GameCube

Nintendo’s Harry Potter [Pitch / Cancelled – N64, GBA, GameCube]

Nintendo’s Harry Potter [Pitch / Cancelled – N64, GBA, GameCube]

In 1998, Nintendo of America’s internal team, Nintendo Software Technology developed a pitch to lock down exclusive access to the Harry Potter rights. Had it been successful, Nintendo would have secured the rights to produce all adaptations of the book series for the indefinite future in video game form; potentially preventing the eventual movie adaptations from being created altogether.

Nintendo and the Harry Potter license

Nintendo’s vision for Hogwarts.

According to one former artist of the studio, a sudden order from Nintendo’s management halted work on their three titles in development at the time (Ridge Racer 64, Bionic Commando and Crystalis) when news arrived that the license was to be auctioned off. This was a blanket license covering all formats of adaptation, including not only video games, but TV and film as well.

“The license went up for sale and all these major media companies were putting together pitches.”

The studio was then split into two: the primary group focused on devising on a pitch for a third person adventure title, whilst a smaller team worked on a potential game based around quidditch. The latter division reportedly included Marvel comic book artist, Adi Granov, who was responsible for character art.

Nintendo pitch for Harry Potter games

Hogwarts Express concept art by Nintendo ST.

Nintendo ST aspired to develop the adaptations themselves, with versions planned to be released on Nintendo 64, Gameboy Advance and later Gamecube; as well as any of Nintendo’s future platforms further down the line. These releases would have coincided with the launch of each new book.

“All together it was only a week of insanely furious scribbling things to the digital artists to create animations for mock game demos”

The license holder, JK Rowling, agreed to view Nintendo’s presentation, but this was not without some trepidation among the members of Software Technology. Our source alleges that there was a disagreement at one point over which art style would be most appropriate for the franchise. Towards the start, there was a push for character designs inspired by those of the first book’s cover art by Thomas Taylor. However, it wasn’t long before the studio’s higher-ups took against this idea and forced it in a different direction:

“…it went against all my instincts based on what I had read quotes from JK about keeping it strictly British, and I had to revamp my initial designs and go more manga/Japanese – I had a big fight about that, but my boss insisted”

Harry Potter concept art for Nintendo games

Hagrid’s Hut concept art.

We have unfortunately been unable to post images of these characters, since Nintendo would not allow its artists to share any of them publicly.

According to our source, the crew developing the quidditch game proposal had wanted to follow a similar route with regards to character design:

“[Name redacted] did get to do a more realistic take – I remember his Hermione being really nicely realized, but I doubt he saved anything from those days.”

Ultimately, Nintendo’s bid was declined by JK Rowling. Our source revealed that the writer turned it down in favor of several other proposals by media giants with greater resources, such as Disney and Universal. Whereas Nintendo was only able to offer forays into the realm of video games, these larger companies had the ability to spread out into TV and film; as well as gaming.

Rowling, in the end, sold the rights to Warner Bros. for a reported £1m. WB would later contract Electronic Arts to create video game adaptations of their film series based off the books. The first, Harry Potter & The Philosopher’s Stone was released in 2001.

Video:

 

Ace Squadron [Cancelled – GameCube / XBOX / PS2]

Ace Squadron is a cancelled flying shooter that was in development by Atomic Planet for the Playstation 2, GameCube and Xbox. The game was set in World War II and offered various arcade air-combat missions to play and as we can read from the official press release “gamers will be given the opportunity to shout ‘Tally Ho!’ and dive their trusty Spitfire into a dogfight with swarms of Nazi aircraft. There are scores of missions to play, from the heady days of the Battle of Britain to dangerous raids on secret weapons factories in the last days of the war, and dozens of different and powerful warplanes to fly, such as the majestic Spitfire, the nimble Mosquito and the sturdy Lancaster”. The project was never released for unknown reasons and we don’t even know if the game was finished or not as the few screenshots available look like target renders and not actual gameplay.

Images:

 

The Urbz: Sims in the city (2004) [Beta / Prototype – PS2 / Xbox / Gamecube]

In 2004, the urbz was announced for all 3 major platforms (PS2,Xbox,Gamecube) and Gameboy/DS. The Urbz, is a spinoff of The Sims Series. It was originally planned as a mini series (That was to contain around 3 games according to an EA employee on mod the sims forums), but that never happened. Instead only 2 games in the planned series released: The normal version and a portable version (Which both differed by around 90%)

The video showing real beta gameplay was much different than the final game released. It shows more open ended locations, such as a large downtown area. Also some characters introduced in the trailer were never introduced in the final game. (While Jayde was shown in the final game only as a pre made player preset, she was supposed to of had a much larger role in game).

Additionally, its been said on many forums and sites that these unknown locations may of been in the cancelled enhanced PC port, which reportedly was to release in 2005, but was cancelled.

In this photo, You can see a cut location:

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In the game files on the PS2 disk, there is unknown strings that refer to a deleted location known as “Main Street“.

This may of been that location.

Another thing is that in this picture of a cut subway (which also may be a beta of central station), we can see the beta version of the travel system, where you could travel. In it, is 4 unknown locations. (Daves Place, Moms Place, Museum and Noodle Shop).

A trailer of this version in action can be seen here:

Images:

Burnout [Beta – PS2, XBOX, GameCube]

Burnout (working title Shiny Red Car) is a racing game developed by Criterion Games and published by Acclaim on the PlayStation 2, Nintendo GameCube and Xbox in 2001. 11 years later, information regarding Burnout beta cars has been revealed. It wasn’t exactly hidden, but neither was it put out there to the public. Firstly, the vehicles have names tied to them. A slight hint to this is the fact that the Saloon GT has the bolded words “TENRAI” on the back. Nobody understood what this meant (other than it’s just a manufacturer name), but this latest discovery puts all of the theories to rest and finally puts a meaning to all of this.

On top of this, there was officially one cut vehicle from the game. This would be the Fire Engine, most likely to be assumed a Fire truck. No files for this vehicle remain in the game, only references to its name.

To start, here is the list of vehicle names taken directly from the inner-workings of Burnout on the PS2:

  • Frente GL
  • Venom SX
  • Sabre
  • Thunderbolt GT
  • Longbow EXC 300
  • Tenrai VII
  • Grizzly
  • Hudson 418
  • UT500 Jackhammer
  • Fire Engine

One will have to assume which vehicle name is tied to what, but a good way to figure that out is to try and associate each name with each car based on what it is. For example, the UT500 Jackhammer sounds like the Tow Truck, and the Sabre could be the Muscle (which resembles a Dodge Viper).

There were also many cut traffic cars. In the final game, only 8 traffic cars appear in each city, but the full list of traffic cars may come as a surprise to some…here they are!

  • Europe Bus
  • Oriental Bus
  • USA Bus
  • Long cab
  • Cab over
  • Compact
  • Old compact
  • Container
  • Flatbed
  • Minibus
  • Payload
  • Europe police
  • Oriental police
  • USA police
  • Sedan
  • Tanker
  • Europe taxi
  • Oriental taxi
  • USA taxi
  • Van
  • Europe truck
  • Oriental truck
  • USA truck
  • Europe van

You may be thinking:

COP CARS!

It would seem that cop cars were originally planned, but later cut! What a shame!

The above names were actual string names assigned to each model in-game, but the following names are the names used for each model. This could provide an insight into what kind of cars were planned for the game. Since these are model names, they are all capitals, and most likely, abbreviated as much as possible. About 80% of the traffic cars would be cut from the game!

  • MOTORBIKE
  • SCOOTER
  • MODCOMPACT
  • OLDCOMPACT
  • SEDAN
  • EUROTAXI
  • USTAXI
  • ORIENTTAXI
  • EUROPOLICE
  • USPOLICE
  • ORIENTPOLICE
  • BASICPICKUP
  • JACKEDPICKUP
  • THAIPICKUP
  • FARMTRUCK
  • VAN
  • MINIBUS
  • LUTON1
  • LUTON2
  • PEOPLECARRIER
  • USBUS
  • EUROBUS
  • ORIENTBUS
  • WINNEBAGO
  • USNON
  • EURONON
  • ORIENTNON
  • LONGNOSE
  • CABOVER
  • FLATBEDTARP
  • FLATBEDPAYLOAD
  • CONTAINER
  • TANKER

You may be thinking:

MOTORBIKES AND A SCOOTER!

Yes, a motorbike and a scooter. It was going to happen. You heard it here first on Unseen64!

All of the information seen here was found inside of the SLUS_203.07 file that can be found inside of the Burnout [PS2] disc. The information provided above has not be altered in any way, shape, or form, and is guaranteed to be 100% correct based upon the developer.

And to think, it only took 11 years to find this out. It was worth it!

Article by Red 

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