The original Pilotwings is an arcade flying simulator developed by Nintendo and published in December 1990 as one of their first games for the Super Nintendo, soon becoming a cult 16 bit classic. Players can use different flying vehicles to complete various missions within a time limit, trying to get high-scores for such tasks as flying through rings and landing on specific parts of the levels.
A few magazines in mid ‘90s mentioned Pilotwings 2 in their news / rumors sections, but Nintendo never officially announced Pilotwings 2 SNES, so it could have been one of those fake speculations with no real evidences. Luckily a few years ago John Szczepaniak (author of The Untold History of Japanese Game Developers books) asked to Dylan Cuthbert (who worked with Argonaut Software and Nintendo on such games as Star Fox and Star Fox 2) about Pilotwings 2 and Dylan confirmed that it was really in development for the Super Nintendo, using the Super FX chip 2. Dylan also mentioned Pilotwings 2 / Super FX 2 prototype in a Reddit AMA:
“I think it was just light experimentation, such as the FX chip based Pilot’s Wings experiment too, just to see what could be done and was quickly re-worked on the prototype N64 hardware. They were already experimenting with motion capture for better animation in 1995 or thereabouts.”
It seems that only an early prototype was created, but we really hope to see something more from it in the future.
Stunt Race is a racing game for the Super Nintendo that used the Super FX chip to create 3D polygons for the cars and tracks. FX Trax is the original name of the project (aka Wild Trax in japan), from when it was still in early development by Nintendo EAD and Argonaut Software. In the gallery below you can see various images from the beta version, with different HUD and WIP graphic! If you can notice more differences (removed tracks?) please let us known!
Scans from Banzzai #14, Super Power #12, australian Nintendo Magazine System from October ’93 (very early screens!) and April ’94 (showing a game much closer to the finished product but still with many differences).
Super Mario Galaxy 2 is a platform developed by Nintendo EAD and released for the Wii in 2010. As we can read on Wikipedia, shortly after the first Super Mario Galaxy was completed, Shigeru Miyamoto approached the development team and suggested that a follow-up be produced. The game was originally planned just to do variations on the original game’s planets and call the game “More Super Mario Galaxy”, (it was dubbed “Super Mario Galaxy 1.5” during early development), with a projected development time of approximately a year.
Over time, more and more new elements and ideas were brought into the game, and it was decided that the game would be a fleshed-out sequel rather than a slightly modified follow-up. Thus, development took two and a half years. Super Mario Galaxy 2 was first shown at E3 2009, with a beta version that was similar to the final one, but still had some interesting differences, as noted by users at the Super Mario Wiki:
In the debut trailer from E3 2009, there were several changes before the game’s release date.
A planet shaped like Mario’s head could be seen. This planet is an early version of the Starship Mario.
In Cosmic Cove Galaxy, the switch which freezes the water into ice is placed on a wooden buoy-thing, similar to the place where Penguru is standing. In the final version, the switch is found on a tower.
The starting planet in Boo Moon Galaxy originally was going to have a different type of terrain and coloration that did not resemble the interior of a haunted mansion.
A giant Silver Chomp seemed to appear as a boss, possibly in the beta Battle Belt Galaxy.
Comet Medals were designed differently, as the comet’s star had no eyes.
Mario is seen sliding on a stone planet similar to Tall Trunk Galaxy’s Trunk Slide Planet is present. This game doesn’t exist in the final version.
On the E3 trailer, Sky Station Galaxy’s Soundtrack had an extra part (that sounded like a part from Gusty Garden Galaxy) that didn’t make it to the final.
In a beta version of the Flower Planet in the Supermassive Galaxy it was shown that Goombas appeared. In the final version, they don’t appear. Plus there were different flowers when Mario walks on the planet and the planet was made of dirt instead of grass.
Blue Grass Galaxy is a name for a possible scrapped beta development level of Super Mario Galaxy 2. Proof of this galaxy may exist in the E3 2009 Announcement Trailer of Super Mario Galaxy 2. A screenshot showing an unknown platform with Mario jumping on three Twirlips in a row also shows a planet in which resembles none of any of the planets and galaxies in the final release of Galaxy 2.
There are two songs that did not make it into the game. Galaxy song 19 and “SMG2_galaxy08_strm” Galaxy song 19 is rumored to be the main theme for Blue Grass Galaxy. SMG2_galaxy08_strm was scrapped but did not become orchestrated.
Finally, although they are not found in the final game, Ice Mario and Flying Mario from the prequel can be playable via hacking. Despite the fact that they were apparently decided to be scrapped early, updated versions of their themes were found as well. Some test levels and models have been found hidden in the code of the final game, but you can’t get to them, since they lack a “UseResource.arc” the game will crash when loading them.
Also, Super Mario Galaxy 2 Could have featured Donkey Kong and Pikmin Cameos, but they were never implemented:
“One of the early proposals that we discussed for Super Mario Galaxy 2 was the possibility of including characters from other [Nintendo] franchises,” Hayashida explained through his translator. “For example, you might have Donkey Kong or Pikmin show up.”
“We presented this to Mr. Miyamoto, but he came down pretty hard, saying that there has to be a functional reason to include characters of a certain type in a game. He went to specify precisely why the Pikmin wouldn’t work.”
Some more info about the unused stuff found in Super Mario Galaxy 2, can be read at the Cutting Room Floor!
Thanks to Ismaw34 and Goomther for the contributions!
Star Fox (Starwing in Europe) is a on-rail shooter developed by Argonaut Software and Nintendo EAD, published in 1993 for the Super Nintendo. Argonaut worked closely with Nintendo during the early years of the NES and SNES. They developed a Star Fox prototype on the NES, initially codenamed “NesGlider”, which was inspired by their earlier 8-bit game Starglider, and then ported this prototype to the SNES.
Programmer Jez San told Nintendo that this was as good as it could get unless they were allowed to design custom hardware to make the SNES better at 3D. Nintendo assented to this, and San hired chip designers to make the Super FX chip, the first 3D graphics accelerator in a consumer product. [Info from Wikipedia]
Megalol found some Star Fox beta screens in Nintendo Power magazine from Jan 1993, in which we can notice a completely different (and awesome) beta title screen!
Originally a sequel titled Star Fox 2 was in the works for the Super Nintendo, but it was never released, though a handful of ROM dumps at various stages of its development were leaked onto the internet.
New Super Mario Bros. Wii is a side-scrolling platform developed by Nintendo EAD and released in November 2009. The game was announced at E3 2009, and from the early videos and screens, Kirby64 was able to notice various beta differences:
The propeller power-up was different from the final game.
At the Nintendo Press Conference they said at the end of every stage a result screen will pop-up and show you how many enemies you stomp and how many coins you collected, but this only appear in the coin battle and free-for-all.
The checkpoint flag was changed to bowser’s head at the final game and the background color of the flag was black. In the beta it had a skull.
A music note / melody can be seen in the HUD. That note is not in there in the final game.
The blue arrow in the screen with the lava had changed its color in the final game (it’s red and the board is yellow).
The world 5-3 background looks different from the final game.
Some stages were removed or hevily changed in the final game.
In the screen with Mario in the pinguin-suit we can see an area that was originally going to be world 3-1, but it was later removed. The ice structure has a different design in the final version, with a more blue color and snow on top of the ice.
Some more info on the beta differences can be found at Mario Wiki:
In the E3 2009 demo, after players go through the boss door, they all fall from the top of the screen and into the boss room, as the initial Larry and Morton videos showed. This was just like in the original New Super Mario Bros., where the player also enters the Bowser Jr. battles the same way. In the final version, the players are already on the ground when the boss room loads up.
Kab-ombs, Mr. Blizzards, Stretches and Bowser Statues were meant to appear but they were cut out as soon as the game was released.
Also, LucaPM noticed a unused file in the NSMB Wii code, called “test_lift.arc”. As we can read at Rusted Logic, it is a graphic file, a stretched grey block.
Thanks to Kirby64 and LucaPM for the contributions!