platform

Crash Bandicoot 3: Warped [PSX – Beta]

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Crash Bandicoot 3: Warped is a platform game developed by Naughty Dog for the PlayStation. The game serves as a direct sequel to Crash Bandicoot 2: Cortex Strikes Back. It was the last platformer in the series developed by Naughty Dog, who then developed Crash Team Racing. [Info from Wikipedia]

In these screens from the beta version there are some differences: an early design of the HUD, changes in the the Load/Save Monitor room and in the Warp room, a missing background in the “Under Pressure” area, a removed bonus stage in the medieval levels, a removed Lab assistant that was supposed to  

Crash Bandicoot 2 [PSX – Beta]

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Crash Bandicoot 2: Cortex Strikes Back is a platform game and the sequel to Crash Bandicoot. It was developed by Naughty Dog and published by Sony Computer Entertainment for the PlayStation video game console and released in 1997. [Info from Wikipedia]

In the beta screens and videos there are some interesting beta stuff that were removed or changed: 3 levels that are shown (one with snow, the space one and another one in the sewer) are not used in the final version, while the warp room was really different from the one that we played. Even the HUD was changed (similar to the one from the first game), there was a Jetpack enemy (removed), a couple of animations and the design of some of the levels (like in the Turtle Woods) were not like the final version. For more informations you can check the Crash Mania website, that has donate these images for the U64 Archive! Thanks a lot to HPZr :)

In the second video below, OKeijiDragon noticed some more differences:

From what can be made out, the video shows vast differences compared to the final. Most of the levels layouts shown don’t resemble anything we know, except maybe the Jet Pack levels. Details include Crash 1’s HUD, and Easy / Hard poll in the middle of a Road to Ruin-like level, suggesting alternate routes were planned for levels.

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Crash Bandicoot [PSX – Beta]

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Crash Bandicoot is a platform game published by Sony Computer Entertainment and developed by Naughty Dog for the PlayStation. Crash was released in North America in 1996, but the development started in August 1994 with the title character, Crash, being designed by Charles Zembillas and Joe Pearson. The development of this game took place entirely in Los Angeles, California, after the entire staff had moved there from Boston, Massachusetts. Crash Bandicoot was the main focus of the Naughty Dog team during its development, so much so that ideas for another game, Al O. Saurus and Dinestein, were thrown out. Sony officially became publisher of the game during March 1995. In April that year the game went Alpha and was officially unveiled to the public in May of 1996 at the Electronic Entertainment Expo, where it was well received. [Info from Wikipedia]

From these old screens we can see some changes in the development, like a different boss bar or different colors for the characters and the background. Crash usually only picks up the same type of fruit in the game (they’re called Wumpas, and look a bit like apples), but in those beta screenshots there are a lot of different fruits. There’s a pineapple, a strawberry and a green fruit which is hard to recognize. The Aku Aku mask in the pineapple screenshot is different too. It seems like a 2D sprite, actually. And Papu Papu (the large man with the club) has a yellow hair ornament, instead of a blue one. For more informations you can check the Crash Mania website, that has donated these images for the U64 Archive!

In June 2009, Psx-Collector shared with Crash Mania some screens and info from an early playable demo that he found. In this beta there’s no music or gems, the Brio boss fight is unbeatable, Tawna’s colour scheme is different, the “TNT Crates” are  “POW Crates”, there’s a different Cortex Power Entrance, a couple of removed robot enemies, an harder design of Sunset Vista and Different Crate Placement! Thanks a lot to HPZr :)

Also, an unused level was found hidden in the game’s code: as we can see from a video in GarlandTheGreat’s Youtube channel, that area is completely playable:

I must say this is the hardest and quite possibly the best Crash Bandicoot level ever. It’s a shame they left it out of the game, as it only would have made an already excellent game better. Yeah, it’s hard, but it’s not that hard to beat normally. After all, there are three checkpoints here, contrary to Slippery Climb, which only has one. Getting the gem, however, is a nightmare, and I needed close to 50 attempts.

There are three invisible tokens (probably Tawna) on this level, but the bonus stage it unlocks doesn’t exist, so getting all three will crash the game. You can see it in jbreckmckye’s video. So, in order to get the gem, you have to avoid getting one of these. Location of tokens: 0:27, 3:21 and 4:48. I didn’t get the first one.

Some more info on the Stormy Ascent unused level were shared to us by Luis: the ‘invisible’ icons is actually Cortex. Because when pressing triangle, the pixels shows in the bottom right corner like the Cortex icons. It shows that Stormy Ascent is supposed to be the home of the 2nd Cortex bonus round. These were moved to Jaws of Darkness, which is why these pixels are left behind.

Thanks to kieranmay for the contribution!

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Hardcore [Mega Drive / Gensis & Mega CD – Cancelled]

This little-known game appears as a ‘work-in-progress’ in the September 1994 issue of Sega Power, it was developed by DICE (originally for the Amiga) but it doesn’t have a decent description. According to the article, Hardcore was a typical run-and-gun platformer, similar to the Turrican series or Super Star Wars, with many different enemies to destroy. The press release for the game boasted that ‘you are able to shoot almost everything, even if it’s not necessary’. There was also a Mega-CD version to be released, which was to include a driving segment at the end of each level, similar to Batman Returns. Although planned for a November 1994 release, both versions of the game were seemingly cancelled.

Little else is said about the game in the article, which is a common trend for previews in Sega Power… They seem to have spent far more time writing the amusing captions, which you can see in the article scan.

It seems that the original Amiga version of Hardcore only got half-finished. Then they decided to do it on Megadrive instead; the MD cartridge version was 99% finished (just a bug or two in the game logic, and highscores aren’t saved) when Psygnosis decided not to publish it. The MD-CD version did not get very far in development.

Thanks a lot to Repi for the contribution! Thanks to DarkFalzX for the video!

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Thanks to Grzegorz here are some screenshots from when Hardcore was developed for Amiga by Digital Illusion:

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