It is not all that often that we receive news that a new Atari Jaguar game has been discovered and released. That is exactly what is going on with Thea Realm Fighters though. Thea Realm Fighters is an unreleased one-on-one fighting game for the Atari Jaguar console. For many, this is a Holy Grail of unreleased games as it was only really shown at the 1995 Consumer Electronics Show. As with most unreleased titles, there are multiple versions and only one is available for download at this time.
Thea Realm Fighters was originally developed by High Voltage Software, the company behind Fight for Life (3D fighter) and the port of NBA Jam: Tournament Edition to Atari Jaguar. On an emulator Thea Realm Fighters supposedly runs almost as slow as Fight for Life does on an actual Atari Jaguar console. On actual hardware AtariAge members have reported using various Skunk Boards to play the beta version of the game and stated that it is quite decent in speed. Your mileage may very well vary.
Thea Realm Fighters was in development right around the time that digitized fighting games were still raging on. Even Capcom got in on it with a Street Fighter II: The Movie game that featured digitized actors from the feature length film–it didn’t work out all that well for them either.
Our friends over on Retrocollect were able to track down the man behind this release and get a quote from him. Mr. Nicholas Persijn told Retrocollect, “I’m always looking for ways to expand the Atari Jaguar fan scene. [The Realm Fighters] has been a personal holy grail for years and when I finally got my chance, I couldn’t keep it for myself.”
Allegedly, there were to be 20 fighters featured in Thea Realm Fighters. This is interesting as it would have definitely been a large cast for a period when eight to twelve fighters were common. As you can see in the gameplay video above that the game featured line scrolling floors and fairly colorful backgrounds. This was probably due to the fact that the Atari Jaguar was a color pushing tour de force of a console.