When Sega pulled the pin on the Dreamcast unforgivably early in 2001, plenty of in-development games sunk with it. One such title was called Agartha. Coded by French developer, No Cliché (of Toy Commander fame) from 2000 until the news of the discontinuation surfaced, Agartha has always been one of those games thought to be lost to the sands of time. Just like its own game, No Cliché sadly disappeared soon after too.
Agartha was set in a Romanian village after a destructive landslide in the winter of 1929. The landslide revealed the legendary city of Agartha, of which a bunch of evil foes wished to escape from. Playing as a dude named Kirk, it’s the players choice to either save as many innocent people as possible or trigger “the arrival of chaos on Earth” – pandering to the good/evil player choice game mechanic that is so popular in the present day.
Funnily enough, media coverage of Agartha from back in the day (which were screenshots only) were criticised by internet commentators who assumed the stills weren’t produced using the Dreamcast’s actual hardware – but thankfully, it was proved they were genuine in the August of last year. An internet user named Laurent C revealed on the Assembler Forums that he’d purchased a bundle of GD-ROM’s off eBay, one of which contained a playable prototype version of Agartha. You can watch the gameplay video he also posted below:
Naturally, many other forum users were hoping that he’d release the source code so that we could all enjoy it, but his response was this:
“I have a lot of respect about this games, about the No cliché team and Frédéric Raynal. I can’t release this games but I hope maybe in the future. I think I don t have the ability to release this jewel.”
It appears he wished to get the original developers blessing first, which I’d say is fair. Luckily for those who were hoping to have a play (and according to the website, SEGA Nerds), Laurent C will, in fact, be releasing Agartha on the 15th of January. And as per his original intentions, Frederick Raynal (who was the director of No Cliché) is also involved with the release in some capacity.
There is no word yet on how much is playable and what sort of state the game is in. One would assume it’s unfinished so don’t expect a full experience (like the complete but unreleased Armed on the Saturn) but it will be great none the less to have access to a previously thought lost title.