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Sonic the Hedgehog & Mega Man: Hyper Heroes was a cancelled video game developed by BlueSky Software for Sega of America. Intended to lead Sega's Christmas 1994 lineup, this ground-breaking collaboration between Sega and Capcom was to be released for Sega CD, Sega Genesis,Sega Master System, and Sega Game Gear. Disagreement between Sega and Capcom on development and licensing led to the game's demise.
The development of Hyper Heroes started as Sega and Capcom grew successful during the early 1990s. With the releases of Sonic the Hedgehog 3 and Mega Man X on the horizon, the two video game publishers began planning where they would take their respective franchises from here. Reportedly, one of Sega of America's marketing officers proposed a collaboration with Capcom, combining the star power of the Sonic the Hedgehog and Mega Man franchises into the blockbuster game of the year.
Along with development of the game for Sega's video game consoles, a $15 million marketing campaign was planned, including a 90-minute animated movie by DiC Animation City and licensing deals for toys and other merchandise. At one point, an arcade version of the Sega CD version was considered for development; however, as this would have required the development of an all-new arcade system based off of the Genesis + Sega CD, this idea was quickly discarded. Nevertheless, Sega of America and Capcom were set on their plans for Hyper Heroes, which seemed to be a sure-fire way to continue Sega and Capcom's successes.
However, Sega of Japan interfered with the development of Hyper Heroes, since they did not want Sega of America to collaborate on such a large project with a company already cooperating with their rival Nintendo (i.e. the North American release of Mega Man 6). Thus, the project was disbanded in its early stages, with Sega of America and Capcom going their separate ways. This fallout may also explain why the later game Mega Man: The Wily Wars was confined to release through Sega Channel in North America (though Sega of America denies this claim). As Sonic & Knuckles (the second part of Sonic the Hedgehog 3) was delayed to the Christmas season of 1994, Sega of America decided to instead focus their attention on ensuring success for that title.
As the Hyper Heroes project was cancelled early into the game's development, only a minimal outline of the video game was planned out. The game was to be an action title, combining the fast-paced platforming of the Sonic the Hedgehog series with the deliberate shooter gameplay of the Mega Man series.
In single-player mode, the player could switch between Sonic the Hedgehog and Mega Man at the start of the game and between stages. In two-player mode, one player would play as Sonic and the other would play as Mega Man. Sonic and Mega Man were to have gameplay differing only cosmetically, in order to make game development easier and multiplayer mode more balanced. For instance, instead of shooting laser beams out of a Mega Buster, Sonic would throw glowing plasma rings at enemies.
All versions were to feature multiplayer capacity; the Master System, Genesis, and Sega CD versions were to feature multiplayer through the use of two controllers plugged in, while the Game Gear version was to use the Gear-to-Gear Cable for this purpose. Eventually, multiplayer capacity was removed from the plans for the Master System and Game Gear versions, in order to to save processing power for the two platforms and to lower costs for the Game Gear version. The Genesis and Sega CD versions were to differ from the Master System and Game Gear versions through graphical enhancements and additional levels. The Sega CD version was to add full-motion video cutscenes and minor graphical effects from the Genesis version.
Like the gameplay, only the basic outline of the plot had been outlined before the Hyper Heroes project's cancellation. What had been formulated of the plot is written below:
In the year 20XX, Mega Man has become known across the galaxy for his strength and endurance. Because of Mega Man's hard work, Dr. Light announced that he and Mega Man were going to take a break from fighting, seeing as Dr. Wily's forces had been defeated once again.
Unfortunately, Mega Man can't rest quite yet! Not only has Dr. Wily risen again, but he has collaborated with another evil genius, going by the name of Dr. Ivo Robotnik. Mega Man cannot possibly defeat two evil geniuses by himself! It's a good thing that a certain blue hedgehog came to the future, too! Sonic the Hedgehog travels forward in time while chasing Dr. Robotnik, and so he encounters Mega Man along the way.
Seeing their arch nemeses collaborate, Mega Man and Sonic team up to stop Dr. Wily and Dr. Robotnik once and for all, becoming the Hyper Heroes!