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On August 24, 2017, a video was uploaded by gaming news outlet VentureBeat where lead writer Dean Takahashi, who specializes in general industry articles, strategy games and first/third person shooters and normally does not cover platformers or sidescrolling action games because by the outlet's own admission he was extremely bad at them, recorded a gameplay demonstration of him playing the Gamescom 2017 demo for Cuphead due to him being the only one on staff at Gamescom. This footage is notorious for the first two and a half minutes where he struggles to complete the game's tutorial, before struggling to play for another 23 minutes under conditions that were made intentionally easier for the game's demo such as increased health and instant access to some stronger unlockable charms like Spread. VentureBeat knew the footage was bad, but uploaded it anyways and drew attention to Takahashi's poor gameplay in the video title, calling it "shameful". However, VentureBeat initially did not explain the full context of the footage in the video description, and due to Gamescom being held one month prior to Cuphead's release, the clip was passed around out of context leading people to believe he was doing a full review of the game and trying to make a point of it being too difficult. In reality, the video was posted alongside an article about the demo by Takahashi to VentureBeat that regularly acknowledges his poor skill at the game; he also called Cuphead a fun game that showed "why making hard games that depend on skill is like a lost art". Regardless, the footage still drew extreme negative backlash and harassment towards him and claims that he was unfit to be a game journalist. Takahashi's response to the controversy spurred more controversy after he accused people attacking the footage of being connected to the 2014 #Gamergate movement, when one week prior to responding, he published an article promoting the idea of a "leisure economy" that stems from game journalists among others being paid to play games, and promoting the fact that he had been reviewing games for 21 years up to that point.
Contributed by Kirby Inhales Jotaro on November 23, 2023
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
Suikoden II
There were 2 official demo versions released for the game. Suikoden 2 (JP) demo was given alongside Metal Gear Solid (JP) on September 3, 1998; Suikoden 2 (PAL) demo was given alongside Vandal Hearts 2 (PAL) on June 30, 2000.

In the game there are 2 modes: New Game and Battle Mode.

New Game essentially has the the gameplay it would at retail until the battle against the Mist Shade, and an additional skit as an ending. When translated to English, this reads:

”Hey wait a minute! Why don‘t I get a turn!?”

”Seems natural to me.”

”...what does that mean?”

”Hey! Wait a minute!!!!”

In Battle mode, the player traverses North Swallow Pass, now called Trial Road, with a couple of different party members, battling against enemies and a different boss. This mode is also present in the normal game, but is inaccessible without hacking. Both modes also have their respective ending.

There is not much different from the retail version, but the PAL demo does contain the full base game (although it is translated into Spanish for some reason).
Contributed by Jom12 on November 6, 2023
Suikoden II JP demo New Game ending:

Suikoden II JP demo Battle Mode ending:

Suikosource wiki page on Suikoden II demos:
Suikoden II
Attachment In the Demo ending, other than the dialogue used in the skit, there is unused dialogue present suggesting some parts of the ending were scrapped:

”I think that‘s a wise decision.”
”The normal ending is about to start.”
”The best ending is about to start.”
”You‘re wrong, brother Mukumuku. I heard that it‘s not done yet.”

It's worth noting that Mukumuku is silent in the demo while Mekumeku just doesn't load, but is present in memory. Whether it was scrapped or is still unlockable is unknown.

Also in the room, there are 4 maids surrounding Riou just out of bounds at the bottom of the screen. After some testing, it was found to be a developer trick, wherein the player is always in control of Riou, and when interreacting with any of the maids, the demo will end early.
Contributed by Jom12 on November 6, 2023
Suikoden II
Attachment According to Suikosource user JiN88, the Japanese demo of Suikoden II contains two debug/testing rooms.

The first test room claims to be in Radat Town, despite seeming to be in Kyaro Town. The room contains various warping and unfinished textures, out-of-place objects like barrels, and two non-functioning Warp points. Of the warp points, one can be found down near a river and loads nothing, while the other can be found near a bridge with an Anita NPC and some invisible objects. While this test room seems to be empty, except for one small area featuring several invisible objects, a pushable tree that you can talk to, and a row of NPCs that can be pushed, but cannot be interacted with without crashing the game. There are also two Gabocha NPCs, one of which can warp you back to somewhere else in the test room, while the other has some dialogue and acts like a shopkeeper. Finishing the conversation with the shopkeeper Gabocha will cause the game to crash. Interacting with any Anita NPC will cause the game to crash.

The second test room contains several repeating groups of Anita, Gengen, and Old Man NPCs in a sort of army formation. The name of this second debug room is "神様の村" which means "Village of God"/"God's village". Talking to the Anita and Gengen NPC groups will have them say a single line of dialogue (the Anitas however will have no text), and once finished will cause the game to try and load something, which results in the game crashing. It's thought that they would try to warp you somewhere with a cutscene. Raww Le Klueze, global admin of the Suikosource forums, has translated this room's dialogue as such:

"The Gengens each say:
• "I am the sound change god"
• "I am the sound test god"
• "I am the window change god"
• "I am the unit change god" (for this phrase, he uses the same word as Apple does when you rearrange war units)

Some of what the Old Man says follows the same format "I am the god of !" in the middle row
Library, Suggestion box, Restaurant, Cooking Battles, Guardian Deity and Peeping...? (He also laughs after that one. Bath scenes maybe?)

Top says "The detective god is here!"
Bottom "Fishing god here!" "I'm the god of tablets" (same word as the plates found in the Sindar ruins, presumably tests that?)

Last one on the bottom I don't know, he just seems to be making noise cause it just says BABANBABANBANBAN - HAAPIBANONO."

This latter piece of dialogue might be a reference to the song "Nice Hot Water", a 1966 song in the "Nihon no Uta" Japanese local song series that was famously covered by the Japanese comedy rock band The Drifters. The first line before the hyphen is the same as the song, and the second line after the hyphen is almost the same as the song.
Contributed by Jom12 on November 6, 2023
Suikosource thread:

Second test room images:

Translated rows of dialogue in second test room (pertinent to Raww Le Klueze's translation):

First debug/testing room (the second debug/testing room covered in the above three Imgur links are in the attached image):

The Drifters - Nice Hot Water (Vivanon Rock):
Suikoden II
Attachment In support of the New Game+ dungeon and Sindar Ruin connection, Suikosource user and dataminer JiN88 explored the Japanese demo to support the idea that Sindar Ruin underwent some major changes during development:

• In the entrance between White Deer Inn and Sindar Ruin, there are 2 statues that are generic. In the demo, those statues are gendered with pronounced breasts, and appear snake-like, resembling the Greek mythical monster Lamia. The generic statues exist in the demo, so there is no reason the developers would go out their way to make a different pair.

• At the last puzzle where you put the plate in, the plaque that you would normally read is there instead of in the room next ahead.

• The two statues of the Double Head are absent.

• In the boss room of Sindar Ruin, there is a weird sprite that isn't seen anywhere else (it's a bit grainy so to see it you will need to zoom in). The position looks like it's supposed to be for an arch, but notably it has three heads. Double Head is the boss you would normally meet here only with two heads, suggesting there was originally a boss here with three heads.
Suikoden II
In the game's files, in a folder called "300_MOVI", there is an FMV file titled ROCK.STR. It is unknown what this video's intended purpose was, but the answer may lie in the Japanese demo version of the game, in the demo's "MOVIE" folder. A video can be found called M_EAT.STR, and based on its name and appearance, it seems most likely it was to be used with Magic Earth Rune - in a similar way to Unite Magic (since they all play their FMV). The last changed date for the file is 1997. The last modified date for the rest of the game's FMVs is 1998, meaning M_EAT.STR was changed quite early in development, being the earliest of them all.

In other later releases like the PSP version, the ROCK.STR file can still be found in the game's data, though they similar go entirely unused.
Contributed by Jom12 on November 4, 2023
Super Smash Bros. Brawl
Attachment The English manual and prologue for Star Fox Adventures implies a bigger backstory for Krystal, in that she's the sole remaining survivor of her doomed home planet, "Cerinia", and that she's been roaming the galaxy in search of answers for the truth of her family's death, until she receives a distress call from Dinosaur Planet. With how the manual states that Krystal "may finally be drawing closer to the truth" behind her parents' and planet's destruction, it seems Rare was loosely implying that Andross, who turns out to be the real villain of Star Fox Adventures and thus the culprit behind Dinosaur Planet's woes, was responsible for Cerinia's destruction. Krystal even says "It's you!" right before Andross imprisons her in the crystal at the top of Krazoa Palace.

However, it would seem the Japanese localization for Star Fox Adventures would completely eschew this backstory, removing all mention of Cerinia and as well as Krystal's dead parents. The Japanese prologue was even heavily simplified to this:

"Her name is Krystal. Guided by an SOS that she sensed telepathically, she came to this "Dinosaur Planet"..."

The Japanese website even states that "it is not known what her purpose is", which flies directly in the face of Rare's original story for her, that explicitly states that she was searching for the truth of Cerinia's destruction. To add more insult to injury, there isn't even any Japanese subtitle presented when Krystal gets knocked into the crystal by Andross in Krazoa Palace.

Curiously, the Japanese localization of Star Fox Adventures also heavily emphasizes Krystal having telepathic abilities, much more so than in the English version. This is noteworthy because neither Star Fox Assault or Star Fox Command, the next two story follows up to Star Fox Adventures that were developed and written in Japan, made any sort of mention of Cerinia. Star Fox Assault however would hugely emphasize her telepathic abilities, and its manual even describe Krystal the same way the Japanese version of Star Fox Adventures does, just as "a mysterious telepathic woman". This also applies to her trophies in Super Smash Bros. Brawl and Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS and Wii U that once again make no reference to Cerinia. It's very clear that the developers and writers behind Assault, Command and Smash Bros. in Japan were using the Japanese version of Star Fox Adventures as a reference, as opposed to the English version.

All in all, it would seem Nintendo of Japan had their own differing vision of what Krystal's character was from Rare, that being mostly just as a telepathic woman with a mysterious background, as opposed to Rare's original backstory of her being the lone survivor of her kind.
Contributed by Dinoman96 on November 3, 2023
Star Fox Adventures
Attachment In Star Fox Adventures, the boss of Walled City is known simply as the RedEye King. However, the leaked December 2000 build of Dinosaur Planet indicates that he was meant to have a name: "Klanadack".

Oddly enough, earlier on, after the battle with Galdon (or "Galadon" as he's called in the December 2000 build) in DarkIce Mines, when Sabre/Fox and Tricky return to Garunda Te with the SpellStone, he tells them he forgot to inform them about the "CLANNAD-ack" and how he managed to freeze him in a waterfall a few years prior, obviously referring to Galdon/Galadon. While spelled differently, it's pronounced the same as "Klanadack", which makes it seems like it was meant to be Galdon or Galadon's name before it was repurposed for the RedEye King in this particular build.
Also Appears On: Dinosaur Planet (Game)
Contributed by Dinoman96 on November 2, 2023
Garunda Te talking about "CLANNAD-ack":

Boss "Klanadack":
Star Fox Adventures
Attachment DarkIce Mines, the first SpellStone area in Star Fox Adventures, was another area that was more complex in design in earlier iterations of the game than in comparison to the final release. The leaked December 2000 build of Dinosaur Planet showed that DarkIce Mines was meant to have an extra set of puzzle rooms on the right side of the map that would wound up connecting back to the waterfall room. These extra areas were also present in the E3 2002 kiosk for Star Fox Adventures, suggesting that they were very late cuts, very likely as the development team was being crunched to get the game out in time of the Microsoft buyout in late 2002, similar to what happened with Dragon Rock.
Also Appears On: Dinosaur Planet (Game)
Contributed by Dinoman96 on November 2, 2023
DarkIce Mines beta maps:

Star Fox Adventures kiosk demo - DarkIce Mines:

Dinosaur Planet - DarkIce Mines:
Star Fox Adventures
Attachment Star Fox Adventures features many smaller, transitional puzzle areas between the main areas, obviously a way for the game to mask loading times to create the illusion of a seamless world. This is primarily noticeable on the mainland Dinosaur Planet itself.

One of these transitional areas, within CloudRunner Fortress, was cut between the E3 2002 kiosk and the final game, presumably because of time constraints with the impending Microsoft buyout in September 2002. It was meant to bridge the top CloudRunner Fortress map with the area where Fox would have to race against the SharpClaws on the jetbikes to acquire the area's SpellStone. Fox would enter by climbing down a series of ladders and then run through a storage room of some kind with conveyor belts, and then from there he'd encounter General Scales and some SharpClaw who are trying to steal the SpellStone.

This was scrapped in the final game, where Fox instead falls down a long ladder through a cutscene and, then after cutting to black, is then rather awkwardly plopped right in the middle of the room prior to where he encounters General Scales and the SharpClaw.
Contributed by Dinoman96 on November 2, 2023
The scrapped transitional area seen the E3 2002 kiosk: https://youtu.be/u8AR70WOTnY?t=1137

The final game where Fox instead enters cutscene hell: https://youtu.be/6MSye_MvghQ?t=1
Star Fox Adventures
Attachment Dinosaur Planet was originally meant to have eight collectible Krazoa spirits, four for Sabre and four for Krystal, and each of these spirits would be obtained by each character finding various Krazoa shrines found throughout their respective maps, each containing a challenge or trial testing their abilities or even character. Sabre would partake in the Tests of Strength, Skill, Magic and Sacrifice while Krystal would partake in the Tests of Combat, Character, Fear and Knowledge.

In the final Star Fox Adventures game, this was cut down to only six Krazoa spirits and shrines for Fox to find, with only five of them even being proper tests, those being the Tests of Skill (renamed to Observation), Combat, Fear, Strength and Knowledge. The final "test" is a rather anti-climatic "boss fight" with General Scales, which is interrupted by Andross forcing Scales to hand over the last Krazoa spirit.

It turns out, looking at internal files for SFA (as well as its E3 2002 kiosk) Rare had intended on there being one final true test: the Test of Sacrifice, which fittingly enough was Sabre's final test in Dinosaur Planet and its overall final spirit in general. In both versions of the game, it would have involved Sabre or Fox having to "sacrifice" themselves in order to save an apparition of Tricky. Unused hint texts found within the E3 2002 kiosk heavily imply that Fox would have partaken in the Test of Sacrifice right where the General Scales encounter is today, before he freed Krystal from her prison at the top of Krazoa Palace and also before fighting Andross, who he unknowingly resurrected by releasing all of the Krazoa spirits. The music track that was (as revealed by the leak Dinosaur Planet N64 ROM) intended for the Test of Sacrifice even appears as an unused track found within SFA's sound test, and there's also unused voice clips of Tricky begging Fox for help that very likely pertain to this test. Both of these indicates that this was a very late cut.

Internally, the General Scales "boss fight" shrine is referred to as "nwshrine", which adds up considering that the Test of Sacrifice was meant to be found by Sabre at the Northern Wastes (now now as SnowHorn Wastes) in Dinosaur Planet.
Also Appears On: Dinosaur Planet (Game)
Contributed by Dinoman96 on November 1, 2023
Dinosaur Planet - Final Krazoa test:

Star Fox Adventures unused voice clips:

Unused Test of Sacrifice theme from SFA's juke box: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OCDRrbhbocE

RareThief Dinosaur Planet content archive:

The Cutting Room Floor article:
Toy Story 2: Buzz Lightyear to the Rescue!
When the PlayStation 2 was revealed in Japan, a demo was shown off of a fountain of spark particles. When this demo was shown to Jon Burton, founder of Traveller's Tales, he coded an identical tech demo for the first PlayStation as a joke. This tech demo would ultimately end up in the files of Toy Story 2: Buzz Lightyear to the Rescue!, unused, by accident.
Also Appears On: PlayStation 2 (Platform), PlayStation (Platform), TT Games (Company)
Yo-kai Watch 4
The splash screen at the end of the Tokyo Game Show 2018 demo depicts various forms of Jibanyan, including Kuroi Jibanyan and Rudy. However, these two do not appear in the final game.
Super Mario Galaxy
At Spaceworld 2000, Shigeru Miyamoto showed off a tech demo for a project he had been working on for a number of years known as Mario 128. This project had a tumultuous development cycle with little to no details coming out over the years until finally in 2007 at a GDC Keynote he revealed what came of this laborious project. He explained that some parts of the project were used to make Pikmin and other parts of the project were utilized in Super Mario Galaxy.
Also Appears On: Pikmin (Game), Mario 128 (Game), Mario Bros. (Franchise), Mario (Franchise), Nintendo GameCube (Platform)
Contributed by Wolfen50 on September 6, 2023
The original version of StarCraft developed prior to 1996 was was considered to be inferior to other games shown at the time, most notably the real-time strategy (RTS) game Dominion: Storm Over Gift 3 being developed by Ion Storm Dallas, which was also shown at E3 and the Consumer Electronics Show that year. The game appeared to be miles ahead of what StarCraft was, with consumers responding to the latter game weakly as "Warcraft in space". Realizing that the version of StarCraft they had was worse than they had thought, following the release of Diablo at the end of that year, Blizzard began to "lick [their] wounds and plan for the future" by restarting development on StarCraft and completely overhauling their development process as a whole. StarCraft eventually released in March of 1998 to critical and commercial success, and was retrospectively dubbed as one of the defining games of the RTS genre.

However, after Ion Storm Dallas closed in 2001, a few of their former employees were scooped up by Blizzard and two of them later revealed to former Blizzard executive Patrick Wyatt that the demos Ion Storm presented of Dominion: Storm Over Gift 3 were actually pre-rendered trailers, and the players "presenting" the game's demos were actors pretending to play the game. This meant that the only reason why StarCraft was released in the form it was was because Blizzard got tricked into raising their standards to compete with a pre-rendered video, resulting in the creation of one of their most successful games.
Also Appears On: Dominion: Storm Over Gift 3 (Game)
PaRappa the Rapper 2
In Japan, McDonald's once sold demo discs of PaRappa the Rapper 2 and Ape Escape 2001 to promote the games in Japan. The PaRappa demo reskinned the Toasty Buns stage to take place in a McDonald's, while the Ape Escape demo included the first 2 and a half stages, added McDonald's buildings and blimps to the level backgrounds, and added McDonald's food as collectible items - it also included a bonus video of Japanese celebrity Papaya Suzuki exploring New York with a man in a Pipo Monkey mascot costume.
Also Appears On: Pipo Saru 2001 (Game), McDonald's Original: Happy Disc (Game)
Metroid Prime 2: Echoes
One of the early tech demos for the Wii in 2005 was a re-tooled version of Metroid Prime 2: Echoes. It was the most advanced of the 8 available demos and was the only game to incorporate the Nunchuk. It took one developer two months to complete the demo for the Tokyo Game Show. The game would later be fully ported to the Wii in 2009.
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