GameCube

Thunder Rally Car Battle [GC Retrostudios – Cancelled]

Thunder Rally, aslo know as “Car Battle” or “Car Combat”, was going to be a.. car combat game, similar to Twisted Metal and Vigilante 8. This was one of the first Retro Studios projects, from when the GameCube was still know as “Dolphin”. Retro Studios was probably the first software house to start to work on GameCube games, as Nintendo “assembled” the Retro team in 1998 just for this purpose. Initially Retro had various projects in development, as this one, Raven Blade (Runeblade), Retro Football and an action adventure game that later was changed to Metroid Prime. Sadly the team was badly organized and there were no real progesses on any of those games. Nintendo then decided to take on the situation, lay off some of the developers and cancell most of the Retro Studios projects, to let them to concentrate only on Metroid Prime. Noone ever seen Thunder Rally again after Nintendo’s wrath.

italian_flag.jpg [spoiler /Clicca qui per la versione in Italiano/ /Nascondi la versione in Italiano/]Questo progetto appartiene al periodo buio dei Retro Studios, un periodo composto da licenziamenti, rumor poco confortanti, giochi cancellati, e tante altre pessime notizie che se sommate tra loro fornivano una panoramica piuttosto desolante, tanto che i dubbi sulla futura qualità di Metroid Prime erano tanti e legittimi. Fortunatamente Retro è riuscita a zittire tutti, fatto sta che questo TRC, assieme a Football 2002 e Raven Blade, rimane emblematico della pessima situazione in cui si trovava questa talentuosa società prima di mettersi a lavorare duramente. Il gioco doveva essere una specie di Twisted Metal / Vigilante 8, modalità multiplayer compresa. [/spoiler]

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Roll-o-Rama [GC – Unreleased]

Roll-O-Rama was an interesting action / puzzle game in which the player would had used the GameBoy Advance and a special GBA Cart to use the portable console as a “Motion Sensor Pad”, to be able to play the game while moving and tilting the GBA. The gameplay was going to be something like the Kororinpa games for the Wii: tilt the playing field with the pad to navigate a spherical object around mazes to reach the end goal (as in Marble Madness and the Super Monkey Ball series).

The most interesting fact about the development of Roll O Rama is that in its early build the game was know as Kirby Tilt ‘n’ Tumble 2, and it was going to have Kirby as the “ball”.  In 2002 the development of Kirby Tilt ‘n’ Tumble 2 was changed, Nintendo removed Kirby from the game, and it became Roll-O-Rama: it was essentially the same project, but without the Kirby mascot. After some years of development, Roll-o-Rama just vanished and the project was quietly cancelled. As we said before, probably you can just buy Kororinpa for the Wii, to play something much similar to the original Roll O Rama concept.

IGN has a video from the Roll-O-Rama beta, but you need a IGNinsider account to view it. If you are able to download this video, please let us know! Send us an email, it would be really appreciated.

italian_flag.jpg [spoiler /Clicca qui per la versione in Italiano/ /Nascondi la versione in Italiano/]Annunciato all’e3 2001 insieme a Kirby Tilt ‘n Tumble Advance per GBA, Rool-O-Rama era conosciuto originariamente con il nome di Kirby’s Tilt ‘n Tumble 2 e presentava un aspetto molto differente dalle foto di questa pagina. Il gioco ha cambiato nome del 2002, rimuovendo ogni riferimento al personaggio rosa di Nintendo. Roll O Rama non era altro che l’ennesima versione aggiornata e migliorata di Marble Madness, il celebre coin-op Midway. Il gameplay del vecchio classico è incentrato nel guidare un oggetto sferico (solitamente una pallina.. o un Kirby) attraverso livelli pieni di ostacoli, che tentano in ogni modo di fermare la nostra avanzata verso la fine del livello.

La caratteristica principale di Roll-o-Rama su GameCube era sicuramente la possibilità di interagire con la versione di Kirby per GBA, sbloccando cosi nuovi livelli da giocare grazie al sensore di movimento presente sulla cartuccia, che avrebbe permesso di muovere la pallina agitando il portatile Nintendo.

Sfortunatamente nè la versione Gamecube (Roll o Rama) nè quella per GBA (Kirby’s Tilt ‘n Tumble) erano destinate a vedere mai la luce.[/spoiler]

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Koro Koro Kirby 2 / Kirby Tilt ‘n’ Tumble 2 [GC – Unreleased]

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The original Kirby Tilt ‘n’ Tumble was an action / puzzle game published and developed by Nintendo for the Game Boy Color. It was first released in Japan on August 23, 2000 and in North America on April 11, 2001. The game uses a series of accelerometers to control Kirby: the goal of the game is to guide Kirby to the level’s goal within the allotted time by physically tilting the Game Boy in the direction in which the player wishes to move him. The game revolves around the collection of the numerous stars strewn about the levels. To beat the game entirely, one must collect each level’s secret star. [Info from Wikipedia]

At the Spaceworld 2001 a sequel was announced for the GameCube:  with the help of the GBA as an alternative PAD and a special GBA cart with Motion Sensors, it was possible to play the game as the original GameBoy Color version.. something like the Kororinpa games for the Wii. In 2002 the development of Koro Koro Kirby 2 was changed, Nintendo removed Kirby from the game, and it became Roll-O-Rama: it was essentially the same project, but without the Kirby mascot. After some years of development, Roll-o-Rama just vanished and the project was quietly cancelled.

italian_flag.jpg [spoiler /Clicca qui per la versione in Italiano/ /Nascondi la versione in Italiano/]L’idea alla base di Koro Koro Kirby era quantomeno intrigante, in quanto fu una sorta di anticipazione del pad del Wii. Tramite il collegamento GC/GBA Nintendo riuscì ad ideare un modo per muovere in maniera precisa, realistica e coinvolgente il piano sul quale rotolava la pallina rosa: attraverso un sensore da inserire nello spazio per le cartucce del GBA la piccola console Nintendo era infatti capace di rilevare qualunque inclinazione gli venisse impartita. Purtroppo, nonostante l’ottimo feedback ricevuto durante le varie fiere, il gioco venne accantonato e non raggiunse mai gli scaffali dei negozi, probabilmente anche a causa della scarsa diffusione del collegamento GC/GBA.

L’originale Koro Koro Kirby è uscito, sia negli Stati Uniti che in Giappone, in una versione pensata unicamente per Game Boy Color. Il gioco vendette circa 800.000 copie nel sol suolo del Sol Levante, quindi rappresentò un ottimo successo per Nintendo. Entrambi i Koro Koro Kirby erano in sviluppo presso il team interno R&D2. [/spoiler]

You can find more about the Kirby series in the WiKirby!

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Super Mario 128 [Gamecube – Tech Demo]

Mario 128 was a tech demo for the Gamecube shown at Spaceworld 2000. The demo showed 128 Mario’s doing various things like making a big sprite of Mario out of blocks. This was to show off the power of the Gamecube and specifically how much better it was from the N64. The N64 would never be able to render 128 Marios on screen (due to its clock speed).

This tech demo know as “Mario 128” was presented at the SpaceWorld 2000  and started with a 2D Mario, on a huge circular Monopoly board. After  a while, various 3D Marios appears from under the big 2D one, until 128 Marios can be see on the screen. Each Mario moved and fulfilled various actions, but they were independent from the others.

In the video below you can see the game’s presentation at SpaceWord 2000. Miyamoto starts with a single Mario of 200-250 polygons (the same amount as in Mario64) and quickly brings 128 Marios on the screen. The bar at the bottom indicates how much processing power is being used. They go through different special effects modes showcasing what the system was be capable of. Some minutes later, a cel-shaded versions of Mario also appear, and after that, all Marios become invisible for a little amount of time.

This was initially rumored to be a sequeal to Super Mario 64, or at least another entry in the Super Mario series and there is some info to back this up. There was a 6 year gap (1996-2003 between Super Mario 64 and Super Mario Sunshine) without a Super Mario game. This leads to the consensus that there was a new Super Mario game being developed at that time, although there isn’t any evidence that Super Mario 64-2 was even being developed for the Gamecube, although there is no doubt that work was done on Super Mario 128 as a Mario game at one point. Shigeru Miyamoto has said that Mario 128 would feature a freshness that was lacking from Mario Sunshine. On November 29th, 2004 IGN made an article where they interviewed Miyamoto and he mentioned Mario 128:

“Mario 128’s status is a bit more questionable, and although mentioned by Miyamoto in the interview, we’re still not sure if the game’s a go on the GameCube. Says Miyamoto with a laugh, “We’re currently in development with Mario 128, which people throughout the world have been wondering about.” The state of the game is in question, though, as Miyamoto continues with: “We’re now at the state of conducting various experiments with Mario, so until a release has been set, we cannot make [the game] public.” [3]

IGN interviewed Miyamoto yet again on August 21st 2006, just months before the launch of the Wii, and Miyamoto did reference Mario 128:

Next, Mario 128. “We’ve been experimenting all this time,” said Miyamoto about the mysterious title that was originally shown as a GameCube video demo. “Some percentage is included as Mario Galaxy on the Wii.” Miyamoto wouldn’t break down exactly what in Mario Galaxy originated from Mario 128, but did give a few hints. “Mario 128 was a test concept for Mario, so, for instance, the parts in Mario Galaxy where you’re running around on the surface have come from Mario 128.” [4]

At this point it seems that work on Mario 128 stopped. The last known article on the game was on March 8th, 2007 and the article pretty much confirmed the end of Super Mario 128 yet gave more light on how it influenced other games:

“To wrap the presentation, Miyamoto said that one of the most-asked questions is what happened to Mario 128. Surprisingly, he went on to explain that while it was simply a tech demo showing off the power of the GameCube, it was also a kind of proof of concept that is still influencing design decisions today. First up, it was used as a basis for Pikmin’s many on-screen characters and AI, but more importantly, it is now influencing Super Mario Galaxy’s free-form level design and gameplay.” [5]

During his keynote speech at the Game Developers Conference 2007, Shigeru Miyamoto revealed what eventually happened to Super Mario 128:

“What happened to Mario 128?” said Miyamoto at the end of his keynote, “most of you already played it…,” then the screen showed that Mario 128 equaled Pikmin.

At this point in time, nothing else has occurred from the project. No roms have been released and no more info on the game was given. It is unknown if the game disc still even exists as it could have been written over or tossed. All we know of the game is the one video on Youtube and the interviews with Miyamoto.

Super Mario 128 was originally used by fans to reference a series of projects by Nintendo to create a sequel to Super Mario 64, but in the end Nintendo just used it to experiment with new technology and ideas to incorporate into later games.

Article by Video Games Incorporated

Thanks to Shoyz, Ducky Wensel andMr. Game for the contribution! Also thanks to MarioWiki and IGN for some informations.

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The Legend Of Zelda: The Wind Waker Beta Test Areas [GC – Beta]

Thanks to some GameShark Codes, it’s possible to access to some debug rooms in Zelda: The Wind Waker. In some of these rooms there are some fun / weird places that were used by the developers of the game to test the gameplay / actions,  while in others we can check some unused / beta areas, that were changed or never used in the final game, like the painter’s studio or a different entrance for one of the dungeons.  It’s interesting to notice that in a couple of these Beta Test Areas the water is not “cell shaded” like the water in the final game.

Thanks to SargeantMario101 for the better Zelda: The Wind Waker Beta Test Areas video!

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