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Project BG&E (Beyond Good & Evil) [Beta]

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Beyond Good & Evil is an action-adventure for the GameCube, PlayStation 2 and Xbox, designed by Michel Ancel, developed by Ubisoft and released in late 2003.  In early development the game was referred to as “Project BG&E” and only later the complete title was revealed to the press. In these beta screens and video, we can see some major differences in the character design of the main protagonist (Jade) and in some screens there are even a couple of enemies and rooms that seem to have been removed from the final game.

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Thornado [GameCube – Cancelled]

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Announced shortly after the release of the Nintendo 64, with the more familiar name of “Turrican 64“, Thornado was meant to be the first 3D game in the Turrican series, but with a different name because of some copyright problems. From the first N64 concept, which development was confirmed several times by Factor 5 in different interviews, there are not many informations, apart from the rumor that it was  going to be even more inspired by the exploration-structure of Metroid. Like several other N64 titles, Thornado 64 was soon cancelled and its development  started again for the new Nintendo console, at the time still known as the”Project  Dolphin“.

At the Space World 2000 Thornado was finally presented in a real time demo-video at closed doors for few gaming journalists. In that video, the hero of the game was trying to escape from an explosion, running on a huge bridge while the cars and the street itself were flying in the air. Unfortunately this video was never released and neither has any screenshots from the game: only some concept arts were saved to preserve the existence of this cancelled project.

Few details on the game are available: as announced for the 64-bit version, Thornado should have been inspired by Metroid, combining  a third person shooter action with exploration, two playable characters (a man and a woman), the return of  the “hookshoot” and futuristic setting from the classic Turrican. As noted by Ross Sillifant, Thornado WAS planned to be a GameCube LAUNCH title after N64 version was cancelled, see ‘whatever happened to Turrican?’ Arcade Mags Timewarp July 1998 feature.

Is still unknown why Thornado was never released, but maybe the various Star Wars projects that Factor 5 developed for the GameCube were one of the reasons. F5 were too busy to work on those profitable Star Wars games, to think about finishing Thornado.

An interesting note: in a level of Star Wars: Rogue Squadron 3 (Defenders of Ralltiir) for the GameCube, Factor 5 have added a small tribute to Thornado. Infact the great bridge in this mission is the same bridge that was modeled for the Thornado Tech Demo! Below  you can see some screenshots of the Ralltiir bridge, so we can have a vague idea about the Space World 2000 Thornado video.

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Luigi’s Mansion [GC – Beta / Tech Demo / Unused Stuff]

In its beta E3 2001 version, Luigi’s Mansion featured different ghosts than the final version. The 3 main ghosts (Orange, Pink, and Blue) were very different looking than their present day forms. The Orange ghost used to be a pink colored ghost featuring smaller eyes and mouth. The tall and thin pink ghost was once an orange lanky ghost with a huge nose. The blue ghost was originally a purplish colored ghost with smaller eyes and mouth. There was also another ghost that was scrapped from the final. It was colored dark purple, had a similar look to the pink beta ghost, and was only found in the hallways of the Mansion. Of what the ghost did was come up behind Luigi and scream; causing Luigi to yell in fear and fall to the ground. This would cause 50 HP to be drained from Luigi’s health and temporarily shrink his total HP to 50 as well. If the ghost still exists, it would have the same behavior as a ReDead.

In very early screenshots (all being the E3 version), there were shots of a timer in the Game Boy Horror, possibly hinting that the game was either going to have a challenge mode or a time limit, but was scrapped in the final version. It is said that if Luigi did not save Mario within the 24 hours he had, the mansion, along with mario, would vanish. In other builds, the Gameboy Horror also feature a Gameboy Camera-like effect, so it showed everything it could “see”. It is suspected that the Gameboy Horror had at first the time keeping function, and then the Gameboy Camera-like mode, and the onto a different version of the final’s GBH. The near final build had more of a cartoony icon set, while the final build has the more realistic icon set.

The Poltergust 3000 once featured a “heat meter”, showing of how hot it would get from sucking objects and ghosts up. Its gauge went from a level of 1 to 10. Once it got to 10, the Poltergust 3000 would burst into flames, and cause Luigi to collapse onto the floor, also having Luigi lose some of his HP. On the side note, the Poltergust 3000 was more squarish compared to the final’s version.

Other differences include slight changes in room designs, a beta coin meter, and many other objects. – [info from Wikipedia]

The ending screen would probably unlock to your file a “congratulations” image, or probably just an image for the ending, such as a picture in the wall. Three unused different looking sprites were found by Gabrielwoj, as can see below:

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“luigi_b.bti_color/alpha”, probably with Bad ending, with low money. (B = Bad)
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“luigi_g.bti_color/alpha”, probably with medium ending, with a good quantity of money. (G = Great)
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“luigi_V.bti_color/alpha”, probably with perfect ending, with all the money caught. (V = Victory)

Thanks to SteamingBulletMatthew Burke and Gabrielwoj for the contribution!

Miyamoto recently spoked about the Nintendo 3DS system, and said that the Nintendo Gamecube was capable of playin stereoscopic 3D video. He said too that they made a compatible version from Luigi’s mansion that with an accessory is able to display in special LCD TVs the game in 3D.

According to a issue in nintendo power,there was going to be a hidden boss ghost that was a generic austrailian hunter guy,and had dialogue that was on the lines of saying he wanted to Kill you and mount your head on the wall. He shot his rifle at you as you ran around the Safari Room.

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Earthworm Jim [PSP – Cancelled]

A new Earthworm Jim game was in development for the PSP, but sadly the project was soon cancelled. As we can read on Wikipedia in 2006 Atari announced that they had the rights to bring Earthworm Jim to a portable video game system, with many new elements to be introduced, such as the ability to stop gameplay at any time and dance. On 18 June 2007, PSPFanboy stated on their website that they had contacted Atari and that it had been said that the game had been put on hold, probably due to Atari’s financial difficulties and the sale of the games developer Shiny Entertainment.

From Gamezone there are some more info on the development problem with the Earthworm Jim license:

You see, David Perry, one of the original founders of Shiny Entertainment, was ready to get everything off the ground and revive the lovable worm, but there’s one underlying problem that caused it to reach its inevitable cancellation: royalties.

Earthworm Jim was originally published by Interplay, the often money-troubled company that sold off the entire Fallout franchise to Bethesda Softworks to help combat their debt problems. Back in 2006 though, before the sale of the entire Fallout intellectual property, it was reported that they needed $75 million to complete their Fallout MMO project and just by chance, this Earthworm Jim project was set to start around the same time frame.

So as luck would have it, Interplay was in dire need of money and had no way of paying off owed royalties from years past to Shiny Entertainment that included the television show, toys and much more that sent the worm into the stratosphere of superstardom.

Thus, Interplay, Atari and Shiny Entertainment went to bat and struck out.

Thanks to Gabrielwoj for the contribution!

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A Boy and His Blob [DS – Unreleased]

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A Boy and His Blob: Trouble on Blobolonia is a video game developed in 1989 for the Nintendo Entertainment System by David Crane. The game is a side-scrolling platformer in which the character and his friend Blob (full name Blobert) travel together on earth and on Blobert’s home planet Blobolonia in a quest to defeat the evil emperor. Blobert can change into several different items when he is fed jelly beans. A licorice jelly bean, for instance, will change Blobert into a ladder, while a honey jelly bean will turn him into a hummingbird. Most of these transformations can be remembered mnemonically due to a correlation between the flavor of the jelly bean and the item that results.

Fifteen years after the original NES game was released, Majesco announced another installment to the series which was developed by Skyworks Technologies. The game was to take place 6 years after the events ofthe first game. Despite being completed and scheduled for a release in autumn 2005, the title remained unreleased due to financial issues Majesco had. The game was set to feature 15 differently colored jellybeans and 15 levels. The touchscreen feature of the DS would have featured a map and helped manage jellybean inventory. [Some infos from Wikipedia]

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