RPG

Kingdom Hearts [PS2 – Beta]

Kingdom Hearts is an action RPG developed and published by Square in 2002 for the PlayStation 2. The idea for Kingdom Hearts came about when producer Shinji Hashimoto met with a Disney executive in an elevator;  Square and Disney had previously worked in the same building in Japan. The game began development in February 2000 and originally the beta focused more on the gameplay with a simple story to appeal to Disney’s target age range.

After executive producer Hironobu Sakaguchi told director Tetsuya Nomura the game would be a failure if it did not aim for the same level as the Final Fantasy series, Nomura began to develop the story further. Some content that did not make it into Kingdom Hearts was later added into Kingdom Hearts II.

The “Pride Land” from The Lion King, for instance, was infeasible because an additional program was required to process movement on four legs—a necessity since Sora would become a lion in that world. Due to time constraints, the developers left out an optional boss battle, similar to the Sephiroth battle, against Tifa Lockhart. She was later included in Kingdom Hearts II as a more developed character. [Info from Wikipedia]

In a beta trailer from 2001 you can see many differences between the beta build and the final build. Such as Sora roaming around Disney Castle. In the final build, you do not go to Disney Castle, but there is an image of it on the world map, but it is never selectable.

More differences, as spotted by YT users:

  • The logo’s different
  • Goofy’s cloth is different
  • Sora’s beta hair color
  • removed scene with Riku on the Clock Tower

In an interview with Nomura, we can read that:

“Actually,” he continues, “the first weapon I showed Disney was a chainsaw. It was this chainsaw-like weapon that I had a rough sketch of when I first showed my concepts to Disney. Everyone got this scrunched-up look on their face and nobody said a word in the entire room. Dead silence. And I thought ‘No, I guess this wouldn’t work, huh?'”

Shadowdorothy also noticed:

  • In the beta Riku didn’t have his black gloves he does in the final release
  • Kairi’s skirt is longer in the official release.
  • The opening monologue by Sora went through a major change, as in the commercial it appears that Sora is having a conversation with someone.
  • The magic system was changed dramatically, as the magic system sub-menu originally opened on top of the action menu.
  • The door was also removed, and by “the door” I mean that strange door on Destiny Island that you can’t see until Sora has a flash back that involves Riku and him being kids.
  • It also appears that Sora, not Kairi, was the one that needed saving, as per some dailouge seen at the end of the com.

Some more info on the beta can be found on X-Cult!

Thanks a lot to Brad and Shadowdorothy for the contributions!

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Lone Wolf: Flight From The Dark [PS3/X360/PC – Cancelled]

Lone Wollf is a cancelled First Person RPG in the vein of TES: Oblivion, that was in development by Ksatria Gameworks, a studio from Singapore. The project was meant to be published for the Playstation 3, Xbox 360 and PC, but sadly the studio closed down after the investor failed to secure additional funding.

Lone Wolf was based on the series of adventure books with the same name, created by Joe Dever and initially illustrated (books 1-8) by Gary Chalk. The series began publishing in July 1984 and of the most popular game books ever published, selling more than 10 million copies worldwide. The story focuses on the fictional world of Magnamund, where the forces of good and evil fight for control of this planet in a final showdown. The protagonist is Lone Wolf, last of his caste of warrior monks known as Kai lords.

As we can read from the official Ksatria website, in the game:

The player assumes the part of a young cadet who returns to find the the Kai Lords have all been massacred at the Kai monastery by a surprise attack during the feastday of Fehmarn, by the Darklords. You then assume the identity of LoneWolf and set out to the capital to inform the King of the loss of the Kai. This is the start of the adventure, a classic tale of good versus evil.

Even if Lone Wolf is canned, the kjAPI 3D engine  

Chrono Cross: the unseen interview

chronocrossinterv

GlitterBerri has finished translating the Chrono Cross Ultimania interview in which we can read various information about some plans they had during development that they never used in the final game! You can read the full interview on BerriBlue or in the Chrono Compendium.

Around the time we began development we had plans to do a short game where we were thinking you’d be able to recruit lots of allies and enjoy the variations in the messages and events. To top it off, we’d planned to have it so that you could befriend anyone in town. Using both the battle and the talk button, you’d gradually increase your number of allies. But we limited it at the extent you’d expect, first at 64 characters and then in the end it was decreased to 45.

Actually, we’d gone as far as talking about giving each character an ending. Each ending would fork into 3, depending on the conditions, resulting in 120 in all! … When talk turned to who was going to make all of these, the idea soon died out.

There were several events that weren’t disarded, but just couldn’t be put in due to time constraints. We wanted to have events for all the allies. We had a variety of thoughts concerning Zoah, for example.