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Tomb Raider 2 Beta [PSX / Saturn / PC]

Overview: The first Tomb Raider game became a success with high ratings and sold well. Core Design of Derbyshire had already planned a sequel, the game underwent big changes through development. According to rumors, due to the original game being such a success, Sony paid for the game to be exclusively made for the PlayStation which in turn resulted in the Sega Saturn version being cancelled. There is no evidence of this happening, if anybody has any official information please do update this. Core Design managed to successfully remaster and implement Lara’s ponytail which was a major issue back in 1995. Tomb Raider 2 was released on the Sony PlayStation and PC early November 1997. In 2004, an external company ported Tomb Raider 2 to the Tapwave Zodiac handheld device which is now defunct. The port was cancelled due to unknown reasons but is available to download from some places on the internet.


Early Alpha Stage – Date, Late 1996
Platform: PC


These screenshots come from an early alpha build of Tomb Raider 2. As you can see, Lara has no braid, her model is exactly the same to the first Lara in Tomb Raider 1. There aren’t supposed to be stairs in Bartoli’s Hideout, the gate where the boat is supposed to drive through is missing. These are most likely the first set of screenshots showing Tomb Raider 2.

Alpha Stage – Date, Early 1997?
Platform: PSX

This build is similar to the one above. However, Core Design began experimenting with Lara Croft having a braid. Some early E3 preview videos show a similar build.

Beta Stage – Date, 16th June 1997 (E3 Build)
Platform: PC

After E3 1997, Tomb Raider 2 E3 build leaked onto the internet. As a result it is now available on many websites. The alpha consists of 3 playable levels in early development

  • Bartoli’s Hideout.
  • The Wreck Of Maria Doria
  • Ice Palace / Catacombs of the Talion

In the first level Bartoli’s Hideout, you can notice that the Pistols’ Sound effects are completely different. The health bar is also different in color, just an early placeholder. In the beginning, you don’t start in the boat, they may not have created it yet. The original gate where you are supposed to go through with the boat is locked and the room in there doesn’t contain the clock tower door, it’s just a white textured room, could this be an early alpha room from the previous level? The sword men have no sound effects whilst their sword goes down. The Debug cheat ‘DOZY’ is available, Lara will swim once the user holds down ‘D-O-Z-Y’. The building shelters are normally textured with a red cloth like surface but in this version they are plain wood. In addition, there are no wired gates which separate areas, they are replaced with wooden slats hammered together unseen in the final version. The first secret is missing, the veranda which leads to the stone dragon is there but the door itself is missing. The positioning of the room under the fireplace was changed slightly in the final release. The inventory is the same to Tomb Raider 1, the guns are also identical: Pistols, Magnums, Shotgun, Uzis. The Magnums were later changed to ‘Automatic Pistols’ in the final build. The compass is still functional but was later changed to statistics watch to give a more modern game play experience. Whilst climbing up walls, there is a glitch which allows Lara to draw her guns, this was a problem back in July 1996 for Tomb Raider 1 which they fixed in the final, but it has re-occurred in this build. Secrets aren’t yet implemented, the locations are there though. The detonation key is different from the final one, it is gold and red where as, the final is grey entitled ‘TNT’. At 08:59, you can see an additional room which was removed from final. It has nothing in it, it may have been a placeholder room for the Stone dragon secret. It isn’t possible to complete the level, the TNT explosive device is not in this version, there are no end triggers so the only way to skip to the next level is to rename the level files.

In the second level, there appears to be a huge difference visually and with sound. The sound effects are from Tomb Raider 1, the first level contains early/final sound effects for Tomb Raider 2. The level is so early, it starts right at the end. In the beginning, there are no textures. The costume itself is completely different from final, it’s striped with orange whereas, in the final it’s white,blue,grey and black. There is a glitch with the lever at 1:53, you must rush to get to the other lever before the door itself closes, DOZY is a quick way of doing this. This area of the level is pretty much final, there aren’t many noticeable changes but the glitch at 3:59, the texture underneath the water is a rock texture. The inventory noise is exactly the same as Tomb Raider 1, in the first level it’s just a high pitched noise, the key has placeholder textures which aren’t final. The ending of the level is yet again untextured with no option to proceed to the next level.

Beta Stage – Date, 16th June 1997
Platform: PSX

PSX E3 Demo, it is identical to the PC E3 Demo.

Beta Stage – Date, Early September 1997 (Demo)
Platform: PSX

Coming Soon!

This is a playable beta demo of the first level, there are several differences such as the title screen picture. It’s completely different, shows a picture of early Xian in china. At the beginning of the level, you can jump forward and grab the top ledge which you shouldn’t be able to do, it was fixed in the final build. Also, the helicopter doesn’t exist, it’s supposed to fly by at the top of the Great Wall, she seems to look though. Halfway through, in the room with the flying discs just before the boulders are introduced, the flying discs have the sound of darts from Tomb Raider 1, the sound was later changed in the late September build below. The level ends right after the spike crushers because it’s incomplete. If you bypass the ending, there is no way of proceeding since it’s nothing but a dead end. In the inventory, statistics has the extra feature ‘Hit/Miss Ratio’ this isn’t available in the final version. It may be because in the 30th September build, it is non-functional due to a glitch in the code which they didn’t have time to fix for final release.

Beta Stage – Date, 30th September 1997
Platform: PSX


This particular version was burnt to many pirated Tomb Raider 2 discs. Though close to the final game, the last levels are slightly unfinished with Temple of Xian and Lara’s Home being impossible to complete without glitching. The DOZY cheat can be accessed which turns Lara Gold, allowing her to swim in mid-air most likely used to help the developers navigate to specific rooms more quickly.

Beta Stage – Date, 17th October 1997
Platform: PSX

Pretty much the final game with dozy.

Editors:
1. Gh0stblade

Change Log
Gh0stBlade – Added September/October 1997 videos. 16/03/16
Gh0stblade – Added E3 June 1997 info, Added September 1997 Demo info, Early Alpha Info. 03/12/11
Gh0stblade – Added June 1997 Footage, September 1997 Footage, Early 1997 magazine scans. 05/12/11 

Tomorrow Never Dies [Beta – Playstation]

Tomorrow Never Dies was developed by Black Ops and then published in 1999 by Electronic Arts. On release, it was immediately compared to Goldeneye on the N64. One of the main criticisms was the lack of multiplayer, with only 10 single player missions making up the game. Yet, in the game’s content, there is an image of the beta multiplayer loading screen, so there were plans for it at some point, but abandoned before release.

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One of the loading screens also shows a level set on the HMS Devonshire, which was in the movie but cut from the game.

There is speculation that other unused beta content may have survived from an earlier, cancelled game called Tomorrow Never Dies: The Mission Continues:

The original VHS release of Tomorrow Never Dies featured a brief trailer with Desmond Llewelyn which highlighted a game that would “start where the film ends.” Footage shows bond skiing, scuba diving and driving in third person and on a first person shooting mission. The game was to come out on Playstation and PC in the fall of 1998 and was being made by MGM Interactive, not EA; EA was not involved in Bond until November of that year.

A Tomorrow Never Dies game was finally released on November 16th 1999, distributed by EA, but with notably differences from the 1998 attempt. The game was a third person shooter with the scuba diving level nowhere to be found. But perhaps the most glaring difference was the fact that the story now followed the plot of the film, not the continuation that had been promised.

A level in the game sees Bond skiing down a mountain and killing a Japanese terrorist named Sotoshi Isagura (who had featured very briefly in the film), while on another stage Bond has a driving mission in Switzerland. These were not from the film and may have survived from the ‘continuation’ story.

Article by Edward Kirk, source: Wikipedia 

LA Noire [Beta / Cut Content – PS3 / Xbox 360]

LA Noire is a third person action / investigation game developed by Team Bondi and published by Rockstar in 2011. In an interview with Brendan McNamara, we can read that the game was going to have a desk where you would have to deal with burglaries and fraud – the desk was known as Bunko and Burglary. The entire desk had about eleven cases, all of which were cut due to the fact that the cases couldn’t fit on entire blue ray disk. Quoting McNamara from another article:

“We had a Bunko and Burglary desk – bunko is fraud and burglary is just people robbing houses and stuff – we had eleven full cases for that, which we wrote and did the design for to a certain extent – we even did the art for them too, but it just got to a point where we were never going to fit it on one Blu-ray,”

Evidence of the Burglary desk can be found in the game, such as at the beginning of the homicide desk, where the captain of homicide greets Cole Phelps after he earned a promotion from burglary. It’s also implied during the case Manifest Destiny that Harold Caldwell was Cole’s partner for that desk. Dialog implies that Harold Caldwell knows Cole Phelps – again implying that burglary was going too planned for LA Noire.

Finally, there was also a type of Mini-game (that was also cut) where the player could have made a captain angry. The player and assigned partner would have to complete certain crimes (car chases, shootings, etc) in order to get another case from the captain. Quoting the article

 “There was a kind of system where if you failed a case your captain would scream at you and you’d go out and do hot car chases or smaller robberies and muggings and all that kind of stuff in the world”

“You’d have to do enough of them to get to a point where you get offered another case, but as I said that got cut because I thought it was too much of a distraction.”

If there is any concept art from the cut desk, please share it here so we can add it to the article!

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