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Super Mario 64
The game's producer and director Shigeru Miyamoto was asked if he had any references, or anything else he relied on when making all of Mario’s various animations. He responded:

"We tried out a lot of different things using motion capture, but ultimately we ended up doing it all by hand. We created a “skeleton” for Mario that was the basis of his movement."
Contributed by ProtoSnake
Series: Pokémon
Lugia was initially created as a plot device for, and only meant to be seen in, the Second Pokemon movie, The Power of One (aka Pokémon the Movie 2000). In fact, his designer, Pokemon Anime writer Takeshi Shudo said he was surprised to see Lugia in the games at all. Game Freak seemed to love the creature so much they not only made him canon, but also made him the mascot of Pokémon Silver.
Contributed by PirateGoofy
Punch-Out!!
The original arcade release of Punch-Out!! used two screens at once because Nintendo bought too many arcade monitors after Donkey Kong became a success and with its sales declining, they needed to develop an arcade game to help them get rid of the surplus monitors.
Contributed by raidramon0
Crash Bandicoot: The Wrath of Cortex
There are three unused levels still present within the game; an Airship Level, an unfinished version of Fahrenheit Frenzy, and a Warp Room that was presented at E3 2001. Out of the three, the Airship level is the most finished.

The E3 Warp Room is an area containing 5 warp pads, all of which have no collision and will not warp the player anywhere. Interestingly, each warp pad has a hologram of their respective levels overlaid on the pads. This feature isn’t used anywhere in the final game.

The Airship level and the E3 Warp Room can be accessed through Action Replay codes on the North American GameCube versions.
Contributed by ShyanVixen
In the PC version, there are several unused animations stored in the game’s files. These include animations carried over from Generations for Classic Sonic, a goal post animation from Generations, a “seek” motion for The Egg Pawns, a damage animation for Silver, early boss fight animations for Metal Sonic, and hand motions for The Golems from Capital City.
Contributed by ShyanVixen
Tekken 3
Jun was planned to be added into the arcade version of the game, but was later cut some time during development. Her data still exists within the game’s code and can be accessed using MAME cheat files. When added back in, she uses Nina’s character model and Jin’s moveset. Her voice and portrait does exist, but there are assets taken from Tekken 2.
Contributed by ShyanVixen
Sonic CD
Game's landscape designer Masato Nishimura stated on Twitter, that Wacky Workbench was originally called 'Crazy Toy Box'. The reason for this change was unknown.
Contributed by ProtoSnake
Metal Gear Solid V: Ground Zeroes
In international versions, there's a cutscene of removing the bomb from inside of Paz's stomach at the end of the main mission. The Japanese version however adjusts the camera angle so that no blood and gore is shown on screen.
Contributed by ProtoSnake
Sonic CD
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Originally, the Special Stages were going to have Sonic navigate a rotating maze, building upon the framework of Sonic 1's Special Stage. Although similar, Sonic CD's Special Stage was planned to have two rotating layers that the player switched between.

According to BEEP and Marukatsu MegaDrive magazine interviews, with game's planner Hiroaki Chino, the developers thought the Special Stage was very slow, so they decided to redo it to make better use of the Sega CD hardware.
Contributed by ProtoSnake
Resident Evil 2
The PlayStation release was originally intended to be just a single CD game, however a last minute oversight with the size of the game's audio caused it to be shipped as a two-disc game. Though it could've been possible to reprogram the audio algorithms so it could all fit into a single 700 MB disc, as development was already behind schedule it was too late to do this, meaning higher manufacturing and shipping costs on an already tight budget.

The game's director, Hideki Kamiya, has attributed the decision and error to his youth and recklessness at that point in his career.
Contributed by KnowledgeBase
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In June of 2020, the game's creative director, Ashraf Ismail, had to step down during development due to accusations that he'd been having extramarital affairs with younger fans of the series.

Ismail made a statement on Twitter saying "I am stepping down from my beloved project to properly deal with the personal issues in my life, [...] The lives of my family and my own are shattered. I am deeply sorry to everyone hurt in this."
Contributed by KnowledgeBase
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The game's cover artwork originally featured the American flag and green gaseous fumes, and on the back the words "WANTED: Deadly Force Authorized", "deadly arsenal" and "terrorists". However, due to the then recent 9/11 terrorist attacks and the anthrax scare, the game had been recalled with these removed and the back text changed to make it more politically correct. This pushed back the game from its original September 25th, 2001 release to early November 2001. Some copies with the original box art had already shipped, making that version a collector's item and dubbed the "9/11 American Flag Cover". It also came in a dual case, despite the game only having a single disc.
Contributed by KnowledgeBase
Looking for inspiration, Mark Webley, the game's designer, and Gary Carr, the lead artist, spent various hours walking around The Royal Surrey County Hospital in Guildford for ideas, but had no luck. They wrote to the hospital asking for a formal tour, but the hospital wanted a percentage of the game's profits, which they declined as they weren't sure how much the game would make.

The hospital Frimley Park, however, were open to offering them a tour and even allowed them to witness an operation, but the two were kicked out by the surgeon after they had been too noisy. They were even offered after a visit to the morgue, but declined as they already had the ideas they needed.
Contributed by KnowledgeBase
The inspiration for the series derived from Fatal Fury for its fast gameplay and sexual appeal, and Mortal Kombat for its ability to knock opponents off multi-level landscapes.
Contributed by DrakeVagabond
Series: Star Wars
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A finished version of the canceled Star Wars Battlefront 3 developed by Free Radical was to be released onto Steam by developer Frontwire Studios and renamed to Galaxy in Turmoil. The game would've been free to download with publisher Valve agreeing to let it onto the service, however in June of 2016 Lucasfilm sent Frontwire a letter telling to halt production.

Frontwire's president, Tony Romanelli, had met with Lucasfilm who told him that although they would've been open to negotiating a license with them, they wouldn't be able to due to the current license with EA and it would be "taking away attention from their Battlefront franchise." Romanelli suggested putting it behind EA's "paywall" and tried directly contacting the company, but was to no avail.
Contributed by KnowledgeBase
Shining Force
In an 'Shining Force Encyclopedia' interview with game's Producer/Designer Hiroyuki Takahashi, he was asked how his team came up with the Japanese title "Shining Force: The Legacy of the Gods". Takahashi stated: "We had a few different candidates for titles. The one we chose was suggested by the scenario writer. Originally, the title was simply 'Kamigami no Isan' ('Legacy of the Gods'). I’m something of a sci-fi diehard, and I read a bunch of sci-fi novels that had similar-sounding titles, like “the ___ of the ___”, so that’s why we settled on this one."
Contributed by ProtoSnake
Series: Fatal Fury
According to the SNK team in an Neo Geo Freak Magazine interview, 'Hon Fu' was originally going to be a legendary karate master, but the team wanted him to use nunchuks, so they decided to use Chinese martial arts (Kung-Fu) for him instead.
Contributed by ProtoSnake
Fatal Fury 3: Road to the Final Victory
In a Neo Geo Freak Magazine interview, the SNK team originally wanted to replace 'Mai Shiranui' with a new female character named 'Alice Chrysler', but they gave in to fan demands and brought back Mai.
Contributed by ProtoSnake
Secret of Mana
According to game's director and chief designer Koichi Ishii in an Hippon Super magazines interview, his team wanted to add traps in the chests to trick the players so they thought twice before opening them. This idea came from Wizardry series.
Contributed by ProtoSnake
Series: Wario
In an interview, the game's director and designer Hiroji Kiyotake was asked what the idea behind Wario's creation was. He responded: "We imagined Wario as the Bluto to Mario’s Popeye. The truth is, we kind of came up with the idea of the name first, and everything else came after. Since he was a “warui” (bad) guy, he should be Wario. And we had the idea to flip the M upside down. To our surprise, the idea was a big hit with everyone on the team."
Contributed by ProtoSnake
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