Super Mario Galaxy [Wii – Beta]


Mario Galaxy is to this day, still considered one of the best games on the Nintendo Wii, and has most recently the BAFTA game of the year award (2009) . During it’s coverage over the years it has had two different versions shown to audiences during the beta stages. The initial beta which was demoed on playable booths at the GDC, E3 and etc, mainly seen in 2006. And the Pre-Release Beta, a series of images and videos used to tease the audience, closer to the final form of the game but with little suttle differences.


The Initial beta was used as the first playable demo to audiences, it features many placeholders such as mario 64 soundbits as mario’s voice and various textures and gameplay elements. The HUD was also similar to that of Super Mario 64, using a 8 point health system rather than the tradional 3 point which became the final design, however this along with many other little changes were most likely put in to allow easier gameplay to the audience at the time. The limit to star bits (Called Star shards during the game, possible reference to the Kirby series.) was capped to 100 with a meter showing so, this was later scrapped to a 999 limit used in the final build.

Various gameplay mechanics were changed, such as boss monsters seen in the beta were easier to kill than those in the final. This may of been to help the audience at the events finish the level faster without being hit by the time limit. Mario was allowed to spin non stop, without the Luma needing to recharge, this may of been to help preserve the inital storyline as well to weaken the difficulty. Different characters who were vital to Mario’s progress had a speech bubble above their head to signal their importance, this may of been used to speed up the process of learning how to play while in game at the time.

Aside from little changes there were more noticable and intricate ones, such as the Star World galaxy, which used different music and was a compilation of various galaxies together. It was most noticable as the early version of the Good Egg Galaxy. The fight with Megaleg also didn’t feature the scene with Baby Bowser, although it was possible he wasn’t written into the game at the time it could of been to preserve storyline and plot details. A detailed model of the home planet from the Star World galaxy was found in the games code, however it wasn’t shown as anything other than a model. It is currently unknown is it is possible to play in this level via hack. There are also a number of odd items hidden in the games code, such as materials and models for unused items, such as a inflatble mushroom, various monsters and a odd blob like creature which may of served as a boss monster.

It shows the Starworld Galaxy, A test level of the game that was showed to the public at E3. I am going to go down into a list of what you can see there that never made it into the game

The level itself: The level shown was a combination of various galaxys like the Good Egg and the space junk. If you notice, the planet with the house is like the one in the Good Egg, but totally different. Here, the textures used on the land were different, more simple and not as complex like they are now. This is most likely due to the fact that Nintendo wanted a clean cut version out. Instead of the cardboard like textures that made it into the game you can see clear simple green on brown, Good and colorful.

Gameplay: Instead of using the cursor to pickup starbits, you had to hover over then and press B, this feature was taken out, also you can see that you could collect only 100 starbits in each level. This was taken out and changed to 999. When mario was shaken to attack an enemy, the Luma never popped in and out. Mario could spin nonstop, I believe that was either to keep the story hidden or wasn’t thought of yet.


Thanks to Mr. Game for the help with these images! In the Super Mario Galaxy Cellector’s Edition Prima Official Guide at the last pages is possible to find ORIGINAL CONCEPT ART made by the SMG developing team.

For example there are many pictures related to Mario’s Transformations

There are also two images showing how hard was to design Bees from Honeyhive Galaxy, Honeyclimb Galaxy and Gold Leaf Galaxy

The Penguins also should had a design more similar to Super Mario 64

Is also possible to find a concept design of the Starman Fortess, which 3D model you can find in the SMG’s files

From The Cutting Room Floor:

Starman Fort

A high-quality planet that was ultimately scrapped, much to the dismay of the development team. The two pipes on the planet are not warps but instead have the fully modeled tube interior, with the second pipe leading from the top of the tallest roof to the spherical underside of the planet. The yellow structure bears the same electric symbol as the ChargeSpot model. It, too, has concept art in the Prima guide. As can be seen by the concept art, it went through several incarnations, with the last two being left in the game files. The version seen in the concept art depicts features such as a snowy area and a construction site. it’s also interesting to note that this same image also shows BossCrab, Planet Disk, and three copies of the Star Planet. It also shows some generic spherical planets and the space ship planet used in Space Junk Galaxy.

A drawing of Mario on a beach at the sunset. For strange reasons, that beach is pretty, similar to the Hammerhead Beach from Banjo-Kazooie, a level that is strongly releated to Stop’N’Swop.

Other concept drawings:

Some Rosalina’s beta concept art along with its final version is also there:

Near Rosalina’s drawings, there’s also a beta castle drawing:

A drawing presenting Topmaniac’s Tribe in Melty Molten Galaxy is also present:

In the Game’s Disc there are also 3D models that indicates the presence of the Topmaniacs in Melty Molten.

At the very end of the book there’s also a handwritten note from Shigeru Miyamoto:

There’s something that Luma holds in her hand, even if there isn’t any Luma holding the wand in the final game. But there’s an unused beta 3D model, named “MagicalWand”; it’s possible that it isn’t a precursor to the Kamella’s Star Wand, but it’s a beta Luma’s wand.


The Pre Release Beta was very similar to the final build of the game with just some small changes in things like level names, and mission names. Some Pre-Release beta videos also showed some missing elements such as small level details. A good example can be seen in the video below.

The over all picture is that alot of the beta was used as demonstration, various galaxies were shoved into each other as experimentation, like the Topmaniac fight in Melty Molten Galaxy. Various galaxies had different names like the Honeybee galaxy to Honeyhive, Gale galaxy to Gusty Garden. Also, various features switced places.

Some more beta stuff can be seen in these images:

Thanks to Mariowiki ke know that the Beta version of Super Mario Galaxy showed conjecturaly named species called Cosmic Toads, a kind of Toad that lives in outer space. They were supposed to live in Toad Houses in various galaxies. They told Mario how to use Launch Stars or would give him Star Bits. Rabbits were also going to be able to change into Cosmic Toads. The Starshade Brothers from Superstar Saga looked similar to them. Their role was likely replaced by Lumas. Also, according to one of the screenshots, Bowser was originally going to be fought on an arena on a magma planet instead of a glassy planet like in the first 2 battles. There was also going to be a giant green Pokey in the Dusty Dune Galaxy. It probably was replaced by Red Pokeys, and it resembled a Poison Pokey. Mario would also be able to lock onto boulders with the Star Cursor and stun them.

Thanks to Lord Deathsaur & SMBMadman for some of these screens!

Some unused models were found in the game. These include an old Toad model, two different Bullies, a blue and yellow genie’s hand (much like Master Hand,) a Red Switch, Mario’s model from Super Mario Sunshine, a creature resembling a blob of goo with a face, and the Party Monkey from Donkey Kong: Jungle Beat. The switch’s filename is flagsaveswitch, suggesting that it was used as a checkpoint of some type. The model of Mario only has his running, swimming, and waiting animations, meaning it may have been an early placeholder before Mario’s Galaxy model was finished. The low-polygon model for the house in Ghostly Galaxy has two chimneys that the high-polygon model lacks. A weird smiling block can also be found. [Info from Mariowiki]

Thanks to Girrrtacos for the these unused models & texture! (check below for some videos by Goomther!)

If a player uses cheat codes to leave the cave in Deep Dark Galaxy’s Purple Coin star, they will find that the objects outside the cave are mostly gone or misplaced. These oddities include an entire Toad Brigade (the Yellow Toad is on the beach, standing on top of a blue structure not normally present anywhere in the game), there is a green pipe on the beach, a series of climbable poles and next to the Green Toad is an Amp, not present in any other star. [Info from Mariowiki]

You can check for more beta/unused at The Cutting Room Floor – Super Mario Galaxy article

More Mario Galaxy Unused Models:


Videos (Beta Boss?):

More Beta Videos (Thanks to David!):


Super Mario 64 [N64 – Beta / Unused Stuff]

Super Mario 64 was probably one of the first titles developed for Nintendo’s 64 bit console. There are rumors of a 3D prototype existing on the SNES using the systems Super FX chip, but this prototype was kept behind closed doors, so no images of it exist. It’s safe to assume that this would have been an isometric platforming adventure, and played similarly to the older games of the Mario name.

With Nintendo’s prototype next-generation console, “Project Reality”, the game went from a FX chip prototype to a 3D beta on the 64-bit new hardware. The SNES prototype was never seen or heard about again. Even with this project on the Nintendo 64, original designs still stuck to the isometric viewpoint. Like with the older games, this one had players taking their chances jumping form platform to platform to reach the end of a level. As the game went on, this concept was kept intact for the game’s boss stages were the player would fight bowser.

This game was officially presented to the public in November of 1995. During its development Nintendo released a lot of images, some of which were from a playable demo. This was very important since it allowed people to take photos, and record videos which we can look back at to see how much the game has changed from the beta to now.

The beta version of Mario 64 appeared to be very similar to the final: Many of the levels were similar seeing only minor changes. Some of the biggest changes were made to the hub world which didn’t seem very much like a castle to begin with. Changes can also be seen in the lives – stars – coin counter in the HUD, as well as Mario’s health bar which is an image of his head in the final version. Some changes are noticeable like different textures, and colors. Bowser also sports some different textures. We can also see the castle interior is dark blue with some moons on the columns.

The inside of the castle was very different in the beta. We do not know if the doors here are different than the ones in the final, or if they lead to the same places, or if they were simply place holder images. One of the more interesting images had Mario in a snowy level with penguins, and a different background that isn’t found anywhere in the final game. It is also noted that the stars used to be 2D in design. In conclusion, the face texture for the yellow desert enemy was really scary.

As we can read from the NSMB Wii Iwata Ask article, one of the early Mario 64 prototypes had a coop multiplayer mode, but it was never used in the final game and it’s not clear if they could have confused it with Mario 64 II (as M64II was rumored to have that same Mario – Luigi coop).

Iwata: Ever since Mario Bros., you’ve had your heart set on making a multiplayer Mario game. You’ve tried each time, but it’s never quite come together… Even with Mario 6423, it started with Mario and Luigi running around together, didn’t it?

Miyamoto: That’s right. The screen was split and they went into the castle separately. When they meet in the corridor, I was incredibly happy! (laughs) Then there was also the mode where the camera is fixed and we see Mario running away, steadily getting smaller and smaller.

Iwata: Yes, that’s right.

Miyamoto: That was a remnant of an experiment we did where Mario and Luigi would run away from each other but you could still see them both. But we were unable to pull it off…

Some unused red shells were also found in the game’s code:

Those beta red shells models were found a long time ago both by rstewart215804 and VL-Tone.

In this video, I show a complex hack written by me in C which gives them a similar behavior as the red shells from the Mario Kart series. They will protect Mario and if you press D-Pad Up they will go after the nearest enemy (actually, the nearest animated object).

Many other unused models (as a trampoline, a Boo Key and a Blaarg) are hidden in the game.

Blargg— An eyeless, largely untextured model for Blargg, an enemy from Super Mario World, exists in the game. It has an animation which shows it jumping out of the lava, but there doesn’t seem to be any functionality left. It was definitely planned for the lava levels, and possibly replaced by the very similar flame enemy.

Water mine— Found in the water object set, but never used in the game, is an object very similar to the bombs that appear in the Bowser levels, but a bit smaller. How it would have been used is fairly obvious. It’s possible to see it in major part of SM64 beta videos, in Dire, Dire Docks.

Yoshi egg— The Yoshi egg has a model, textures, and a bouncing animation. It’s likely that Yoshi was planned to have a larger role in the game than he actually does, and he would have appeared out of these eggs, just as he does in Super Mario World, and as he would later do in Super Mario Sunshine . This egg loads to memory in Whomp’s Fortress and Wet Dry World

Small chill bully— A smaller version of the Chill Bully. There are large and small normal Bullies in Lethal Lava Land, but the only Chill Bully in the game is a large-sized one in Snowman’s Land. They have they own behavior and 3D model, but sometimes when trying to put it in the game, it crashes.

Beta trampoline— The most known unused object in the whole game. Some sort of trampoline. It has no model in-game, and its behavior was never created. Fairly obvious how they’d have been used, however. Anyway, some hackers tried to recreate its behavior, which can be seen in the video made by messiaen, one of the best hackers (yeah, thas one who wrote M64 Level Importer!)

Beta green & red shells— A pair of small Koopa shells, these have been found as only data (though clever hackers can get them to work in-game). They are about the size as spiny shells, and have unusual blue bottoms. Their use is currently unknown, but there’s a behavior code that could fit them. Them can be picked up and throwed, but the stick to wall when they hit it.

Yellow switch & Yellow transparent box— The yellow switch and the yellow box are quite similar to their red, blue, and green-colored brethren. This suggests there was another type of box (not necessarily the one in the final game) that needed to be activated with a switch. The yellow switch is always in its pressed state when spawned. It’s possible that there was another powerup inside the yellow box, and that the switch was activated in Peach’s secret slide, because the swicthes load to the memory, when you enter that level, exactly as happens for Wing Tower, Metal Cavern and Vanish Sewer.

Early Solid Red Box— An early solid red box can only be found in the Wing Cap area, and probably served as a test for item boxes. The color changes depending on the angle viewed from.

Boo Key— The boo key was likely intended to be collected from a Big Boo upon defeat, as is shown in an early screenshot. As a leftover, the Japanese version actually has a key symbol for use in the HUD which has been replaced in the other versions with a German character (a U with two pints on its top). Also we know that you was able to collect at max 6 keys, to use only in that level.

Cactus texture— A texture which resembles a small, round cactus. It was most likely intended as scenery in Shifting Sand Land.

Cracked ice— A texture depicting cracked ice. Possibly a leftover from one of the ice worlds.

Metal wings— There’s a unique “metal wings” texture the game uses when Mario wears the Wing Cap and the Metal Cap at the same time. However, there’s no level in the game which has both of these caps, so the only way to see the texture in the game is using a GameShark or replacind objects with ToadTool64 or a HEX editor

Pink flowers— Discovered by Mr. Game during the exploration of game’s textures. This environmental effect causes flowers to appear. Where it may have been used, and what purpose it may have served, is still unknown. When activated, it appears only on perfectly horizontal walls.

Blizzard— This effect creates a blizzard. It is still under investigation, but was likely meant for use in the snow-based levels. It works same as snow effect, but it’s fastest. It was also used in SM64DS, in the battle with Chief Bully (the one you needed to beat to unlock Wario).

Chain Chomp— In the beta v3 in Bob-Omb Battlefield, you’ll notice that the Chain Chomp’s growling sound is different than the final version, and about similar to the sound of the Chomp in Japan.

English translation by Tobias

Thanks to forotsuki for the contribution!




Super Mario RPG 2 (Paper Mario) [Beta – N64]


Early beta screenshots of Paper Mario / Super Mario RPG 2 showed that Poochy was going to play some sort of role in the game. Another screenshot showed that Nep-Enuts were going to be in this game also. Also the early version of Forever Forest showed that it would be much smaller, with all the forest’s trees having sinister faces. Paper Mario was also originally going to be named Super Mario RPG 2, though due to complications involving Square Enix, the makers of Super Mario RPG: Legend of the Seven Stars, the name was changed to Super Mario Adventure and later Paper Mario. Also, it was originally in development for the failed Nintendo 64DD. However, it was released in cartridge. A screenshot had also shown a strange, beta Whale. [Info from Mariowiki]

Also, in an Iwata Asks interview, they shared a super early Mario RPG 64 concept:

Mario RPG 64 beta Paper Mario

Yeah, we really did. And most of all it was a Mario game! We couldn’t determine the route to take with visuals. At first, we broke into teams and worked in parallel on making about three sample models.

Oh, it’s from 15 years ago on March 5, 1997.

It’s made of 3D polygons, but I drew it to have an atmosphere like that of a picture book transplanted into a video game—with paper-thin 2D background and characters.

[Thanks to Henrique Resende for the contribute with some images!]