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Cancelled video games in famous video game franchises


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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.





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.


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.


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.


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.


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 do only so much. The project didn't go far into production. Elements were used in the Zelda 64 project.




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 DD 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.





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.


Nintendo was working on a sequel to The Wind Waker. But there was huge issue. TWW didn't exactly sell like hotcakes in the North American market. Aonuma felt this was due to its cel-shading visual style. Fearing the same reception, 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.


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


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.


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.


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.


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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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?


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That's allot of Zelda games


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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.


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Part II

Super Mario Bros. (1/2)
Prior to the release of the BSX and the 64DD, Nintendo made another add-on for the NES / Famicom : The Famicom Disk System. Games on the FDS were made on the rewritable floppy disks instead of the Famicom's (the Japanese equivalent of the NES) regular cartridges, allowing for far cheaper games . It also allowed vastly smoother gameplay, a save feature and richer sound effects thanks to an additional sound channel.

It wasn't all sunshine and rainbow, however. Not everyone was pleased with certain aspects of the FDS. Players needed to switch sides of the floppy disks at the start, which lead to some notoriously long load times. In addition Nintendo charged a hefty price for third-party developers for their FDS titles be converted to cartridge. To make matters worse, games were easier than ever to pirate.

Nintendo of America had plans to release the FDS in the North American market. But the aforementioned issues didn't help things out. What sealed its fate was the price of NES cartridge was coming down. FDS titles that were localised in the US were converted into massive NES cartridges. Games with a save feature required a special battery-backed memory.

17 Titles in the Mario franchise were made for the FDS. Not all of them made it outside Japan.

Super Mario Bros. (FDS)

A port of Super Mario was made available at the FDS'S launch. It's mostly the same a the NES version but with some changes. It has additional musical tracks. Also, the minus can be beaten time around.

Super Mario Bros. 2 (FDS)

Super Mario Bros. 2 was released in 1986 on the FDS. The original Super Mario being a phenomenal success, NoA wanted to localize the sequel. Testers in the west began playing the game the game for approval in the US. One of them, Howard Lincoln (future NoA CEO) realized something was horribly wrong.

SM2 was an especially challenging game. When Lincoln played it, he felt that it looked like a Mario game but didn't play like one. In fact, the game was so relentlessly hard that it had the potential of destroying the red hot Mario franchise. NoA was looking for a replacement worthy of the Super Mario 2 name.

They found one in Doki Doki Panic, an FDS title. The game started as a pitch Mario game, But Miyamoto felt it wasn't really a Mario game. He instead retooled it as a license cooperation between Nintendo and Fuji Television to promote its broadcaster's Yume Kōjō '87 event, which showcased several of its latest TV Shows and consumer products.,

Then Nintendo of America president, Minora, Arakawa, requested DDP to be retooled as a Mario game. The characters were replaced with Mario characters. Koji Kondo, who worked on both the Super Mario series and DDP, was hired to make the OST more like Mario. Lastly was renamed Super Mario 2. Despite featuring drastically different gameplay than the other Mario games, but still a hit with fans and critics.

The actual Super Mario 2 did make it to the US. as part of Super Mario Bros. All Stars compilation for the SNES (as Super Mario: The Lost Levels) with upgraded graphics and physics. It later made an appearance on Super Mario for GBC as Super Mario Bros. for Super Players. A port of the game was released on the Wii's Virtual Console (as well as the 3DS's VC and the Wii's U' Virtual Consoles).

The retooled version of Doki Doki Panic was released in Japan as "Super Mario USA"

I Am a Teacher: Super Mario Sweater (FDS)

In 1986, Royal industries Co. Ltd., (A Japanese appliance and sewing machine company) devised a sewing simulator for the FDS: I Am a Teacher: Super Mario Sweater . Players design sweaters using Mario characters.

The company also made a real-life version of the game.

All Night Nippon Super Mario Bros. (FDS)

A retool of the original Super Mario Bros. It was based on the Japanese Radio Drama All Night Nippon Super Mario Bros. and published by the same team who published of Doki Doki Panic (Fuji Television).

The game is mostly the same with a few key exceptions. The sprites of Toads various enemies have been replaced with Japanese celebrities, different levels and the ability to play as Luigi with his physics from Super Mario Bros. :The Lost Levels.

Golf (FDS)

The NES title Golf got a FDS version in 1986. The latter had some nifty additions, such as a brand new introduction sequence and a a soundtrack.

Family Computer Golf: Japan Course (FDS)

Family Computer Golf: US Course (FDS)

Nintendo released two additional golf games released for the FDS . They is similar in to that games Golf and the an NES Open Tournament Golf . You have the option to play to as Mario and Luigi.

In Family Computer Golf: Japan Course , you get to play Golf courses inspired by actual in Japan whereas US Course features levels inspired by real-life North American courses.

The games were released on a Blue Disk. They are compatible with a device called Disk Fax, available in Japanese stores. Players had had the option of using the Fax to send their high scores Nintendo. A contest was held. Winners would be rewarded with a Gold Disk version for both titles. .

The Gold Disk versions were slightly different. Both were harder and had an extra level.

Famicom Grand Prix: F-1 Race(FDS)

Before Mario Kart ,there was Famicom Grand Prix F-1 Race. This racing game starring Mario never left Japan. Each car has its own energy and fuel, Crashing into a wall will cause. Same if it's off the road. It IS possible to recover both via a pit-stop, but at the cost of time.

The player has the option to play alone or with other opponents There's an option to play the Grand Prix mode. Winning it rewards the player with coins, which can be used to unlock cars.

There was, you guessed, competition in Japan. Named the " Famicom Grand Prix: F-12 Contest", players with the highest scores got a brand new copy of Game & Watch. The reward was sealed in a case shaped like Diskun,( the mascot of the FDS)

Famicom Grand Prix II: 3D Hdownally (FDS)

The sequel to FGP: F1R, but has more in common with Rad Racer.

The player gets to chose between Mario and Luigi. Then, a choice between three cars is made.

Nintendo of America tested the game. It was deemed "too cutesy" in terms of visuals and was turned down.

Donkey Kong (FDS)

Donkey Kong Jr. (FDS)

Pinball (FDS)

Wrecking Crew (FDS)

Little to no effort has been done to port these games to the FDS. The games run a tad smoother and the music slightly improved. That's about it, really.

Satella-Q (BSX)

As mentioned earlier, Nintendo didn't only make games for the Satellaview. They also released series of quizzes. One of them was Sattela-Q, starring Toad. The famous character with a mushroom-shaped head would guide players in the quizzes.
The BSX had a very cool that allowed for certain games to be phased, Players who also bought Waiwai de Q (another Quiz game) unlocked a specific event with Satella-Q's third day of broadcast.
The game was presented like a quiz show. (with announcers +music). It ran for 28 episodes. Each one were divided into "rounds" that consisted of various types of quizzes, both in "multiple-choice" and "type-out the answer" forms.

In addition to quizzes, minigames would also be played, including one where players must move Toad through an area resembling a pool table, collecting the balls that the on-screen HUD requests. Another one features a game of cards that uses Poker cards with Yoshi on their backs.

Wario's Woods Burst of Laughter Version (BSX)

Wario's Woods Again (BSX)

While the NES Wario Woods saw an international release, the SNES version didn't. Curiously enough, it never saw a physical release in Japan. Two WW games did come out on the BSX, though.

The first release, Wario's Woods Burst of Laughter Version was mostly the same in terms of gameplay. Many of the character graphics were replaced with caricatures of Japanese celebrities.

The second, Wario's Woods Again, is very close to the English SNES WW such as visually. The round-game-style Single Player mode and Story Mode Dialog were omitted, though. Also, Catherine was also replaced by the female avatar from the Satellaview hub, BS-X

Mario Paint BS Ban (BSX)

Mario Paint Yuushou Naizou Ban. (BSX)

Like Mario Paint saw two also releases. on the Satellaview;

Mario Paint BS Ban is the same as the SNES MP but with joypad supprt. A contest was held in Japan. Players could send their artworks to Nintendo.

Mario Paint Yuushou Naizou Ban. Almost identical to Mario Paint BS Pan. The only addition is also a hidden picture - identified as "Dreaming of the Moon, by Mizota Hiroko from the Mario Paint contest.

Panel de Pon (SNES)

BS Yoshi no Panepon (BSX)

Tetris Attack was a retooled version of Panel de Pon a Japanese puzzle game that had nothing with Tetris nor Yoshi. The former did make on the BSX as Yoshi no Panepon.

BS Super Mario Collection (BSX)

BS Super Mario USA (BSX)

Super Mario All Stars was released in Japan as Super Mario Collection. A port of three of the four NES Super Mario (Super Mario Bros, Super Mario : The Levels & Super Mario Bros. 3) released BSX.

The game was released in four weeks/broadcasts . Each of these featured three maps with the option of unlocking more unlocking more depending on the player's score It featured improved sound and was hosted by Japanese celebrity Yuuki Nae

The first broadcast basically is Super Mario Bros. but with a an overworld in the vein of Super Mario 3. I t also features the item system and Toad Houses on the world system from the same game. Also, if the timer runs out, the player

Broadcast 2 was Worlds 1 , 2 & 3 of Super Mario Bros. 3

Broadcast 3 was worlds 4, 5, 6 of Super Mario Bros. 3

The fourth and final Broadcast featured Worlds1 -6 of Super Mario Bros. The Lost Levels

Super Mario Bros 2 (the U.S. one) also saw a release on the BSX. Titled BS Super Mario Bros 2, it too was released in four broadcasts. In each one, the player is sent to a different SMB2 World.

The goal is to collect the Golden Mario Statues located in each level, defeat the boss, and then find and beat Wart, who can be battled in any world when going down in any vase while the player is in Subspace.

The player can select the levels in any order and return to the levels as often as desired until the "episode" ends at around 50 minutes on the clock. Also, depending of the broadcast, the player is forced to pick a certain character.

Elements were later reused in Super Mario Advance.

Dr. Mario BS Version (BSX)

Dr. Mario was ported to the SNES as Tetris & Dr. Mario. It later saw a BSX. Sans Tetris.

The same version, was released in Japan via the Nintendo Power peripheral. Not to be confused with the magazine of the same name, NP as rewritable flash ROM service that allowed players be download Gameboy and Super Famicom games at specific stores. In a lot of ways, it is the successor to the FDS.

Excitebike Mario Battle Stadium (BSX)

A remake
of Excitebike In this game, all human motorcyclists were replaced with Mario characters.

Episode 1 featured Mario, Luigi and Toad

Episode 2 added Wario.

Episode 3 added Princess Toad

Episode 4 added Yoshi and removed Luigi

UNDAKE 30 Shark-Turtle Battle Mario Version (Super Famicom + BSX)

A puzzle game developed by Hudson Soft. The game can be controlled with a either a standard SNES or the Mouse. .

The gameplay consists of connecting two or more Mario -related items. If successful, the player moves the cursor and click to make all the connected icons disappear. The icons above fall down and then even more icons can be cleared. There's an option allowing the player to take back the last move, and move back as far as wanted. Once the entire grid is clear, the game ends.

The game originally was given limited physical release is a promotional release. It was given to stores to display and to winners of game tournaments as a prize. A BSX release followed.

Neither of these versions made it outside Japan.
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That Mario excitebike game sounds lit


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Part III
Super Mario Bros. (2/2)

Mario Artist: Paint Studio (64DD)

Plays a lot like Mario Paint. The game allows for the N64's mouse. Players can view a slideshow of their finished pictures + music. A movie up to 35 frames can be made.

In addition to the game having the option of using pictures of Mario characters, it is also possible to upload photo from the Gameboy Camera to upload photos. Moreover, MAPS features multiplayer mode in which four players draw a a picture together, as well as a myriad of other minigames.

Finally, players can visit up to three 3D Worlds and take pictures of the creatures living in it.

Mario Artist: Talent Studio (64DD)

In the second entry in the Mario Artist series, the player has the option of creating characters and modifying at will.

The game also can bundled with Capture Camera, allowing player to record movies by running a camera through it.

Mario Artist: Communications Kit (64DD)

Allows players to upload and trade on the internet thanks to the RandNetDD service. They also could to print their creations.

An option to import them can import them into the other Mario Artist titles is also available. Also, a character models can be made from pictures uploaded from cameras.

It also unlocked content for the other three titles MA.

Mario Artist: Polygon Studio (64DD)

The fourth and final entry in the MA features 3d constructing. and editing Creations can be used in a 3D World and attempt to try find more effective parts.

Players can also use their models in minigames (Sound Bomber & Chicken Race, both of which would be reuse and improved in Warioware series. )

Four more titled were planned, but ended on the cancellation floor due to the DD poor sales.

Mario Artist: Game Maker

Mario Artist: Graphical Message Maker

Mario Artist: Sound Maker

Mario Artist: Video Jockey Maker

Super Mario 64 (64DD version)

At Space World 1996, a N64DD version of Super Mario 64 was shown. It had better sound thanks to the DD's superior audio.

The disk version of SM64 never saw a retail retail release. However, a Youtube user acquired a prototype.

You can check it out here

Super Mario 64-2 (64DD)

The working title of sequel to Super Mario for the DD. It didn't far into into development (possibly because the Gamecube was coming and releasing the game on a dying add-on would be suicide).

Not much is known SM64-22 However, Miyamoto revealed that he had a prototype of Mario and Luigi running in a hallway.

It's rumored that elements were reused in future 3D Mario titles.

Super Mario 64: Shindō Pack Taiō Version (N64)

When Super Mario 64 was being brought over to North American over, several changes were made. These include additional voice tracks of Mario, as well as Peach's being dubbed. A new musical cue was also done (Lakitu Appears).

Several visual altercations were done as well. The animation clip of Mario getting a key was added (The Japanese version used the clip of Mario getting a star). The image of the Jolly Jolly Rogers also was added (the original one had bubbles on it. The American version had a ship added). The unused unused key HUD in the Japanese version was picture of a corrupted graphic .

Several glitches were also fixed.

Super Mario 64 saw a rerelease in Japan as Super Mario 64: Shindō Pack Taiō Version. It featured all the changes made to the North American version as well as Rumb le Pak support.

You can check the complete list of alterations done during the USA version here:


Mario's Photonoby (N64)

Release in 1998 in Japan, the game's cartridge has two slots on its cartirdge for Smartmedia carts in the top. This is for importing photos and other images, as well transferring. This i

This is the first and only time that Mario title uses these types of cartridges .

The gameplay is about puzzles that the system builds from images using user-generated content.g Players can create images from Mario-franchise themed artwork, borders, fonts, pictures

The layout of the image can become a postcard, name card, poster, or a slideshow.

To advance such layouts, the user can optionally exchange EXIF images with any other SmartMedia device via the two card slots on the top of the game card. Images can be imported into the game from a PC or camera. Completed layouts can be transferred to a personal computer or a printer. Nine optional SmartMedia cards were made separately to use with the game. These cards contain pre-loaded graphics themed after franchises like The Legend of Zelda, Yoshi, and Bomberman.

Super Mario RPG 2 (64DD)

Paper Mario originally was known as Mario RPG 64-2 . It was originally a N64DD title .

When Square began developing games for Sony, the game as renamed "Paper Mario" because of licensing issues. It also saw a regular N64 title release instead. It also saw a regular N64 title release instead.

Super Mario Wacky Worlds: (CD-I)

As mentioned earlier, Phillips gained right to use Nintendo-characters for their line up of CD-i games. Nova Logic was hired to port Super Mario World for the system.

Silas Warner John Brooks were became the designers. Thee worked without respite for two weeks to finish the part of a level.

Though their hard work was met with praise by Nintendo, the game eventually canned due dreadful sales of the CD-i

Three prototypes were released.

You can check footage from the prototype

Makes Takes America (CD-i)

MTA was an edutainment Mario for CD-i game that ended on the cancellation floor. Cigam was picked by Phillips after being impressed by their pitch.

The idea was for Mario to arrive to New York and travel all the way to Hollywood to star in his own feature film. Footage of real-life world locations was filmed. The game was meant to have his traditional moves with FMVs superimposed footage.

Mario was to traverse the New York skyline in an helicopter, the Niagara Falls upper rapids to Falls, the Niagara Gorge to a whirlpool, a car factory in Detroit, the Carlsbad Caverns, a space shuttle ride in Florida, Fort Knox, the Louisiana Bayou in a speedboat, a train fight atop a steam train in Texas, an highway motorcycle race in Monument Valley, a Neon Race in Las Vegas, and a car race in Los Angeles that takes place at night.

The final level would have taken place at Grauman's Theatre, in which Mario was going to face a gauntlet of monsters he'd faced up until that point. The idea was neat, but proved to be too problematic due to the CD-i's limitations. The backup plan replace the famous plumber with another altogether, but it never materialized.

The game's slow progress resulted in Phillips pulling the plug on the project

Virtual Boy Mario (VB)

Predictably enough, a Mario adventure was going to be on vB. It was going to have 2D gameplay in a 3D persecpective.

Wario was going to appear. A few areas were going have a perpestice similar to Zelda. A minigame based on the Mario Bros was also in the orks..

While the game ended up being cancelled, the MB minigame did receive its own game in the form of Mario Clash

Yoshi' Racing (N64):

After their collaboration with Nintendo on Star Fox, Argonaut Games pitched for a 3D Yoshi platformer.

Though it was rejected, it's firmly believed that Super Mario 64 was heavily based on the pitch.

Dragon King: The Fighting Game (N64)

Before it became Super Smash Bros, it was pitched at HAL as a title unrelated to the Mario universe. However, it was rebranded as such when it feared that it would flop in terms of sales.

Yoshi Touch and Go (Gamecube)

Originally in development for the Gamecube, YTaG was meant to be a puzzle featuring Yoshi attempting to protect Baby Mario.

At one point. two versions were at work: one for the NGC and the other for the DS. Ultimately, only the latter was released.

Super Paper Mario (Gamecube)

Originally planned for both the NGC and Wii. But only the Wii version came out.

Previews of the GameCube build appear to show that all characters' special abilities would be activated with the X button rather than the different buttons they had on the final Wii version.

Super Mario Spikers (Wii)

Next Level, the makers of of Super Mario Strikes, oitched the idea of a Nario wrestling game game.

Nintendo turned it down but allowed NL to work on Punch Out for the Wii.

Virtual Boy Wario Land (3DS)

Independent developer Jools Watsham revealed in 2013 that he pitched the idea of a colorized versions of the Virtual Boy games for 3DS starting with VB Wario Land . His idea was turned out (Possibly because of the failure of the VB)

Untitled Boss Game Studios Mario game

In the late 90s, Boss Game Studios pitched the idea of a Mario game to Nintendo of America. Patrick Michael Clark drew a storyboard of Mario stepping on a wooden plank, following by the wooden plank sprouting legs and walking in Mario's direction.

Apparently, Nintendo didn't care much for the pitch and turned it down.

Mario Motors (NDS)

Game designer Yoot Saito made a pitch for a Mario racing game His idea was for players to shave and sculpt cylinders out of a piece of metal. The better the cylinder, the better the engine.

He also wanted to have players blow in the microphones to learn how acceleration works, but it was cut because it was deemed too complex for kids.

People at Nintendo liked Saito's pitch. But never made the game, mysteriously enough.

Mario / Rabbids Crossover

In 2010, Ubisoft contemplated the idea of a Mario / Rabbids. But was rejected was by Nintendo before it was officially pitched.

A crossover did happen in the form of Mario + Rabbids Kingdom Battle.

Mario Castle (Project Atlantis)

In 1995-1996, Nintendo planned to release a handheld system even more powerful than the GBA codenamed. The rumored name for the system was GameBoy Advanced and was compatible with the N64.

The handheld was canned as it was deemed too powerful and too large.


A Mario game was in the works for PA. It was reported in an EGM issue. But never was mentioned again.

Mario: Mission Earth (SNES)

Software Toolworks, makers of Mario is Missing and Mario's time Machine, were working on another edutainment game.

It, thankfully, never came out..

Super Mario Bros. (Commodore 64)

In the 80s, a company called Fireworks pitched the idea of porting Super Mario Bros. to the C64. They got the rights from Nintendo.

Curiously enough, it never went into production.

Orpheus Software's Super Mario Bros. (Commodore 64)

In 1986, Orpheus Software planned a short one-level demo for the C64. They wanted to release it as a full retail title. But Nintendo said no.

Super Mario Bros. 3 (PC)

Id Software pitched the idea of porting Super Mario Bros. 3 to PC in 1990. A demo was shown. But Nintendo didn't care much for the idea d turned it down.

Mario Kart (Tesla)

An idea for a Mario Kart that would be played on Tesla vehicles . But was turned down by the Big N.

Mario Kart (VB)

There was a Mario Kart in development for the Virtual Boy. It was quietly cancelled, though.


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Part IV
Donkey Kong
Donkey Kong Returns (NES)

A follow up to the DK trilogy was mentioned in an issue 1987 of Nintendo Power magazine . The only details known revealed were that DK would have a playable character for the first time and that the barrel-throwing mechanic would return.

It was quietly cancelled. However, elements of it may have been reused in the Gameboy title Donkey Kong.

Donkey Kong's Fun With Music (NES)

Donkey Kong no Ongaku Asobi (as it was known in Japan) was to be one of the launch edutainment titles for the Famicom (along with Donkey Kong Jr. Math and Popeye no Eigo Asobi. It was to feature characters from Donkey Kong and Donkey Kong Jr. This was meant to teach players music.

The game was also to have to modes:

MUSIC QUIZ : DK was to be a bassist. The objective was for the player to play the piano notes by as shown by Mario and Lady notes on screen. MP had a multiplayer option.

1 player mode would have Mario play the notes with Lady + her hammer on the sidelines. 2 player mode was to have both Mario and Lady play the notes. Mario was to be controlled by player 1 and Lady by player 2.

DONKEY BAND: a karaoke styled game in which included the player singing into the Famicom player 2 controller microphone. Donkey Kong is on bass once more with DK Jr. playing drums, Mario playing a grand piano and Lady as a vocalist.

The reason for its cancellation is this: . The game was to feature many songs from popular Japanese singer Seiko Matsuda. Nintendo lost the rights for them shortly before its release. They came up looking for alternatives, but would have been too time-consuming.

Donkey Kong Country 2 (Virtual Boy)

Hard to believe, but this was going to be a reality. However, after the VB flopped, it became the SNES game that needs no introduction.

Famicom Mini Collection (GBA)

Shortly after the GBA, Nintrendo began rereleasing NES titles for the handheld. A multicart was to be released in China. It eould have been distributed by iQue.

Here's the list of titles were to be released :
Mario Bros., Super Mario Bros., Wrecking Crew, Dr. Mario, Clu Clu Land, Ballon Fight , Metroid, Excite Bike, Ice Climber, Super Mario Bros. 2 (Lost Levels) and Donkey Kong.

It was quietly canned.

Diddy Kong Pilot (GBA)

Rare was on a follow to Diddy Kong Racing. For various reasons, it was decided to turn into a Banjo Racing game (Banjo Pilot).

The first prototype was conceived in 2001. Nintendo did not approve it and Rare was bought out by Microsoft afterwards. It had to be scrapped.

The second prototype came out in 2003. Rare was allowed to make games on Nintendo handheld consoles after the sale that shocked the world. But the game never came out and became Banjo Pilot.

Donkey Kong: Coconut Crackers (GBA)

A puzzle game meant to be released 2001. Suffered a similar fate than DKP did. It was cancelled and repackaged into a different game (It's Mr. Pants).

Donkey Kong Plus (GBA/Gamecube)

A remake of Donkey Kong was shown in 2002 as a proof of concept title to show off the connectivity between the GBA / NGC. Other that the upgraded visuals, the title allowed the player to edit their own stages on the NGC.

The game never saw a retail release, possibly because of Nintendo wanting to focus on brand new and fresh ideas at the time. In lieu of DK Plus, the Mario vs Donkey series was made. Elements were reused in Mario vs Donkey Kong 2.

Donkey Kong (BBC Micro and IBM PCjr.)

Donkey Kong Jr. (Commodore VIC-20 and ZX Spectrum)

Mario Bros. (Commodore VIC-20)

Atarisoft were in charge of porting DK and Super Mario Bros. for the Commodore 64, IBM (DOS) and Apple II. It was confirmed by several magazine publications. Crystal Castles, Typo Attack, and Track & Field were also in the plans.

None of them came out, but that doesn't mean that we won't see the prototypes someday.

Untitled RTS (N64)

Wild Cartoon Kingdom

Pro Am 64 (N64)

Diddy Kong Racing went through several phases before Rare made up their minds:

1 The game began as its own real-time strategy game unrelated to the DK franchise. It featured elements of a caveman and time travel.

2) The following phase had a more Walt Disney World vibe, It was to be an adventure game titled Wild Cartoon Kingdom.

3) Next phase was a racing game called Pro Am 64. Unrelated to the NES title.

4) Lastly, Rare genuinely was afraid that the game would not well. So, the game was rebranded/retooled as Diddy Kong Racing.

Donkey Kong Racing (GCN)

Like Diddy Kong before him, DK was to star in his own racing game. But it was another unfortunate casualty of Microsoft acquiring Rare .

The game was shown as a pre-rendered video at E3 2001 and as a later a more advanced (but not playable) form at Spaceworld of the same year.

It was scheduled for a 2002 release. It would be the last time it be displayed.

A an an attempt to rework DKR into a Sabreman racing game called Sabreman Stampede for the 360 also ended on the cancellation floor. A DK-themed themed racing game did makeon the Wii though, (Diddy Kong Barrel Blast).

Characters confirmed were meant to be playable were: Donkey Kong, Tiny Kong, Diddy Kong, Taj the Genie, and Kiddy Kong(with an internal render of Cranky and Lanky Kongs). Rideable creatures were Rambi, a giant Rambi, a small red Rambi, Enguarde,, a purple Enguarde, Elie , and some zingers. Espresso, A Chomps Shark, an army and necky were rumored to appear as well.

It would have been possible to upgrade after winning races. Multiplayer up to 4 players was also in the plans, as well real-world phenomenas occuring the competitions. Lastly, the ability for the player to switch rides during races and the possiblilty to make an opponent fall off its ride, were both in the works.

Diddy Kong Racing Adventure (GCN)

After Rare began making games for the XBox, a pitch was made in 2004 by Climax Group to make a sequel to Diddy Kong Racing for the Nintendo Gamecube. But ultimately was rejected. It wasn't made available to the public until 2016.

It would have featured an adventure mode; The player would have travelled crossed around Kongo Island and visit other areas. Hidden locations secrets and characters also were in the plans. Bosses were challenged after collecting a specific item or preliminary heat. Beating the bosses would free Diddy's friends. Non-racing events also were in the plans.

Intended list of vehicles would include jet-skis, planes, quad bikes, bugies and hover sooters . A mount system in which a the player would adjust their position on the vehicle and the ability to switch it vehicles during races were both planned. Also in store was for players upgrading vehicles, and use them to access hidden areas.

During races, player had the possibility to collect fruits. Collecting a specific set of fruit with a particular character would allow the latter to use a specific attack. For instance, collecting dark fruits allows a powerful dark-based attack that required for the player to sacrifice some HP. Also intended to be in the game was an attack that costs the player to use a melee attack that needs a bananas for it.

Like the cancelled Donkey Kong Racing, a multiplayer option up to four players was in the works. It also was possible to play the unlocked characters and levels during single player mode on MP. Each track would have had two versions: A Normal and Monochrome modes. Also intended was the option of setting the time of the day as well as the weather.

Certain modes exclusive to 2x2 and to free-fo- all: a "straight race" , time trials, knockout cup,( in which the last place racer is eliminated from the race), elimination, demolition derby ; show-off, a Simon Says minigame (in which players must perform various skills) and lastly fruit bowl. FB is for players to collect fruits and unlock attack

List of characters: Diddy Kong,Tiptup, Timber, Krunch, Conker, Donkey. Also planned was the inclusion of dark versions of Diddy, Pipsy, Bumper. Dixie and Lanky were also supposed to show up.

Kinda of a shame this game never materialized, if you ask me.

Donkey Kong Bongo Blast (GCN)

The aforementioned Wii racing DK racing game "DK Barrel Blast" began its origins as a Gamecube title.

The game was meant to be played with the Gamecube's DK Bongos.

Donkey Kong (CD-i)

A DK game was in the works for the Phillips-CD-i, but got canned for unknown reasons.

Adrian Jackson-Jones and Owen Flatley were to be the programmers.

Donkey Kong 4 (Arcade)

A fourth game DK was rumored to be playtested in arcades. it was mentioned in an issue of Mean Manchines in 1991. The report may have been the result of the confusion with another Kong game: Ocean's Kong Strikes Back.

Donkey Kong Country 4 (DS)

After remaking the DK Trilogy for the GBA, Rare pitched the idea of doing a sequel for the DS. But it's go far and the plan was nixed.

Donkey Kong Parking Attendant (Arcade)

in 1983, Steve Radosh (creator of the show Catchphrase and producer of Hotel Mario) was invoved inthe development of an arcade game starring the famous ape as a parking attendant. Believe it or not, it was going to be a Sega title, as they owned the rights.

Around the same time, Sega lost their rights after Gulf and Western Industries (the American conglomerate and, at the time was Paramount Pictures corporate parent) sold its ownership of Sega's U.S. assets to pinball machine maker Bally Manufacturing.

The game had to be canned as a result.

Donkey Kong 3 (Mini Classics)

The Mini Classics are a series of LCD handheld games initially released in 1998, featuring licensed ports of Game & Watch titles. They were put together by Stadlbauer, and were distributed and published by numerous other manufacturers. They are designed like key chains. Additionally, the Mini Classics can also serve as a clock.

Donkey Kong, Donkey Kong Jr. and Super Mario Bros. were rereleased as a part of the Mini Classics series. The games are mostly identical to their original (Game & Watch) versions, although there are some subtle differences (such as Super Mario Bros. combining elements from both the New Wide Screen and Crystal series versions).

A pitch for DK3 to become a MC was rejected.

Donkey Kong 3: Dai Gyakushū (F7)

In 1984, Hudson Soft released a sequel to Donkey Kong 3. Called Donkey Kong 3: Dai Gyakushū , it had more in common with Galaga, removing some elements from DK3 entirely (Such as the ability to jump and the need to rescues plants). It had 20 additional stages. (At Stage 21, the game loops back). A Bonus Round shows up every 5 levels.

It saw a Japanese-only release on the NEC PC-6001mkII/NEC PC-6601, NEC PC-8801, and Sharp X1. It was scheduled to appear on Fujitsu's F7, a PC that began life in 1982 and was discontinued two years later. but never did.

Donkey Kong Jr. (BBC Micro)

Atarisoft made a port of DK Jr. for BBC Micro. But never was released.

Donkey Kong (ColecoVision)

Donkey Kong Jr. (ColecoVision)

Super Donkey Kong (Super Game Module)

Super Donkey Jr. (Super Game Module )

Ports of the first two Donkey titles for the CV. Prototypes were made. The games featured more levels and cutscenes.

They never were released, but incomplete prorotypes were released in the early 2000s.

Ports of Donkey and Donkey Kong Jr. also were planned for the Super Game (a canceled peripheral for the CV)
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You are all set @Citan

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.





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.
A Legend of Zelda with Secret of Mana mechanics would have been a banger. No reason given for abandoning the party idea?
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Part 5


Pokémon Green Version (Gameboy)

Pokémon first appeared in Japan in 1996 as Pocket Monsters: Red and Green. An update, Pocket Monsters: Blue, was released 8 months later. The games went through a lenghty development process.

It became an Issue when the localisation process began. The code Red and Green were a pain to deal with. It was decided to rewrite the code and base around it on the more recent Blue.

Pocket Monsters Red and Green were released internationally as Pokémon Red and Blue with the same monster distribution. Green version never was localised, (though a GBA remake Pokémon Leafgreen was released in the States.

Pokémon Picross (Gameboy Color)

Before its released as a freeware on the 3DS eSHOP, Pokémon Picross started as a GBC project that never saw the light of day. No reason was given for its cancellation.

It was scheduled for a 1999 release and was compatible with the GB Camera.

Pokémon puzzles did appear in the Japan only the SNES Picross NP Vol 1 .

Jack and the Beanstalk (N64DD)

Pokémon Snap (N64DD)

Pokémon Span began as an game without any links to the Pokémon franchise. It was originally meant to be titled Jack and the Beanstalk. It had elements that never made it to the final game (such as the ability to plant a seed and watch it grow in real time thanks to the DD's unique features).

But the developers were struggling with the game, as there was no reason for the player to take pictures . So it was decided to make it a Pokémon title.

The constant delays of the 64DD forced Nintendo to release it as a regular N64 title.

Pokémon Stadium (N64DD)

The original Pokémon Stadium title originally was , it was originally pitched as a N64DD title. But suffered the same fate as so many planned 64DD games and was released as a 64 cart. Only 42 of the 151 planned titles. It never was outside internationally (my guess would be because of its high difficulty).

But the sequel, Pocket Monsters: Stadium 2, was. It was a N64 title and featured all 151 Pokémon from Gen 1 It was localised as Pokémon Stadium.

Pocket Monsters: Stadium 3 also was an N64 title. All Pokémon from gens 1 and 2 made. it. It also was released in the US as Pokémon Stadium 2 (confused?)

Pocket Monsters RPG (N64DD)

Pokémon RPG (N64DD)

Pokémon was set to have its first full-3D adventure on the DD add-on. But was quietly canned.

At the time, Game Freak insisted on having their Pokémon Generations titles on handheld, which may explain why its fate.

A 3D Pokémon adventure wouldn't appear until Pokémon Colosseum for the Gamecube.

Pokémon Colosseum (N64)

Speaking of which, Colosseum originally was pitched as an N64 title.

Meowth's Party (NGC)

Shown at Spaceworld 2000, it basically was to show what the Gamecube could do. Its visuals weren't the greatest, having some FPS issues. But for an interactive demo, it certainly was an impressive feat at the time. It featured Meowth singing and dancing, while gaining the Pokémon fans in the process.

It never saw a retail release , possibly because Game Freak didn't think it would be a good idea for a game. It did appear in the Gamecube game Pokémon Channel.

Pokémon: Catch the Numbers (Sega Pico)

Pokémon: Advanced Generation: I've begun Hiragana and Katakana! (Sega Pico)

Pokémon Advanced Generation : Pico for everyone Pokémon Loud Battle! (Sega Pico)

Believe it or not, a trilogy of Pokémon titles came out on the Sega Pico (an edutainment console). Only in Japan.

'Catch the Numbers' came out in 2002. Team Rocket has kidnapped the majority of your Pokémon. Rescue them via completing minigames (mostly numbers related). It featured the cast from the Japanese.

'Advanced Generation: I've begun Hiragana and Katakana! came out in 2003. It was mostly to help teach Japanese kids kana ( syllabic Japanese scripts). Team Rocket disguised themselves as Ash, Brock, May and Max. They need 25 Pokémon to proceed to the Pokémon Stage. To do that, the player has to draw the correct kana.

'Advanced Generation : Pico for everyone Pokémon Loud Battle! ' was released in 2004. No information is currently available.

Pokémon Card GB 2 (Gameboy Color)

Better known as 'Pokémon the Trading Card 2', it introduced dark versions of the Pokémon and Team Rocket into the mix.

Possibly wasn't localised because of Nintendo dropping all support for GBC in favor of GBA.

Pokémon Mystery Dungeon Adventure (Wiiware)

A spinoff to Pokémon Mystery Dungeon. It was released for the Wiiware in Japan only in 3 episodes: Pokémon Mystery Dungeon: Keep Going! Blazing Adventure Squad, Pokémon Mystery Dungeon: Let's Go! Stormy Adventure Squad and Pokémon Mystery Dungeon: Go For It! Light Adventure Squad.

Pokémon: Card Game: How to Play DS (NDS)

Another follow up to Pokémon that remained in Japan. It was packaged with real-life sets of Pokémon cards. It also was possible to fight against CPU controlled opponents.

Poképark Fishing Rally DS (NDS)

A fishing game that was only available as a DS Download Play demo. It was available from May 10, 2005 until September 25, 2005.
Curiously enough, it would delete itself after a short while. It has only been released in Japan. As it was only obtainable via DS Download Play (a feature that allows multiplayer experience without having to own more than one copy of the same game).

It was first made made available at Poképark (a theme park dedicated to Pokémon), at Pokécenters (retail stores selling Pokémon merchandise), and at Pokémon Festa conventions

Pokémon Tretta (Arcade)

Pokémon Tretta (3DS)

A series of arcade Pokémon titles that remained Japan exclusive. They were a predecessor to Nintendo's Amiibo. Players inserted real-life coins, each featuring its own Pokémon and stats.

There was an attempt of doing a 3DS version. It was most unsuccessful, however.

Pokémon PC Master (PC)

Game Freak made quite a number of edutainment games for PC. One of them, Pokémon PC Master, remained Japan exclusive.
Basically, it was to teach kids the basics of using a computer.

Pokémon Waterblue (GBA)

A trademark was filed Pokémon Waterblue around the release of Pokémon Firered and Leafgreen, implying that a Pokémon Blue remake was in the works. But no announcement were made.
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Undeniable wrote on Keith's profile.
I've been meaning to say something for a bit now, but any chance you can make a review thread and post your videos in there?

I'd appreciate it. Thank you. :)

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