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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.
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!"
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.
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".
The Apprentice's nickname is "Starkiller". This name originates from early drafts of the first film, where the protagonist was named Annikin Starkiller.
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".
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"
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".
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.
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.
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.
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.
Concept Art for A Link to the Past shows Zelda in futuristic attire. The original Legend of Zelda was planned to be set in both the past and the future. This art could be an indication that Nintendo considered reusing the concept for A Link to the Past.
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