Nintendo DS

Nintendo DS Debug Cartridge

Sometime ago a Nintendo DS debug cartridge was sold on eBay and a couple of weeks ago the rom of that cart was shared and preserved online (NINTENDO DS NTR DEBUG) thanks to NintendyFan from the GBAtemp Form. There is some interesting stuff that we can see in this DS debug cart, such as weird icons, models of Nintendo characters and music from Mario Kart 64 (?!?). We are not sure why they chose such kind of strange images and sounds to test the Nintendo DS hardware, but it could be possible that hidden in the rom’s code there could be even more unusual / beta files, just like in that old SNES debug / hardware test cart. Does anyone want to try to find them?

In order to get to the menu, you have to hold Start + Select when launching the ROM.

Here’s the description from the eBay auction:

Up for grabs is a Debug Mode / Dev cartridge for the Original Nintendo DS and DS Lite Models of handhelds. I have never seen anything quite like this before on the market. We received a few of these, totally smashed and broken up, however we were able to recover this cart and get it to load up. It was tested on each model of DSi including the 3DS, but would error out. This is because the cart is specific to testing on the original DS software on the older handhelds. This is an official Nintendo cart that was apparently supposed to be decommissioned before being tossed out, but whoever attempted to break this one didn’t do a thorough enough job.

As you can see from the photos and video, the date on the program is August 18th, 2004; which is 3 months before the handheld was released anywhere in the world! The Product ID on the back of the cart reads: NTR-005

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Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney [DS – Beta / Unused Sprites]

Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney is a Capcom adventure game following the story of new defense attorney Phoenix Wright, who takes on many murder trials and proves his clients to be not guilty.

Found on the official Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney site, Capcom posted beta screenshots before the game was released. Two of those screenshots contain content not seen in the game. One of those was the “Cross Examination” screenshot. In the game, Phoenix Wright and the prosecutor will lock eyes, and there will be a close up of them. In the screenshot, the sprites for Phoenix Wright and the prosecutor, in this case Miles Edgeworth, shows. The other screenshot was when the witness is pressed. Instead of the bottom screen still showing the “forward” sprite, the screen shows Phoenix Wright extending his arm at the witness.

Additionally, there are three sets of sprites not seen in the game, but found in the coding, posted by fan site courtrecords.net. One is Phoenix Wright with hearts over his eyes, which presumably is when the defendant “April May” shows. The probable reason this was removed was because the two meet before the trial. The other is a forward facing Miles Edgeworth showing his surprised face, which only is seen from the side in the game. The last is Larry Butz creating a weird face where he sticks out of tongue.  

Ni no Kuni [DS – Beta]

Ni no Kuni​ is a RPG developed by Level-5 in collaboration with Studio Ghibli, released for the DS in december 2010. As we can read in Wikipedia, Ni no Kuni was first announced in the Japanese publication Famitsu in September 2008, while the development on the animation aspects of the game had begun in July 2008. In those 2 years,the game evolved a lot and Megalol was able to notice various differences between the beta (screens on the left)  and the final version (screens on the right). Check the gallery below for a comparison! Can you find all the differences? The beta world map is especially interesting.

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How I Spent My Summer Vacation [DS PC – Cancelled]

How I Spent My Summer Vacation is a cancelled “horror” action game that was in development by Santa Cruz Games for the Nintendo DS and PC. As we can read on Gamasutra, players would have took the role of a little girl named Joanne, armed with a chainsaw to take down zombies that invaded her summer place.

It’s like a survival horror game for kids,” said Neuse. “This is the one we usually show when we’re pitching new game ideas. I think it’s every developer’s dream to eventually be doing our own ideas. […]”

Sadly only a playable demo was created before “How I Spent My Summer Vacation” was canned, maybe because they did not find any publisher interested in the project. Some screens are archived in the gallery below, to preserve the existence of this lost game.

Thanks to Gerro for the contribution!

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ToeJam & Earl 4 [DS – Cancelled]

A new game in the ToeJam & Earl series was planned for the Nintendo DS, but later cancelled for the lack of interest from publishers. The original ToeJam & Earl is a crazy action game developed by Johnson Voorsanger Productions and published by Sega for the Mega Drive / Genesis in 1991. The story centers on the titular ToeJam and Earl, alien rappers who have crash-landed on Earth.

Greg Johnson still have the rights to the TJ&E property and as we can read on Joystiq:

As far as another entry in the series goes, Johnson told us he worked on a pitch for “TJ&E4” as recently as two years ago. Based on the pitch document and images, TJ&E4 was to be a DS remake of the first ToeJam & Earl, albeit with some new additions. “After the Xbox game released in 2002, I tried really hard to get a new TJ&E game off the ground – right up until about two years ago. I was really hoping to do a multiplayer DS version – but didn’t have any luck getting interest from any publisher – I approached pretty much all of them. Right now my studio is pretty busy with other stuff, but I plan to get back to seeing if I can’t make TJ&E games in the future.”

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