Stage Debut [GC – Proto / Unreleased]

Stage Debut was a game planned to be published and developed by Nintendo for the Nintendo Gamecube video game console. The game was intended for a 2004 release, but was indefinitely delayed, probably due to the cancellation of its sister peripheral for the Game Boy Advance, the GameEye.

Stage Debut was designed similarly to a game titled Mario Artist: Talent Studio developed for the Nintendo 64’s Nintendo 64DD peripheral. The player would take a picture of their face using the Game Boy Advance’s Game Eye peripheral (which was planned to be, in short, a spiritual successor to the Game Boy Camera). Then, by linking the GameEye to the Gamecube system via the Nintendo GameCube Game Boy Advance Cable, the player would be able to insert the image onto a 3D model within the game’s virtual world.

Stage Debut was widely assumed as either a canceled project or a project in development hell after no progress in development was announced on the title by Nintendo for quite some time. However, in a 2008 interview with Shigeru Miyamoto by the popular gaming news site IGN, an official answer was made. Not only did he cite Stage Debut as an inspiration for the Wii’s Mii Channel function, he also said that “In my mind, it’s still alive.” While this does not deny the cancellation of the project, it does not confirm it will never come to pass.

It seems that Tomdachi Collection, a new game for the DS will have some modes that were originally planned for Stage Debut.

Thanks to Matt Gander & sba sb3002 for some of these images and to Sdas for the contribution!




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


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!