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The Legend of Zelda: Link's Awakening
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In issues 44 and 48 of Nintendo Power, there are a number of early screenshots from a pre-release copy of Link's Awakening.
These show that the Wind Marimba was originally a pair of cymbals, you could carry more than one of Crazy Tracy's medicine, and you could also carry the Guardian's Acorn. There also appears to be another item that wasn't in the final game that looks like a stone fragment. This was also a prize available in the crane mini-game.

There is also an early version of the world map that is completely different from the final game. It appears to be a highly condensed version of Hyrule from A Link to the Past map. This was likely used as a placeholder during development.
It also seems that the boss battle with Moldorm would have taken place in a room that is completely different from the final version of the game.
Contributed by Dazz
GoldenEye 007
At one point in GoldenEye's development, reloading your weapon was going to be triggered by removing and reinserting the N64 Rumble Pack as if you were removing a magazine on a gun.
Contributed by DidYouKnowGaming
Grand Theft Auto IV
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The official artwork for Lola Del Rio (which was used to promote the game) shows her with six digits on one hand; five fingers and a thumb underneath.
Contributed by DidYouKnowGaming
Series: Mario
According to Mario Bros. developer Takashi Tezuka, there was a stage in Super Mario World's development when Yoshi was a Koopa. A relic of this idea is Yoshi's shell-like saddle.
Contributed by DidYouKnowGaming
Plants vs. Zombies
Plants vs. Zombies was at one point going to be called "Lawn of the Dead", a pun on George A. Romero's Dawn of the Dead. The name was changed for legal reasons.
Contributed by DidYouKnowGaming
Resident Evil 4
Devil May Cry started out as Resident Evil 4. Producer Shinji Mikami felt it strayed too far from the series' survival horror roots and gradually convinced all the staff members to make it an independent game. The story was eventually rewrote to be set in a world full of demons and the hero's name was changed to Dante.
Contributed by DidYouKnowGaming
Devil May Cry
Devil May Cry started out as Resident Evil 4. Producer Shinji Mikami felt it strayed too far from the series' survival horror roots and gradually convinced all the staff members to make it an independent game. The story was eventually rewrote to be set in a world full of demons and the hero's name was changed to Dante.
Contributed by DidYouKnowGaming
The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time
Ocarina of Time was originally planned to be played in a first-person perspective, but it was changed to third-person because Miyamoto wanted the change from Young Link to Adult Link to be visible on screen. He also thought players should see Link because "he is so cool looking!"
Contributed by DidYouKnowGaming
ToeJam & Earl were originally named FlowJam and Whirl. When designer Greg Johnson told programmer Mark Voorsanger their names, Mark misunderstood what Greg was saying and coded them in the game as Toejam and Earl. It wasn't until they showed the game to SEGA that Greg realized the named were incorrect, but since SEGA actually like the name, they decided to keep them.
Contributed by DidYouKnowGaming
The Legend of Zelda
In an interview between Shigeru Miyamoto and "Gamekult", Miyamoto revealed that at the start of The Legend of Zelda's development, the pieces of the Triforce were actually intended to be electronic chips. The game was to be set in both the past and the future. And as the hero was the link between them, they decided to call him "Link".
Contributed by DidYouKnowGaming
Series: Mario
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Shigeru Miyamoto had originally intended for Bowser to be an ox, and based him on the main antagonist from the animation "Alakazam The Great". This is likely why his modern design has horns and a defined muzzle, despite him being a turtle.
Contributed by DidYouKnowGaming
Star Wars: The Force Unleashed
The Apprentice's nickname is "Starkiller". This name originates from early drafts of the first film, where the protagonist was named Annikin Starkiller.
Contributed by DidYouKnowGaming
ZombiU
ZombiU is actually a re-imagining of one of Ubisoft's very first games, simply titled "Zombi". Similar themes and mechanics are used in both games. If a character's health is depleted, they turn into a zombie and roam the room they died in. The main difference is that Zombi was set in a mall, like George A. Romero's "Dawn of the Dead".
Contributed by DidYouKnowGaming
Pac-Man
Pac-Man was created to appeal more to girls; the game's creator noticed that women enjoy eating desserts, and designed the game around eating things. The game's original name was "Puck-Man", which can be translated to "Munch Man"
Contributed by DidYouKnowGaming
Snatcher
While Hideo Kojima was developing Snatcher, he wanted to coat the game's floppy discs in a chemical that, when heated in the computer, would give off the smell of blood. This was to "give the stench of a murder scene".
Contributed by DidYouKnowGaming
Donkey Kong 64
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The Kong's weapons were originally real guns, as opposed to the comical fruit and nut based weaponry seen in the final game. It's thought this change was made to avoid controversy and ensure the game received a child friendly rating.
Contributed by DidYouKnowGaming
Portal 2
Early in development, Portal 2 was planned to feature no portals at all. Valve focused on a new gameplay mechanic called "F-Stop", and though the new mechanic received some positive feedback, every single play tester was disappointed with the absence of portals. Valve then revised the game to include portals.
Contributed by DidYouKnowGaming
Shadow of the Colossus
Shadow of the Colossus was originally going to have 48 Colossi, but that number was cut down to 24, and finally to 16. Some of the designs were fully fleshed out.
Contributed by DidYouKnowGaming
God of War
During development, the Cyclopes had visible penises. This matched up with other creatures having bare breasts and nipples. The reason behind this was the game's creator, David Jaffe, wanted the creatures to come across as wild animals.
Contributed by DidYouKnowGaming
Pokemon Gold & Silver
The original starting town in Gold and Silver was called "Silent Hills". It's not known why the location changed, but it could have been to avoid comparisons to the horror game Silent Hill, which was released during Gold and Silver's development.
Contributed by DidYouKnowGaming
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