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Gaming Archaeology

Nov 15, 2007

Following the recent discovery of large amounts of unused content within every retail copy of Super Princess Peach, we take a look at what other development secrets are tucked away inside your Nintendo collection. From modes to graphics to entire levels, things are constantly tweaked and changed during a game's creation. And because it's time-consuming to remove all traces of these early features before a game hits the shelves, hackers are able to dig into finished games and reconstruct what might have been. Trowel and metal detector in hand, we've unearthed these relics…



Super Princess Peach

This cutesy tear-jerker might not seem the most obvious place to look for hidden secrets, but it's surprisingly stashed with functional things such as fully-animated characters that were ruthlessly axed at various points during the development process.

The Koopa Kids
Bowser's little ones were originally going to be the seven bosses of the game, until they were replaced by the likes of Magikoopa, Petey Piranha and King Boo. Their graphical ghosts remain in the cartridge, seven nicely animated testaments to the luxurious amounts of storage space available to today's game designers.

Face of Freak
This is from the Japanese version and we have no idea what it might be, other than a texture for a 3D model of something from a clown's nightmare. It was snipped out of subsequent editions, perhaps to prevent it scaring people by accidentally popping up on their screens during a DS malfunction in an electrical storm. Or something.

Peach Goes West
When it was first announced, the game had a rounded, manga-style Peach face on the upper screen. By the time it was seen again, Peach had been redrawn with a Disney aesthetic, moved to the lower screen and was surrounded by touch screen buttons, representing a major change in gameplay as well as looks.

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