James Pond 2: Codename: RoboCod (lost build of cancelled NES port of platformer sequel; 1993)
James Pond 2: Codename: RoboCod is a 2D platformer video game developed by Vectordean and published by Millenium Interactive that was initially released in 1991. The game is a sequel to the 1990 video game James Pond: Underwater Agent, and features James Pond attempting to infiltrate Santa's workshop after it has been taken over by his arch-enemy Dr. Maybe.
The game was incredibly successful upon its initial release and has since been ported to a wide variety of different platforms, including the Sega Genesis, the Amiga, the Atari ST, the SNES, the Game Boy, the Commodore 64, and the MS-DOS among many others. However, alongside all of these, an additional port of the game was also in development for the NES. This version of the game, developed by Ocean Software, was advertised throughout various gaming magazines of the time, but ultimately went unreleased.
The NES port of the game was reviewed in the August 1993 edition of British gaming magazine Nintendo Game Zone (alongside the cancelled Game Boy game Edd the Duck). The game was praised in the magazine by reviewer Martin Pond for its graphics and music and was ultimately awarded a rating of 78 out of 100. However, despite the frequent coverage and positive reception, the NES port of the game would never be released. No official explanation has ever been given for this, though it could be assumed that it was cancelled because of how the game started development very late into the lifespan of the NES (for comparison, the final NES game, a PAL-exclusive port of The Lion King, was released just two years later), and was thereby seen as unprofitable.
The NES port of the game has never been dumped online, with the screenshots in the Nintendo Game Zone article (along with several other screenshots posted on the website Lost Levels from an unknown source) being all that has resurfaced from it.