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Nintendo

Rayman Legends [Beta / Concept]

Rayman Legends is a 2D platformer by developer, Ubisoft Montpellier, and the follow-up to Rayman Origins. It was released in 2013 on Wii U, Xbox 360, PS3, PS4, Xbox One, Vita and PC. It originally started as a Wii U exclusive, billed as a launch title for the console’s November 2012 release.

Leaked NFC Concept Trailer

On April 27 2012, the very first footage of Legends emerged online. This was a conceptual video intended for internal purposes only, which was leaked by an anonymous source on YouTube from inside Ubisoft.

The build of the game shown in the reel wasn’t terribly different from the final release, but it did reveal one quite significant feature that was never implemented; nearfield communication support. Towards the end of the clip, it demonstrates a work-in-progress concept for NFC figures, which would have worked with the Wii U gamepad’s built-in chip.

Rayman NFC

Ubisoft’s video contained two uses of the proposed accessories: a heart figure, which would replenish the player’s health and a Rabbid toy that would cause Rabbids to appear in the game as enemies, as well as in the backgrounds of levels. Towards the end of the video, it hints towards the possibility of other Ubisoft characters, when a figure of Ezio from the Assassin’s Creed series appears. 

Family Guy: Back To The Multiverse [Cancelled – 3DS / Wii]

Family Guy: Back To The Multiverse is an action adventure title, which was developed by Heavy Iron Studios. It was released in November 2012 on PC, PS3 and Xbox 360. However, over a year before its release, the company was also working on 3DS and Wii versions of the title.

In May 2011, Activision put Heavy Iron in charge of creating a new game, based on the hit TV series, Family Guy. Given the difference in power between the HD platforms and Nintendo’s 3DS and Wii systems, the developer was initially ordered to make two separate versions of the game. While the 360/PS3/PC game was a third person adventure game with shooter elements, the other took on an isometric perspective; not wholely dissimilar to Family Guy: The Quest For Stuff on iOS.

5_family_guy_the_quest_for_stuff

Family Guy: The Quest For Stuff.

The Wii version of the game was being designed around the Wii remote and nunchuck, although did not make use of any of its unique features, such as the motion sensors or pointer. It was planned to be almost entirely identical to the 3DS version in terms of gameplay.

Whereas the shooting mechanics in the released HD title used a manually controlled reticule, the 3DS and Wii game used what one developer described to us as an “auto targeting system” instead, given the isometric camera view. This automatically locked on to potential targets within the immediate area to fire at with Stewie’s laser gun or Brian’s pistol.

According to one of the programmers on the Multiverse project we spoke to, the 3DS and Wii version were outlined to be otherwise “completely undifferentiated” in terms of story; even featuring the same dialogue and voice acting clips. It would have also included the two main playable characters of Brian and Stewie Griffin from the other version.

Playable prototype builds were created but shortly afterwards, the 3DS and Wii games were cancelled in August 2011, another developer told us.

“We stopped working on them around August. They weren’t that far along but both were up and running just fine. Everyone working on it was transitioned into working on the other version of it after that”

The same former Heavy Iron employee gave us two reasons for the projects’ demise.

“The Wii version was dropped first and then the 3DS one quickly after. I think it was a combination of them wanting us to focus on making one version of the game and growing concerns about how it would perform on those platforms”

Neither of the games ever received an official announcement prior to cancellation. 

Demon’s Crest [Beta – SNES]

Demon’s Crest is a 2D action game developed by Capcom and originally published in 1994 for the Super Nintendo. As we can read on Wikipedia, this is the 3° game starring Firebrand (an enemy character from the Ghosts ‘n Goblins series), following Gargoyle’s Quest and Gargoyle’s Quest II. Thanks to Casey Strange we were able to note some minor beta differences in the some screens published in old magazines.

demon's crest beta

In the screenshot the earth gargoyle has a slightly different sprite. The color is a bit darker but it could be because of the magazine. The enemies in the first beta level were different as seen in this preview video of a sample Demon’s Crest demo for retailers.

There were two Demon’s Crest prototype sample cards on eBay and one japanese beta version was leaked some time ago, you can find the download in this nice anonymous Tumblr, thanks to Casey for the share! This ROM dump of the Japanese sample / beta game looks more like the final game compared to the video, but maybe with the help of our friends at TCRF it would be possible to find some interesting unused stuff hidden in the beta code.

In this beta you start the game with all 5 talismans and four of the crests. This is different compared to the final version. The game stops after the second battle with Arma in stage four and you are greeted with this screen.

demon's crest beta

Armageddon Potato noted:

After doing some comparisons there is a large chunk of blank data in the retail rom at the very begining (which was also dumped by a SUPERUFO apparently as it’s tagged in the header.) After that the prototype is indentical the final minus the size differences. I wouldn’t expect any changes in the prototype then. […]

I landed up getting a cleaner rom rip. One without the SUPERUFO header which may have been causing the blank space problem(since that makes no sense!) It does appear to have some differences, although they may be possibly minor. Once I get some solid free time I’m going to have to play though both the retail game, and the prototype. I need to know exactly where the game lock you from the later levels in the prototype, and possibly pictures/screenshots of where this happens.

If you notice more beta differences from Demon’s Crest, let us know in the comments below!

Thanks to Casey Strange and MicroChirp for the contributions!

Images:

The Wonderful 101 [Beta / Concept – Wii U]

The Wonderful 101 is an action game for the Wii U, developed by Platinum Games in partnership with Nintendo and was directed by famed Japanese designer, Hideki Kamiya, of Okami and Devil May Cry notoriety. It was released in 2013 and has since developed a small cult following among Wii U owners.

The game follows the adventures of The Wonderful 100, a team of superheroes, as they fight to defend Earth from an alien menace known as the ‘GEATHJERK Federation‘. Despite being released almost a full year into the Wii U’s lifespan, the project had in fact been in the works for a few years prior. As revealed by the staff who worked on it over the course of its development, its direction underwent some considerable shifts along the way.

Video Game All Stars, Unite Up!

As disclosed by Hideki Kamiya at Gamescom 2013, The Wonderful 101 began life as an entirely different entity. Kamiya’s involvement with the project started a few years earlier, when the President and CEO of Platinum Games, Tatsuya Minami, tasked him with creating an action game with a cast of some of gaming’s biggest icons. It was set to feature Nintendo characters primarily, as well as guest stars from third party companies.

The project in this form dates all the way back to 2011 and was planned to be developed not on Wii U, but on the Wii.

At that time it wasn’t necessarily based on any specific platform. But when we took it to Nintendo, the discussions went from there, and we decided to put it on Wii.” – Hideki Kamiya, on the first iteration of The Wonderful 101 project.

Although it has been never stated which characters from companies outside of Nintendo were planned, Kamiya did elaborate on the main cast of this original vision at 2013’s Penny Arcade Expo. During an interview with Siliconera, he mentioned that Link and Mario were among those featured. This suggests that the two might have been the basis for the ‘Unite Hand’ and ‘Unite Sword’ moves, based upon the traits of either character.

Initially, the idea was proposed by Mr. Minami, to create a game featuring Nintendo characters or other popular characters together in one game. With the idea of putting characters like Mario and Link into the same game, you end up with a situation where fans of Mario are forced to play as Link.

Moreover, during Platinum’s panel at the event, Kamiya described one piece of concept art for the project, involving other Mario characters. He gave the example of a portion where Peach, Luigi and Yoshi attempt to grab hold of one another to form a bridge, with Mario hopping across the top of them, allowing him to traverse a large bottomless pit. One artist, Kibbles, has put together a sketch for us to illustrate what this roughly might have looked like.

Wonderful 101 mario bridge concept

It appears that this idea might well have been the straw that broke the camel’s back. The director went on to to say that the people at Nintendo viewing this concept in particular was the point at which they decided the project could not be realised

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