This is Marble Madness II. It is a game you will never play.
The original Marble Madness was released in 1984 in arcades by Atari. It had a very short length in part because Atari had some financial issues in 1984, and they needed money badly. The high difficulty of Marble Madness was its appeal and became extremely popular at its release. Marble Madness was ported to home consoles and also found success there.
A sequel to Marble Madness was planned for 1991. Wikipedia says:
An arcade sequel titled Marble Man: Marble Madness II was planned for release in 1991, though Cerny was uninvolved in the development. Development was led by Bob Flanagan who designed the game based on what he felt made Marble Madness a success in the home console market. Because the market’s demographic was a younger audience, Flanagan wanted to make the sequel more accessible and introduced a superhero-type main character. Marble Man expanded on the gameplay of the original game by featuring new abilities for the marble such as invisibility and flight, included pinball minigames between sets of levels, and allowed up to three players to traverse isometric courses. Flanagan intended to address the short length of the first game and, with the help of Mike Hally, developed seventeen courses.
Atari created prototypes for location testing, but the game did not fare well against more popular titles at the time such as Street Fighter II. Atari assumed the track balls accounted for the poor reception and commissioned a second model with joystick controls. Because the new models were met with the same poor reception, production was halted and the focus shifted to Guardians of the ‘Hood, a beat ‘em up game. The prototypes that were produced have since become collector items.
Damn you, hardcore gamers! I know exactly why Marble Madness II didn’t fare well in the focus group testing stage: it was due to the rise of the ‘hardcore gamer’. The game kicked their asses. Games like Street Fighter 2 was about kicking other people’s asses. Hardcore gamers don’t like difficult games that challenge them, they have a ‘Lifestyle Gamer’ life and difficult games break it up. How can you be a Lifestyle Gamer when a game keeps kicking your butt?
It is such a shame too. Marble Man: Marble Madness II would have been three player co-op, seventeen stages, and power-ups such as invisibility and flight. Instead of such a kick-ass game and using a trackball (which were becoming less common in 1991), we got a forgettable beat-em-up Street Fighter 2 clone.
Do you want to know why the arcades died? It is because the hardcore gamers killed them. And the hardcore are going to kill the home console market unless they are stopped.
Above: Never forget!