted Metal a run for its money.

    Roadkill. Unlikely WB will ever resurrect this one from their closet of Midway franchises, but If they ever do, I’ll be stoked. It’s got elements of GTA, in a Twisted Metal clone, and somehow it totally works. Plus it did the best radio parody of any of these early open world games.

    F-Zero. Self-explanatory. Even if it’s a remastered GX. Something.

    I’ll stop there before I bore everyone 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Leave it to the great Deviot to leave a large and respectable answer! You’re not boring anyone ’round these parts, I can assure you. I unfortunately have played so few of these that I can’t really comment in return, except in the case of F-Zero. Nintendo doesn’t have much excuse there. We need a detailed, involved, complex Gran Turismo-esque F-Zero game.

      Liked by 1 person

  9. If I knew a specific game didn’t exist then I’d answer yes but then a nonexistent game is not a game, it’s a non-thing, so I don’t know about it since I can’t have knowledge of nothing so then I’d answer no, so yes and no.


  10. I’d really love to see Advance Wars get some modern love. On another note, I was really excited to see Microsoft revive Age of Mythology (and the other Age of games). However, I’ve been real disappointed with how they’ve handled that process (AoEII has been an exception) so sometimes I’m afraid companies will ruin what was once great.

    Liked by 1 person

    • That’s an excellent subject to bring up… Some long awaited entries turned out to be disasters. Speaking of Mega Man this week, I was reminded of Mighty No. 9 and how that was touted as “better than nothing”. The “better than nothing” mentality isn’t too helpful. I’d sooner not have any Chrono sequel at all rather than one which destroys the franchise beyond reasonable and simple repair.

      Liked by 1 person

      • I agree. Poor entries that are intended to revitalize the series can have the opposite effect and kill off any hope for the series. I think it can be especially difficult if it’s a really old, beloved series (like Chrono) that will be taken and subject to the modern trends in the market by a team that was born in the modern market. But…there are clear examples of it working out too.

        Liked by 1 person

        • Yeah, and it seems like projects like these are prone to getting stuck in development hell. That’s never good, well usually never, and getting stuck in development seems to point to the project not having a clear vision. It’s like they wanted to make a sequel but couldn’t find a meaningful way to continue the series. It seems like that’s the case for Chrono, so they may as well just forget about it. Rather that then some mobile game sequel that’s dramatically different than Trigger or Cross and ends up critically panned.

          Liked by 1 person

  11. Ooh … now this is an interesting question …

    Earthworm Jim, Sparkster The Rocket Knight, and Oddworld all spring to mind. The return of Streets of Rage would suit me too. Oh, and don’t forget Bloody Roar! The transformation gimmick would look great with a modern overhaul!

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Good topic Mage! I think Chrono Trigger is a great choice. Project Octopath Traveler (does it have an official name yet?) has the exact aesthetic that I think a modern Chrono series game would have. I’ve only played Chrono Trigger myself, but like many, I had a life-changing experience and would love to see another one!

    I think I’ll make a post about this as well, but my choice would be Dark Cloud. I can’t think of any other game that merged RPG and world-building into a single perfect franchise, although the second game definitely took the storytelling and all the concepts to the next level, and then added even MORE awesome layers of fun. Level 5 is still very much active of course, as well as partnered with Nintendo since forever, but they seem more involved with Yokai Watch and the Layton series to do anything with Dark Cloud, sadly.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks! 😀 Maybe they’re just calling it Octopath Traveler? In a lot of ways I think, based on how JRPGs have looked recently, that a new Chrono game might resemble Xenoblade Chronicles 2. I wish we didn’t have to guess! I’m looking forward to your post, especially if you’re talking Dark Cloud. I loved the two games. Now that games can be bigger than ever, it would be a really fun concept to explore.

      Liked by 1 person

  13. Ooh, this is a great question that deserves some thought. A year or two ago I would have said “Nier” without hesitation, but, well, that actually happened and was amazing, so as you say, dreams sometimes come true. I’ll take another Nier, though, gladly. Or a remaster of Drakengard 1, 2 and the original Nier.

    I’d like to see a new Thunder Force game. Modern shoot ’em ups can be pretty spectacular — Raiden V was a recent highlight — so I’d love to see what a brand new Thunder Force might look like.

    I’d also love to see some new 2D pixel art Castlevania games, though we all know that one is never, ever going to happen. Hopefully Bloodstained will scratch that itch when it finally comes out.

    Brave Fencer Musashi is a PS1-era game I’d like to see explored further; unfortunately, again that’s probably unlikely because they tried some quasi-sequels/follow-ups in the PS2 era that didn’t do all that well. Hell, I’d settle for a remaster of the first one; it was a great twist on the Zelda formula that added deeper RPG mechanics and some highly entertaining characterisation.

    I think it’s time Namco gave us a new Ridge Racer that isn’t a mobile game, too. People still love arcade racers and they just don’t really exist any more!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Another! You really rocked my morning with the mention of Brave Fencer Musashi. Man, I love that game. So much personality. Surprise voice cameo of Steve Blum. A remaster would be swell. I’d second that. In fact, I’ll join you in wishing upon a star right now!

      Liked by 1 person

  14. Before last month I would have said Outcast but that literally just got a remaster called Second Contact 🙂 Very happy about it too! So I guess I’d go with another 1999 classic… X-Wing Alliance.

    Liked by 1 person

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