A couple years before Core Design debuted its seminal Tomb Raider series, the UK studio put out Soulstar, a mostly forgotten Star Fox-esque shoot'em up with a 3D perspective for the Sega CD. Players piloted a spacecraft that transformed into three different vehicles: a Strike Craft, Turbo Copter, and Strike Walker.

Core Design planned two ports for the game, one for the Jaguar CD and an enhanced Soulstar X edition for the 32X, both of which were cancelled. The 32X update was slated to include multiplayer support, updated graphics, and a faster experience. Though Soulstar X was only previewed in promotional videos and magazines years ago, someone recently stumbled on a prototype and auctioned it off to collectors.

Just when I'd given up hope that I'd never get to play this game that I never even heard of until last week, Spanish Sega community Sega Saturno -- which has been instrumental in releasing other lost prototypes for Werewolf: The Apocalypse, Virtua Hamster, and X-Men: Mind Games -- has obtained the prototype build and released the game to the public for others to try out.

You can download the prototype and see scanned pages from old magazine previews (revealing Soulstar X's high-end rendering technology to create photo-realistic enemies!) at Sega Saturno. I've also included a video preview from this goofy Virtua Fighter 32X promotional clip (skip to 05:45) below:

[Via Unseen 64]