Fans of Japanese live-action superhero dramas, take note: Video Game Ephemera's latest feature spotlights a Bandai press pamphlet from the 1989 Summer Consumer Electronics Show revealing, among other things, a scrapped localization for the popular Kamen Rider series.

"Ride with Mask Riders on their deadly mission into the nuclear-active Shockerland to beat down and destroy its ruthless leader," reads Bandai's description of Mask Rider, an unreleased U.S. edition of the 1988 Famicom game Kamen Rider Club: Gekitotsu Shockerland. As you might be able to tell from the gameplay video above, Kamen Rider Club was no big loss for U.S. audiences, but it could have established an early domestic foothold for the sci-fi tokusatsu series, had it been released.

Kamen Rider remains a popular property in Japan, spawning multiple television series and video games, including the recent All Kamen Rider: Rider Generation for the Nintendo DS. Aside from a single season of the Fox Kids adaptation Masked Rider and the bewildering U.S. release of Kamen Rider ZO for the Sega CD, though, the franchise is largely unknown stateside.

In an alternate universe where Mask Rider was released, Kamen Rider might have been as popular here as Mighty Morphin' Power Rangers eventually became. Also, Bandai's Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde would have never been released, and we'd all be happier people for it. That's a pretty good universe. I want to live there.