Back in the late 90’s, Comedy Central’s South Park burst onto the cable television scene and became an overnight success, the talk of the schoolyard and water cooler alike. As such, it stood to reason that numerous companies were eager to cash in on the craze, and just as they had done with The Simpsons several years prior, Acclaim threw their hat into the licensing ring and came away with the rights to publish a number of video games based on the burgeoning brand.
Perhaps the best-known among these would be the first-person shooter titles available on the Nintendo 64 and Sony PlayStation, but Acclaim would also release two other titles with even greater infamy — South Park: Chef’s Luv Shack and South Park Rally. Both games bombed, and the video game license would be put on ice for a decade before South Park Let’s Go Tower Defense Play! came to Xbox Live Arcade in 2009.
Before that happened, however, there was to be one other release from Acclaim: South Park for the Game Boy Color.
Thanks to the show’s simplistic visuals, the Game Boy Color was capable of producing graphics which looked quite faithful to the program. The style of game itself is a puzzle platformer in which you control three of the kids — Stan, Kyle, and Cartman — as they work together to try to rescue Kenny from a kid possessed by the ghost of Richard Nixon.
So, why didn’t the game get released? According to a post on the Resetera forums, South Park creators Trey Parker and Matt Stone were worried about putting a game based on content such as theirs on a platform whose main audience was children.
Rather than let the work go to waste, Acclaim instead created three other licensed games with the programming: Mary-Kate & Ashley – Get a Clue and The New Adventures of Mary-Kate & Ashley in North America, and Maya the Bee & Her Friends in Europe.
What’s even more interesting is that according to The Cutting Room Floor, the latter title still has some of the leftover assets from South Park deep within its code, and according to the post on Resetera, you can even use the same passwords between the two!
That is, if you can find it. Resetera doesn’t allow links to ROMs, and so the link to said ROM of the unreleased game was removed for fear of copyright reprisal. Still, the game seems to be out in the wild now (with some suspicions that Parker and/or Stone, who apparently retained a copy of the game, might have been the ones to leak it), so if you’re eager enough to try it out, it shouldn’t be too hard for you to track down.