[Article written by Torentsu]
Castlevania 64 underwent a no doubt rushed development phase and because of it, a lot of content was cut from the final game. The most obvious missing feature is that the final version only contains two playable characters as opposed to beta version’s promised four.
Originally, we were promised Reinhardt Schneider, Carrie Fernandez , Cornell, and Coller. Reinhardt and Carrie made it into 64 and Cornell was lucky enough to pull into the “directors cut” version of the game, but poor old Coller never saw the light of day. He was, however, replaced by Henry. Castlevania 64 obviously had a lot more content than what we got, but fortunately, thanks to a bit of picture hunting and hacking magic, we can see a bit more of what the developers originally intended.
First some status and health meter related stuff. Originally, it seems as there was a stake sub-weapon that could be used. Also notice Reinhardt’s status says “bad” and his health is low. In the final game, even when your health is low your status never changes unless you get poisoned or vamped. Also notice the position of the gold count. It is below a meter that’s not found in the final game.
Numerous other Castlevania games have used a second meter to indicate sub-weapon or magic power, but this game uses an ammo-like system with the jewels as ammo; and under the sub-weapon picture, you can see he has 99 left so it would seem originally a magic system was to be implemented. You can also spot one more small difference from the final version in this picture. The vampire battling Reinhardt wears a pink dress as apposed to the white ones female vampires wear in the final.
Here’s another shot of the old HUD display type. Note that Reinhardt never visits the underground waterway in the final game.
Here’s the scene where Rosa attempts suicide. Note she looks nothing like final game Rosa.
Reinhardt also appears to be holding his sword as if it were a main weapon.
Here’s more of the sword in the villa stage. He’s on the side of the upper floor with nothing on it. Perhaps there was something over there once.
While there is some mystery surrounding what Reinhardt was to originally be, like perhaps the most mysterious character is Coller, who never made it into the game (on his own) in any fashion. Coller was intended to be somewhat of a Frankenstein character, an artificial man with a chainsaw for one hand and a gun in the other. There seems to be little to no in-game footage of Coller in action (save for the Dracula 3D tech demo). Despite the lack of information, Konami’s old website did have a picture of him.
Take a good look at the side of the chainsaw. The EXACT same design (and most likely his old in- game texture) is used for the chainsaw of the gardener in the Villa stage of the final version. The gun mechanics were reused for Henry Oldrey in Castlevania 64 Legacy of Darkness. While it is interesting to see how the gun mechanics were used, the whole chainsaw arm thing would have been quite interesting.
Coller, like all the other characters, had his own sub-boss and one picture exist (from Castlevania Dungeon), no clue as to how she would fight though. It is a possibility the axed sub-bosses had their moves merged into the ones that made it into the game.
Lost character content isn’t all that’s to be discussed here. There are a few unused items that still have data left in the game. In the final game, Carrie’s bad ending involves Malus (who is really Dracula) proposing to her. It seems that at one point in the game this was intended to be a MUCH bigger part of the plot. In the game’s data, the gameshark code 8039c5b 0001 can be entered to have the item “engagement ring” in your inventory. In the US version of the game no description is given, but if we load it up in the Japanese version …
The text basically says that this is a present from the devil and that while Carrie wears/uses it, her stats go are raised by 10%. Stats? What stats? It would seem that at one point in development the game had a stat system similar to an RPG or the other newer Castlevania entries. This is pure theory of course, but it is supported by the description of yet another beta item left in the game’s data.
Update: Robert Seddon has made another translation of the japanese text: “I checked ステータス at www.csse.monash.edu.au/~jwb/cgi-bin/wwwjdic.cgi It is ’status’ (note the extended ‘ey’ sound), despite the percentage.
Although it could be status I lean toward stats because other Castlevanias have used a point based status system in the past + the ten percent thing would seem to indicate numbers being increased as normally the game’s “status” meter only deals in words. Also the old shots show another meter besides the red jewel count meaning there could have been a magic system and “stats” that influenced it. I still think there may have been a point based stat system at once.
Highlights players focus? Hmm focus could possibly be from an axed stats system. Next we have this leftover item: Potpourri
Fossilization? What could that have been…..oh wait, beta status:
No doubt “STO” is short for stone and had this made it into the final game, it would have been cured by the potpourri. To see “STO” status in action, enter the following game shark code : 80389C88 0066 . Unfortunately, the actual data for how it kills you seems to have been removed and only the status meter changes and your character slumps over.
A few other non beta items that wouldn’t appear in the menu normally, but do have “as item” data are:
- power up
- the contract
- Oldrey’s Diary(Legacy of Darkness only)
Interestingly in the menu, Renon’s contract gives description of a scrapped point system. Originally, every item you bought used a point. In the final game, you must fight Renon if you spend too much. This point system must have originally been for keeping up with whether you had to fight Renon or not.
In the original Dracula 3D tech demo we can see Reinhardt using a whip swing over a pit of lava ala Simon Belmont. It seems like the final game may contain alot of beta “structures” that is places that are now just decoration as opposed to their original use. Take a look at this pic from the final game.
Hmm. A ring? OLD WHIP SWING POINT METHINKS! Its also in a place that has two solid platforms and a gap in the middle(you must get across via platforms that go in and out of the walls) much like the ones Reinhardt was to swing across. Its important to note this is in the Tower of Execution level which has lots of lava like the tech demo showed. Most likely whip swing got canned and they tossed in some moving platforms. These rings are always accompanied by moving platforms.
So there you have it, a look back at no doubt just a FEW of the things Castlevania 64 was originally going to offer. I’m a big Castlevania fan, so I continue to look for things in 64 and I’ll be sure to post an update if I find anything else big in the game.
A few thanks
- Jani and BloodMoon from ZSO for helping with Castlevania hacking
- Xdaniel for helping translate that Japanese shot.
[Article written by Torentsu]
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