Video games that were being developed for the NEO GEO system went through various stages
of development. During this process, data is programmed, graphics are drawn, sounds are composed,
and changes are made. But perhaps the most significant and most important step that a game takes,
is when it is officially assigned its own unique software product code number. Known as an
NGM or NGH number, this number is the games unique identifier which allows for it to function on
the NEOGEO MVS/HOME hardware.
Although it is not known exactly at what point during the development process a neogeo game is
assigned its number, we do know that every officially released game has a number, and, we also
know that no number has ever been repeated. In addition, we also know that many games suffered delays
during their development, and that as a result of that, the sequential order of the numbers are not
in perfect sync with the actual order of release for the games themselves.
Furthermore, we can also confirm that all of the "playable" unreleased games that have been
discovered so far, were also assigned unused & unique NGH numbers. Again, with no repeated numbers.
There are two possible theories as to why the incomplete & unplayable "Dragon's Heaven" early beta
game utilizes a repeated number, (Voltage Fighter). Either it was originaly assigned that number,
and after falling behind schedule it was revoked and/or re-issued to another game that became ready
faster, or, it was simply a placeholder or a temporary number, which would have been updated & changed
upon completion and prior to release.
Since we do not know at exactly what stage of development SNK assigns a number to a new game,
and since we also do not know at what point or under what terms SNK revokes and/or reissues a number,
we will have absolutely no way of ever knowing for sure just how many betas and protos may have been
made for the neogeo system. However, because we do know that a number has never been issued twice,
this indirectly reveals to us that any unreleased game that reached the point of location testing,
will absolutely have its own unique number. Proper play testing and revenue reporting would be
impossible without it.
So what exactly makes a neogeo game an orphan? Well, any game that was either never assigned a
product code number, or had its assigned number revoked, is by definition abandoned or orphaned by SNK.
This page is dedicated to these neglected, discarded, and forgotten gems.
NEOGEO ORPHANS: GONE BUT NOT FORGOTTEN