Action RPG

Nomen Quest / Aidyn Chronicles [Beta – N64]


Aidyn Chronicles: The First Mage is a video game developed by H2O Interactive and published by THQ. It is one of the few console RPG released for the Nintendo 64. Due to a combination of the poor reviews and even poorer sales, projects for a sequel were dropped.  The game has developed somewhat of a cult following, leading some groups to try to remake the game for Wii or DS homebrew with improved graphics and more rigorous bug testing. [Info from Wikipedia]

In the gallery below you can see some screenshots from a target render that was created in the early days of the project, when it was still know as “Nomen Quest“. In these images the graphic was much more detailed and definited than the one in the final game. Some other screens are from a later beta version, with a different HUD.

Thanks to Myron Mason, we found out more beta differences in these early screens:

The beta for Aidyn Chronicles is indeed very different from the finished game. I have the game and I can already noticed the major differences. The characters are either wearing different clothing or have different colored versions in the beta version and the compass and solar/lunar indicator are different as well. Some of the monsters looked different like the Minotaur as well as the cities. For example, in image 5 it shows the observatory in Gwernia castle, the first city you basically start in. It stands next to the shops and is black in the beta version, but in the finished version it is inside of the castle.

Also, it appears that in the beta version you could pick who you wanted to represent the party when walking around outside of battle. And you could also make that character carrie a weapon around with them. In the realeased version, only Alaron (the main character) represented the party and no weapons could be carried around.

Update: Lisa wrote to us for some corrections:

Although I do realise Myron Mason is only claiming he has the retail game and has spotted some differences in the beta pictures it should not be there as non of it is true. The only true part is that clothing is different on a very few characters.

If you played the game and you can notice some more interesting changes, please let us know!


Fallout 3: Van Buren [PC – Cancelled]


Fallout 3 was initially under development by Black Isle Studios, a studio owned by Interplay Entertainment, under the working title Van Buren. Van Buren was set to carry on the Fallout series, following Fallout 2, prior to being cancelled. Interplay Entertainment went bankrupt and closed down Black Isle Studios before the game could be completed, and the license to develop Fallout 3 was sold for  

Dragon Quest 9 (IX) [DS – Beta / Debug]


When it was first announced, Dragon Quest 9 was meant to have real-time action battles, but later (maybe for the critics of die-hard fans of the saga), SquarEnix decided to retain the traditional turn-based system. It’s possible that there are even more differences in these old screens & videos, so if you notice some beta stuff, please let us know!

Also, Yosh93 found these debug items (and a debug mode with the original name of the profect : Xenelon) in the final game:

Thanks to Proto1 for the contribution!




Castlevania: Symphony of the Night [Beta – PSX Saturn]


The images below are from an old E3 Beta demo of Castlevania: SotN that was sold on ebay some time ago. The description said: “This auction is for the Castlevania E3 edition. Only one known to exist in collector’s hands this could be the highlight of many game collections. This disc was an early development version of the title which was released in the us as Castlevania SOTN. Early development titles such as this were run on test consoles by developers and game testors. If you lack the hardware required to play developmental software game do not bid.

The game gives 2 options. Normal and Special. Normal mode starts out at the end of the Bloodlines story but the text is in English while the voices are still in Japanese. I am unsure if this remains throughout the entire game or just for the first cutscene. Special mode starts you off further along with items and relics already as part of your inventory. In either mode dying brings up a different game over screen which instead says “To be continured September 1997″. I have not determined what other differences may exist and leave that all up to the buyer.”

Some more differences were noticed by Torentsu:

  • Alucard levels much more quickly
  • spells are still usable in special mode but they start out not being in the menu
  • Lead in to the music track in Catacombs is VERY different

This beta demo was leaked online sometime ago and you can download it if you search it on Google. If you play it and find some  more interesting differences, let us know!




Secret of Evermore [SNES – Beta]


In this article we can see a comparison between Secret Of Evermore beta screens and their final counterparts. During the game’s development Square USA made some interesting changes and probably the original story was a bit different from the one that we know.

Beta version

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Final Version

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The character’s bar was much different in the beta. While the area is essentially identical, with only little background differences, the enemies in the beta version are not the same as the final. The strange blue creature was completely removed, and we encounter raptors only much later in the prehistoric level. Also, you get the sword in Antiqua, the second area of the game.

Beta Version

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I don’t recall this area anywhere in the game. The green dinosaur on the left was removed in the final version.

Beta Version

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Final Version

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Yet another enemy that was removed from the final game: the warrior with the pike at the center of the screenshot. Also, in the final version the machine is green (in the beta it looks to be black/grey) and there aren’t enemies in this area, maybe because the game’s story changed. The fake Fire Eyes (the girl at the center of the screen) didn’t exist or didn’t appear here in the beta version.

Beta Version

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Final Version

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An area with almost no changes. In the beta version the dog is still the prehistoric one.

Beta Version

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This is a really strange beta screenshot. We can see what it looks like to be an early and much different version of Ivory Tower (or Ebon Keep when it is populated again). In the final game, the King is not here. Maybe the story was different ?

Here are some more screenshots from a pre-release version of Secret Of Evermore. The “dog’s bar” at the bottom of the screen has the “dog’s face” on the left side, while in the final version it’s on the right side.

Pre-release Version

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Final Version

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In these screenshots, we can see that this section of the market didn’t change at all. However, as in all pre-release and beta pics, the golden bar is different, and the dog is still the prehistoric one, while in the final version there are four different dogs.


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Final Version

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This area is different from the final version. There are not as many black crystals and there is only one skull. Also, the location seems much more barren. Thanks to Robert Seddon, that has found some infos from a developer / tester of the game, we know that they changed the Mammoth Graveyard because there was an issue with AI getting caught on the tusks. You can read more of these beta-infos on this old news: SoE beta infos

Pre-release Version

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Final Version

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We can see that in the beta versione there was no “heart” at the center of the spider.

Pre-release Version

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Final Version

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Again, as in the beta screenshot, the fake “Fire Eyes” girl is not here, but at least the machine is green now.

There are a couple of other beta screens in the gallery below, but they are not much different from the final version.