Action Adventure

Super Metroid [SNES – Beta]

Super Metroid [SNES – Beta]

Super Metroid was the third game produced in the Metroid series. Metroid producer Gunpei Yokoi oversaw the project, but owing to him being busy with designing the Game Boy Pocket and Virtual Boy, Super Metroid was produced by Makoto Kanoh, who had devised the original game’s storyline. The game’s early planning began in 1990 with Nintendo’s Nintendo Research & Development 1 (R&D1) headed by Yoshio Sakamoto. [Info from Wikipedia] Looking through old screens from the game’s previews, we can notice some interesting changes made in the game while in development. 

ODT [N64 – Unreleased]

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ODT, Or Die Trying, is a video game created by Psygnosis for the PlayStation and PC. Its style of gameplay is a 3D action adventure, with some RPG elements. Playing as 1 of 4 characters, your goal is to explore the “Forbidden Zone” to look for gas canisters to reinflate your balloon, which had crashed on the roof of a mysterious tower. Along the way you solve puzzles, battle monsters, and so on. An N64 version was completed but never released, though it has somehow been leaked online. [Info from Wikipedia]

Thanks to Henrique Resende for these screens and to Vaettur for the logo!

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Tomb Raider: The Angel of Darkness [PS2 – Beta]

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The overall result suggested that the development of The Angel of Darkness had been rushed, despite numerous delays prior to its release to possibly improve the final product; difficult-to-overlook plot inconsistencies (or leaps) and frequent continuity errors added to the belief that significant ‘cuts’ were made from the original design. While it was not the first (or last) game to suffer such abridgment, the results were especially jarring and confusing. For example, in the final encounter between Lara and the overall perpetrator, they appear to  

Three Tribes [GBA / DS – Cancelled]

Three Tribes was announced in November of 2004 in a press release by its Dutch developer Two Tribes as an action puzzle game in an overhead perspective designed for all ages. I could only retrieve the Dutch version of the announcement, archive.org unfortunately didn’t cache a page of the English version. The game was designed for the Gameboy Advance and possibly the Nintendo DS; no release date is given for the game and the company had no publishing partner for the game at the moment of the announcement.

Three Tribes sets the player in control of a shaman whose purpose is to help out the natives he meets with their problems. Interaction between the characters, animals, objects and tools found in the game and with the environment itself would be a central part of solving the various puzzles. The game would be set in the same visual perspective as the 2D Zelda games but with a lot more freedom allowing the player to climb, swim and fly anywhere they wanted to. The game also promised a wide variety of mission objectives. The NDS version would differ from the GBA version in having a multiplayer game editor. The editor would allow players to design their own multiplayer levels and create their own objectives and later share them with friends.

Unfortunately Three Tribes was quietly cancelled; the company never found a publisher for the game. The main cause could have been the declining GBA market but I also cannot retrieve how far development of both versions was. I could find only a couple of GBA screenshots and two promotional videos (see below) and absolutely no information on the Nintendo DS version. On the current site of Two Tribes the game is briefly mentioned:

„In the meantime, we’d spent two years developing a physics puzzle adventure game called Three Tribes for Game Boy Advance, though it turned out to be impossible to find a publisher for such an ambitious concept.

The game was stated way into 2010 on the Two Tribes website as a Gameboy Advance title “In development”. After a refreshment of the website later that year the game vanished of the radar and was no longer mentioned. The game still hasn’t vanished completely as its promotional website is still (partly) online. But I think we can consider it cancelled.

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Two Tribes teaser trailer – 2004 – GBA:

Three Tribes – GBA video: 

Prince Of Persia: Prodigy [Beta – Xbox 360 PS3]

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Prince of Persia Prodigy (also know as Prince of Persia Zero in its early beta days) is an action-adventure and platforming game developed by Ubisoft Montreal. It was released on December 2, 2008 for Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3. Proof of conception for this new title was found in September 2006, when a file that was leaked to the internet was found to contain concept art for the game, although Ubisoft didn’t announce the game until May 2008. [Infos from Wikipedia]

In january 2008, Surfer Girl released some screenshots from an early prototype of this new Prince Of Persia, in which the main character was followed by a mysterious flying girl. As you know, the final game has not flying-girls that follow the prince. As we can read over at GameSetWatch, thanks to “David Pettitt” we learn that this version was “a target render that the team pitched the game with”. It seems that Ubisoft showed the full Target Render at a Vancouver SIGGRAPH event. Below you can see the full video!

Some other rumors even say that originally Assassin’s Creed was meant to be part of the Prince of Persia series. Probably Ubisoft created a lot of different ideas for the project, before choosing the final one.

Even the released game has some differences from the official beta screens that we can find online. As noticed by FullMetalMC:

  • Different colors for the Hunter
  • Elika’s clothing is a bit different
  • A removed  enemy
  • Prince’s sword has a alternate design
  • Different Tree
  • Elikas magic has less detail

In an interview with Prince of Persia Producer Ben Mattes, we can read more about Elika’s development:

To further answer your initial question of how her design evolved, at the beginning of the game, one of the things we were thinking about was — should she have more of an autonomous personality? Should she have a little bit more autonomy as a gameplay mechanic?

So we developed ideas of her sometimes taking the lead, or her sometimes wandering off and looking at key game points, or her basically just taking initiative. Some of them only got as far as concepts and brainstorms, some of them actually got as far as prototypes, but what we quickly realised was there was a lot of design that had to be done in terms of simplifying Elika’s involvement to make sure we delivered on that promise that she never gets in the way and she’s never a negative.

We had instances where we had interest points in the world — little objects that would attract her attention, and if you idled for a few minutes she would wander over to one of those objects to look at it, but then the player would, y’know, haul ass to the left and Elika’s wandering over there looking at that thing and then he has to stop and wait and go and get her and bring her back, and it was these things that detracted from that overall core message, which is more important than anything else.

[…] initially we kicked around the ideas of Elika being a young girl, but that brought up the whole babysitting thing, and then we toyed very briefly with the idea of Elika being a partner like a brother or a father figure or something, but it didn’t have the kind of sexual tension that’s fun to play with. And then within a couple of months we had the design of Elika almost fully fleshed out as it exists now.

Thanks to Surfer Girl & Grahamx227 for the contribution!

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Images (Beta):

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