A recently discovered prototype version of HAL's New Ghostbusters II for the Nintendo Entertainment System reveals that the game was once considered for North American release prior to the announcement of a competing Ghostbusters II title from Activision.

New Ghostbusters II, shown above, is an overhead-view action game that was only released in Japan and PAL territories. It's not the same game as Activision's own pile of a Ghostbusters II adaptation, which no doubt ruined Christmas for many kids in 1990. The decision to cancel New Ghostbusters II likely stemmed from either licensing issues or an unwillingness to compete with Activision's offering.

While Activision's game is depressingly bad, New Ghostbusters II is quite playable. It's developed by a talented staff (including current Nintendo president Satoru Iwata), and boasts a cooperative multiplayer mode, five playable characters, and a catchy soundtrack. Though the PAL and Japanese versions of the game have been in circulation for some time, the unreleased North American version was only recently distributed, and can be found at Lost Levels.