Wii

Dirty Harry Video Game [Cancelled – Xbox 360, PS3, PC]

dirtyharrylogo.jpg

Dirty Harry/Dirty Harry Extreme was a cancelled third person shooter action game that was first in development at The Collective, Inc. and was intended to be published by Warner Bros. Interactive in the first half of 2007 on Xbox 360, PS3 and PC. Additional versions were planned for Nintendo Wii, DS, Xbox, PSP, and PS2 to be released that same year.

Go Ahead, Make My Game

The first conception of ‘Dirty Harry’ is believed to date back to around June 2004. Around this time, multiple sources such as Eurogamer reported that license holders, Warner Bros. had started to privately invite developers to pitch their ideas for a Dirty Harry video game. It is unknown how many other developers responded to the offer, but it was The Collective, Inc. who delivered the successful proposal and was granted the license in late 2004.

An Announcement Too Soon?

Scripting work on the Dirty Harry game started around January, 2005. Eastwood had signed on to reprise his titular role, lending his voice and likeness, as well as being a creative consultant on the project. Actors Laurence Fishburne, Lucy Liu and Gene Hackman were also planned to feature.

The reveal of the Dirty Harry video game came in February, 2005. At the time, it was being targeted for a release in 2007 to coincide with the release of the HD-DVD Dirty Harry film collection. This was part of a marketing push by Warner Bros. to resurrect the franchise and the video game, in particular, was intended to give the series greater relevance among to younger audiences.

“Creating Dirty Harry video games will also introduce this memorable film character to new generations on a medium they appreciate.” – Clint Eastwood

Its first public announcement came in the form of a press release from Warner Bros. Interactive. At the time, details on the game were scarcely available. No trailer, screenshots or information about which platforms it would be made for other than multiple unspecified “next generation consoles” was attached. This was because production on the game had not even began at this point, but WB had great confidence in the project; to the point at which they’d announce it so prematurely. It would be a while, too, before the core of development would start. WB, The Collective and Eastwood spent the remainder of the year steadily refining the script and producing concepts of set pieces.

Dirty Harry Video Game Concept art - Strip Bar

The game took place between the first and second films, Dirty Harry and Magnum. Little information on the narrative was ever revealed, but according to the initial press statement, its aim was to add more depth to the protagonist.

Concept art:

The Collective Gets To Work

It was in February 2006 that the game, then still going under the working title of ‘Dirty Harry’, was finally put into full development. It was being worked on for the Xbox 360 and PS3.

It was initially undecided whether or not the title was going to feature an open world San Fransisco, one former developer told us, but by the start of the year, it had been decided that it would instead take on a mission-based structure. It then became a ‘duck and cover’ third person shooter with melee combat elements.

Dirty Harry Game Screenshot

The storytelling of the Dirty Harry game was linear, but featured a “reputation system”, as one ex Collective developer described. Players would be given the choice how to deal with criminals: they could either knock them unconscious with a melee attack or straight up shoot them with Harry’s trademark .44 magnum. The NPC’s in the game would then react dynamically to these actions. For instance, developing a high kill count or firing on someone unnecessarily could land you in hot water with the chief of police. Conversely, being too lenient on crooks could cause them to take the detective less serious, mocking him and considering him less of a threat.

In-game environments and misc. assets:

The First (And Only) Trailer

By April 2006, the game was progressing steadily at The Collective, but was not yet ready to put on display to the public. Warner Bros., on the other hand, had been talking it up to various outlets for some time and was keen to show it off. The solution to this was a trailer, which was produced by an external company. Initially, it was only shown behind closed doors to the press at E3 2006 in May, before being released online shortly thereafter.

The trailer, seen below, has been subject to some debate over the years. Some fans believed it was entirely pre-rendered and not representative of its in-game visuals, while others thought it could be an actual look at the engine itself. The truth lies somewhere in the middle. The Collective had given their game assets to ACMEfilmworks, including character models and engine schematics. ACME, under the direction of filmmaker Tigar Hare, then used these to render the trailer. Thus, it gives us a somewhat accurate portrayal of what it would have looked like in motion; albeit with a slight up-resing treatment.

As we have come to understand, Eastwood had yet to record any voice work for the game at this point, so the trailer used audio lifted directly from the original movie for the voice of Harry Callahan.

High quality direct feed screenshots of the trailer:

The Unseen Versions

It was never formally announced, but in late 2006, Warner Bros. Interactive had hired the now defunct Sensory Sweep Studios to create multiple versions of Dirty Harry for other systems. These plans included Nintendo Wii, DS, PS2 and PC.

Ambitiously, the developers were aiming to deliver the same third person shooter experience across every platform. Whereas the PC release would have been a straight port of Collective’s 360 game, the DS title was built from the ground up; as were the ones for PS2 and Wii. The Wii version was never put into full production, but would have been an “up-port” of the PS2 game with the additions of IR pointer aiming and motion control for melee attacks.

PS2/Wii Version models:

DS Game environment screenshot + model:

A Sudden End To Development

Up until the start of 2007, development on the title had been progressing “smoothly”, one developer recounted to us. The game, which had been renamed to ‘Dirty Harry Extreme’ towards the end of 2006, was on schedule for release within the next 7 months. One source told us that Extreme was about 70% complete, when in March, it met an abrupt end.

Representatives of publisher, Warner Bros. Interactive, visited The Collective to check up on the project and were unsatisfied with the progress they had made. The former devs we quizzed are quiet about the specifics of what exactly went wrong, but the product had failed to meet the standards of WB. In the interests of protecting the brand, the company revoked the team’s access to rights, cancelling their game. Sensory Sweep’s projects were also terminated shortly thereafter.

One reliable source who was close to WBIE attributed the demise of the project to a shift in their upper management, including the installation of a new president. An internal review lead them to revise their plans for the game, the source claims.

Subsequently, The Collective had to lay off the entirety of their Dirty Harry team of around 30 people. This was, at first, denied by a representative of the studio, but as time went on and more former employees came out of the woodwork, it became apparent that this had been the case.

Foundation 9, the parent company of Collective, said that the redundancies were part of an effort to “optimise” the studio’s development capabilities. While these statements were by no means untrue, our sources disclosed that it was, in actuality, a direct result of Dirty Harry’s failure; a truth thinly veiled by the PR cover-up. The loss of the contract with WB meant that Foundation 9 no longer was financially secure enough to keep them on board.

One ex employee alleged that staff at The Collective were mislead by the publishers into thinking that the project had been outright dissolved at this juncture – it had not.

Life After The Collective

After The Collective had been taken off the project, it was widely assumed that it was dead. Rumours of its end began to circulate when WBIE’s president, Samantha Ryan, released a statement to reassure fans that this wasn’t the case:

“We are moving forward with the Dirty Harry next generation videogames and will be changing our development plans in keeping with the best interest of the franchise legacy. WBIE is dedicated to creating a game that will bring Clint Eastwood’s legendary Detective Harry Callahan character to the interactive space with a new story and great gameplay.””

The extent of these supposed plans was never divulged to the public, but Ryan and the rest of their management were indeed looking for another developer to take up the reins. It was towards the start of 2008 that TimeGate Studios, fresh from launching F.E.A.R. Perseus Mandate, was brought on board to complete the game.

TimeGate, however, could not simply pick up from when the previous developers had left off. Up until this point, it had been running in The Collective’s in house engine known as ‘Slayer’ with the Xbox 360 as its lead development platform. However, as Warner had no claim to use the engine without them, the game was rebuilt.

The production was subject to a major overhaul, involving the implementation of full two player co-operative gameplay for the entirety of the story mode, a former designer told us. The title of ‘Extreme’ was abandoned, as well, as it reverted to its prior working title of ‘Dirty Harry’. Monolith Productions of Shadow of Mordor notoriety had also been contracted to do additional work on the project externally.

The Final Nail In Its Coffin

Ultimately, despite years of toiling away behind the scenes, the Dirty Harry video game was not meant to be. In mid 2008, its final cancellation came about after its short-lived revival. A former artist from TimeGate said the decision was made by WBIE simply because “it wasn’t very good”. After several years of sinking money into a project that wasn’t turning out as they had hoped, the publisher ceased all work on it. Unlike detective Callahan, WB had no last shot left to fire, as no further attempts were made to pursue a new development studio.

Since the game vanished without a formal statement from Warner Bros. on the game’s status, various fan movements such as “Bring Back Dirty Harry The Game” have been established online in an attempt to resurrect it.

Alternative video link:

 

Okami [Beta – PS2 / Wii]

okamibetalogo.jpg

Okami in its beta version was much different from the final one. The game was originally planned to be rendered in a more photorealistic 3D style. However, Clover Studios determined that the more colorful sumi-e style allowed them to better convey Amaterasu’s association with nature and the task of restoring it. This change did not increase the game’s performance. You can play a video clip of Amaterasu in her original realistic style after beating the game. – [info from Wikipedia]

Also, on 1UP we can read an interview with Kamiya that talks about the early prototype of Okami:

“When I first started talking about it with [producer Atsushi] Inaba, the only starting point we had for Okami was a game that depicted a lot of nature,” he said. “I couldn’t say ‘I don’t know if this’ll be fun or not’ because than nobody on the dev team would be enthusiastic about it, so instead I was like ‘This is gonna be great! I know it will!’ So eventually the discussion shifted to a wolf running around, and we made this minute-long video depicting a wolf running through a field and trees sprouting up behind him and I told the team ‘See, isn’t that neat?'”

Eventually Okami made it to the prototyping stage, but Kamiya’s problems didn’t end there. “Our first test run was incredibly boring to play,” he recalled. “I was grinding my teeth at night, I was so worried. At one point, we were so far off-track that it had turned into a simulation game — you had hexes and trees sprouted on them. It was total garbage. A couple of devs said to me afterwards ‘Something was definitely wrong with you around that time, Kamiya!'”

Thanks to Robert Seddon for the contribution!

Images:

Videos:

 

Resident Evil 4 [Beta / Debug / Unused Stuff – GameCube & PS2]

re4logo.jpg

Resident evil 4 is probably the console game with the most tormented development cycle of all time. Originally scheduled for Playstation 2 in 2001, the Capcom game had to wait four years and as many betas to take the final form. The first version, as it is well known, became Devil May Cry because the build was deemed too action-oriented to be part of the series. Nevertheless, the trappings of the Resident Evil saga were plentiful, from the fixed camera to the haunting environments.

Gamers were shocked by the announcement that Resident Evil 4 would be exclusively on the Gamecube. The first Gamecube beta was presented at TGS 2002, showing Leon in a strange metallic structure (later confirmed to be an Airship) fighting a bizarre fog creature. The few words spoken in the trailer were about the Cradle of the Progenitor Virus, and apparently the story centered on the assault of our heroes to Umbrella Europe. Moreover, Leon was probably infected and wielded odd supernatural powers.

The following year (2003) Resident Evil 4 was shown again. This version had different features and a new emphasis on the supernatural that seemed to bring the game closer to Silent Hill. In this new trailer, Leon (who still had some strange power) was inside a mansion infested with some strange presence, notably a strong creature with a hook. An extended video of this beta is featured on Biohazard 4 Secret DVD, where we can also see the Killers Armors still present in the final game on Ashley’s stage.

Although this last beta seemed to be the most promising and polished version yet, Capcom decided to start over again. The third beta, which according to the programmers featured zombies, was not even presented to the public. Finally, the Resident Evil 4 we are most familiar with was shown at E3 2004. The Resident Evil 4 Unseen Saga didn’t end there, though. After about a year of the Gamecube release, Resident Evil 4 was ported to the Playstation 2 with a few new locations.

Moreover, the trial version of the Gamecube version was hacked, revealing the names of many rooms of the various betas and really cool items like the Optical Camo and the Infrared Goggles. It seems that the programmers were still making changes to the game until the very end of development. Knowing Capcom, maybe even the setting of the last chapter of Umbrella Chronicles is lifted from the scrapped zombie version of Resident Evil 4.

Thanks to Robert Seddon for the contribution and to Jay for the english corrections!

In Formeragent‘s Youtube channel we can see an interesting video with beta comparisons.

In November 2009, Tyrant of resident-evil-beta.de discovered a pre-release version of Resident Evil 4. These are the main differences from the final game:

  • You can use the silencer on the hand gun and on the tmp
  • The merchant menu is very different
  • You can contact Hunningham, but there is no pic of her
  • You can play  only the first three levels
  • The screen “end of level xx” is different
  • Some voices from the enemies are different
  • Saddler’s voice is different
  • All documents are missing
  • If you pick up an item,the sound is different
  • the debug menu is fully unlocked

bo

A pic of a woman found extracting the files inside the beta.  Probably just a placeholder.

2zedlj8

Unused item

Also, Enrico Marini of the THIA forum found the beta polygonal model of Ashley and an interesting placeholder, Jill dressed with the Ada dress, in the retail version of Resident Evil 4 :

beetazashley

jilladaph

More info from DCodes7:

Resident evil 4 went through a long development cycle. Multiple prototypes were created; officially only two of those prototypes were shown to public. Resident evil 4’s development started in 1998 which involved taking a trip to Spain to study castle architecture. In December 1999 it was hinted that RE4 was in development, however the game wasn’t officially announced until 2001.

When resident evil 4 was shown to the public for the first time it was announced that the game was being developed by Capcom’s Studio 4 for the Nintendo GameCube as part of five game line up that was exclusively developed for the GameCube.

Build 1 – Fog Version

The first build that was shown to the public, nicknamed the fog version, shows Leon S. Kennedy infiltrating umbrella Europe while being chased by a fog creature. This build was shown at TGS (Tokyo Game Show) 2002. The trailer for this build hinted that Leon could have been possessed and infected by the progenitor virus. The story involved the origins of the progenitor virus – hence what is said in the trailer: “the cradle of the progenitor virus.”

EGM (Electronic Gaming monthly) interviewed director Hideki Kamiya; this interview revealed that there was a super natural ability locked inside Leon’s Left arm and a notion to an unrevealed female character! You can read the entire interview to the left of this paragraph.

In the end, after the first showing of this build, it was scrapped; because “it was too much of a departure from the resident evil series.” Eventually this build of the game evolved into what is known today as Devil May Cry.

In early 2006 it was discovered – in the debug menu on an early trial demo of resident evil 4 – that the large metal structure that is shown in the fog trailer was an airship. Only the names of the levels remained. To see all of the 3.5’s level names (Fog & Hook Man versions) click on the links below.

http://www.the-horror.com/index.php?id=features&s=re4demos&p=10

http://www.the-horror.com/index.php?id=features&s=re4demos&p=11

http://www.the-horror.com/index.php?id=features&s=re4demos&p=12

Build 2 – Hook Man

Later in 2002 resident evil 4 was revealed to the public once again at E3 2002, showing a completely different game from earlier that year at TGS. This build of the game Showcases Leon S. Kennedy in a mansion while being attacked by possessed suits of armor, possessed dolls, and killer hook man ghosts; this version of the game concentrated on the super natural and puzzle solving.

The following year in 2003, cube magazine published a six page article titled “Diary of a Mad Man.” This six page article puts build 2’s story months after the Raccoon City (Resident Evil 2) and Rockford island (code veronica) incidents. You can read all six pages of the article below this paragraph.

Thanks to the 5th survivor on the THIA forum for posting these articles!

In the end the Hook man version of Resident Evil 4 was scrapped because it was “too paranormal for the resident evil plot.” This build of Resident Evil 4 evolved into the game Haunting Ground. In 2005 a five minute game play video of build 2 was released with the biohazard 4 (Resident Evil 4) Secret DVD.

Part 1 Conclusion:

Resident Evil 4 was scrapped, evolved, only to be scrapped again. Two prototypes evolved into two games and one of those games evolved into a franchise. Resident Evil 4’s development didn’t stop there; the game continued to evolve and change as it was being developed. Though Resident Evil 4 remained roughly the same – gameplay wise – the items, collectables, enemies, and the sounds of the guns were changed until the games release. In Part 2 of the analysis I will explain and point out changes that Resident evil 4 went through based on the trials and demo’s that promoted the game.

italian_flag.jpg [spoiler /Clicca qui per la versione in Italiano/ /Nascondi la versione in Italiano/]Resident evil 4 è probabilmente il gioco per console con lo sviluppo più tormentato di tutti i tempi. Originariamente previsto per Playstation 2 nel 2001, il titolo Capcom ha dovuto attendere ben 4 anni e altrettante beta per assumere la forma definitiva. La prima versione è diventata come è noto Devil May Cry, poiché ritenuta troppo action per far parte della serie. Nonostante ciò, rimangono evidenti i debiti alla saga horror all’interno del gioco, dalle inquadrature alle ambientazioni.

Poi è la volta dell’annuncio shock di Resident evil 4 esclusiva gamecube, con la presentazione della nuova versione al TGS 2002, che vede Leon all’interno di una strana struttura alla prese con un bizzarro essere incorporeo. Le poche parole presenti all’interno del trailer parlano della culla del progenitor virus, e a quanto sembra la storia era incentrata nell’assalto dei nostri eroi ad umbrella europe.

L’anno successivo (2003) il titolo viene presentato nuovamente, ma stavolta evidenziando caratteristiche differenti, che sembravano avvicinare la saga a Silent hill, con una nuova enfasi sul soprannaturale e sull’horror psicologico. Di questa versione, di cui il trailer originale mostrava solamente Leon all’interno di una magione infestata da strane presenze, in particolare da un mostro dotato di uncino, esiste anche un filmato esteso all’interno del biohazard secret dvd.

Benché si trattava sicuramente la più curata e promettente delle beta, Capcom decide nuovamente di cambiare direzione nello sviluppo, ma il nuovo titolo, che a sentire i programmatori aveva di nuovo gli zombie, non viene neanche mostrato al pubblico. Finalmente, all’e3 del 2004 viene esibita la versione definitiva, o almeno cosi si credeva. Dopo circa un anno infatti Resident Evil 4 viene convertito per Playstation 2 con delle aree aggiuntive rispetto alle release gamecube. E sicuramente ancora diverso materiale del Resident Evil 4 Project è rimasto sconosciuto al pubblico. Lo vedremo in Resident evil Wii?[/spoiler]

Images:

Videos:

 

Pocky & Rocky / Kikikaikai 2 [PS2/Wii – Proto]

pockyrocky2logo.jpg

Pocky & Rocky is a scrolling shooter video game with action elements licensed by Taito to Natsume, who developed and published the game for release in Japan in 1992 and the rest of the world in 1993. It is the sequel to the 1986 arcade game KiKi KaiKai (unofficiallly released in North America as Knight Boy) and follows the continued adventures of a young Shinto shrine maiden named Pocky (called “Sayo-chan” in the Japanese version) and her new companion, Rocky the Raccoon (“Manuke” in the original). Pocky & Rocky became popular enough to spawn two official sequels and one spiritual successor, though none are well recognized.

Heavenly Guardian is the successor to the cult favorite Kiki KaiKai. It is not precisely the Kiki KaiKai 2 sequel that had previously been announced and canceled – however it is developed by the same company, Starfish SD, and has been described as a “spiritual successor” and is allegedly “very similar” to the cancelled game according to Kiki Kai World’s publisher, UFO Entertainment.

When UFO Interactive Games Inc. released Kiki Kai World / Kiki Kai Kai 2, it was renamed to Heavenly Guardian. So, they had a Pocky & Rocky sequel, know as Kiki Kai World / Kiki Kai Kai 2 (that could have been a remake of the SNES version), in developement for PS2, but then they had some problems (probably copyright problems), so they just “cancelled” Kiki Kai World / Kiki Kai Kai 2, but they changed the main character of the game, changed the name, and released it for PS2 & Wii under the name of Heavenly Guardian. Did this make any sense to you? We are not sure.

[Info from Wikipedia]

Images: 

Zelda: Twilight Princess [Beta / Unused Stuff]

zeldatplogos.jpg

Twilight Princess is the second Zelda released for GameCube (and the first for Wii), it had a long development cycle of nearly four years and the final game turned out to be a lot different from what was first revealed in 2004. Some areas and dungeons were removed, while the surviving sections were heavily modified.

The game was developed by the same team that created the cel-shaded Wind Waker, and as a result some things were re-used, such as the games battle and movement systems. It’s possible to find some unused items in the game-code, like the original Wind Waker baton and the Spoils Bag from WW.

As we can read from an interview with Aonuma on GameInformer:

I should point out that this is something we actually considered during the development of Twilight Princess. We had an early iteration of the wolf transformation where you couldn’t transform when in front of other characters that could see you. We thought this would be an interesting way to address exactly the thing you’re bringing up here, but what we found in practice was that it was simply too troublesome. So for purely practical game reasons we decided to avoid that.

Gabrielwoj discovered that probably all the WindWaker items were to be used in the game, but only the models have been found. (see them below).

For more infos, check the Zelda: Twilight Princess Beta Analysis

Thanks to Jay for the english corrections! Thanks to KEK8, Jamie, Z3LER, gabrielwoj and Shadowdorothy for the contributions!

You can find more info about The Legend Of Zelda: Twilight Princess in the Zelda Wiki!

Images:

Update Images: Wind Waker Items (click on them to open on a new tab)
(there actually some 4 copies of the same bottles)

It’s possible to see some of them on the videos on below, example? The Bomb Plants, it uses the same model…

The unused items:

The Hookshot (The only 3D Zelda that don’t have Hookshot [there is only a Clawshot, similar to Hookshot, but not the same)]

Elixer Soup from the Wind Waker

The Mirror Shield (the Only 3D Zelda that doesn’t have Mirror Shield)

Probably, Navi on a Bottle

Poe on a Bottle (Just like Zelda Ocarina of Time)

Videos: