Nintendo DS

Sonic Rush [DS – Beta / Unused Stuff]

Sonic Rush is a platform game developed by Sonic Team and Dimps, published in 2005 for the Nintendo DS.  Various screenshots from pre-release versions of the game show slightly different areas, different HUD, slightly different gameplay and the first screenshot of Blaze the Cat shows a Sonic life icon while, in the final version, Blaze has her own life icon. We can also notice a different main menu screen.

The Beta version had a totally different  soundtrack for the main menu, for the Leaf Forest, for the boss stages and the end of an act. Also, some FX sounds are different from the final version (Sonic’s voice is different too).

In January 2007 DRX from the Hidden Palace released a prototype version of the game, that was shown at E3 2005. In the E3 version you were meant to play only one level, but Tanks from Sonic Retro has found out that there are 7 zones listed in the proto,  and 3 are playable via hacking. He also found an unused set of sprites  from Sonic Advance 3, but we don’t know how they were used in the development of Sonic Rush.

More info can be found at Sonic Retro and Sonic Retro Forum (this and this topics)

Thanks to Hiccup and YamiHoshi for the contributions!

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The Legend of Zelda: Spirit Tracks [DS – Beta / Unused Stuff]

The Legend of Zelda: Spirit Tracks is the second Zelda game for the DS,  developed by Nintendo EAD and published in december 2009. The game was originally announced at the GDC in March 2009, so in the first screens and video released there are not too many differences, but Kirby64 was able to notice some interesting beta-changes:

These trees were moved and used in the snow realm

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The floor blocks (swirl circle and the square) are changed in the final game

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The purple thing (I think it’s a whistle?) was to call over the phantom,but in the final game it was changed to “Call” and the circle was blue not yellow. the phantom icon was changed to a pinkish color and it had pink eyes.The circle swirl on the phantom when it moves the color was green in the beta game but pink in the final game.

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This picture here is going through the forest

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the pole color was changed to a green color

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this bullseye was changed to a x in the final game

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this whip was remove and replace with a snake whip. I was reading a forum that the snake whip came from earthbound (note by Bill:  the rope snake is from Mother 3)

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this tunnel was remove from the forest realm and move to the snow realm

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This was the cave going to the snow sanctuary and in the cave you found the monster that the anouki villagers were talking about,in the beta game I think this cave was going to the forest sanctuary and you had to defeat the moster.

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Some more differences were noticed by Bill: in the first video you can see the train tracks on the DS differ from the tracks in the final game, and some land was changed into sea at the bottom left corner of the forest realm. Also, some town locations were switched around judging from the map. There are more few small changes in the trailers as the wooden shields used by those Zora Warriors were made into steel and some guards that are missing in the cut scene where Zelda gives Link his certificate.

Also, Gabrielwoj found some interesting things inside the ROM directory, let’s take an look;:

On the sound files of the ROM, there is an unused track. It’s the overworld of Phantom Hourglass. Maybe, doing the early development of this game, the team just was testing the music with this overworld for the new zelda, Spirit Tracks. The song was never used, and it’s on the ROM file. Maybe this song was to be overworld theme of the spirit tracks (yeah, the train navigation), but they decided to make an another, not just like from Phantom Hourglass

Interesting tough, it’s the boss battle music of Phantom Hourglass, again, the same copy and paste from the Zelda game to the another, I really don’t know why, but the music don’t makes any sense with the game, I mean, most of everything is by Pan Flute

At the Spirit Tracks rom, at the path data/MapObj/, there is a file called “DNGN.narc”, extracting this file, will have an “NSMBD” file, it’s the 3d modeling for DS games, this model is the Temple of the Ocean King of Zelda Phantom Hourglass, it’s the same exactly model and textures, an result of copy an paste (NOTE: DNGN file looks DUNGEON with 4 letters, at Phantom Hourglass rom, it’s called “temple_main.narc”, extracting it will have the same dungeon, MAIN means: The principal temple, if you remember, it’s the first Dungeon you enter in the game and the principal of the Story)

Inside the ROM, there is an Dbgfont, maybe, for Debugging:

First of all, for this image which will come, I have never heard that the Spirit Tracks was on an E3 (It was only announced, but not been played, as I know), as been said at the image, it was on E3 2009, some leftover images (already organized for better look) [Second image may look with E3, at the file name, it was E3x, and the palette don’t looks right]:

E3 Image Screen 1(CLICK for view)

and

E3 Image Screen 2(CLICK for view)

Thanks to Kirby 64, Bill and Gabrielwoj for the contributions!

You can find more info about Zelda: Spirit Tracks in the Zelda Wiki!

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Hachi Koi [DS – Cancelled]

Hachi Koi is a cancelled “love simulator” that was in development by Electronic Arts for the DS in the Japanese market. The game was announced in 2008, but in december 2009 Famitsu reported that the project will never be released.  From Adria Sang’s blog we can read more about Hachi Koi’s “plot”

Players learn from the death god that they’re going to die on their next birthday, which happens to be one month away. There’s only one way to avoid this fate: fall in love and make someone fall in love with you.

Thanks to Saga Darvulia for the contribution!

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CCTV [DS/Wii – Unreleased]

CCTV is a cancelled adventure game that was in development at Nikitova Games, designed by Jon Hare, former member of Sensible Software. The concept of the game is that players work as a security operator in charge of using cameras to find criminals and resolve various problems. While you look at different camera feeds, you can see different action going and when you notice that something strange it’s happening, you can stop / rewinds the video to find more clues. As we can read in the official description of the project:

In this game you play the role of a security guard using CCTV and cop cars to catch petty criminals and most wanted criminals alike as you travel the world finding suspects and nailing them in this fast paced game of observation, identification & interrogation. Starting as a lowly shopping mall guard, the player can rise to International head of security […]

The game has been designed specifically for the Nintendo Wii & DS to play as either a single player, as two players co-operatively or as 2 players competitively against each other.

As Jon told in his Cubed3 interview, the game is currently suspended and it’s unknown if it will ever be resurrected. Sadly they did not find any publisher interested in the project:

CCTV’s a good example of how it’s very hard to sell an original game. We did show CCTV to a lot of companies, and some companies expressed interest, but there overall response was ‘that’s interesting, I like the idea of that, but…it’s too original

Thanks to Celine for the contribution!

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Motocross Challenge [DS – Cancelled?]

Motocross Challenge is a racing game somehow similar to Excitebike that was in development by DHG Games for the Nintendo DS. The project originally started as a Gameboy Advance game, but after Motocross Challenge GBA was cancelled, it evolved into a DS game that should have been released in 2009. After some months the official DHG Games website went down without any explanations and the DS version was cancelled too. As the developers shared the GBA version online to let the fans to play it even if it was never published, it could be possible that in the future they will leak the DS version too.

In April 2010 Motocross Challenge was finally released for the iPhone / iPod Touch, so at least it was not lost at all! You can see some videos of the iPhone version in DHGames’ YT Channel or buy Motocross Challenge from the iTunes Store (only $0.99!)

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