Missing In Action: Nintendo 64's Long Lost Classics - Part 1

Missing-In-Action-Nintendo-64-Part-1The Nintendo 64, a triumph in many ways but a lacklustre venture in many others. The unfounded decision to stay with cartridge based software was a genius, yet floored decision which left many third party publishers tentative - including Nintendo & Shigeru Miyamoto himself. Many publishers had the means to support the basis of ground-breaking ideas but Nintendo didn’t provide them with the space needed to transfer these projects. You almost could say that the 64 Disk Drive would have bridged that virtual gap between reality and inconceivable reality, but Nintendo’s partiality to decide anything comprehensively finale proved to be the final curtain of hope for many publishers ventures into the unknown, including Nintendo’s.

Below, is a tearful list of cancelled projects, including some projects that did make it onto the fabled Nintendo 64 but, albeit, in a very different form entirely to its publishers dreams.

Super Mario World 64 2

Shigeru Miyamoto has a distinct habit of dropping the ball over the years. The Nintendo guru notably and understandably gets very excited when he is working on a new project and it shows. Without warning, he likes to make subtle hints on new projects and ventures that he is personally overseeing. So during an interview with Nintendo Power in 1999, he tried to explain a previous comment made a few years earlier at E3 97’ in which he claimed he was ‘just getting started on a project’.

This comment, at the time leads many to believe this ‘project’ was to indeed be Mario 64 2, or, a Mario 64 expansion project for the up and coming Nintendo 64DD. Without doubt, by the time of the 1999 Nintendo Power interview many people knew this game was to be no longer a priority. Here is a snippet of that interview -

Nintendo Power: How about the sequel to Super Mario 64?

Miyamoto: We've been thinking about the game, and it may be something that could work on a completely new system.

Nintendo Power: Are you planning on making a two-player game with simultaneous, cooperative play?

Miyamoto: We've actually been considering a four-player game with simultaneous play, but each screen would need to be very small, and we would have to implement some new camera work. But it's these sorts of problems that I like to tackle.

 

Super Mario 128 Demo

So, from the above extract many would conclude that any chance of the Mario 64 2 expansion or a fully fledged sequel was dead. Mario 64 2 had been cancelled, but Miyamoto has since insisted that he did not know or remember if the game was to be a stand alone title for the Nintendo 64, the 64DD or just an ‘idea’. He also claimed that Mario 64 2 had become in many way’s ‘other games’. It’s also rumoured, rather incoherently that Mario 64 2 was eventually shown as rather tedious tech demo at the Space World event on 2000. This was later to be realised as a guise to show off the capability of the Game Cube, the demo was named ‘Super Mario 128’

Project Dream (Banjo-Kazooie) or (Monkey Island 64)

Project-Dream-Edison

So, Project Dream was slated to iron out the mysterious ending to Monkey Island 2, deciphering whether or not Guybrush dreamt up the whole thing to imagine him gaining revenge upon his older brother Le Chuck or, did Le Chuck curse Guybrush to live out he’s days in a dream world against another Pirate by the name of Captain Blackeye?

Actually, neither of those theories can be true, but there’s reason to this madness. In earnest, the history behind Project Dream is what the title states. Some believe the game to have been vastly superior to anything the Nintendo 64 could have handled and that, with all Rare’s ability to produce such advantageous titles on a cartridge, it simply was too overwhelming for the console to handle.

 

The game had started life in RPG form for the Super Nintendo, but was quickly given a sharp overhaul and a completely new story to fit Nintendo’s new console. Rare quickly realised that open world RPG’s would be the consoles greatest feet. Following the story of Edison, a young sea worthy man who becomes entangled with the dangerous Captain Blackeye, this action RPG would have been set in an open world filled to the brim with dangerous ports, pirates and bustling towns with pubs and … wait a minute, isn’t this Monkey Island?

Well, Nintendo apparently realised this and helped their counterparts Rare Ltd avoid a costly lawsuit involving a certain Mr Gilbert and Mr Lucas. So, replacing Edison with he’s clumsy but trusted side kick ‘Banjo-Kazooie’ then replacing Captian Blackeye with a witch named ‘Gruntidla Winkybununion’ then replacing Edison’s girlfriend with Banjo’s Sister ‘Tooty’, we eventually ended up with the charming and delightful title Banjo-Kazooie. This of course is all speculation through years of internet research and actually not asking anybody at Rare ltd.

Cabbage!

Cabbage-Nintendo-64

If you were to mix Shigesato Itoi of Earthbound fame, Tsunekazu Ishihara of Pokemon fame and Nintendo’s very own Shigeru Miyamoto, you would come up with the rather odd titled ‘Cabbage!’ The game was to have centred around a virtual pet that would rely on an internal real time clock installed in the Nintendo 64 Disk Drive. Unscrupulous as are Nintendo when they set their minds to something, ignored of any deviations or, digression there appeared to have been no thought given to the entity of the same idea, Tamagotchi from Bandai.

The game would be played out on the basis that the player would be able to raise a pet in a virtual world. The animal would then be able to interact with an ever changing environment. According to Shigeru Miyamoto, the game was halted around mid 1999 due to a lack of interest and other project commitments from Shigesato Itoi and Tsunekazu Ishihara who were both working on HAL Laboratory’s Pokemon Snap.

Rumours also incited heated conflict between Nintendo and Bandai. According to other Nintendo sources, the games dynamics played out fairly well with Animal Crossing and later on, Nintendo Dogs.

Biohazard 0 (Resident Evil Zero)

The prequel to a story that all gamers should know by now, actually started life on the Nintendo 64. Capcom, having decided not to release Resident Evil on the console, opted to tell the story before the Racoon Forest incident. Having seen Resident Evil 2 on the Nintendo 64, fans eagerly awaited the roots of the franchise to be played out on the machine. This never happened.

With footage and images of the game being showed at E3 2000, Capcom really managed to harness the true power and potential of the 64. Unfortunately, Capcom made the decision not to compromise glamour over gameplay after realising the game was ‘too big’ for the 64. They stopped the game half way through development. With the 64 Disk Drive looking to have succumbed to its own downfall, Capcom decided to release the game on the Game Cube in 2002.


Stay tuned for part two of Missing In Action: Nintendo 64's Long Lost Classics where we'll discover many more unreleased titles!


Last Updated ( 20 February 2014 )  

Comments 

+1 (Link to this comment) JulianHillUK 2014-02-24 16:00
Its odd, how so many games were started on the N64 but then moved to other systems.Just imagine what could have happened if the DD wasn't a massive failure!
(Link to this comment) GuyFawkesRetro 2014-03-04 10:54
I think the DD was always going to be a failure. All Ninty had to do was release a CD based system. But, i'm glad the 64 went the direction it did. It gave us so many different games, styles and visuals. It was a god send. Part 2 will up soon ;-)
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