In 1997 a direct port of Data East's1988 arcade game Chelnov (also known as Atomic Runner) was in development for the Sega Saturn. The game was later demonstrated at the Tokyo Game Show but eventually cancelled for unknown reasons. A team of Sega Saturn fanatics have managed to locate a Chelnov prototype which has now been shared online.
The release comes from the SEGA Saturn´s Lost Games Recovery Program , a team who has also kindly released online Capcom's unfinished Sega Saturn side scroller Major Damage in 2011. The team behind these releases are well known for their efforts and enthusiasm, often accompanying their releases with mocked up cover designs as if they were ready to sit within any retro game collection.
Mega Drive collectors may find the names Chelnov and Atomic Runner rather familiar due to the very same game being ported to the 16-bit console in 1992. Given this unreleased Saturn port was set to hit the shelves a good five years after its console debut, and that of a larger gap of nine years since arriving in the arcades, it doesn't come as much of a surprise that the game never saw release. Whilst it's a fantastic take on a side scrolling shooter, it has always remained as an obscurity within the gaming world.
Chelnov (aka Atomic Runner) Gameplay Video
An disc image ISO of the game can be downloaded from the team's release page, which can be either run in an emulator or on a chipped Sega Saturn.
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