RPG

Gimmick Land [GBC – Unreleased]

After AlphaDream (the team behind the Mario & Luigi RPGs) developed and released their very first video game title, Koto Battle: Tengai no Moribito for the Nintendo Game Boy Color only in Japan, Nintendo wanted AlphaDream’s permission to develop an entirely new RPG with them, titled Gimmick Land. It was finished and almost ready to be released for the Game Boy Color in Japan, until Nintendo released the Game Boy Advance to make the Game Boy Color obsolete. After noticing that, AlphaDream decided to redevelop and rename Gimmick Land as Tomato Adventure for the Game Boy Advance. Only two screenshots of Gimmick Land were released to the public by the developers. [Info from Wikipedia]

Thanks to Celine for the contribution!

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Final Fantasy IV (4) [SNES – Beta & Unused Stuff]

As we can read in Wikipedia, Final Fantasy 4 was developed and published by Squaresoft in 1991 as a part of the Final Fantasy series. The game was originally released for the Super Famicom in Japan, but has been ported with minor changes to the Super Nintendo in USA, re-titled as “Final Fantasy II” due to it being the second of the series released there.

After completing Final Fantasy III for the Famicom (NES) in 1990, Square planned to develop two Final Fantasy games—one for the Nintendo Famicom and the other for the forthcoming Super Famicom (SNES), to be known as Final Fantasy IV and Final Fantasy V respectively.

Due to financial and scheduling constraints, Square dropped plans for the Famicom game and continued development of the Super Famicom version, retitled Final Fantasy IV. A mock-up screenshot of the cancelled Final Fantasy 4 for the Famicom / NES was produced for a Japanese magazine.

In the released Final Fantasy 4, fans of the saga found some unused stuff still hidden in the game. One of the characters you get at the beginning of the game, Kain, has an unused spell casting animation. In the Slick Productions Forums you can read a theory about where his magic spell list is and see Kain in game using the spell.

Yang, another character that you get and lose and get again, during the battle against him, has an attack text-script, and that includes a script for a character in your party, but it seems that the developers “Dummied” it out. The same script has Yang attack Kain, but at this point, you don’t HAVE Kain in your party, hinting at a possible different story event. Another unseen event was hinted at in the code with a character named “Anna”, she has battle animations and everything but they were never used. More info can be found in here.

Also, there’s a picture of the back of FFIV’s japanese case, shows something that doesn’t happen in the game itself anymore. And another beta picture was found in Nintendo power. As Deathlike2 explained in the GameFAQS forum:

It looks like DK Cecil, Kain, and Yang with Young Rydia and Rosa. None of that is normally possible.

1) Fire2/Fira cannot be learned by Young Rydia until she comes back as Older Rydia.

2) Kain leaves right after the Mist event.

3) That enemy formation does exist, but not in a castle environment (the battle @ Fabul never has such a formation).

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Mario & Luigi RPG 3 [DS – Beta & Unused Stuff]

Mario & Luigi: Bowser’s Inside Story, released in Japan as Mario & Luigi RPG 3, is a RPG released for the Nintendo DS in 2009. Unreachable normally, thanks to Waluigiuseppe and whoever made the moonjump code, we see some of the normally bowser-only enemies have some leftover attack patterns for the bros. as well. Quite strange and shows that some of these might’ve been programmed without the memo that the bros wouldn’t fight them:

  • (Naplock) The blocks are breakable with jump counter
  • Dark Fawfulbot) A weird 2-3 minute beam attack, dark fawfulbot head uses a beam attack that needs to be jumped.
  • (Choomba) Telegraphs with M and L smoke clouds and only charges, freezes after first turn it seems.

Also, some more differences can be seen in a video (@ 2:13) posted by GigaBowserNS on YouTube:

  • Yoshi Story noises present in the rom (and working when there are no yoshis in M&L3)
  • M&L2 music (glitchy) in the final still
  • Bowser dialogue change during the start of the game
  • No icons for mushroom village inside bowser and the globin icon from the area right of it are missing
  • Some map cosmetic changes in mushroom kingdom

Neo told us about an unused “Life Shroom”: a Beta Texture of a shroom with a heart can be find hidden in the game’s code!

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Aliens RPG: Crucible [Cancelled – Xbox 360 / PS3]

Aliens: Crucible (also know as Project Connecticut) is an RPG based on the Aliens films franchise that was in development by Obsidian Entertainment for the Playstation 3 and Xbox 360. The game was going to be published by SEGA, but after some economic problems, it seems that they decided to cancel all their Aliens games. Probably Aliens: Crucible gameplay could have been similar to KOTOR II and NeverWinter Nights 2, two other RPGs developed by Obsidian.

Thanks to Dominus Elf for the contribution!

Here are some more info about Aliens Crucible by a former developer, that were shared in the RPG Codex Forum:

I’ve talked about this game before…

There is a lot of could-ofs, should-ofs, and all that.

The problem with making successful horror games with the Aliens franchise is that the Aliens have been revealed… a lot. There is no mystery with them anymore. After 4 movies, countless comics and novels, countless video games – where the Alien and Alien variants have been killed multiple times, you have to tread new ground if you want to do something original. The horror with the Aliens no longer lies in the unknown, so we were going for the environment.

For example, the second or third time you watch Alien, it is no longer scary. My second playthrough of Amnesia was easy and scare-free.

NOT COUNTING JUMP SCARES! Jump scares are not true horror, though they can be used to effectively alter the tension temporarily.

Josh did have some ideas though on how to add horror and tension, and we had several scenarios into the game. Most of us were or had played SS2, Amnesia, and Call of Cthulu, but horror was not the goal of the game, survival was.

This was a game of limited resources and perma-death. If a party member got face-hugged, your choices were to mercy kill them, put them in a sleeper and wake them sparingly if you need them, or let them pop – but the bottom line was that once they got impregnated they had an expiration date.

As for the Alien variations, there are things that are simply expected by publishers and the fan base. The xenomporph variations also have a history in the aliens universe anyway. The first thing Josh and the concept artists did was to create the lifeforms the xenos would impregnate first. We also used some insect themes for the various xeno roles, from drones and scouts, to soldiers and queens. As covered in countless comics, novels, and films, the xenos take traits from their host, the idea being it would better enable them to survive in a dangerous habitat. One of the big mysteries Josh and the writers were exploring was what the caldera and how were the engineers (space
jockeys) doing with the xenos.

The goal was not to kill all the bugs, but to simply escape from the caldera where you were trapped. Don’t get me wrong, there was still a lot of killing of both xenos and humans in the game. Combat was real time – but we had a companion wheel to context system so that you could issue commands to your squadmates. For example, you could highlight a door with your reticule, and then based on what your squard could do, it would show you your options, like weld door, open door, or if you had a bomb, plant bomb on door.

As far as tech goes, we were using an earlier version of Onyx – which would later be used to create DS3. Our tech was stable, but we had pipeline issues to resolve but by milestone 25 or so were in pretty good shape.

Anyway, it is what it is at this point.

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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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