platform

Feel (Ristar) [Beta – Genesis / MegaDrive]

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Ristar’s origins date back to the brainstorming sessions of Sonic the Hedgehog for the Genesis. A rabbit that could throw and grab objects was amongst the several ideas for Sonic. Sonic Team settled for a platforming game with an emphasis on speed for their blue hedgehog, but did not discard the rabbit idea from their minds.

The game was named Feel in older builds, and the character had a distinct appearance. The protagonist had shoes similar to Sonic’s, and, although still sporting an orb shape, had two horns that resembled rabbit ears. Oddly enough, an enemy in the final is a rabbit that attacks with its ears, and a valid cheat is “FEEL”. Four prototypes (in the beta phase) were leaked by the Hidden Palace site, but are close to completion.

A specific prototype is named Dexstar, proving that several title changes occurred after the Feel prototypes. The enigmatic “STAR” cheat, exclusive to the Japanese retail copy, makes the game ask about a player’s wish and displays a shooting star. It does not seemingly change the game and is likely an easter egg of sorts. When it is inputted in one prototype it proclaims that “Star Star Mode” has been enabled, but it changes nothing in the game. This means the “STAR” cheat’s effect was eliminated earlier in development (or replaced by another code) and is only referenced as an easter egg.

Some beta differences can be found at Ristar Cluster, take note that it also discusses the Game Gear version of the game when my analysis is focusing on the Genesis/Mega Drive one: http://ristar-cluster.info/php-pages/proto.htm

Localization alterations in both Genesis/Mega Drive games: http://ristar-cluster.info/php-pages/jpn-vs-usa.htm

Dexstar: http://www.x-cult.org/games/117/Ristar/634/Differences/

STAR cheat: http://www.x-cult.org/games/117/Ristar/631/Star_Mode/

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Socks the Cat Rocks the Hill [SNES/MD/G – Cancelled]

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Socks the Cat Rocks the Hill is an unreleased video game for the Super Nintendo Entertainment System and the Sega Genesis. It stars Socks, the pet cat of 42nd US President Bill Clinton and his family, in a platforming adventure in which he has to make his way past spies, crooked politicians and the media to warn the White House of a stolen nuclear missile. Scheduled for a release in the Fall of 1993, the game was complete and ready to be shipped to retailers, but was suddenly cancelled following the closing of publisher Kaneko’s US branch.

It has been speculated that its subliminal political themes may have also had a hand in its demise. The game’s bosses were made out to be caricatures of former Republican leaders such as Richard Nixon and George H. W. Bush. Also, Nintendo’s own censorship policies during the late 1980s and early 1990s condemned games that had “subliminal political messages” or “overt political statements”. As well, it is assumed that it is unlikely that Sega would had allowed such content into the game.

In a pre-release review of the game, Nintendo Power openly questioned the reason that such figures were in the game, and deemed the title as politically controversial. This, coupled with the fact that Kaneko’s US branch was closing down, prevented Socks the Cat Rocks the Hill from ever being shipped, and no known ROM has been found on the Internet. – [info from Wikipedia]

Thanks to MathUser and DDobson from www.gamingafter40.com for some of these scans!

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Super Mario Bros 3 [NES – Beta / Concept / Unused]

There were going to be two new enemies called Gold Cheep Cheep (a golden version of a Cheep-Cheep), and Green Parabeetles (green colored Parabeetles). The Gold Cheep Cheeps would come in groups and swim faster than regular Cheep-Cheeps and the Green Parabeetle is a green Parabeetle that flies faster than normal ones. The game coding reveals an item-sized Toad icon among some of the game’s suits; this is interpreted by several as a sort of “Toad Suit”, although it makes no changes to gameplay when granted to Mario. This is likely due to it being scrapped early and never given any purpose. Designers also considered a power-up to turn Mario into a Centaur (half-man, half-horse), although this was rejected (Tilden 1990, 21).

Koopa Troopas and and Hammer Bros. were going to host the mini-games. They were replaced by Toad. However, it could also be possible that they were all around at the same time, but all got scrapped except for one due to memory size. There were also different kinds of mini-games, similar to the ones in New Super Mario Bros..

Finally, fifteen extra levels exist within the coding of Super Mario Bros. 3. Some of these are strange and unique, while others bear much resemblance to levels in the final version and were very likely redone as those. Also, the back of the box of some copies of Super Mario Bros. 3 depicts Mario traversing a hilly grassland stage with tons of Parabeetles and two Note Blocks about. This particular stage is not any of the lost ones present on the cartridge, nor is it in the final game. It could even be a press mock-up from Nintendo. Reports say it might be in the Japanese version either hidden ingame or in code, but there is no proof of it’s existance on the American Version. The “special” boxes also feature a beta map of Grass Land. [Info from Mariowiki]

In december 2008, Linkin800 found some unused sprites in the game code and posted them in the Mushroom Kingdom Forum:

I found some unused Mario overworld sprites.

It seems like Nintendo was originaly going to have it so that mario could walk in all derictions instead of just facing the screen all the time.

some beta buildings I found. (palletes could be wrong): the first one looks like some kind of wooden toy block fortress thing, the second im not sure what it is and the last one looks like a factory to me, or it could be a beta fortress, the thing underneath the 3rd building is it crushed after you beat the level.

I also found something small but intresting. (palletes are also wrong) its the mario that appears in mini games, but there are 2 bodys found in the game, one is fatter then the other, the fat body is used in the game but the skinny one isn’t, I think originaly Nintendo was going to make a diffrent sprite for luigi but never did, not sure.

 

Thanks to Linkin800, Keith Sass, Inferno and Luiszena for some of these images!

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This Famimaga video shows the various differences of this early version to the final that the annotations go over. For one, none of the levels are recognizable (except perhaps one particular part), and the HUD is different.

 

Airball [NES – Unreleased]

Airball is a cancelled action game / puzzle that was in development by Novotrade and it would have been published by Tengen for the NES. As we can read at Lost Levels:

the game itself is a pseudo-3D isometric fetch-quest, along the lines of Knight Lore, Alien 8, Batman and the like (or, if you’re only console literate, Solstice on the NES). As the NES-exclusive opening cinema shows, an evil wizard has turned the player’s human character into a ball, and sets him on a journey around his castle to find a handful of items he’s misplaced.

The project was lost untill a prototype was found again in 2007: thanks to Retro Zone you can buy the reproduction of the prototype and play it on your NES console. (It works on authentic Nintendo Systems including NTSC, PAL A, PAL B, and Asian systems!)

Airball

Thanks a lot to NES World for these screenshots!

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