In this page you can find a collection of articles written for the Unseen64 archive. Most of the beta and cancelled games preserved in our archive are just a directory of images, videos and a few info, but for some games we were able to write proper, deep analysis about their differences, and here you will find a link to those more complex analysis. Also, a list of interviews with various developers, in which we asked about their lost videogames. Enjoy!
Project Zelda 3D: The Development of Zelda 64: The first version of zelda 64 was originally conceived as a title developed specifically to make full use of the innovative features of the 64dd, like the internal clock, rewritable disks with a double capacity of a normal cartridge, internet connection, and image editing. Zelda 64 was presented by Nintendo as a really complex title, hardly possible to be made on a simple Nintendo 64. [Article by monokoma – English translation by Yota]
The Legend Of Zelda – TP Beta Analysis: The second Zelda for the GameCube (and the first for the Wii) had a long development of nearly 4 years, and the final game turned out to be a lot different from what originally appeared in 2004. Some areas and dungeons were removed, while the surviving sections were heavily modified. In this article we will try to analyze the history of the development of TP with the screenshots and the videos available. [Article by monokoma – English translation by Yota]
Killer 7 Beta Analysis – Killer 7 was released in 2005 but it was first announced in 2002 as one of the original “Capcom 5” games. In 3 years of development the game changed a lot from its original concept trailer and when Killer 7 was finally released many parts of the story were removed. [Article by monokoma]
Sonic The Hedgehog 2 Beta Analysis: Sonic 2, like the other installments of the series for the Genesis ,doesn’t need any presentation. Released in november 1992, after the great success of the first episode, the Sega title became promptly the best selling game for the 16 bit console. More interesting for our site, the beta of Sonic 2 is currently the most important beta document of the series, and one of the most intriguing ever. [Article Written by Yota]
Resident Evil 2 Beta Backgrounds Comparison: This article is intended to be the definitive comparison between the Trial edition extracted backgrounds which are dated from 1996 to 1997 and comprise of Resident Evil 1.5 and Early betas for Resident Evil 2. Most of these images are likely old to some of you, but are presented here in a coherent format to be compared. [Article written by Leatherface74]
Castlevania 64: The Beta, What We Got VS What There Was: 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. Thanks to a bit of picture hunting and hacking magic, we can see a bit more of what the developers originally intended. [Article by Torentsu]
Left 4 Dead 2 Beta Analysis: Left 4 Dead 2 was built from the ground up and used material and ideas (used & unused) from the original left 4 dead. Left 4 dead 2 remained the same over the course of its development with few to no changes made until the games release. In a nut shell, most of the concepts that weren’t incorporated into the original Left 4 Dead has been incorporated into Left 4 Dead 2.
The Wonderful 101 Beta Analysis: tW101 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. [Article by Tamaki]
Analysis Flashback Legends – GBA Prototype: Delphine, the notable French software house which created at the beginning of the nineties two of the greatest action adventures of all times, Another World and Flashback, was officially closed down in 2004. Some of their projects were therefore not completed, among which, of course, the most famous was Flashback Legends. Later a beta of the game was released on the internet and, despite being incomplete and bug-filled, revealed a title in a advanced state of development, probably not too far away from being finished. [Article Written by Yota]
Shining Lore Project: Shining Lore is to the very majority of people a cancelled MMORPG originally to be released early 2003, before it fell into development limbo. However, what most people are unaware of is that Shining Lore Online, as it was to be called, was originally a dating RPG called, simply, Shining Lore. [Article Written by Saga Darvulia]
StarFox 2 Beta Analysis: After the great success of the first episode, Argonaut began working on Star Fox 2. According to the various previews of the magazines , it would have featured many interesting innovations. First of all, it would have been the first SuperFx 2 game, which would have permitted a far better graphics and a faster frame rate than the original. [Article by Yota]
Too Human: the game that will never be?: Wikipedia says that Too Human is a third-person action adventure role-playing game mixing elements of games like Devil May Cry and Diablo. The original Too Human project should have been a mix between RPG, Stealth and Action, a game that sounded much more like a “Deus Ex” type of game. So what happened? [Article by monokoma]
Perfect Dark Beta Analysis: Perfect Dark had a long development cycle and it changed a lot before being finally released in 2000. Nobody, except Rare of course, really know how the game evolved, but thanks to all the early images released online, we can try to get an idea of what has changed over PD’s development.
Daraku Tenshi: The Fallen… Beta? – In 1998 Psyiko’s “Steel Hearts” team released the highly obscure fighter Daraku Tenshi: The Fallen Angels. Perhaps the thing that makes Daraku Tenshi so interesting is the air of mystery that surrounds its development, and the finished product that we got. The general consensus is that Daraku Tenshi was released unfinished (or in the very least rushed). [Article by Torentsu]
Square VS Nintendo: According to some 1995 magazines, a new chapter of the Final Fantasy series was already in development for the Nintendo 64 and there were even rumors of a simultaneous release in the U.S. and Japan for the end of the 1996. Was it for real? Not really. The real Final Fantasy 7 would have been released on the Playstation in 1997. But what happened between Nintendo and Square, and why was there no Final Fantasy for the N64? [Article in italian by monokoma – English translation by Yota]
A look on the Mother 3 / Earthbound 64 development: Mother 3, as we already know, was going to be a Nintendo 64 sequel of the SNES RPG know as Earthbound. It was, however, cancelled in 2000, but later the game resurfaced on the GBA and it was officially released in 2006. [Article by Yota]
Chrono Trigger Prerelease Video Translation – Thanks to gamers/fans/translators Glitterberri and Gekkahiro we can read in good ole English a translation of this video that has been floating around the web for some time now [Article by Torentsu]
Resident Evil 5: Beta Analysis – Resident Evil 5 was officially announced on June 2005, but it was shown to the public for the first time only two months later in a CG trailer. Capcom created another trailer for the game in 2007. Even in the last year of the development Capcom was still moving things around. For example, the crash site of the helicopter was originally a fully playable section, not a series of QTE. [Article by Yota]
Eternal Darkness Beta Analysis: This game developed by Silicon Knights was released in June 2002, only after a long and troubled development. Full of unseen like few other games, Eternal Darkness was first announced for the Nintendo 64 at E3 1999, then moved to the GameCube. [Article by monokoma – English translation by Yota]
Silent Hill 2 Beta Analysis – SH2 is a survival horror developed by Konami’s Team Silent, originally released for the Playstation 2 in 2001. Unfortunately we don’t know much about the development of the game, but in this page we’ll try to analyze some beta screens using all the informations at our disposal. [Article Written by Yota]
Goldeneye 007 Beta Analysis: In the middle of the nineties, Rare, thanks to releases such as Donkey Kong Country and Killer Instinct, had already became an important partner of Nintendo. Nothing strange, then, that at the time the British software house was working on various new projects. One of these was a tie-in of the new James Bond movie, Goldeneye.
Best Video Games Books – Our Top 100 List: To celebrate the release of our book “Video Games You Will Never Play” (published in September 2016), we would like to suggest to you even more amazing video game books. There are already many “top 10 books” lists with some nice suggestions, but those usually don’t have less known titles we love and often they list the same books over and over. We’d like to suggest many more books related to games, with the help of our readers, like you!
Top 4 Cross-Platform Engines to use in 2020: So, you’ve got an incredible idea for a mobile game. Perhaps you’ve even got the team you need to make it happen. But you have no idea what engine to use. It’s a tough call because there are so many options to choose from. In today’s article, we’re going to explore the best engines available to bring your dream of a mobile game to life.
Interview with Yukiharu Sambe, R&D manager of the unreleased Taito WOWO: We have been able to get in touch with the Research & Development manager of TAITO Corporation Mr. Yukiharu Sambe, Professional engineer at the time the Wowow was created, and he was kind enough to share some new information, previously unknown, about this unreleased console. Enjoy!
Brian McNeely (Lobotomy Software): Thanks to our friend Ross Sillifant we are able to publish this interview with Brian McNeeely, one of the main Lobotomy Software developers that worked on all their games, to ask him about his memories on their released projects and their cancelled titles.
Unseen Interview – Nick Bruty on Earthworm Jim: Unseen 64 was given the great opportunity to talk to Nick Bruty President and Co-Founder of Planetmoon Studios. This article will be focusing on his time spent with Shiny Entertainment working on Earthworm Jim 1 and 2.
Unseen Interview – Raven Software’s Manveer Heir: The issue we face most in our archiving is the lack of information that is given to the public about what happens to their favorite series, so many stories left untold so to speak. We had the chance to chat with Manveer Heir from Raven Software and asked him some questions about games’ development!
Unseen Interview – Grant Kirkhope: Unseen64 has recently been given the opportunity to interview the legendary audio designer Grant Kirkhope, most notable for his work with Rare (GoldenEye 007, Banjo-Kazooie, Grabbed by the Ghoulies, Viva Piñata and more), he is currently Audio Director for Big Huge Games. Read the full interview with Grant Kirkhope to know more about his memories about the development of the Banjo series and other unseen Rare tales!
Unseen Interview – Gregg Tavares: As we can read on MobyGames, Gregg Tavares has worked on many of our favourite games, as Wild 9 and Crash Team Racing for the PSX, Gex for 3DO, Locoroco for the PSP, Zombie Revenge for the Arcade, Afro Samurai for the PlayStation 3 & Xbox 360, along with some more obscure (and unseen) ones, as Disruptor for the M2, Terminator vs Robocop for the NES and Project Y for the PS2.
Unseen Interview: Asi Lang from Windward Mark Interactive: Unseen 64 has been given the great opportunity to talk to Asi Lang president of Windward Mark Interactive, about just what exactly happened to Alliance: The Silent War, and where Windward Mark Interactive went, and get the story in his own words.
Unseen Interview: CRV from GDRI – For our series of interviews with people from various websites related to the unseen development of videogames, this time we got in contact with CRV, founder of the Game Developer Research Institute, an organization dedicated to researching gaming companies and their employee.
Unseen Interview: Phugolz from X-Cult – In this new chapter of our “Unseen Interviews”, we have meet Phugolz, one of the minds that are behind X-Cult, a community based project to research, archive, and distribute hard to come by gaming information.
Unseen Interviews: Mr. Mark & Hoppin Mad – In May 2008, mrmark0673 found a working prototype of Hoppin Mad, an unreleased NES game developed by Elite. We had a little interview with Mr. Mark, to talk about Hoppin Mad, the preservation of unseen games, the delicate relationship between collectors / developers / gaming community, the future release of the game and some of his personal tastes.
Unseen Interviews: Frank Gasking from Games That Weren’t – Continuing our trip through the various websites and communities related to beta & cancelled games, this time we had the chance to make some questions to Frank Gasking, to better understand who are these lovely geeks that work under the site, to talk about the story of GTW, the unseen gaming world, digital preservation and to discover some of their personal tastes.
Unseen Interviews:_NGD & Happy Camper – On October 2008, a playable prototype of Happy Camper, an unreleased NES game that was in development at Color Dreams, was discovered between various remains of the studio. We had a little interview with NGD, to talk about his discovery, the release of the game and the thoughs of a collector on the wonderful world of unseen games.
Unseen Interviews: Yakumo from Segagaga Domain – If you are used to the beta & cancelled games communities, you probably know already Yakumo and his Segagaga Domain website. In this new Unseen Interview we have questioned Yakumo, to know better the mind under the site, learn about the japanese gamer’s life and his toughts about the unseen gaming world.
Unseen Interviews – Scarred Sun from Sonic Retro: In these last years, the SR community was able to realize a wonderfull series of projects and researches, that help us to know more about the development of the Sonic saga. Sonic Retro is now a perfect example on how to organize a group of expert gamers, “hackers” and lovely geeks, that collaborate togheter to preserve informations on lost games. What’s the secret of their success?
Unseen Interviews – Frank Cifaldi from Lost Levels: In this first “unseen interview” we have interviewed Frank Cifaldi, also know as RedEye, the editor in chief of Lost Levels Online, to know more about him and his thoughs about the gaming unseen.
Unseen Interviews – DRX From Hidden Palace: I went down the streets, looking for the man. The city walls were gray, and I smoked on my cigarrete as I heard the noise of the wind coming through me. Then I saw him. He stood in the city corner, the guy who took care of Hidden-Palace.org. He watched at me as I came towards him, with my cigarrete and my pimped out nose. We stood and chatted for a while, and then I began interviewing him. [Interview by Xavio]
Unseen Interviews – Eric Hache from Affinix: We have contacted Eric Hache, former member of Affinix and composer of the score for Infinity, for a little interview about this cancelled game and his life as a videogame music artist. [Interview by Take_it_Slow]
Corn Busters – Interview with Ruud Van De Moosdijk: There is very little information available about this unreleased SNES game, and few people know of its existence. Marshall Leslie has sent a mail to Engine Software to ask if someone who was involved in the development of Corn Buster would be willing to provide more information concerning the game’s development history, any planned elements for the game, and the reason for its cancellation. [Interview by Marshall Leslie]
Articoli in Italiano
Analisi della beta di Zelda Twilight Princess: Il secondo Zelda per GameCube [uscito anche per Wii] ha avuto uno sviluppo lungo quasi 4 anni, riuscendo ad evolversi e cambiare, come solo Ocarina Of Time riuscì a fare. Twilight Princess si è evoluto attraverso varie versioni beta, ed il gioco finale, risulta essere molto differente da quello che apparse originalmente nel 2004. Alcune aree e dungeons sono stati rimossi, mentre le zone sopravvissute al tempo sono state pesantemente modificate. [A cura di monokoma]
The Legend Of Zelda 64: la nascita e lo sviluppo del progetto Zelda 3D, la sua cancellazione e rinascita in svariati titoli ben distinti fra loro. Per conoscere meglio uno dei giochi più interessanti sotto il profilo di beta e cambi di direzione. [A cura di monokoma]
Final Fantasy 6/4? Nintendo VS Square: in questo articolo cercheremo di capire quali furono i veri motivi dell’allontanamento di Square e Nintendo al tempo dell’Ultra 64, poichè non fu solo colpa della scelta di utilizzare cartucce nella nuova console a 64 bit, ma molto di più. [A cura di monokoma]
Analisi Flashback Legends – Gameboy Advance Beta: Nel 2004 cessava definitivamente di esistere Delphine, celebre software house francese che agli inizi degli anni 90 aveva regalato agli appassionati due adventure di gran classe come Another World e Flashback. Rimasero cosi non completati alcuni progetti in fase di sviluppo, tra i quali spiccava naturalmente Flashback Legends, una nuova versione per il GBA del loro franchise più celebre. [A cura di Yota]
Analisi StarFox 2 Beta: Iniziato pochi mesi dopo l’uscita dell’originale, Star Fox 2, a giudicare dalle numerose preview che ne anticiparono l’uscita, sembrava introdurre diverse interessanti novità, come la mancanza di binari prefissati per i livelli, le trasformazioni della navicella (a là Vortex), una modalità battle per due giocatori. Quando ormai il progetto era praticamente concluso, Nintendo, probabilmente ormai decisa a dedicarsi a tempo pieno al Nintendo 64, ne bloccò l’uscita, anticipando cosi anche la grande stagione unseen della sua nuova console. [A cura di Yota]
007 Goldeneye 64 Beta Analisi: Appena un anno dopo l’uscita di Donkey Kong Country e del coin-op di Killer Instict, Rare era già diventata, anche per le note divergenze della software house di Osaka con Square, la più importante second party di Nintendo. Niente di strano, quindi, che si mettesse subito al lavoro su diversi progetti per Nintendo 64. Uno di questi, si vociferava, era il tie-in dell’ultimo film della saga di James Bond, Goldeneye.. [A cura di Yota]
Analisi Perfect Dark 64 Beta: in questo articolo, scritto alcuni anni fa per un sito dedicato al secondo First Person Shooter di RARE, sono state analizzati gli screenshot del gioco rilasciati durante il suo sviluppo, per studiare i cambiamenti delle missioni in singolo, delle armi, del multiplayer ed il censurato face-mapping. [A cura di monokoma]
Sonic The Hedgehog 2 Beta Analisi: Come gli altri capitoli della saga per megadrive,Sonic 2 non ha bisogno di presentazioni. Rilasciato nel novembre del 1992 dopo il grande successo del primo episodio, il titolo Sega ha marchiato a fuoco con le sue entusmanti vendite il periodo migliore della celebre software house. Ma il secondo capitolo della serie è significativo anche perchè rappresenta il più importante documento beta dei sonic e uno dei più interessanti in assoluto. [A cura di Yota]
Banjo Kazooie – analisi Stop’n’Swop: Anno 1998: la Rareware produce il suo primo platform per N64, Banjo-Kazooie, gioco destinato al successo, in poco tempo riesce ad aggiudicarsi la fama e l’ ammirazione di tantissimi fan sparsi per il mondo, ma sarà questo stesso entusiasmo che porterà a una quantità impressionante di leggende, misteri irrisolti, speculazioni, hacking in un turbine di confusione senza senso, aka Stop‘n’Swop. [A cura di santo_reska]
Banjo Kazooie – analisi Stop’n’Swop 2: Dopo otto anni dall’uscita di Banjo-Tooie su Nintendo 64, e tre dal rilascio dello spin-off Banjo-Pilot su GameBoy Advance, nel novembre 2008 l’orso e l’uccello tornano in una nuova avventura su Xbox 360, in seguito all’acquisto della Rare da parte di Microsoft. Il gioco presenta vari riferimenti allo Stop ‘N’ Swop, oltre che lo Stop ‘N’ Swop funzionante. [A cura di Alexander Powell]
Seghe mentali su Eternal Darkness Beta: Teorie varie su Eternal Darkness, nati durante e dopo averlo finito con tutti e 3 gli allineamenti. Attenzione agli spoiler nel caso non aveste ancora finito il gioco, vi consiglio di aspettare a leggere questa pagina. [A cura di monokoma]
Ricordando Sam & Max Freelance Police: a sette mesi dalla cancellazione di Full Throttle : Hell On Wheels (l’8 agosto del 2003), Sam & Max Freelance Police è stato cancellato dalla Lucas il 3 marzo del 2004. In questo secondo caso, però, il gioco procedeva sicuramente meglio del precedente, ma la crisi finanziaria della Lucasarts era ormai in pieno corso. [A cura di Domenico “Diduz” Misciagna]
I principali giochi cancellati di Rare LTD: dopo anni di sviluppo, sono moltissimi i progetti che Rare LTD (una volta conosciuta come RareWare) ha dovuto cancellare. Purtroppo solamente poche informazioni, immagini e video sono disponibili per testimoniare tutto il lavoro perso di questa grande software house. [A cura di Alexander Powell]
Interviste in italiano
Intervista a Davide “Dangaio” Racah: Grazie alle nostre conoscenze mafiose e varie amicizie influenti, siamo riusciti ad intervistare Davide “Dangaio” Racah, giovane game designer nonchè amico del team di Unseen 64. Grazie al suo aiuto entreremo nel piccolo mondo di una software house di nicchia, per osservare la nascita di un progetto e scoprire cosa si cela nel suo lavoro quotidiano.