The Nintendo 64 is an ideal ‘what if’ console. Unfinished titles are literally popping out of the wood work on an almost monthly basis now, so technically this series of articles could go on for a while. So sit back, grab a brew and relive the days when games were cancelled at the last minute and the only way you ever found out about them was in a monthly magazine dedicated to Nintendo’s odd but rather curious gaming machine. Remember, as per usual it is very difficult to establish information on cancelled titles and as these articles go on and on, it can become like spreading the last of the butter on burnt toast.
Ah yes, pet simulation. No need to own any domestic animals in the late 90’s, the Nintendo 64 had you covered. Wait, nope – it was cancelled. Through research and limited information to hand, Teo was, well, ‘different’ to anything else out there. However, the game itself did already exist. ‘Fin Fin on Teo The Magic Planet’ was windows based pet simulator produced by Fujitsu. The main character ‘Fin Fin’ was a strange half dolphin half dog thingy that lived on a planet called Teo. The user would communicate with Fin Fin via a web cam called ‘smartsensor’. Interaction with Fin Fin would include talking, directions to explore near by points of interest, feeding and playing games. It’s believed the N64 version of this rather intriguing title would have been controlled via the voice microphone and a sensor bar. Sensor bar? Now that’s interesting. Baring in mind the game was canned circa 1997-98, one has to assume that the ‘sensor bar’ was deemed to risky for the market and too expensive. We all know what happened to the sensor bar, so this is indeed a very intriguing.
Ura Zelda / Zelda Gaiden
Ura Zelda is an awesomely sounding title, isn’t it? Well, it actually translates ‘Another Zelda’ literally. Ura Zelda was one of two expansions being worked on simultaneously for the 64DD. The other expansion title went by the name of ‘Zelda Gaiden’. Ura Zelda would specifically take the dungeon approach, adding new enemies and newly crafted, intricate dungeons that would vary in difficulty including Unicorn Fountain. Zelda Gaiden would concentrate on the over world side of things with completely new gameplay and a new adventure.
Ura Zelda didn’t make it onto the 64DD. With spiraling costs, other commitments and a lack of interest for the 66DD itself, the game was finished but cancelled and never released. However, fans would see a slice of what was when ‘The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time Master Quest’ bonus disc was included with The Wind Walker for the Game Cube, although this has led to various gaming conspiracies including one theory that suggests that Master Quest is a completely new game, meaning Ura Zelda still exists, it’s finished and someone has a copy in a drawer at home. Also, for reference, a restoration project did begin on Ura Zelda. Unfortunately not much was known about the project and it has since been completely cancelled.
Nintendo though, determined not to let anything go to waste, performed an actual gaming miracle when they decided to scale down and fit Zelda Gaiden onto the Nintendo 64 (via an expansion upgrade) and releasing the finished product as Majora’s Mask. Only Nintendo could pull something like that off.
Here’s an odd one. Buggy Boogie started life as the N64’s answer to Carmageddon. However, Miyamoto upon visiting the studios to see how progress was going decided that the game lacked the fun factor. The team decided to scrap the battle and violent elements of the game and took the Mario Kart road. Cars, tracks and ideas were heavily changed to suit Miyamoto’s and Nintendo’s ‘family friendly’ approach. After more sub sequential Miyamoto visits, he decided against the game, telling the team they had tried very hard but the game isn’t what Nintendo are looking for. He gave them three months to produce an exciting new family golf game and left. However, Buggy Boogie didn’t go to waste. The ever environmentally friendly Nintendo decided to use some of the designs and assets from the game and incorporate them into Mario Artist for the 64DD. Ingenious.
Details here are vague, sketchy, kind of like your first trip to a night club in the mid nineties under the influence of a rare and striped bottle of alcho-pop. The game was being headed up by a team of specialist coders and devs on behalf of Marigul Management. So mysterious are the details, journalists have actually been warned off by real felines.
The game was only shown once at E3 2000 and indicated that the player controlled a large red cat being violently chased down by a mouse in what can only be described as adult Tom & Jerry. Rumors did circulate of law suit. However, the game never saw the light of day. In fact, the game was never shown again, never spoken of and to this day nothing of great particularity has ever arose from the video.
A few more details on this one than the previous entry, Mini Racers promised to be an all out multiplayer super fest for the Nintendo 64. Small, remote controlled cars with full 3D controls and fully interactive ‘home familiar’ environments and a fully operational track editor that could be shared via memory card between players. Wow. Take a deep breath and just think about the fun we all have missed out on. Micro Machines 64. Looking Glass studios showed the software off at Nintendo Space World 2000. The game was later shelved and never made it onto the Game Cube. This would have been multiplayer heaven, and luckily enough for us the Mini Racers has since surfaced online for download.
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