Sometime ago a Nintendo DS debug cartridge was sold on eBay and a couple of weeks ago the rom of that cart was shared and preserved online (NINTENDO DS NTR DEBUG) thanks to NintendyFan from the GBAtemp Form. There is some interesting stuff that we can see in this DS debug cart, such as weird icons, models of Nintendo characters and music from Mario Kart 64 (?!?). We are not sure why they chose such kind of strange images and sounds to test the Nintendo DS hardware, but it could be possible that hidden in the rom’s code there could be even more unusual / beta files, just like in that old SNES debug / hardware test cart. Does anyone want to try to find them?
In order to get to the menu, you have to hold Start + Select when launching the ROM.
Here’s the description from the eBay auction:
Up for grabs is a Debug Mode / Dev cartridge for the Original Nintendo DS and DS Lite Models of handhelds. I have never seen anything quite like this before on the market. We received a few of these, totally smashed and broken up, however we were able to recover this cart and get it to load up. It was tested on each model of DSi including the 3DS, but would error out. This is because the cart is specific to testing on the original DS software on the older handhelds. This is an official Nintendo cart that was apparently supposed to be decommissioned before being tossed out, but whoever attempted to break this one didn’t do a thorough enough job.
As you can see from the photos and video, the date on the program is August 18th, 2004; which is 3 months before the handheld was released anywhere in the world! The Product ID on the back of the cart reads: NTR-005
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.
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.
“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
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.
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.
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]
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!