Game Boy Advance (GBA)

Mother 3 [GBA – Unused Boss & Sprites]

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Mother 3 is the latest (and some say last) installment in the Earthbound saga. Released 12 years after the previous game in the series, Earthbound, it offers a radically different story and presentation than the other games it shares its name with, all the while retaining the same combat system and quirky sense of humor.

Creator Shigesato Itoi initially conceived mother 3 to be released for the N64 when it was announced first in 1996. However due to both the teams inexperience in developing with 3D graphics and the commercial failure of the N64 DD drive (which would have been required to play the game) the project was cancelled in 2000, even though the game was quite far in development. For an interesting comparison between the original N64 version and the GBA version, check this nice article by Starmen.net (warning for spoilers).

The next time anyone would hear about Mother3 it would be in 2003, when it was redesigned for the Game Boy Advance. Graphically the game looked closer to its predecessors, a league away from the blocky, early-3D look that it first appeared with. When it finally shipped in 2006 anticipation was high, so high in fact that when Japanese gaming magazine Famitsu polled its readers on what games they wanted most, Mother3 was on top of the list. Sadly, to date Mother3 has never seen a western release. Fans wishing to play the game are left with importing it and using fan-made guides to finish it. Recently however a dedicated group of fans has translated the entire game and made the patch available for the public. So those that never got to experience this hidden gem can now enjoy it in English.

Below are unused sprites (like a taxy, a bus and an UFO) and a video of unused backrounds. Many people said this was Giygas, but it is not:

From Earthbound Wiki:

Although, even if said by fans that the unused boss is Giygas, it has been said by Shigesato Itoi himself, that they were simply unused backgrounds depicting Lucas’s thoughts over the battle with the Masked Man. Although it makes a huge resemblance to Giygas, it is not. As told by Shigesato, the screaming faces of Claus show that Lucas is recognizing Claus and seeing his pain, even the red deformed face of Claus. This makes much more sense, because hackers have used programs to see where some of the unused music’s events originated from, and the “Lucas’s nightmare” music was going to originally be the Ultimate Chimera’s approach, but was later scrapped because it was too scary for a younger audience.

For more info check:
http://forum.starmen.net/forum/Mother/3_GameHelp/41877

[spoiler /Sweden translation/ /Hide/]Sve: Giygas skulle egentligen vara i Mother 3, men var raderat från datan, antagligen pga. att bossfighten var för skrämmande för nyare, ungare spelare (fast ironiskt nog så var Mother 3 mycket mer mörkare än Mother 2/Earthbound), eller pga. att Giygas var förstörd för evigt. [/spoiler]

Some sprites from: www.spriters-resource.com

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Metroid IV Fusion [GBA – Beta / Proto]

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Metroid Fusion, originally known as Metroid 4, was in development for the GameBoy Color before being stopped and reworked for the GBA. In the gallery below you can see how different the Metroid Fusion beta was, especially in its early proto version shown in 2001. When the game was released in november 2002, the graphic was completely redone and many features were removed, as the ability to walk up on walls and ceilings.

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Some screenshot from: http://www.classicgaming.com/mdb

Even the later beta had various differences.

This video showcases Metroid Fusion with an odd looking HUD, and at 0:07 you can see that the enemy’s right side is blown off, a feature not present in the full game. Other things are that title cards seem to have a different font, and at 0:24 there’s a scope icon at the top right. also, at 0:33 Samus seems to be wearing a dress.

In these videos there are some unused debug rooms, though the loading points WERE hacked to get them loaded.

In this one the X parasites look different, and at 0:18 the doors look completely different. Throughout the video the scope thing (as said earlier) at the top right has a wavy texture (Maybe radio or heartbeat monitor?). The enemies also respawn much faster than in the final.

There are also some unused music hidden in the final game’s code. You can listen them in the videos below.

Thanks to Mariosegafreak for the contribution! An archive of screens, info and videos of the early Metroid Fusion versions, can be found at Celebi23’s website!

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Metroid Zero Mission [GBA – Beta]

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Metroid: Zero Mission​ is an action adventure developed by Nintendo R&D1 for the Game Boy Advance, published by Nintendo 2004. In these early screens and trailer we can notice that the graphic was completely different from the one used in the final game! Also the second and third video show that  hidden in the game’s code it’s possible to find an unused model of a Crocomire, a lost enemy, and in the gallery you can notice a debug room!

Thanks to interdpth for the contribution!

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Shantae 2: Risky Revolution [GBA – Cancelled]

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A Shantae sequel was planned for the Game Boy Advance, and screens resembled a port with updated graphics. However, all news of the game stopped and nothing became of it. It is assumed to have been cancelled. As with the original game, Shantae Advance was developed by creator Matt Bozon on his own time. This may be part of the reason for its cancellation, as without an official corporate backing, finding a publisher would be prohibitively difficult. A DS and/or PSP game may be released in the future. – [info from Wikipedia]

Another Shantae project was originally in development for the Nintendo DS in 2006, but it was later canned for some reasons. You can check our page for Shantae DS 2006 for more info and screens! In 2009, a new Shantae was announced for the DSiWare and probably it uses some of the concepts from the unreleased GBA and DS 2006 projects.

Thanks to Icefire2626 for the contribution!

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Donkey Kong Plus [GBA – Cancelled]

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Donkey Kong Plus is the name of an unreleased game demo developed by Nintendo as a demonstration at E3 2002. Nintendo had planned for the game to be an extension / sequel of the Donkey Kong Game Boy game. The player would have the ability to design and create levels on the GameCube, and play them on the Game Boy Advance using the GameCube cable. The user-created level could be tested out on the GameCube, then saved on a memory card.

Although the game was never released, it did inspire the gameplay of Nintendo’s Mario vs. Donkey Kong, for Game Boy Advance. A level editor was not officially available in this game, but it was included in the sequel, Mario vs. Donkey Kong 2: March of the Minis for the Nintendo DS. [info from Wikipedia]

An hidden level editor was found by Martboo48 in Mario vs. Donkey Kong, but to unlock it you’ll have to edit one single byte in the games memory code. It’s unknown why Nintendo hidden this editor from the final game, but it seems that Donkey Kong Plus and Mario vs. Donkey Kong could really be seen as the same project.

Thanks to Hiccup for the contribution!

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