In the 90s Atari entertained FMV for PC and the Atari Jaguar, with a format called GameFilm promising interactive movies with uninterrupted scene transitions and choices that didn’t result in tight ends, but instead branched out into the story and influenced an endpoint. The first GameFilm, Caves of Fear, was completed but never released, while American Hero was filmed but never adapted into a game. The entire line was canceled, a victim of Jaguar’s commercial failure.
Ziggurat Interactive retrospective and developer Empty Clip Studios have revived the American Hero, re-establishing it and bringing back lead actor Timothy Bottoms for an additional voice. Bottoms, the star of The Last Picture Show who also played George Bush in That’s My Bush !, is joined by Daniel Roebuck of The Fugitive and Musetta Vander, who played Lady Elara in Dune 2000 and the substitute teacher who reveals a mantis- woman in that episode of Buffy.
In American Hero, Bottoms plays a former intelligence officer named Jack who comes out of retirement in response to a plot to bring down a “mind control virus” in the Los Angeles water supply. Jack has to protect a scientist who cares for the virus, and presumably pronounces a bunch of terrible liners. Well, we live in hope.
“With American Hero, we sought to balance the preservation of the project’s original vision with the editorial restoration where the game’s assets were incomplete,” said Empty Clip Studios CEO Matt Shores. “We thought this was the best approach to revive the game and allow players the opportunity to experience a title that has never been released to the public.”
American Hero will be out in the summer of 2021.