A canceled Nintendo 64 Tomb Raider knock-off has been saved so you can emulate it today

In the late 1990s, following the success of Tomb Raider and Perfect Dark, a developer called Bits Studios set to work carving itself a slice of the "third-person action-puzzler starring an attractive polygonal lady" pie. Nintendo were all set to publish the game, which was called Riqa, and even showed it off at E3 in 1999. It never got past the prototype stage, however, and was canceled after multiple delays.

One of the designers, Ten Shu—who previously released ROMs of another of the studio's unfinished games,  Die Hard 64—has documented Riqa on YouTube, with a series of videos showing various builds. In most of them protagonist runs around in camo pants, dodging lasers, climbing ladders, and occasionally shooting dudes in an extremely "what if Tomb Raider but a bit anime" kind of way, even passing a disused mech at one point. 

ROMs of those builds have now been hosted on the Internet Archive for the sake of posterity, and Ten Shu has put together a video explaining how to play Riqa on PC via an emulator today.

Bits Studios would go on to develop a more stealth-oriented take on the formula with Rogue Ops in 2003, as well as Die Hard: Vendetta and a game based on the movie Constantine, which came to PC in 2005.

Jody Macgregor
Weekend/AU Editor

Jody's first computer was a Commodore 64, so he remembers having to use a code wheel to play Pool of Radiance. A former music journalist who interviewed everyone from Giorgio Moroder to Trent Reznor, Jody also co-hosted Australia's first radio show about videogames, Zed Games. He's written for Rock Paper Shotgun, The Big Issue, GamesRadar, Zam, Glixel, Five Out of Ten Magazine, and Playboy.com, whose cheques with the bunny logo made for fun conversations at the bank. Jody's first article for PC Gamer was about the audio of Alien Isolation, published in 2015, and since then he's written about why Silent Hill belongs on PC, why Recettear: An Item Shop's Tale is the best fantasy shopkeeper tycoon game, and how weird Lost Ark can get. Jody edited PC Gamer Indie from 2017 to 2018, and he eventually lived up to his promise to play every Warhammer videogame.