Gang aft agley,
An' lea'e us nought but grief an' pain,
For promis'd joy!"
So wrote Robert "Rabbie" Burns, The Bard of Ayrshire - presumably while drunk from the looks of it. Nevertheless, as incomprehensible as that "poem" may be, it serves as the perfect introduction to this: a list of the biggest unreleased games and consoles ever... many of which appear to have been conceived by drunks.
Psyclapse, Bandersnatch, Hero and Star Traders were the four "Mega Games" known to be in development, with a further two on the drawing board.
They were heralded with a series of press ads, many of which - it later transpired - Imagine never ended up paying for. The company choked on its own hubris in 1984, owing hundreds of thousands of pounds for advertising and tape duplication. Indeed, the company's demise was famously caught on camera in real time, after a BBC film crew had been invited into Imagine HQ - ostensibly to document this world leader in game design.
Ironically, the so-called "Mega Games" were an attempt to reverse the company's fortunes; by bundling each game with additional hardware, that would boost the host system's memory, Imagine believed it would neuter the dirty piracy it felt was damaging the company's bottom line (and, indeed, its bottom).
However, the cost of developing the games - due to retail at a then-eye-watering £40-£60 - proved prohibitive, and hiring sci-fi artists Chris Foss and Roger Dean to design the packaging artwork ate further into Imagine's evaporating resources.
Most of the company's employees later wound up elsewhere in the games industry, and though the Mega Games were never released, elements of them made their way into other games; Amiga/Atari ST title Brataccas was essentially Bandersnatch, while Frankie Goes To Hollywood and Gift To The Gods both featured aspects of other "Mega Games".
Although, frankly, that's like sprinkling your dad's ashes on your breakfast cereal and claiming it's what he would've wanted.
Developed in conjunction with a team of former Sinclair employees and legendary "gaming yak" Jeff Minter, the floppy disk-based system would have included a core console which could be reconfigured to make steering wheels (with foot pedals), handlebars, and a plane control "yoke".
Additional hardware would've included a light gun, and - most ambitiously - a motorised chair, which would've replicated the experience of arcade games such as Space Harrier and Afterburner, and an exercise bike.
Alas, the "yoke" would prove to be on Konix.
Once again, the cost of developing the Multisystem eventually consumed the company - which had even sold off the rights to its existing joystick brand in order to keep the Multisystem project alive, albeit to little avail. After Konix dissolved, the hardware team eventually worked on a project which formed the basis of the Atari Jaguar... a console that wasn't cancelled, but probably should've been.
More interestingly, Sony had apparently been lined-up to manufacture the Multisystem - and funnelled what it had learned into the creation of its own games system...
Kutaragi went on to develop the Sony audio chip which provided the SNES with its sound, and it was through this relationship that Sony signed a deal to develop a CD-ROM add-on for the 16-bit console.
Sony unveiled the device - dubbed the "PlayStation" - in 1991, but behind the scenes things were less than friendly between the two companies. The very next day, Nintendo appeared to contradict Sony, stating that the Super NES CD-ROM add-on would in fact be developed in conjunction with Philips, Sony's long-time rival.
Sony was reportedly furious, but it was a gambit which - initially anyway - worked in Nintendo's favour; off the back of its announcement, Nintendo managed to negotiate a much more favourable deal, which would have deprived Sony of any software profits associated with the PlayStation.
However, despite a reported 200 PlayStations being produced - along with software - the agreement ultimately disintegrated before the device could go into mass-production. As history records, Sony refocused its work on releasing its own standalone system, also called PlayStation, which in time would give Nintendo al "bloody nose".
While this might sound impressive, when visitors to the 1981 New York Toy Fair were given a demonstration of the console, their feedback was, reportedly, less than positive. In the wake of this criticism, a humbled Atari chose to punt the Cosmos into a bin.
Nine games were known to have been planned for the hardware, including Atari heavy-hitters Asteroids and Space Invaders, plus Road Runner and Superman.
When far-too-impressive screenshots appeared in the gaming press, many voiced a concern that it couldn't possibly be made to fit on the humble Speccy. Though Elite assured journalists that it had everything under control, ultimately they were proved wrong, and Elite was forced to cancel the project, when the graphics ate up all the available memory, leaving nothing for gameplay.
Not wishing to waste its licensing agreement, Elite instead churned out a cheap-and-cheerful Scooby Doo platform game.
True story: Scooby Doo was originally called "Too Much" (not a joke), but later renamed Scooby Doo after CBS programming boss Fred Silverman heard Frank Sinatra improvise the words "Doobie-doobie-doo" during a performance of Strangers In The Night.
Created by superstar games producer Hideo Kojima and superstar movie director Guillermo del Toro, a playable teaser trailer was even released - starring a digital recreation of The Walking Dead's Norman Reedus - before Kojima fell out spectacularly with his employers Konami over the release of his game Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain.
In the wake of the mysterious brou-ha-ha, Kojima left the firm that had employed him more or less since birth, formed his own company, and began work on a new game - the as-yet-unreleased Death Stranding - with del Toro and Reedus: the games industry equivalent of getting back at your ex by posting an Instagram of you in bed with their dog.
Though Disney has rebooted the Star Wars expanded universe following its takeover of LucasFilm, elements of 1313 have since appeared in other spin-off media. The disappointment surrounding EA's flaccid single player campaign in Star Wars Battlefront 2 - and the cancellation of Amy Hennig's Star Wars game - has since made the loss of 1313 all the more acute.
"Too soon!" they wailed, having somehow missed all the other games in which people shot Middle Eastern men.
Six Days was being created with the help of actual veterans of the conflict, with the stated aim of making it the most realistic warfare simulation ever, and respecting the fighting men and women of the US armed forces. Allegedly, it played more like a Survival Horror game than a shoot 'em up.
However, mounting pressure from Stop The War Coalition, British war veterans, and the father of Lance Corporal Thomas Keys - whose son was killed in Iraq - convinced Konami to lay a big egg on the project.
Regrettably, the limitations of the host hardware - the Mega Drive was not known for its ability to handle complex 3D graphics - and reports from those who'd been demonstrated the device at trade shows that it caused motion sickness, led Sega to reconsider.
Absurdly however, Sega announced that the reason it was cancelling the Sega VR was not because it made people want to throw up on themselves, but because its virtual reality effect was "too realistic", and that users might end up hurting themselves while using it, by trying to walk around their living rooms and waving their arms around and that.
Only a handful of games were known to be in development for the system, with arcade smash Virtua Racing scheduled as a launch title.
Though the Neptune was shelved before it could enter into manufacturing, it's likely that the announcement alone - uttered in the same breath as the Saturn, stupidly - muddied Sega's ongoing strategy, and contributed to the company's famously troubled fortunes.