News on Beta & Cancelled Games

Creator / Mario Artist [64DD – Beta / Cancelled]

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Mario Artist and Creator 64 are a set of creative software / development tools that were meant to be used for the Nintendo 64DD.  Before the 64DD was published, Nintendo talked about many options and different programs for this new Mario Artist series, but in the end only few ones were finished. Paint Studio, Polygon Studio, Talent Studio and Communication Kit were available in shops, but Game Maker, Graphical Message Maker, Sound Maker, Video Jockey Maker and Creator remained unreleased. In the gallery below you can see a collection of old images from the original Mario Artist Set, in which there could be some screens of the cancelled discs and early versions of the released ones (with different icons and HUD).

Sadly, as we never played the final Mario Artist, we are not sure about which screens are beta and which are not. Please, if you played Mario Artist 64DD, let us know!

From the official Pickford Brothers’s website, we can even read about a cancelled american version of Mario Artist for the Nintendo 64, that was in early development by Software Creations:

Mario Artist: Paint Studio / Sound Studio: Originally intended as a single product – a sequel to Mario Paint in 3D for the N64 – this eventually saw light as multiple Japanese only products released for the N64 and the 64DD disk drive system.

Software Creations were initially asked to pitch a concept to Nintendo of America for a Mario Paint style product for the N64. John came up with a concept based on living 3D environments where the user could mess about with the creatures in the world – both editing the textures on the models themselves, and modifying the parameters of entities themselves – the physical size of a dinosaur, say, and its other visual attributes, as well as its AI properties such as aggression, speed etc. The result would be living playground where the player could mess around and play God.

The project was caught up in political infighting between NOA and Nintendo of Japan over who was controlling the project, and eventually the Japanese took control and rejected many of the ideas which had been accepted enthusiastcally by the Americans, steering the project in a different direction after John left Software Creations to form Zed Two, and throwing away loads of work.

Thanks to Robert Seddon and Vaettur for the contribution!

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Kirby 64: The Crystal Shards [N64 – Beta]

Kirby 64 had a long and complex developed cycle, with many delays. The project was developed by HAL and it was designed to be a real sequel for Kirby Dreamland 3 for SNES. The beta screens in the gallery below shown an early version of the game, in which it seems that other playable characters (as Dedede) could have been used in many more levels. If you have more info on the differences in this beta, please let us know!

[spoiler /Clicca qui per la versione in Italiano/ /Nascondi la versione in Italiano/]Kirby 64 ha avuto uno sviluppo piuttosto complesso, subendo ritardi su ritardi, cosa del resto poco sorprendente vista la storia del Nintendo 64. Ad occuparsi del gioco fu HAL, della quale è anche una sorta di mascotte. Venne pensato fin dall’inizio per essere un vero e proprio seguito di Kirby Dreamland 3 per SNES: in breve niente salto in 3d, ma formula classica riproposta con grafica poligonale in stile Klonoa. Dalle prime immagini mostrate, fino alla versione finale, non è che cambi molto, tutte le aree che si vedono nelle foto sono state proposte anche al momento della commercializzazione, così come i personaggi giocabili, seppur per brevi periodi (ad esempio Dedede, quello celeste e obeso).

La differenza principale, oltre alle varie rifiniture ed alla maggiore pulizia grafica, sta nell’interfaccia: se le stelle sono state rimpiazzate da alcuni blocchi rappresentanti l’energia di Kirby, i semicerchi dorati, così come i tre piccoli contenitori quadrati sulla sinistra, sono scomparsi nella versione finale (anche se i semicerchi, forse, sono stati sostituiti da una semplice barra orizzontale, che quando è riempita dona una vita); per il resto il contatore delle vite (il numero a sinistra) e le abilità combinate (a destra), sono rimaste immutate nelle sostanza anche se migliorate nella forma.

Per finire vi proponiamo una foto trovata recentemente (l’ultima, in basso), che rappresenta una fase realmente presente in Kirby (dotato di spada laser di Darth Mauliana memoria), ma mostra un’interfaccia che non esiste nel gioco finale: più schematica, quasi futuristica, ma uguale nei dati segnalati.[/spoiler]

[spoiler /Cliquez pour lire la version en français/ /Click on link to read the french version of this article/]

Kirby 64 eu un cycle de développement long, coûteux, complèxe, avec beaucoup de retardement. Le projet était développé par HAL et il était conçu au départ pour être une suite au jeu Kirby Dreamland 3 de la SNES. Les captures d’écrans du stade beta qui se trouve dans la gallerie en bas de cet article, montrent une version antérieure, dans laquelle il semble possible de contrôler plusieurs autres personnages (Comme Dedede), dans plusieurs niveaux différents. Finalement, le seul personnage qui ne semble pas pouvoir être contrôlé par le joueur, c’est Adeline.
Si vous avez plus d’information sur les différences entre la version finale et la version beta, s’il-vous-plaît veuillez nous le signaler!

(Ceci est une traduction intégrale de la version de l’article en anglais plus haut)[/spoiler]

Thanks to Joe Long, FullMetalMC, Nick, ToadTReborn, Hydrozor & Ultraman82 for the contributions!

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Eternal Darkness [Nintendo 64 – Cancelled]

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Created by Silicon Knights, Eternal Darkness was an interesting game for the nintendo 64 that seemed to be able to bring new life to the Survival Horror creating the first “psychological thriller”. However, it was later ported to the Gamecube. Was it really never released for the Nintendo 64 or it was just an insanity effect ?

For more information check our article about eternal darkness

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Carnivale [N64 – Cancelled]

Carnivale is an animated film which because of its particular style and its lack of success, had only a limited release in certain European countries in 2000. A game based on this film was in development by Vatical Entertainment for the Nintendo 64 and it was even shown with an incomplete build at E3 1999, but the project was later cancelled.

The game plot would have follow the story of the film: a group of kids stuck in an amusement park in another dimension, along with a strange woman that never ages. The graphic had the same style of the film, a simplified design that was well suited for the limited 3D capacity of the N64.

The 128-megabit Carnivale 64 was supposed to have 3 modes of play. The first option included a classic Adventure Mode, with 5 scenarios available (or at least that was the number of the areas completed before the cancellation), including a ghost train and a rat-infested sewer trip. The player was able to explore the weird amusement park with the help of many available power-ups, playing several mini-games with platform / shooter sections – among them “test your strength” machines, a duck shooting gallery with ascending and descending obstacles, and a Punch & Judy show. The player would have to collect a certain amount of coins to access new locations and mini-games.

For those looking for a more immediate fun, in the second mode we would have been able to directly play all the mini-games, probably after unlocking them in the adventure mode. A “Racing Mode” was planned too, in which to race against the computer or in 2-player mode with a friend, complete with Mario Kart-style weapons.

Sadly Carnivale’s development team, Terraglyph, was being reorganized at that time and many employees were fired and the game vanished without traces until May 2009, when a playable prototype was found by NesWorld. You can read an interesting article on the game in here!

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Caesar Palace 64 [N64 – Cancelled]

Caesar Palace 64 is a cancelled “casino simulator” that was meant to be released for the Nintendo 64. Play slot machines and card games could not seem an interesting concept for a 1999 game, but Crave Entertainment and Lobotomy Studios though to create an adventure mode that was set in a Casino, where the player would have been able to explore the 3D scenario to interact with NPC as in a RPG, to win games and complete the final mission (to own the casino?). Caesar Palace 64 could have been an interesting project, but it was never released, maybe because it was economically a risk to release it when the N64 was almost dead.

Thanks to Celine for the contribution!

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