Dark Cloud is an Action RPG developed for the Playstation 2 by Level-5 and published by Sony Computer Entertainment in 2000 and 2001 for Japan and American/PAL regions respectively. As we can read in Wikipedia, Dark Cloud was the first game of the Japanese developer Level-5, headed by designer Akihiro Hino. When the PlayStation 2 was announced on March 2, 1999, Sony president and CEO Ken Kutaragi used a demo of Dark Cloud to showcase the capabilities of the platform. However, many elements of the demo were not used in the release version of the game.
In 1999, Sony had an early playable version of Dark Cloud at the Tokyo Game Show. This version focused on a character who needed to return a floating piece of land back to where it originally came from but its location had been replaced with an evil kingdom. The world building parts where demonstrated in this version. At the Tokyo Game Show in 2000 a more complete demo was available far more similar to the final version.
CallingCard noticed various differences in the early video:
- The main character, Toan, had a fair redesign between this demo and the final release.
- The magic carpet never appears in game as far as I’m aware.
- The ability to jump in and out of the water as seen around the 1:00 mark was removed.
- The world map is pretty much the same, can’t see anything new aside from the floating island town area which I don’t recall being in the game. Given that it’s just a large blank area, it might’ve been used for demonstration purposes only.
- Georama system looks almost identical in-game as it does in beta, though the volcanoes never made it in to the final product.