Nintendo EAD

Dragonfly (Pilot Wings) [Beta – SNES]

From 1989 to 1990, the Super Famicom (SNES) was showcased with a series of game prototypes. One of these was a flight simulator known as Dragonfly. Dragonfly’s purpose was to showcase the capabilities of the console’s Mode-7 technology. Eventually Dragonfly became the fully released game known as Pilotwings, developed by Nintendo EAD.

Initially, Dragonfly was a 3-dimensional shooter in which the player controlled a dragonfly capable of shooting various objects. This version was visually different from Pilotwings, but utilized the same basis of being a Mode-7 flying game.

In later presentations to showcase the Super Famicom, Dragonfly made appearances, but its theme was changed from a 3-dimensional shooter to a flight simulator. Still called “Dragonfly” at the time, this beta demo was much closer to what eventually became Pilotwings.

Description by Bryan


1080° Snowboarding [N64 – Beta]


1080° Snowboarding is a snowboard racing game developed and published by Nintendo for the Nintendo 64 in 1998. 1080°’s release was announced on November 21, 1997 at Nintendo’s SpaceWorld trade show;  the game’s working title was then Vertical Edge Snowboarding. 1080° was programmed by Englishmen Giles Goddard and Colin Reed, developed and published by Nintendo, and produced by Shigeru Miyamoto. Goddard and Reed had previously programmed Wave Race 64. [Info from Wikipedia]

In these early screens we can notice that the HUD was changed and that the character models where still not finished. I’m not sure, but it could also be possible that those maps on the right of the screen could be slightly different from the final track-design.

Beta Version:


Final Version:




Yoshi’s Island 64 (Yoshi’s Story) [N64 – Beta]


The beta version of Yoshi’s Island 64 (later called Yoshi’s Story) has some graphic differences, various minor changes in the level design and a removed “underground” level. This beta level had a black background, water and giant mushrooms, as well as some enemies that are bigger than the ones in the final game. The soil was covered with moss and we can notice huge flying bubbles that Yoshi was able to move.

Jose Felipe Riveros Navarro noticed that in the second beta video there are early Shy Guys that are smaller than the final ones, a beta version of the jungle hut stage at 0:06 – 0:07 and at 0.11 a “?” block is moving in a different way than the final version. In some images from the Yoshi’s Story japanese commercial there are some differences too: changed background, the colors of the “tall tower” and the sun, the heart is a little different from the final one.

Also in and old Japanese commercial about Yoshi’s Story, you’ll notice Yoshi had a different, more girlish voice (behind the 0:15 mark:). Of course, since this was the first game where Yoshi had an actual voice, he might have sounded a whole lot differently today. Thanks to Yosher for the contribution!

italian_flag.jpg [spoiler /Clicca qui per la versione in Italiano/ /Nascondi la versione in Italiano/]La versione beta del secondo gioco di piattaforme dedicato a yoshi (yoshi’s island 64) rispetto alla versione finale (yoshi’s story) presenta alcune differenze soprattutto a livello grafico, niente di speciale, le immagini difatti si commentano da sole, oltre naturalmente ai due loghi ben diversi tra loro alcuni elementi grafici sono cambiati leggermente nella versione definitiva.

A livello strutturale, tralasciando piccoli cambiamenti nel design dei livelli inutili da menzionare, è ben più importante notare come un livello di gioco sia stato completamente cancellato, dai video e dalle immagini beta notiamo che il look di questo sia molto “underworld”, dando quindi un senso di irrealità e di fatato, lo sfondo è nero, a terra vi è dell’ acqua, vi sono funghi giganti, e anche alcuni nemici sono più grandi del normale, il terreno è composto da composizioni di terra dalla forma sferica ricoperte da muschio, sospese per aria troviamo delle bolle enormi, che yoshi può spostare.

Rilasciato nel ’98, yoshi’s story è stato ed è un gioco indimenticabile, irripetibile, purtroppo molti ai tempi lo snobbarono, forse aspettandosi un vero e proprio seguito di yoshi’s island per snes o un gioco più longevo e meno facile.[/spoiler]




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!