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Cancelled video games in famous video game franchises

Citan

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Jan 11, 2011
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A "sequel" to the "Wrestlemania matched matches that almost happened" I made a while ago, this thread will going to cover video games that were cancelled or remained Japan-exclusive for whatever reason.

'

PART 1:

THE LEGEND OF ZELDA


ZELDA III (NES)


Before A link to the Past became the SNES classic we know and love, it was an NES game. Miyamoto wanted a return to form after the second game's divisive reception. He also planned to have a game similar to Secret of Mana. Link would be joined in his quest by a fairy and a magic user.

When the next generation of consoles arrived, it was decided to make it an SNES exclusive. The game was indeed a return to form. But the party system never was implemented, curiously enough.




ZELDA-CD? (SNES-CD)


In 1991, Sony and Nintendo almost made an SNES-CD add-on. The big N even had the papers signed. But shortly before announcing the partnership, Nintendo of Japan were shocked to read that the contract allowed Sony 100% control and profits in the games to be made on the SNES CD-add-on.

Then the big N quickly announced a partnership with Phillips Sony's rival. The latter were understandably furious, as they had a deal signed. Developers working for Nintendo weren't too pleased either and felt that they should settle their differences with Sony and make one dominant SNES CD add-ons instead of making two competing CD-based consoles.

Nintendo did just that. They told Phillips and Sony to work on the SNES-CD. The project didn't go far into production, though. The Sega CD and NEC's Turbo CD add-ons didn't exactly set the world on fire in terms of sales and critical reception. Then president of Nintendo, Hiroshi Yamauchi, didn't CDs were the way of the future and told Sony higher ups "If you want to do your CD thing, do it yourself".

Phillips made their own console and was allowed to make games based on famous Nintendo characters. That didn't prevent the Phillips CD-i a total disaster. Sony used what they learned and made a console that needs no introduction. The SNES-CD never got made at all.

Though never confirmed, it's highly possible that a Legend of Zelda game would have appeared on the CD.




A LINK TO THE PAST (GAMEBOY)


In 1992, Kazuaki Morita and staff members of the Nintendo Entertainment Analysis and Development Division released a Japan exclusive Zelda-like game called Kaeru no Tame ni Kane wa Naru (For the Frog, the Bell Tolls) for the Gameboy.

The team's work greatly impressed Nintendo. When Morita asked them to work on a GameBoy version of Zelda A Link to the Past , he was given permission.

At first, the team was making a faithful port (you can even see early beta screenshots the Hyrule Field straight from A Link to the Past) But the game ended up being so drastically different from the SNES classic that it became the game the game known as Link's Awakening.




BS ZELDA (BSX)


The Super Famicom (SNES) got a Japan exclusive add-on called the Broadcas- Sattelaview X. It was an interesting mix of games and audio drama. Games were broadcasted at specific hours. Gamers got to play the game while a narrator was telling the game's story. It also featured quizzes and competitions.

The service was made possible with the St-Giga's Satellite. It ran from April 1995 to 2000. Several Nintendo franchises made their appearances on the BS. Legend of Zelda had three three games:


BS Zelda no Densetsu (BS The Legend of Zelda) is remake of the original Legend of Zelda featuring updated visuals, modified world map and dungeons. Brand new items were introduced. It also doesn't star Link, but rather a character of the player's choosing.

Zelda no Densetsu : Kamigami no Triforce (Legend of Zelda: Triforce of the Gods) was a port of the SNES game A Link to the Past.

BS Zelda no Densestu: Inishie no Sekiban (BS Legend of Zelda: Ancient Stone Tablets) was the third and final Zelda to be released on the BSX. It was the sequel to A Link to the Past. Once again , Link not the hero.

Since the BSX never saw a release outside Japan (possibly because of the unpopularity of audio dramas in western territories.), the BS Zelda games got the same treatment.




ZELDA FX (SNES)


During the twilight years of the SNES, Miyamoto was planning to polygon-based Zelda title. He wanted to have the use the FX Chip used in games such as Star Fox 1 & 2. He wanted a Zelda-II-like fighting engine with polygons. But the SNES could only so much. The project didn't go far into production. Elements were used in the Zelda 64 project.



ZELDA 64 (NINTENDO 64DD)

URA ZELDA (NINTENDO 64DD)


ZELDA GAIDEN (NINTENDO 64DD)



Three Zelda titles were planned for the Nintendo 64DD add-on. All of them ended up being cancelled. Why? Read on.

The N64DD was being pushed to the moon. Nintendo had huge hopes for the peripherical. Zelda 64 was to be for the DD was Super Mario 64 was for the N64. It was to be released in 1997 in Japan and a short while later internationally.

And then it was delayed for a whopping 2 years. It only saw a Japan-only release in late 1999, and came out with little fanfare (after all, the Dreamcast was already out and the PS2 was about to come out).

The rumor was that Nintendo made the call of delaying the N64DD so it wouldn't compete with the N64 itself. Games were either converted to cartridge and released on the regular N64, released on a rival console or cancelled altogether. Zelda 64 was part of the former.

Meant to use the N64DD's unique features, the game had had gigantic and persistent world. It also had a lot smoother fights and Link had a lot of really awesome-looking moves. The move to N64DD to N64 meant that a lot of these plans were sacrificed.

Zelda 64 was be renamed The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time. Despite numerous delays and last minute cuts, the game sold extremely well and also was a critical darling.

Nintendo has been planning to make an expansion disk to Ocarina of Time, rather like the one that came out for F Zero X in Japan. It was to be titled Ura Zelda. Miyamoto had wanted to include some of the beta features that had to be cut in Zelda 64 in the expansion . It was basically to be Ocarina of Time but with more dungeons, new areas and additional stuff.

Then, Eiji Aonuma, a key member of the Ocarina of Time project, put a halt on the whole thing. His desire was to make a more "progressive" Zelda title and felt that an expansion disk wouldn't do it. An annoyed Miyamoto basically told him "You have one year to work on a brand Zelda title. If you make it, then you won't have to work on Ura Zelda"

A smaller team was assigned to remix the OoT dungeons. The game was repackaged as Master Quest (AKA the laziest project Nintendo ever worked on). Aonuma went on to work on the Zelda Gaiden project.

Better known as Majora's Mask, Zelda Gaiden was also planned for the N64DD. By the time development begun, the add-on was a glorified failure. Gaiden was converted to a N64 game so huge it required the expansion pak to play.




THE LEGEND OF ZELDA (GAMEBOY COLOR)

ZELDA II: THE ADVENTURE OF LINK (GAMEBOY COLOR)

ZELDA II SEQUEL (GAMEBOY COLOR)


MYSTICAL SEED OF COURAGE



Following the release of Link's Awakening for the GBC, Yoshki Okamoto, then head of Capcom's screenwriter's subsidiary Flagship, wanted children to experience the original Zelda on GBC. After a meeting with Miyamoto, Flagship was hired to produce six Zelda games on the GBC: two ports (Zelda I +II) and four origina titles. The idea was to release them 5 months apart.

Problems arose when it came to porting the original Zelda game. Changes made in an attempt to make more user-friendly made the game radically different. There also were issues with the small size of the GBC. The team became frustrated and wanted to skip the ports altogether.

After almost a year of no progress, Okamoto went back to Nintendo to ask them for ideas for new Zelda games. Miyamoto suggested a trilogy of games each based on the Triforce (Power, Wisdom, Courage).

The Legend of Zelda for GBC became a thing of the past. But a GBA port did occur. Same for Zelda II. A sequel to Zelda II was also in the plans, but it didn't happen at all.

The new titles were known as the Mystery Seed of Power, Mystery Seed of Wisdom and Mystical seed of Courage. 'Power' was meant to be action-oriented, 'Wisdom' featured color-based puzzles and 'Courage' time-based puzzles. All three games were meant to be connected. But it was deemed too complex. So one of them had to bite the dust.

Oracle of Seasons was adapted from Mystical Seed of Power. Mystical Seed of Wisdom became Oracle of Ages.. Mystery Seed of Ourage was cancelled.




WIND WAKER 2 (GAMECUBE)


Nintendo was working on a sequel to The Wind Waker. Plans were put to a halt when Aonuma felt that the game TWW's mediocre North American's were due to the cel-shading visual style. Fearing the same receotion, he went to Miyamoto. The two agreed to use the more realistic approach similar to Ocarina of Time and Majora's Mask.

Nintendo went back on the drawing board. The Wind Waker 2 project became Twilight Princess.




TWILIGHT PRINCESS (GAMECUBE)


Originally meant to be a Gamecube exclusive, Twilight Princess was later made a launch title for the Revolution (Wii) as well.



FOUR SWORDS DS (NINTENDO DS)


The first Zelda in the Nintendo DS's library was meant to be a new chapter of The Four Swords saga. But it was quietly cancelled in favor of another Zelda game.

While Aonuma didn't get to make a sequel to make a sequel to the Wind Waker for consoles, he was allowed to make one for the DS. The FSDS project was cancelled and Phantom Hourglass was born.




TWILIGHT PRICESS 2 (WII)


An idea for a sequel to The Twilight Princess was pitched, but was turned down. They had just completed the original TP, and felt they weren't ready to do another game of that scope just yet.

They did get to work on a TP spinoff for the Wii: Link's Crossbow Training.




UNTITLED TOON LINK GAME (WII U)


Toon from The Wind Waker was to get his own spinoff for the Wii U. But Nintendo felt that the was the wrong choice for the main character.

The game was repackaged with Toad as the protagonist. It became Captain Toad.




BREATH OF THE WILD (WII U)


A similar fate to the TP project. Originally was meant to be released on the Wii U exclusively. With the impending arrival of the Switch, Nintendo felt it would be best to release it on both consoles.
 
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V.Sky

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Apr 17, 2019
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Nice stuff. I'd like to see what you make of the Donkey Kong series, because there were a few that were shelved following the Rare/Microsoft deal (including some that became other titles)

How does the narrative of Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker being a Toon Link game work with the knowledge that it was a minigame originating in Super Mario 3D World?
 

Grim

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Mar 7, 2019
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The one cancelled game I really wish I got to see was the original Remothered. It was supposed to be a fan-make of the original Clock Tower in 2009 but I'm still extremely happy with how it turned out.

Another is StarCraft: Ghost. I'm still pissed we never got it.