Racing

F-Zero X [N64 – Beta]

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It seems that the few beta images of F-zero that we have aren’t that different from the final screenshots. But,after all, what could have changed in a game where the only graphical elements are virtually the spaceships and the track ? The hub, obviuously. The power bar was red, the map, the laps and the ranking data were still missing, the speed indicator was different, and there were some mysterious numbers in the down left side of screen.

Thanks to WarioNX for the contribution!

Beta Version:

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Final Version:

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The beta movie was taken from the video seen at Nintendo SpaceWorld ’97. You can see a later beta version of F-Zero X.
It didn’t change soo much : the only things that are different from the final version are:

  • Some textures
  • Some tracks
  • The explosion of a ship
  • The hud (in the top shows like “30th” and not “30/30”)
  • The health bar

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Super Mario Kart R [N64 – Beta]

On the 24 November 1995, Nintendo finally presented the final version of the Ultra 64, (renamed “Nintendo 64” because of copyright problem) at the Shoshinkai Software Exhibition. Among the thirty titles shown in playable form or in video (including Star Fox and Wave Race) one of the most interesting was Super Mario Kart R, an early beta version of our favorite kart-game.

Compared to other games that were shown at the Shoshinkai that year, it could be said that Mario Kart R was almost complete, since there appears to be no particular changes in the track design, but the differences for the playable characters are interesting. You can notice that Kami Koopa (Magic Koopa) was a playable character in the game instead of Donkey Kong and the “Character Select” screen had different avatars. Also, the multiplayer split screen could have been set to horizontally or vertically, but this option was removed in the final version (but implemented in Double Dash). The “Item Boxes” were different too and various other little graphic details (like the HUD) were changed before the game was published,

Also, the Feather item from the original Super Mario Kart, was meant to be used in Mario Kart 64 too, as you can see from one of the screenshots in the gallery below (in the image with the 4 player mode, Toad has it in his item HUD). The Feather would have let the player to jump very high, to reach new shortcuts or to avoid obstacles.

Thanks to Princess Toadstool for the contribution!

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Mini Racers [N64 – Cancelled]

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Mini Racers is a cancelled 96Mbit multiplayer racing game that was in development by Looking Glass Studios for the Nintendo 64. The project was announced in 1998, but unfortunately it was delayed many times and in the end in was never released. Mini Racers was going to have a strong multiplayer mode, similar to Micromachines or RC PRO-AM, for up to four players, and it could have been an interesting addition to the already rich list of arcade racing games for the N64.

Mini Racers had several game modes in single and multiplayer, including a track editor to create your own course, and a random track generator. The radio-controlled cars could be given a turbo boost with a press of the Z button. N64 Magazine played an early version are voiced their frustration at the poor camera, though when they next played it at Spaceworld 1999 they noted the angle and viewing distance were now configurable and could even be played in a top-down view. Most likely the game was cancelled because it was shown in the final days of the Nintendo 64, when the new 128-bit consoles were almost out.

A playable beta / almost finished ROM version of Mini Racers was leaked online in April 2012 , thanks to olivieryuyu

Thanks to Gilgalegrouik for some of these images!

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1080° Snowboarding [N64 – Beta]

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1080° Snowboarding is a snowboard racing game developed and published by Nintendo for the Nintendo 64 in 1998. 1080°’s release was announced on November 21, 1997 at Nintendo’s SpaceWorld trade show;  the game’s working title was then Vertical Edge Snowboarding. 1080° was programmed by Englishmen Giles Goddard and Colin Reed, developed and published by Nintendo, and produced by Shigeru Miyamoto. Goddard and Reed had previously programmed Wave Race 64. [Info from Wikipedia]

In these early screens we can notice that the HUD was changed and that the character models where still not finished. I’m not sure, but it could also be possible that those maps on the right of the screen could be slightly different from the final track-design.

Beta Version:

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Final Version:

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Video
 

Kirby Air Ride [N64 – Unreleased]

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Kirby Air Ride (known as Kirby’s Air Ride at the time) was originally in development during the early days of the Nintendo 64. It went through many changes during its elongated development period (it looked like a snowboard game for some time and rumors say that this proto could have somehow evolved into 1080°) before eventually being canceled and then resurfacing on the GameCube in the form of a short video preview in March 2003 at the annual DICE summit in Las Vegas. We’ll never know how the various N64 versions could have been played, but the GameCube version is probably similar to the latest concept that Nintendo created for the N64.

italian_flag.jpg [spoiler /Clicca qui per la versione in Italiano/ /Nascondi la versione in Italiano/]Lui è kirby, è una cosa rotonda e rosa, vola e mangia i nemici, è il protagonista di platform, picchiaduro, flipper e probabilmente altro ancora, ed allora perchè non farlo diventare una star delle corse? è questo probabilmente quello che i ragazzi della HAL hanno pensato mentre ideavano questo Kirby Air Ride. Probabilmente, cosi come l’idea era arrivata, è stata cancellata per N64, per poi venire riesumata su GameCube. Voci dicono che le basi del gioco furono in seguito riprese per costruire 1080° Snowboarding.[/spoiler]

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