Nintendo

Mother 3 – Earthbound 64 [N64 – Cancelled]

Mother 3 was originally announced in 1996 for the Nintendo 64. Development soon moved to the Nintendo 64DD, where it was to be a launch title. Developer Benimaru Itoh remarked at E3’s 1997 convention that the game would probably utilize the Rumble Pak in battle sequences, but worried that the controller would become too cumbersome for players given the time-consuming nature of role-playing games. Itoi also aimed to allow players to pick several character faces or create new visages with Mario Artist. Shigesato Itoi’s team ran into some trouble while developing this game, due to their inexperience with 3D games and the difficulty of developing for Nintendo 64 hardware. The Nintendo 64DD became a commercial failure, and on August 21, 2000, Itoi officially confirmed the game’s cancellation. The project was revived in 2003 on the Game Boy Advance, and it was eventually released on April 20, 2006. [Infos from Wikipedia]

For more info check the first video below, created by OKeijiDragon, or read our summary of the Mother 3 Project

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For more infos: www.starmen.net

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Animal Leader – Cubivore [64 DD – Cancelled]

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One of the strangest games ever created for the N.64, Cubivore was originally revealed (already ported on cartridge) at the Spaceworld 2000. It was without a doubt the most creative game of the show, not only because of the extreme stylized graphic, but also for the main objective of the game: became the forefront of the evolution chain. Unfortunately, it was first a victim of the failure of the 64DD, and then, when finally ported on a cartridge, of the forthcoming release of the Project Dolphin. It did come out however in 2002 on the Gamecube and, despite being graphically almost identical to the N.64 version, it was released even in the USA.

italian_flag.jpg [spoiler /Clicca qui per la versione in Italiano/ /Nascondi la versione in Italiano/] Di tutti i giochi insoliti inizialmente previsti per il 64DD, Dobutsu Banchou (che vuol dire più o meno Animal Leader) era probabilmente il più bizzarro. Apparso per la prima volta allo spaceworld 2000, già peraltro convertito in cartuccia, il futuro Cubivore si era infatti subito distinto sia per il suo comparto tecnico, particolarmente stilizzato, quasi da esposizione cubista, che per l’obiettivo del gioco, divorare gli altri animali fino a diventare l’essere più in alto nella scala evolutiva.

Si trattava certamente di un concept interessante, ma che ha fatto purtroppo la fine di tanti altri giochi 64DD, venendo improvvisamente cancellato quando Nintendo aveva ormai capito che il suo add-on aveva poche possibilità di riuscita. Fortunatamente in seguito (2002) Dobutsu venne portato su Gamecube, e nonostante l’aspetto grafico pressochè identico alla versione Nintendo 64 non lo rendeva certamente un titolo appetibile a tutti, la solita, grande Atlus è riuscita comunque a fare avere questa piccola gemma a noi occidentali, ottenendo i diritti di distribuzione da Nintendo e rilasciandolo sotto il nome di Cubivore.[/spoiler]

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Echo Delta [N64 – Cancelled]

Officially revealed at Space World 2000, Echo Delta was going to be one of the few real time strategy games available per the Nintendo 64, even through with some action-game features. The objective of the game was to recover a sunken ship with a little submarine, trying at the same time to obtain energy from the ocean’s bed. With this energy it was possible to upgrade our submarine, using some sort of factory called “Core”. However the Core was vulnerable to enemy attack, so we needed to protect it with some placeable weapons , like the defensive turrets. Even if essentially completed, Echo delta was quietly cancelled at the end of the year. On July 2006 a prototype copy of the game was sold on ebay, but the game was not leaked to the internet.

Update from NickNack: From the forums of FrankC’s Lost Levels, there has been some hubbub over the unreleased Echo Delta prototype, that was on sale on eBay”. The discussion points out that there was an IGN Preview Article about it back in 2000. Developed by the Marigul-funded design team, Clever Trick, the game was hard to categorize because of its RTS (Real Time Strategy) like game play and overall feel but it had lots of RPG (Role Playing Game) elements with a splash of Action. In the short 18 minutes you have in the Beta-demo you goal is to raise a sunken battle ship from the ocean abysses. To accomplish your goal you must scour the sea floor for resources to up grade your submarine vessel, scout.

There seems to be other copies of this unreleased beta floating around, no pun intended. There have also been reports of another copy on the ASSEMbler Forums back in 2004, which also arises the question “were there any other copies of the Space World 2000 Prototypes”? Apparently so because there have been reports of a seller who want an out standing sum of $1,520.00 for this 18 minute demo.

Thanks to olivieryuyu for the videos!

italian_flag.jpg [spoiler /Clicca qui per la versione in Italiano/ /Nascondi la versione in Italiano/]Presentato ufficialmente allo Space World 2000, Echo Delta doveva essere uno dei pochi strategici disponibili per nintendo 64 (insieme al celebre Starcraft 64) pur contenendo caratteristiche più simili ad un action. Utilizzando un sottomarino, dovevamo infatti cercare di recuperare una nave affondata, tentando nel contempo di recuperare più energia possibile dal fondo oceanico, servendoci del nostro radar.

Con questa energia era possibile potenziare il nostro sottomarino, in una sorta di fabbrica centrale detta “core”, in modo da rendere più facile l’impresa di recupero. Sarebbe stato necessario anche stare attenti a difendere il nostro centro di potenziamento, utilizzando elementi tipici degli strategici, come le torrette difensive, che potevano essere settate a luogo o breve raggio.

Benchè sicuramente interessante dal punto di vista del gameplay, evidentemente Nintendo non deve averlo giudicato un prodotto degno della grande software house, complice forse anche un comparto tecnico tutt’altro che esaltante. Il prodotto venne rapidamente cancellato, nonostante fosse ormai completo.

Recentemente la beta ormai definitiva di Echo Delta è stata venduta su ebay, e probabilmente prima o poi ne vedremo una release pubblica su ROM, come tanti altri unseen per Nintendo 64.[/spoiler]

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Emperor Of The Jungle – Junguru Taitei (Kimba) [N64 – Cancelled]

Junguru Taitei 64 was to be a tie-in to the famous manga series marketed in the USA as Kimba the Lion, or Jungle Emperor Leo, (Nintendo Power Volume 97, page 104). The game, made with the involvement of both Shigeru Miyamoto and Osamu Tezuka son’s Makoto,was announced at Space World 1996, but it is unknown if the game was going to be released for the Nintendo 64 or for the 64DD (64 Power, Ausgabe 2/98, page 13). Technically breathtaking for the time, Junguru Taitei was going to be a faithful rendition of the show.

In a video presented at Space World 1997, Kimba ran across grasslands and rivers, ending, after meeting with his friends on the way, at the famous rock from the anime. The game was going to be an action adventure like Zelda, where you could explore a vast territory and encounter the various characters of the show. Unfortunately, the game was cancelled, specifically because of issues with Makoto. Miyamoto said in a interview that Nintendo asked Makoto to direct the game, but the son of the great mangaka was too busy with other projects. Makoto was also very inexperienced with videogames. The development may also have run into problems caused by the Nintendo 64 itself. It was quietly cancelled late in the N64’s life.

italian_flag.jpg [spoiler /Clicca qui per la versione in Italiano/ /Nascondi la versione in Italiano/]Conosciuto in italia sotto il nome di “Kimba, Il Leone Bianco”, Jungle Taitei è una famosa serie di manga, disegnati dal maestro Osamu Tezuka (Astroboy, Black Jack), usciti per la prima volta in giappone nel 1965. Da noi Kimba ebbe successo grazie al cartone animato, trasmesso a partire dal 1978, che riusci ad appassionare diverse generazioni di ragazzi, divenendo un vero e proprio cult. E’ facile capire l’importanza di questo Emperor Of The Jungle 64, il videogame tratto dal manga, che fu annunciato allo Shoshinkai del 1996. Non sappiamo se il titolo fosse stato pensato per 64DD o per il semplice N64.

Kimba 64 era uno dei progetti più interessanti in sviluppo per la console Nintendo, seguito direttamente dallo stesso Myamoto, con la collaborazione di Makoto Tezuka, il figlio di Osamu. Graficamente impressionante per l’epoca e l’hardware a 64 bit, in Jungle Taitei sarebbe stato possibile esplorare enormi aree, con foreste tropicali, praterie e zone montuose. In un video del gioco, mostrato allo Space World del 1997, Kimba correva fra prati e fiumi, incontrando altri animali, fino ad arrivare ad una misteriosa roccia, dalla forma simile alla madre del piccolo leone. Il gioco avrebbe dovuto essere un’avventura d’azione in stile Zelda, in cui visitare il mondo ed interagire con tutti i personaggi tratti dal manga.

Purtroppo il gioco fu abbandonato, sopratutto a causa dei problemi nella collaborazione con Makoto Tezuka. Come ammesso da Myamoto durante un’intervista (riferendosi a Jungle Taitei 64 in maniera implicita), Nintendo aveva chiesto a Makoto di dirigere il videogame, ma il figlio di Osamu era troppo impegnato in altri progetti, per riuscire a concentrarsi realmente sul design di questa versione per N64. Makoto inoltre non aveva precedenti esperienze in campo di videogiochi, fatto che non aiutò certo l’organizzazione generale. I lavori sul titolo si prolungarono per troppo tempo ed a causa dell’impossibilità di arrivare ad una sua conclusione, si decise di abbandonare il progetto. Jungle Taitei 64 era potenzialmente un gioco molto interessante e la sua cancellazione non può che lasciarci davvero dispiaciuti.

Intro a cura di monokoma[/spoiler]

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Super Mario Kart R [N64 – Beta]

On the 24 November 1995, Nintendo finally presented the final version of the Ultra 64, (renamed “Nintendo 64” because of copyright problem) at the Shoshinkai Software Exhibition. Among the thirty titles shown in playable form or in video (including Star Fox and Wave Race) one of the most interesting was Super Mario Kart R, an early beta version of our favorite kart-game.

Compared to other games that were shown at the Shoshinkai that year, it could be said that Mario Kart R was almost complete, since there appears to be no particular changes in the track design, but the differences for the playable characters are interesting. You can notice that Kami Koopa (Magic Koopa) was a playable character in the game instead of Donkey Kong and the “Character Select” screen had different avatars. Also, the multiplayer split screen could have been set to horizontally or vertically, but this option was removed in the final version (but implemented in Double Dash). The “Item Boxes” were different too and various other little graphic details (like the HUD) were changed before the game was published,

Also, the Feather item from the original Super Mario Kart, was meant to be used in Mario Kart 64 too, as you can see from one of the screenshots in the gallery below (in the image with the 4 player mode, Toad has it in his item HUD). The Feather would have let the player to jump very high, to reach new shortcuts or to avoid obstacles.

Thanks to Princess Toadstool for the contribution!

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