Strictly Limited Games and ININ Games are very excited to announce that the colourful game Clockwork Aquario will be released in 2020 – after being lost for 27 years.
The game will be published for current gaming platforms and will be available in limited physical editions, as well as digital. The release date is planned for later this year.
The development of Clockwork Aquario started in 1992 and is the last arcade game ever developed by the legendary company Westone. With its beautiful 2D graphics it was created to push the SEGA System 18 arcade hardware to its limits. Unfortunately, fighting games and 3D games were dominating the arcades at that time which led to the cancellation of Clockwork Aquario.
Originally designed by the chief publisher, and co-founder, of Westone, Ryuichi Nishizawa, Clockwork Aquario can be described as the swan song of a company that was part of an era with historic milestones such as the Wonder Boy / Monster World series.
As a company that is striving for the preservation of video games, it has also become a part of Strictly Limited Games’ mission to unearth unreleased games that are an essential part of the cultural video game heritage.
So, three years ago, Strictly Limited Games set out to find the whereabouts of “Tokeijikake no Aquario”, the Japanese title of Clockwork Aquario, and to bring the game back to life.
ININ Games then joined in the endeavours to convince SEGA/LAT that Clockwork Aquario will finally see the light of day, by signing to create a digital release and making the game accessible to a wider audience.
Some parts (including sound, music and several graphics) were not recoverable from the source code, so the particular emphasis is placed on involving as many members of the original Westone team as possible in the project to be true to the game – from the chief programmer, Takanori Kurihara, to the musical genius, Shinichi Sakamoto, to Mr Wonder Boy himself, Ryuichi Nishizawa, who expressed his joy and excitement about seeing the title screen again after 27 years on Twitter.
Clockwork Aquario is a great piece of 2D art, into which the pixel artists put their hearts and souls. I would like to express my heartfelt respect and gratitude to those who have worked so hard to restore it.Ryuichi Nishizawa
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