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Super Mario World 2: Yoshi's Island
Attachment Early designs of the Toadies in the ys_romX_0 prototype of the game show that they originally resembled Snifits.
Contributed by CuriousUserX90 on December 2, 2023
Kingdom Hearts III
Attachment In 2013, a Kingdom Hearts online mobile game was in development that never saw the light of day. It was to be called "Kingdom Hearts: Fragmented Keys". The game was rumored to feature customizable avatar characters (like Union Cross). It would also have been in 3D instead of Union cross' 2D art style. Most interesting and exciting of all though (gathered from concept art no less) was the Disney world list as the game would feature returning worlds like: Agrabah, Wonderland, a Lilo & Stitch Hawaii world, Space Paranoids/The Grid, London/Neverland, and Dwarf Woodlands. It also included worlds that didn't appear in the series yet but would appear in later games like Union Cross and Kingdom Hearts III, such as: Arendell (Frozen), Kingdom of Corona (Tangled), and Niceland/Game Central Station (Wreck-It Ralph). Finally, and most shockingly, a world based on the Star Wars franchise, although this world's chronology is unknown as concept art show different conflicting eras, such as an image of characters Anakin, Obi-wan, Padme, and Master Yoda in their exact looks from Star Wars: The Clone Wars movie and series in a separatist gunship's hanger as well as a planet that looks similar to Tatooine and an anachronistic Death Star power station room. It is unknown why this game was cancelled.
Also Appears On: Kingdom Hearts Union χ[Cross] (Game), Kingdom Hearts (Franchise)
Contributed by PirateGoofy on November 28, 2023
The Atari 2600 version of Klax - also the final official release of the Atari 2600's lifespan, releasing in 1990 - was planned for release in the US, as proven by the existence of at least 9 NTSC prototypes using the final ROM, but only came out in PAL regions, likely due to the 2600's waning popularity going into the 1990s.
Twisted Metal: Small Brawl
Attachment A prototype for Twisted Metal: Small Brawl has an unused 9/11 memorial screen.
Disney's Lilo & Stitch 2: Hämsterviel Havoc
Attachment There exists an extremely early test prototype of Disney's Lilo & Stitch 2: Hänsterviel Havoc that is simply just a compilation of a platforming level from Ed, Edd n' Eddy: Jawbreakers and a racing level from Hot Wheels: World Race as a proof-of-concept that both styles of gameplay could fit in a single game pak. The only element of Lilo & Stitch that exists with in the game is Eddy's sprite in the Jawbreakers segment being replaced with Stitch.
Also Appears On: Hot Wheels World Race (Game), Ed, Edd n Eddy: Jawbreakers! (Game)
Mortal Kombat
Attachment In a prototype version of Mortal Kombat for Game Boy, the legal disclaimer screen had a placeholder that simply read "LEGAL SCREEN".
Sonic's Edusoft
The existence of Sonic's Edusoft was first exposed to the public not with a prototype release or old magazines, as most cancelled games come to be known through, but rather a mysterious, unsourced Wikipedia article with a single screenshot. The combination of the article's lack of quality and the sheer quality of the game's graphics for a Master System title made many believe it was an elaborate hoax, as was common on Wikipedia at the time, up until an anonymous programmer for the game visited the Sega Master System fan forum SMS Power! and provided further information and screenshots, before privately giving Sonic fan wiki Sonic Retro access to the ROM, confirming the game to be real.
Platform: Nintendo 64DD
Attachment Nintendo planned to release the 64DD in North America and even manufactured test units with fully translated BIOSes and functional region locking. However, the idea was ultimately dropped due to the add-on's low sales in Japan. Concrete proof of these plans wouldn't become public until 2016, when YouTuber Jason Lindsey (a.k.a. MetalJesusRocks) found a surviving test unit and verified its legitimacy with former Nintendo of America employee Mark DeLoura.
Contributed by VinchVolt on November 22, 2023
Disney's DuckTales
Attachment In the Japanese version, and prototype US builds, of DuckTales, the ending line of the game was the grammatically incorrect, and arguably out-of-character, Scrooge line "There really is more important treasure than this, that is... dream and friends", which was changed to "I couldn't have done it without you. I really am the richest duck in the world." for the US release. Darlene Lacey, a producer on the Disney side of DuckTales would say of the partially unused line in a Kotaku interview:

"It seemed so earnest and dramatic, I was so tempted to leave it as is, but I knew I couldn’t. So, I changed it to the more polished, but forgettable ‘Right, lads! I couldn’t have done it without you. I really am the richest duck in the world.’ I love that fans found out about the original ending. It was the better line!"
Pizza Tower
Attachment During development of Pizza Tower, multiple demo builds were released - among these was a build known as the "Peter Griffin Experience", built off of the 2018 "early test build". This demo replaced every single sprite of Peppino with a highly compressed edit of a stock image of Peter Griffin from Family Guy made to resemble Peppino, and replaced one of the game's musical tracks with a fan-made Family Guy remix.

After this build, the Peter Griffin "arms resting" pose would appear in some builds as a taunt, albeit as an actual sprite and not an edit, and a video would be posted by developer McPig showcasing the taunt, accompanied by the first note of the Family Guy theme song, under the name "family", likely referencing a a meme video that plays the first note and ends. This taunt was removed for unknown reasons in the final game.
Contributed by Rocko & Heffer on November 20, 2023
Bio Force Ape
Attachment Bio Force Ape is a game that was never released - it did, before it's cancellation, get a spotlight in Nintendo Power, creating a level of curiosity surrounding it within NES fan communities. Capitalizing off of this curiosity, a post would be made on the Digital Press forum in 2005 claiming to show screenshots of a leaked prototype. While the first post appeared legitimate, the hoax would eventually be unraveled starting with a screenshot of a glitched super move that was "so powerful [that] it messes up the game's graphics", which humorously made it appear that Bio Force Ape was unleashing a powerful fart attack, as a set of glitched graphics appeared next to a crouching animation. The poster, going under the username PaulB812, would refuse to dump the game and refer to anybody who asked for it to be released as either "communists" or "butter-slathered... hoarding fatties", before finally unveiling the prank with a game screenshot of a cutscene where a fat butter monster points out that the ape is "worth 2K monies[sic]", before the ape punches him while saying "EAT COMMUNISM!" A real prototype would be leaked in 2010.
Contributed by Rocko & Heffer on November 19, 2023
Super Mario Maker
Attachment The reptilian puffs of smoke that emerge when Mario ground pounds inside a giant Goomba Shoe in the Super Mario Bros. 3 style of the Super Mario Maker series were taken from an unreleased and at-the-time unseen pre-Donkey Kong Country attempt at a Donkey Kong revival, known as Super Donkey.
Also Appears On: Super Donkey (Game), Super Mario Maker (Collection)
Donkey Kong: Original Edition
Attachment Unusually, the 3DS version of Donkey Kong: Original Edition was originally released with an unfinished ROM predating the hack's previous Wii release. The only change in the unfinished version was that the copyright assigned the game as a 2008 release instead of 2010, suggesting that it was originally intended to be released for the 25th anniversary of Donkey Kong's Famicom port and delayed for Super Mario Bros.' anniversary. The game would soon be patched the use the Wii ROM instead.
Awesome Possum Kicks Dr. Machino's Butt
Attachment On the HUD of Awesome Possum Kicks Dr. Machino's Butt!, there is a portrait of Awesome that will go from happy to agitated as he takes more damage - in prototype versions of the game, this instead has Awesome's skin slowly chip off to reveal his skull. Additionally, after dying in the prototype, he will turn into a skeleton, and when his last life is lost the screen will cut to red instead of teal. The final game's Game Over screen, which shows unspecified tombstones covered in trash and rats, could be considered a leftover from this darker direction for the game.
Contributed by Rocko & Heffer on November 15, 2023
Instead of a chicken who gets pushed backwards when run over, Freeway was originally going to feature a human protagonist who turns into a splatter of blood when killed. This version of the game is referred to by fans as Bloody Human Freeway.
Platform: Nintendo Switch
Attachment Among the material uncovered in the 2020 Gigaleak, a large-scale data leak from Nintendo's internal servers, was a series of documents surrounding Project INDY, an early iteration of the Nintendo Switch co-developed with ST Microelectronics. Project INDY was envisioned as a successor to the Nintendo 3DS and was halfway between it and the Wii U in terms of processing power.

The system would've carried over many of the 3DS' features, including dual-screen functionality, touch controls, stereoscopic 3D, motion sensors, augmented reality functionality, and StreetPass support. The system also would've featured backwards compatibility with 3DS game cards, Bluetooth connectivity (including support for wireless speakers and headsets), GPS functionality, a videotelephony app, the ability to wirelessly project games to a TV screen via Miracast, and support to quickly convert a commercially released unit into a developer system, easing development costs for independent studios. Many of these features would be carried over to the Switch in modified forms.

Technical documents for Project INDY show that while prototype software was developed for the system, Nintendo were unsure about its specifications and came up with various alternative options, such as support for 120 fps video, an 800p display, and a design with a single, oblong touchscreen that spans the full face of the device save for two joysticks near each end. The latter design was the final iteration that Nintendo came up with before ceasing work with ST Microelectronics in late 2014. By this point, Nintendo had devised the Switch's final name, listing it on the design's blueprints.

An earlier iteration of this oblong design would also become the basis for a hoax image created in the interim between Nintendo president Satoru Iwata's announcement of the Switch's development in March 2015 and the company's first public reveal of the device in October 2016. The image is a 3D-printed mockup of the Switch based on a patent filed earlier in 2014, which itself reveals that Nintendo was still considering stereoscopic 3D, backwards compatibility with 3DS games, and videotelephony support.
In 1994, a promotional trailer was released showing an early build of Gensou Suikoden 1. Some notable differences are:

• In Duels, your current HP are displayed as numbers, not as a bar.
• You don't see the HP of your enemy.
• The menu displaying your party's current HP during random encounters is different. It has a different frame (once, they show a fancy frame, and once a very plain one. Both are different from the final game). It also lacks the heart symbol in front of the HP.
• The number displaying the damage has a slightly different font.

• A duel with Barbarosa is shown.
• One monster is a color swap of the Strongarm. In the game, it has green skin, in this video, he looks human.
• Some monsters are shown which are not in the final build: a griffin, a soldier, minotaurs (?) and a knight.
• Enemies don't have an idle animation.
• Tengaar uses a spell which appears to not be in the final game.
• Some sprites are potentially different, but the video quality is low, so it's hard to discern.
• One random encounter uses a background with houses, which does not appear in the final game.
• A large number of characters have different portraits.
• It says there are 36 True Runes instead of 27 (Murayama himself said in one of the SRM interviews that they originally planned too make 36 but changed it to 27. It seems they decided on that pretty late in development.)
Contributed by Jom12 on November 6, 2023
The Simpsons Game
Attachment The Zero Wing parody image in Invasion of the Yokel-Snatchers was originally going to be a Simpsonized version of CATS, rather than Kang and Kodos dressed as CATS.
Attachment A fully functional version of Windows 3.1's Reversi game exists within the source code for Windows XP. The original graphics still work, but for unknown reasons the game forces itself to be monochrome.
Also Appears On: PC (Microsoft Windows) (Platform)
Microsoft Minesweeper
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