The owners of a Nintendo 64 had to wait several years before being able to get their hands on this title developed by DMA Design. Body Harvest was announced as one of the first launch titles for the N64, but it was released only in October 1998 and it ended up clashing with Zelda: Ocarina of Time.
Body Harvest is one of the most interesting projects for the Nintendo console, but due to the clamor for the release of the first three-dimensional Zelda, Body Harvest was missed by many gamers, as they were already too busy to play with an ocarina.
Body Harvest’s levels are huge, probably some of the bigger areas available on the 64-bit console: players can use many vehicles from small cars to powerful alien ships, to move and kill all the enemies in their path. Sadly a lot of the beta vehicles (shown in the gallery below) never made it into the final game. BH’s development team is the same one that a few years later created one of the most popular games of the last generation: GTA 3.
Perhaps if Body Harvest would have been released in a different time, it would have had a better success in sales. All the images in the gallery below are from the beta version, with different HUD, incomplete graphic and target renders. In the early version, the energy bars were oval and the radar was circled by a red line. Also, there are some unused logos created before the final one!
Missions in Japan, Hawaii and Antarctica were removed from the game or changed into the Alien Cometh, Java and Siberia. As was noticed by SilverStingray on the GameSpot Forum:
It’s interesting to note that there was originally a Japan 2010 level which looks a little bit like the comet. I guess Japan morphed into the comet when the game was struck by a speeding deadline. Also America looks a lot greener, I guess it felt too similar to Greece so the devs killed the grass.
Many interesting info on Body Harvest’s development can be found on this article by Edge:
The Body Harvest story begins a long time ago, in a small development house just outside Dundee. In 1995, Nintendo saw great potential in a game design document drawn up by DMA Design. […]
After two years of hard slog DMA eventually presented an action game to Nintendo. Unsurprisingly, it was not what Nintendo had seen in the design document and more importantly, it was not to its taste. A crack team of Nintendo experts, including a producer from the Zelda series, flew over to sort out the mess. It was suggested that the game be reincarnated as an RPG – not what DMA wanted to hear. […]
On its return home, DMA noticed a distinct pattern emerging – more bad news. Body Harvest was being developed alongside another game called Zenith – an original mix of platform and racing action. Zenith was to be canned and several people were given the unpleasantly singular option of joining the Body Harvest project. […]
If you can notice more differences in the beta images, please let us known!
Some screens from: www.flickr.com/photos/mikedailly/sets/