Mother 3 was going to be a Nintendo 64’s 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. Now that the english fan-translation of Mother 3 is out, we can finally try to analyze the old beta with the help of the few informations we have in English. (Itoi posted some notes about the cancellation of Mother 64 on his japanese site, but unfortunately only two pages have been translated by Tomato.They can be found here).
It seems that Mother 3 was already scheduled for the SNES even before the release of Earthbound in America, but the development was quickly switched to the 64DD, and the game was officially announced only in 1996. We don’t know much about the Disk Drive version, but, like Zelda URA, it would have used all of the add-on features, and it would have been compatible with Mario Artist. Also, according to Dream 64, the original story was originally intended to cover ten years of the characters life.
In 1998 Nintendo said that the 64DD Mother 3 was going to be ported on a cartridge, with an F-zero-like expansion scheduled for later. The cart version had twelve chapters, more characters, more locations (like a jungle and a river that you can see in a screenshot), but the main narrative was roughly the same as the GBA version, only more mature. Flint, Claus and Lucas probably had a bigger role in the first chapters compared to the final version.
In 1998 Psyiko’s “Steel Hearts” team released the highly obscure fighter Daraku Tenshi: The Fallen Angels. The game saw limited release in Japan, and even slimmer distribution in America and other places outside the land of the rising sun. Despite this the game was at least “semi” translated and there is a dip-switch option allowing you to change the after battle quotes into English. 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. Thanks to the rise of the internet however, a few more scraps of info are starting to turn up. The general consensus is that Daraku Tenshi was released unfinished (or in the very least rushed). After being lucky enough to play this game a few years ago I created my first character modifier (and my first code for a video game at that). I wanted to check out claims of lost characters in the game, and hopefully play as them. Unfortunately I didn’t find any of the lost characters in the character array, but I did manage to make the bosses playable. You can see videos of this on my old youtube account:
[Warning: this article was originally written in italian many years ago, with the help of information from lots of websites, forums and people.. but we don’t know anymore the exact source of some of these info]
According to some magazines in 1995, 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 1996. Was it for real? Not really. In order to test the new Silicon Graphics hardware, Squaresoft created a now well-known interactive CGI demo (not running on the real Nintendo 64 hardware, even if the N64 was powered by Silicon Graphics) with characters from Final Fantasy VI, to show it at the SIGGRAPH 95 expo. That was the “Final Fantasy 64” that magazines talked about, but it was not really a game for any console, just a tech demo. The real Final Fantasy 7 would later be released in 1997 as a PlayStation exclusive. But what really happened between Nintendo and Squaresoft, and why was there no Final Fantasy for the N64?
[Original article in italian by monokoma, translation by Yota with the help of FullMetalMC and Nate Edwards]
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.
[Warning: this article is just a translation from the original one in italian, there are some “lost in translation” parts, so the original version was more complete, but at least now we have an english version too. If you find some errors or some weird use of the english language, please send us a mail so we can fix them, thanks!]
[original article in italian by monokoma, english translation by Yota]
[Thanks to Evan & Sba sb3002 for the english corrections!]
Beta twilight enemies from the 2004 trailer. Their polygonal models are still inside the game, and you can see them using some GameShark codes.
Beta design of the Gale Boomerang. Also, in the beta you obtained the boomerang inside a chest. In the final version, you get it after beating the monkey boss.
A beta Moblin enemy, completely removed from the game.
The HUD was changed during the development of the game. In the beta version, it seems that it was possible to crouch and possibly crawl using the R button.
A beta cutscene from the 2005 trailer, where Colin crawls through the secret passage that leads in the village’s spring. You can still go through that passage, but the scene was removed from the final game and the player needs to find it by himself.
A beta sumo match from the 2005 trailer. This area was completely removed from the final game. In the occasions in which Link fights the Gorons, none of the battles match the one in this scene. In the final version, the rooms where the old Gorons are found have sumo looking platforms. Perhaps in the beta a sumo battle was necessary to win the key parts.
In this screen from the CDG 2005 video, we can see another interesting scene: Links is escaping from a giant spider, through a dark cave. This scene was removed from the final game, but it was probably just a different Armoghoma Boss Battle from the Temple Of Time. This could even be the boss battle for the removed beta temple, that it was later changed and reused as Armoghoma; infact, in the same video we can see a lot of parts were Link explores the removed dungeon.
The magic bar was still in the game in the pre-release build, as you can see in this screenshot taken from the backcover of the final package. The bar is similar to the one found by using the lantern, only in green. It’s strange that in Twilight Princess there is no magic system to limit how much magic you can use. This image is a proof that in the beta version there was one, or at least they wanted to implement it. As you can see below, there are even more proof of the removed magic system from the game:
A green chu chu jelly. As those who finished the game should know, you can mix the chu chu’s jelly in order to make potions with various effects. The green one is completely useless since the developers removed the magic system from the game. Normally, the green chu chu would recharge some magic. Unfortunately, Nintendo removed the green jelly in the PAL version of Twilight princess.
With the GameShark, you can unlock the magic potion item. It was probably ment to be for sale in the Hyrule stores. [Source: SnakeGuy Album]
Another beta item unlockable with the GameShark: the fire arrows, that could have been enabled with the help of the removed magic system. [Source: SnakeGuy Album]
Black chu chu jelly, unlockable with the GameShark but removed from the final game. [Source: SnakeGuy Album]
Another strange beta item unlockable with the GameShark. It’s very similar to the blue fire of ocarina of time. [Source: SnakeGuy Album]
Yet another beta enemy. it was unused in the game but was left in the memory code. It’s unlockable thanks to the GameShark. It was probably used in the temple of time or in the Twilight palace.
Another strange beta enemy, it could be a different version of the flamed snails. Thanks to Funkymicio for the contribution! [Source: Youindia @ YT]
This is certanly the strangest beta object still in game’s memory. A really odd-looking giant that was probably used just to test the dimensions of the various characters. [Source: Youindia @ YT]
With the gameshark we can even use the beta design of the bombs. They’re much more simple and similar to the ones used in previous games.
A really odd scene, where many gorons create some sort of a super goron. This enemy was removed from the final game. Maybe in the beta this boss blocked the access road to the Death Mountain. [Source: Quartoxuma @ YT]
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