Niche

Cabbage [N64 DD – Cancelled]

Cabbage is an unfinished pet breeding/raising game, originally intended for release on the Nintendo 64 Disk Drive. It was being developed by Shigesato Itoi (responsible for the Earthbound series) and Tsunekazu Ishihara (producer of the Pokémon series), as well as Shigeru Miyamoto himself. Unfortunately, the game never reached completion for various reasons.

In Cabbage, players were given the task of raising a creature (exactly what type of creature was never revealed). They were able (amongst other tasks) to buy it things, and feed it. The game concept was very unique in a number of ways. For example, it would have utilized the N64DD’s internal clock in order to keep the virtual world functioning even while the console was turned off. This meant that a player could potentially leave the house for a few hours, and find that his or her creature had evolved and changed considerably in his or her absence.

To enable more portability, and constant monitoring of the Cabbage creature, the game would also have been linkable to the Game Boy via a special converter. The creature could be downloaded to the Game Boy, where it could remain with (and be nurtured by) the player throughout the day, before being transferred back to the home console whenever the player chose. Creatures would also have been able to visit other owners’ virtual worlds. Itoi mentioned that he was looking for an “explosive” idea for the game, something that would have been different to what everyone had expected.

Additionally, it was planned that extra game sets would be released, that would contain different toys and gameplay elements for Cabbage to interact with (including swings, slides and ponds), as well as additional “events” for Cabbage to explore. Miyamoto has even said that players would have been able to copy their creature’s toys onto blank disks to share with friends. However, he has provided conflicting information as to whether these expansions would have taken the form of N64DD disks, or Game Boy cartridges.

Although Cabbage was meant to be playable at Space World 2000, no demo ever surfaced. Miyamoto claims that Itoi and Ishihara got too busy to work on the project, and so it was dropped. He also says that many elements of the would-be Cabbage eventually made it into other titles, such as Nintendogs. Cabbage also seems to possess many similarities with the published Animal Crossing (which was, in turn, an updated version of Animal Forest for the N64). Perhaps, following the low popularity of the N64DD, Cabbage had to be converted to a less-ambitious title. Hopefully Cabbage will, in some form, eventually see the light of day.

Thanks to Robert Seddon and Celine for the scans!

Images:

Eden [PS2 – Concept]

Through GameSetLinks, Robert Seddon linked us to the International Hobo website, where they talk about one of their unreleased project for the Playstation 2, known as “Eden”. Eden was going to be a simulation / puzzle game in which the player would have been able to explore and grow his personal garden, but for various reasons Eden was shelved before they even started the  development. Only the concept design remains and you can read it all on ihobo:

When circumstances in the market changed and Play with Fire ceased to be a PS2 project (with a commensurate fall in budget), Eden was effectively shelved. Plans were tentatively made to resurrect it later, and inventive Belgian developer Tale of Tales were considered as an option for developer.

However, over the following years the project was to suffer further blows. The Japanese gardening game Shiki-Tei (“Four Seasons Garden”) was released in June 2008 for download on the PS3 and featured time-lapse as part of its gimmick – it was apparent that the technology for this is still very expensive, and the quality of the time lapse in Shiki-Tei was nowhere near the standard we had hoped to use in Eden, suggesting we could not have delivered this part of the design pragmatically. Then, the following month, Dylan Cuthbert’s Q-Games released Pixeljunk Eden for download on PS3, which meant the name “Eden” would have to be shelved.

Finally, in February 2009, Jenova Chen’s thatgamecompany released their game Flower for download on the PS3 which had so many fundamental similarities to Eden that this project was officially shelved. Flower is a magnificent piece of work, and more beautiful than Eden could ever have been on the budget we were intending to use for it. Although the play of the two games is very different, it’s apparent given the issues with time lapse technology that Eden was too ambitious for its time.

 

NiGHTS into Dreams [Saturn – Beta]

Thanks to the Nights Into Dreams website we are able to see an early video of the game, when the beta had different graphic details and different level layout in Spring Valley. A more recent beta was shown at E3 1996 with some  different sound effects and item placement. In january 2009 the E3 beta version (that is the same build of the Japanese NiGHTS Special Sample disc) was somehow leaked online and you can donwload it from the X-Cult mirror! Thanks to MalanTp that has created some videos to compare the beta to the final game, we are able to check all those differences. You can download some hi-quality videos from the beta disc from Segagaga Domain.

Also, OKeijiDragon found some more beta videos from an episode of Sega Video Magazine and it features the initial unveiling of NiGHTS at the Japanese Tokyo Prince Hotel way back in March 26, 1996; followed by an old, rare interview with Yuji Naka, Naoto Oshima, and Takashi Iizuka:

Included in the segment are footage of the game’s early stages of development, including a different stage layout for Spring Valley. Many of the sound effects heard are also very different, and even the music sounds unrefined! Such elements are highlighted in the video though annotations. There has been no translation for the interview, yet.

Thanks to Yakumo for the contribution!

Videos:

 

Animal Crossing [GC – Debug Rooms & Beta Stuff]

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As ace.dark has made us to notice, in the Youtube Channel of BowserEnemy there is an interesting series of videos from various debug rooms that were found in the GameCube version of Animal Crossing! In these beta worlds there are even some unused and weird objects, like flying boxes, baskets on a pole and beta villagers!

Thanks a lot to ace.dark for the contribution and props to BowserEnemy for the find!

Videos:

 

Chibi Robo: Park Patrol [DS – Beta]

Chibi-Robo: Park Patrol is the DS sequel of the original Chibi-Robo game for the Nintendo GameCube. In the beta version, the HUD was changed at least 2 times before it became like the final one.

Beta 01:

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Beta 02:

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Final:

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Imho the 2 beta version of the HUD was the best one, or at least it was more in-line with the style of the game. Even the Chibi-PC room had a different design as you can see in this  

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