Nintendo

Jack and the Beanstalk [N64 DD – Cancelled]

Jack and the Beanstalk was a game being developed for the Nintendo 64 Disk Drive. It was originally advertised in February 1995, but was not heard of again until February 1998, when more details of the game’s development emerged. However, the game was never released, and very little is known about its specific operation.

Presumably this intriguing game was similar in plot or gameplay to the traditional fairy tale of Jack and the Beanstalk. Unfortunately, we will probably never know for sure.

As Jack slept, the beans germinated in the soil, and by morning a gigantic beanstalk grew in their place. When Jack saw the huge beanstalk, he immediately decided to climb it. He arrived in a land high up in the clouds that happened to be the home of a giant.

Jack and the Beanstalk was being developed on the second floor of the Nintendo Kanda building, under the supervision of HAL Laboratories, by a team of ten or more employees, lead by Youichi (Yoichi) Yamamoto. Yamamoto, originally a construction designer, was one of several non-video game-industry personnel selected to work on the project by a panel of four important Nintendo figures:  Shigesato Itoi, Satoshi Iwata, Kouichi Nakamura and Shigeru Miyamoto himself. It is not clear why Nintendo specifically sought out professionals from other fields to work on Jack and the Beanstalk.

The game was slated as being a brand new type of video game, and one that utilised the features of the N64DD to their full extent. Although the game was never completed, many of its flagship features eventually found their way into different games, such as Pokémon Snap and EarthBound 64.

As we can read on Kotaku:

“Originally, Pokémon Snap for the Nintendo 64 system wasn’t a Pokémon game,” recalls Nintendo president Satoru Iwata, “but rather a normal game in which you took photos, but the motivation for playing the game wasn’t clear.” […] Game designer Masanobu Yamamoto was working on Pokémon Snap, and he initially had a negative reaction to the addition of Pokémon, because the characters replaced what he was working on. “That time, adopting the Pokémon world clarified what we should do and the direction we should head,” Yamamoto adds, “and I came to like Pokémon, so I felt like that had saved us.”

As noted by Andy, in the intro of Pokemon Snap, along with the “HAL”, “Nintendo” logos, we can see the text “Jack and Beans”:

From the credit list on Mobygames, JACK and BEANS seems to have been the name of the main team behind the game, which director was the same Yamamoto that lead the Jack and Beanstalk project:

JACK and BEANS

Director: Yoichi Yamamoto, Koji Inokuchi, Akira Takeshima

Designer: Shigezo Kawase, Takeyuki Machida, Masanobu Yamamoto, Shizu Higashiyama

Other possible features that were taken from Jack and the Beanstalk, could have been evolved in EarthBound 64 (a game that was also cancelled), as the N64DD’s internal clock was to be used to allow the real-time growth of planted in-game seeds. This mechanic seems to stem (excuse the pun) from Jack and the Beanstalk. It is also likely that the 3-day system system used in The Legend of Zelda: Majora’s Mask is similar to how time would have been used in Jack and the Beanstalk. It is listed under “Simulation” in various N64 unreleased listings, which supports the idea of the player growing his or her own seed or seeds.

Thanks to Redstar and Celine for the contributions!

Sadly there are no images of Jack and the Beanstalk preserved for now.

Video documentario (in Italian):

 

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: 

Zelda: Oracle of Seasons [GBC – Beta]

The Legend of Zelda: Oracle of Seasons was published by Nintendo and developed by Capcom’s Flagship Studio for the Gameboy Color. In the early screenshots released for the game we can notice many beta differences. In the gallery below you can see some of these beta screens:

  • The waggon that we see in the opening place (when Din is dancing near the fire) was once set near the first dungeon too. In the final game it’s never in there.
  • The sprites for the trees and flowers were different in the beta version
  • There are some circle green things near a signboard in one of the beta screens, that does not exist in the final game.
  • The entrance of the first dungeon was different and it did not had a keyhole.
  • Impa’s house was in a slightly different place.
  • There are also many areas in these beta screens that does not look like any other areas in the final game. It’s possible that in this early build they created a small playable demo in a placeholder world, just to shown how the Seasons System worked.

As the game have a complex password system that change some of the content, some of these differences could still be in the final version. If you have more info, please let us know!

Oracle of Ages and Oracle of Seasons were originally going to be themed parts of the Triforce Trilogy along with Mystical Seed of Courage. Each of the three games originally had a piece of the Triforce and one of its qualities (Wisdom, Power or Courage) assigned to them. This idea was scrapped relatively late in the development process, and the games were re-branded to remove all mention of this Triforce theme.[Info from Zelda Wikia]

Thanks to the X-Cult Community for the contribution!

You can find more info about Zelda: Oracle of Seasons in the Zelda Wiki!

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Mario & Luigi RPG 3 [DS – Beta & Unused Stuff]

Mario & Luigi: Bowser’s Inside Story, released in Japan as Mario & Luigi RPG 3, is a RPG released for the Nintendo DS in 2009. Unreachable normally, thanks to Waluigiuseppe and whoever made the moonjump code, we see some of the normally bowser-only enemies have some leftover attack patterns for the bros. as well. Quite strange and shows that some of these might’ve been programmed without the memo that the bros wouldn’t fight them:

  • (Naplock) The blocks are breakable with jump counter
  • Dark Fawfulbot) A weird 2-3 minute beam attack, dark fawfulbot head uses a beam attack that needs to be jumped.
  • (Choomba) Telegraphs with M and L smoke clouds and only charges, freezes after first turn it seems.

Also, some more differences can be seen in a video (@ 2:13) posted by GigaBowserNS on YouTube:

  • Yoshi Story noises present in the rom (and working when there are no yoshis in M&L3)
  • M&L2 music (glitchy) in the final still
  • Bowser dialogue change during the start of the game
  • No icons for mushroom village inside bowser and the globin icon from the area right of it are missing
  • Some map cosmetic changes in mushroom kingdom

Neo told us about an unused “Life Shroom”: a Beta Texture of a shroom with a heart can be find hidden in the game’s code!

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Wii Sports Resort: the removed games

wiisporresot

From a email interview with Wired Online Magazine, Katsuya Eguchi shares with us some lost info about the recently released / popular Wii Sports resort.

“We considered fishing and a water slide activity before deciding on the final twelve events,” Eguchi said. We’re having a hard time imagining a controllable, skill-based water slide game, which may have been one reason it didn’t end up in Resort. “As for more unconventional concepts, we created a pretty fun prototype of kendama, a traditional Japanese toy, that just didn’t fit the game’s theme.”

More info if it comes, for now we thank Wired for providing this information!