At E3 1996, Nichimen Graphics shown a tech demo with a beat ’em up for the Nintendo 64, Saturn and Playstation. As we can read in an old press release, their N-World 3 engine included N-Geometry (polygonal modeler), N-Dynamics (scripting), Skeletal Animation System (motion capture editing tools and animation tools, plus skeletal posing using both IK and traditional methods), N-Render (photorealistic ray tracing renderer), N-Paint & N-Paint 3D (2D and 3D paint systems) and Game Express (for artists to preview data directly on a 3D game platform). Currently we dont know if this engine was ever used for a realeased beat ’em up / fighting game.
In one of the photos published in Edge magazine from June 1996 you can notice that over the TV with the N64 tech demo, there was also a Ultra 64 prototype pad.
Croc Legend Of The Gobboswas a platformer game released in 1997 by Defunct game developer, Argonaut Games. Using the BRender engine, which was a state of the art engine capable of powering games released between generations (PS1 and PS2 gens), it took full advantage of the consoles it released on and pushed the game engine to its limits.
Recently, a beta and tech demo was uncovered by a few fans of the game on a now defunct forum, “Croc Fan Forums” , and released to a very few people. A newely formed YouTube channel called “Video Game Beta Book“, posted videos from both builds that leaked a few weeks ago.
These videos show many things that were changed or cut. In the tech demo, croc appears to be voiced by an entirely different voice actor opposed to His voice actor in Croc and Croc 2. Next, many level designs are different, and some levels are even entirely unseen in the final game. The main island also looks severely different.
The tech demo that leaked was dated November 1996, and appears to be a very early alpha of the game engine, that was likely released to internal testers to test physics. In the Prototype dated March 1997, it features slightly different animations, has cut levels, and even has something not at all in the final game: Results Screen. The results screen is similar to the ending of levels on the Spyro The Dragon Trilogy games released by Insomniac Games from 1998-2000, where it shows your gems you picked up and score.
Additionally, in the tech demo Croc is more lighter than He appears in the March 1997 Proto and the final game.
Videos of the tech demo and prototype can be seen below:
In development by Titus Software, F-Tank was a 3D futuristic tank simulation planned for PC, Saturn and Playstation. The game main attraction was the compatibility with a Virtual Reality headset to enhance the player immersion. The VR-project was never released for these platforms, but it seems that the game evolved into “Metal Rage: Defender of the Earth“, released in 1996 for PC-Dos.
Scans from Mega Force issue 36, CD Consoles 4 – february 1995 + CD Consoles 8 – june 1995.
Asterix in Egypt is an action / platform game that was published for the Sega Master System based on the the french Asterix comics. In some old magazines we can see a lot of beta screenshots, with vairous graphic differences from the final version!
Crusader of Centy (AKA Soleil in Europe/Ragnacenty in Japan) is an action rpg developed by Nextech and published by SEGA in 1994. A beta build of the game with many layout and objects placement differences is freely available on the internet. We don’t know exactly when it was released, because it’s a very old dump. Let’s have a quick look at some of the changes made:
This is the first scene of game. We can immediately see the different HUD and the absence on the drawer of both the sword and the buckler. In the beta the former is already in hero’s possession, while the latter is nowhere to be found. The small kid’s hair became red.