Among Rare’s most beloved games of all time, despite not being a best seller, is Jet Force Gemini, which amazed those who played it with its third person shooting action along with plenty of hidden items to find. People have been waiting for a sequel for many years, but Rare has yet to release either a new Jet Force Gemini game or a remake of the original title. What a lot of people never knew until recently, however, is that at one point, Rare was working on a second game in the series for the Game Boy Color. This was because Rare ended up canceling the game without ever announcing it, which makes it one more game from the British game developing company that would never see the light of day, nor would people learn any details regarding the game until many years later. Today, I will tell you about what little is known about the second Jet Force Gemini game that we never got to play.
The prototype remained unseen by anyone until late 2009, when someone managed to get a hold of it. Judging by the screen shots that he posted online, the game would have been released sometime in 2000, the year after the Nintendo 64 version was released. At the time, it was not uncommon for Rare to make hand held games that were related to their Nintendo 64 titles. Perfect Dark received a Game Boy Color game that was not as critically successful as the 64-bit version was. Mickey’s Speedway USA was remade for the Game Boy Color a few months after the Nintendo 64 version came out, and would be Rare’s last game for the hand held system. Conker’s Pocket Tales was meant to give players a taste of what to expect from what was then known as Twelve Tales: Conker 64 before Rare retooled the latter game and made it into the mature-rated Conker’s Bad Fur Day. While all of these games would be completed and released, however, the Game Boy Color version of Jet Force Gemini was not.
From what few screen shots of the game exist, Juno would have been at least one (if not the only) playable character in the game. It is unknown if Vela and/or Lupus would have been present, and if so, whether they would have been playable during some parts of the game like they were in the Nintendo 64 version. Juno has a pistol in the prototype, and presumably, he would gain more powerful weapons over the course of the game. It is likely that there would be plenty of enemies to defeat, and perhaps the high challenge level found in the 64-bit version would have made a comeback, as well. Additionally, the sounds and menus were complete, suggesting that the game was quite far along when Rare decided to cancel the title.
Since no other details have been revealed about the game, however, people can only speculate what else the game had to offer. Was it a sequel, prequel, or even a remake of the Nintendo 64 game? Would Mizar have been the main villain again, or would the team have another enemy to deal with this time around? Had the Tribals been captured once more, forcing the player to rescue them all? Were the locations the same as, or different from, those found in the 64-bit version? Alas, the answers to these and other questions will remain unknown until or unless someone reveals more information about the game.
As to why it was canceled before it was even announced, the most likely reason is that the Nintendo 64 version did not sell very well despite critical acclaim. Perhaps Rare assumed that because of its less than impressive sales, Jet Force Gemini was not fit to have any sequels, and thus they quietly canceled development on the hand held version. Neither Rare nor Nintendo ever revealed any information on the game. It is as if Rare somehow had an inkling that the game would not see the light of day, and perhaps they did not want to say anything about the game for fear of having fans of the first game feel outraged among the cancellation of the Game Boy Color version. At any rate, what could have been the sequel that fans have been anticipating for years was canned, and thus, the only chance (for the time being, anyway) for people to play the follow up to a wonderful classic game was gone.
This is a crying shame, because Jet Force Gemini is one of many Rare games that deserve a sequel, and the Game Boy Color version would have fulfilled that task, if nothing else. As to whether the features that made the Nintendo 64 version so great would have been successfully translated to hand held version, we can only speculate. I certainly would have wanted to check out the game to see if it would have been as good as the 64-bit version, if not even better. Rare will never release it, though, and with its supposed focus towards catering more to casual players, it is unlikely that a sequel to Jet Force Gemini will materialize anytime soon.
Had things worked out differently, Jet Force Gemini could have seen the light of day on the Game Boy Color. If it did, perhaps it would have become the wonderful series it was always meant to be. Maybe Rare would have created other sequels to the game, and hopefully they would have stayed true to the spirit of the original game while at the same time offering new features that improve the experience rather than detract from it. Unfortunately, we will never have the opportunity to experience a hand held version of one of Rare’s most wonderful games. As such, Juno, Vela, and Lupus may be waiting a long time before they go on another adventure, or they may never have another mission, much to the dismay of fans of the original game.