Killer Instinct [Beta – SNES Arcade]

Killer Instinct is a fighting game developed by RareWare and published by Midway and Nintendo. Initially released in arcades in 1994 it was later ported to the Super Nintendo. In the gallery below you can notice some early character designs for B.Orchid and Glacius. As they wrote at the Killer Instinct Arena, the earliest version of Black Orchid was a blonde amazon, but a later version of her featured a black outfit. In the final game Orchid wears a green and yellow dress.

Also, thanks to Lucazz we found out that a beta Killer Instinct ROM was somehow leaked online, and it contains many differences from the final version:

  • the orchid stage and the cinder stage have the same beta floor
  • glacius and jago have an unused song
  • the gangsta theme is in glacius’ stage
  • the fulgore theme is in cinder’s stage
  • the menu screen is in a different position
  • the orchid stage doesn’t have the rare and nintendo logos in the screens and the stage side is moved to the right
  • the raptor sprites are corrupted
  • the eyedol bridge stage is in the cinder’s stage, similar of the arcade
  • in the continue screen the song is the same as the menu screen

Thanks to Robert Seddon and Lucazz for the contributions!

In a promotional video of Killer Instinct, embedded below, we can see an early version of the coin-op with some differences:

  • Beta character selection screen
  • Cinder’s name was Meltdown and Sabrewolf’s Werewolf.
  • Some of the combo types were removed or changed, like Mondo combo and Elite combo
  • The voice that announces the stage name is different
  • Some stages were slightly different, like the Tower arena and the Sabrewulf livel



Conker: Live And Reloaded [XBOX – Beta]

Conker: Live and Reloaded is a remake of Nintendo 64 game Conkers Bad Fur Day. When the game was 1st announced it was called Conker: Live and Uncut, and was intended to be completely uncut and remove all the censoring of the first game, its name was later changed to Conker: Live and Reloaded and had even more censoring than the original game. Throughout the games development there were many cuts and changes to the multiplayer mode.

While it was a remake, the single player game went through a number of changes mostly involving different textures or models, especially for Buga The Knut and his girl. Her lips are larger in the older picture, and her bra is leopardskin rather than a standard brownish color in the final version. Also her nipples are showing in the beta version (not only that, but Buga has chest hair in the beta shot). Conker-bat was black in the beta, as in the N64 game, but in the final version it’s orange.

Thanks a lot to Airfoemoe, Supermoe1998 and Karrunaniara for the contributions!




Kameo [XBOX – Cancelled]


Kameo was originally slated for the Nintendo Gamecube and was set to be one of Rare’s flagship titles for the system, along with Star Fox Adventures and Donkey Kong Racing. However, when Microsoft announced its purchase of Rare in late 2002, Kameo’s future was put in question. It was decided that work would continue on the Xbox, and a planned release date of 2003 was given. After several revamps, causing repeated delays, Kameo was put on indefinite hold in late 2004. Following this, rumours began that the game was once again undergoing a platform change, this time from the Xbox to the Xbox 360, where it was finally released as a launch title. – [info from Wikipedia]

[Thanks to Matt Gander for some of these images!]



Concept Art




Perfect Dark Zero [XBOX – Cancelled]

Perfect Dark Zero started out as a prequel to Rare’s highly successful Nintendo 64 FPS title “Perfect Dark”. Originally planned for a release on GameCube, Perfect Dark Zero became a Xbox game as Microsoft acquired both Rare and the Perfect Dark franchise. Perfect Dark Zero first appeared on an E3 2001 list for the Nintendo GameCube lineup. However, it was not until Microsoft’s X02, where they announced the acquisition of Rare Ltd,  that Perfect Dark Zero appeared again. While it was said to be released until late 2004 at latest, nothing but a few artworks of a cel-shaded Joanna Dark were shown, which saw heavy criticism from fans of the N64 classic. This criticism as well as internal issues led to the game being started again. While the game got a more realistic art style, several key people who had also worked on Perfect Dark left the studio including PDZ’s original lead programmer Brian Marshall, Jamie Williams and B Jones. Thus the title saw several delays. In late 2004, it was decided to release Perfect Dark Zero to Xbox 360, on which it was released as a launch title  in 2005.

Mai-hem, a Chinese super villain with a comedy name. With her long pig tails weighted down at the end the idea was that she would use them as a fighting weapon even though she looked unarmed. In the final version Mai-Hem was still a villain, but looks vastly different and she no longer uses her hair as a weapon.

Images & concepts from the Xbox version:



Wrestlerage [SNES – Unreleased]

Before Battletoads, there was Wrestlerage; on the SNES, at least. This 1991 side-viewed grapple-fest aimed to capitalise on the success of the two NES wrestling titles previously produced by Rare, but also to break away from the restrictive ring-based play of the licensed games by taking the action out into the streets / parks / fairgrounds / building sites / anywhere else with a bit of free space.

Starring a cast of eight fictitious brawlers ranging from Mr. Mangler through to the Silver Bullet, Wrestlerage was set to transpose the best elements of the popular wrestling game onto a Double Dragon-style scrolling urban background, each of the fighting arenas around three screens in length. The traditional attacks of such games (both unarmed and weapons-based) would be joined by dropkicks, pins, grapples and unique attacks such as carrying your opponents bodily around the screen and even, if the mood took you, bouncing their heads off various pieces of background scenery. A mode of play was even planned where all the contenders jumped into one big on-screen free-for-all rather than slugging it out head-to-head.

But these ambitions were to remain unrealised when, at around 60% complete, the lack of a licence or an already successful version which the marketers could use as a core selling point finally sealed Wrestlerage’s fate. In a tricky period for the console market, with punters becoming more cautious than ever about how their money was spent, the sad fact was that none of the potential distributors were willing to take on board the risk of an original game. And so the way was left clear for the Battletoads conversions instead to become RARE’s first SNES outings… [Source: rareware.com]