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Dummied Out
The level still exists in the final... just without the graphics. Or collision data.

When some feature, level, monster or something else was meant to be put in a game but ultimately ended up getting cut out for whatever reason. Except instead of deleting the data entirely, the programmers just remove all legitimate ways to access it, leaving pieces of it in the game code (textures, models, sprites, etc.). For instance, setting the game so a particular enemy never actually spawns, or removing all entrances to a level that was never finished.

/*
One reason for this is because most video game consoles use static file structures, referring to particular data segments. Much of the debugging was getting the structure to cooperate with the console, so removing large batches of code was impractical at best and often opened up more problems than it solved. As such, unless the space was needed, dummied content would just be left in with all references in the other files cut.
*/

There can be many reasons as to why some data was left over and dummied out. Developers always use debugging tools to test levels or game mechanics (some include the ability to gain items at will or warp to any level) and these kinds of things are usually something the player shouldn't have access to. Another example is content that the developers cut out at the last minute because the concept they wanted to use either didn't work out too well, they were pressed for time or by unforeseen copyright issues and were forced to cut out content to meet the strict schedules.

The remaining bits of data or map could sometimes result in false cases of Notice This, and players getting an Empty Room Psych out of it. If the fans get talking, a mythical access to it can become an Urban Legend of Zelda. In other media this takes the form of What Could Have Been. Dummied out content is sometimes accessible with skill, patience, or merciless exploiting of glitches, but usually requires modding or hacking of some sort.

See also Minus World, and The Cutting Room Floor (a wiki of dummied out content). Game Mods will sometimes reopen access to it. Compare Orphaned Reference.


Examples:


Other

  • If you poke around The Best Page In The Universe's pages' HTML source, you'll find a variety of commented-out bits.
  • Using the "view source" button on some pages here at TV Tropes will reveal commented-out lines in the wiki markup (lines which begin with %% are comments). At times, these may include examples that were Dummied Out because they didn't meet the Wiki standards, but weren't completely removed in hopes that some troper, someday, would save them.
  • Occasionally, Transformers toys will have features taken out during production.
    • One of the most famous is Hoist from Transformers Armada, which was intended to have a geared gimmick similar to that of Cyclonus.
    • Voyager-class Starscream from Transformers Cybertron has space for batteries and a speaker, and even some of the circuitry for sound effects, but in all of its releases, the mold has never featured sound effects.
    • On the topic of Voyager-class Starscreams, the Revenge of the Fallen Voyager Starscream was originally meant to have hinges in his hands that would allow them to fold over on themselves to hide them in vehicle mode, and joints that would allow his arm-mounted weaponry to fold further out. While neither of these exist on the final toy, both are visible in his instruction sheet.
    • The Generation 1 toys that were derived from the Diaclone series had "pilot seats" meant for the mini-figures that were included with the original toys. Many of the missile launchers, especially on the reissues, were weakened or disabled.
    • A large number of Transformers molds are designed such that you can 'backlight' their eyes by shining a light on a section of their head with translucent plastic. A significant number of Transformers figures have this feature painted over so you can't use it, but the translucent eyes are still there. Canny toy modders use this to implement their own backlighting.
  • Many MOD music files have unused or hidden patterns, sometimes accessible by skipping beyond the position where the song ends or loops.
  • Older model car kits, particularly by Tamiya and Fujimi, sometimes had battery-powered or friction-drive motors. These were removed in the rereleased versions, but the cars retain the battery and/or motor compartments. Likewise, many kits have unused parts, usually left over from other variations of the model.
  • In a particularly unusual example, the "Winner's Circle" Bonus Round on Pyramid was originally intended to have 10 categories instead of 6. After it was deemed too hard, a board was hastily nailed over the slots where the bottom 4 boxes on the triangular board would have gone. This remained until the set was redesigned.
  • The film Wreck-It Ralph features a Dummied Out character as one of its leads. Vanellope von Schweetz, from the racing game "Sugar Rush", desires to participate in the races but she, her car and her track were left in an incomplete state. This also prevents her from leaving her game to visit others like everyone else can. She was forcefully dummied out by a narcissistic character from another game who invaded her game after his was disabled by his game hopping.
  • So-called "Junk DNA", more properly known as Noncoding DNA, was initially believed to be non-functional remnants of ancestral genes. It has been shown that many non-coding DNA segments actually help regulate other genes, but still the majority of DNA segments are not under any constraint and their mutations do not change body functions in any way.
  • Disney Theme Parks contain many remnants of attractions that were never finished, such as the dragon-shaped rock and castle bridge intended for Beastly Kingdom, and the ravens in the Haunted Mansion that were supposed to be the narrator.
  • "Ramps to nowhere" are bridges or highway ramps that dead-end in midair, intended for aborted freeway projects. For example, the ramps of the cancelled R.H. Thomson Expressway near Seattle's Washington Arboretum, and until 1990, the I-5 / I-90 interchange. SR-520 ended in a similar fashion for several years. The Alaskan Way viaduct also had dummy ramps that were meant to connect with I-90; that part of the viaduct was demolished in 2011.
    • Another example of this is the Korean War Veterans Parkway in Staten Island, New York, where it was supposed to connect to the Staten Island Expressway on another part of the island. Due to protests from residents and environmentalists, the construction project was canceled and the parkway ends at a dead end with grass growing over the unfinished portions of the road, directing traffic to the side streets as drivers reach the highway's end.
    • Interstate 180 is a 13 mile offshoot of I-80 leading to the tiny town of Hennepin, Illinois, originally built so a steel plant there could have easy Interstate access. Unfortunately, the plant went out of business almost as soon as 180 was completed. 180 still stands, and is one of the least travelled pieces of Interstate in America... and in a fit of circular logic, this has been used as justification to scuttle a proposed extension to the more metropolitan Peoria, where an on-ramp and section of Interstate-grade highway meant to connect with it instead dead-end in the middle of a field.
    • Also in Illinois is the Amstutz Expressway, a 2.9 mile four-lane highway which is known as the road-to-nowhere. The Amstutz was originally planned as a connecting route for the downtown area of Waukegan, but the critical link between the neighboring village of North Chicago was never built, and the factories the expressway was designed to serve have since closed. Fewer then 15,000 vehicles use this route as a result, because it's used so little, the Amstutz is often used for filming in movies such as Batman Begins, Blues Brothers, Groundhog Day, and The Ice Harvest.
    • Ditto for Interstate 170 (US 40) in Maryland. The ghost ramps were scheduled for demolition in summer 2011.
    • Then there's the ghost ramps of I-275 in Florida.
    • There's a double example southwest of Ann Arbor, Michigan, resulting from two expressways that were planned but never built. One would have run along the path of M-52, which to this day still has an extra-wide right-of-way to accomodate the extra carriageway of an expressway. The other would've run closely to US-12 (which was US-112 at the time), but it was pretty much scuttled once I-94 was built only a few miles north. Despite the changes in plans, there is still visible grading for what would've been a cloverleaf exit between the M-52 and US-112 expressways.
    • Some examples from the Netherlands:
      • There's a 30+ km long 2-lane road between the Dutch cities of Haarlem and Leiden that was originally planned as a 4-lane road (40 years ago). The bodies of sand for the 4 lanes are present, and despite being only a 2-lane road, this stretch is raised, with bridges and onramps like a highway, unlike most Dutch 2-lane roads and many 4-lane roads which have traffic lights at intersections. At the north end, near Haarlem, there's a curious turn in the road, and you can see the body of sand continuing ahead for a little while (but not too far, because the north stretch of the road is blocked by other developments)
      • Likewise, between Delft and Rotterdam there is a huge undocumented park that was originally planned to be a highway. It will finally be created after nearly 50 years of discussion...
      • If you look at the outskirts of the national airport Schiphol on satellite pictures (Google Maps) you can spot the remnants of a never created road stretching along the southern edge westwards right through the city of Hoofddorp. The only true proof that you can see on the ground is a rail bridge crossing the non-existing road, some obvious gaps in dykes, and a ditch.
    • The exit for Gateway Boulevard off of California State Highway 24 between Orinda and the Caldecott Tunnel for years (until the construction of the Bruns Amphitheater) seemed to be an exit to nowhere. It was originally intended to be a major interchange for the never-constructed State Highway 93, which was to connect with the also never completed State Highway 77. Currently, the exit has been renamed Wilder Road and some (different) development is resuming in the area.
    • Manchester's Mancunian Way has an off-ramp near the A34 that got halfway through being built before somebody realised that it would send traffic the wrong way down a one-way street. Its access point is now blocked off by a sign advertising a (slightly more) correctly built junction, while it's hidden at the other end by a billboard.
  • Stephenson Avenue in Perth, Australia is a 4 lane, 1km stretch of road originally intended to be part of a much longer highway - the other part of Stephenson Avenue can be found considerably further south. The likelihood of this highway being completed now is slim - a wetland that the road would pass through has now been restored and houses abut the road reserve (which is still clear).
  • Like freeways, subways also contain many areas that were never finished or decommissioned early on, for example, the easternmost part of Aldwych Station.
    • Kymlinge station on the Stockholm Metro is another one. The area was supposed to be developed into a suburb, but such plans were eventually scrapped. By then, planning of the line the station was on was already well under way, and the station was built but left intentionally unfinished and unopened. There are also stories about the station being haunted.
    • The New York Subway has plenty of these as well. Perhaps the most infamous example is the Second Avenue Subway in Manhattan. This was intended to be a replacement for the soon-to-be-demolished Third Avenue Elevated line, but it's fifty years since the El was removed and there's nothing built yet but a few unused tunnels, one of which was rented out for a wine cellar. There are also tunnel headings, unused station shells, and in one case an entire stub line (now used for the Transit Museum) which had been intended for the never-built IND Second System.
    • In the Rio de Janeiro subway system there's an underground semi-made station between two active ones which is very visible as a gigantic cave for whoever goes through that route. It also had a planned elevated station that was never built, which results in an enormous way of about 1.2 miles between two stations.
    • There was originally going to be one through Cincinnati. The project was scrapped, but several tunnels were constructed before hand. One is visible near the Norwood lateral on ramp. It's blocked by a three story tall slat fence. That wasn't always the case. There were no tracks, but the tunnel was finished and the atmosphere just screams get out. Even during the day.
    • Lougheed Town Center station of Vancouver's SkyTrain had a third platform and a series of switching tracks built for the Evergreen line.
    • In Chicago, there is an extra wide right of way leading to 2 unused tunnel portals at the subway station near UIC. These were once intended for a four track subway line; only two tracks were ever built, and the unused tunnels dead-end after a few yards.
    • Toronto's subway system has 'Lower Bay Station' located underneath Bay Station. Intended to be part of an experiment in interlining the subway system, the station was only open for six months in 1966 before being shut permanently. The subway platforms still exist as they did in 1966 and are frequently used as a filming location.
    • Philadelphia had a "ghost station," built under a Sears, Roebuck and Co. building on Roosevelt Boulevard in 1967 in anticipation of an extension of the Broad Street Subway. Construction of the extension never came to pass, and the station was destroyed when the Sears building was imploded in 1994.
  • MIT's Building 9 originally had a corridor that connected to Building 7, but when the Rotch Library was added on to Building 7, it took up that space and the connection had to be removed. This resulted in Building 9 having a corridor which has a short flight of stairs leading to nothing but a dead end. In 1998, some clever anonymous hackers put a mural there of a painted tunnel with Wile E. Coyote smashed into it, and it's been there ever since.
    • Seattle's Ballard Bridge has a pair of fenced-off stairways to nowhere on its south end, near the Fisherman's Terminal. It is unknown whether they were actually used for anything.
  • Seen frequently in shopping malls, which often cover up vacant storefronts with temporary walls. This is more obvious when a department store vacates a mall, often resulting in a hallway that abruptly dead-ends in a wall. In some cases, the vacant anchor is even torn down, creating a more glaring vacancy.
    • Other times, a hallway is intended to end in an anchor store which is never built in the first place. For example, Kyova Mall in Ashland, Kentucky was supposed to have six anchor stores, but two were never built and to this day, the mall has two hallways which lead only to grassy fields.
    • In extreme cases, an entire wing of vacant stores may be walled off so that the public cannot access it, or even torn down.
  • The 501-503 Construction Project in Russia. This was intended to be a railroad from North Urals to Igarka near Yenisei's mouth. A part of this railroad was built in Stalin's times using gulag inmate labor, but work stopped when Stalin died. For several decades the rails just sat there in the tundra, unused. Then part of the railroad was disassembled, and part reclaimed by Gazprom and repaired back into use. But most of the 501-503 still sit there and rust.
  • An interesting example would be in Star Trek: The Next Generation where an early model of the Ambassador Class is visible in the conference room as a mural of all the Starfleet ships named Enterprise. The final Ambassador design was very different, but the ship in the mural was never changed. Other examples may be present in the various models of ships found on desks of officers; leftovers of models that were going to be used but never were.
  • A rare tabletop RPG example: the Avalon sourcebook for 7th Sea has a Destiny Spread that grants the character a "1 Point Druidic Secrets Advantage." But Druidic Secrets didn't make it to the printed book.
  • An earlier iPod touch model had room for the yet-to-be-included camera.
  • Work had already started on a new shopping centre in Bradford, England when the recession hit. A large chunk of the city had already been demolished and the foundations had been dug when the money ran out and the work halted. The site has been fenced off to the public and has been known as Bradford's big hole ever since.
    • Likewise with Bloomfield Park, a partially-built shopping mall in Bloomfield Hills, Michigan (suburb of Detroit). It got stopped short due to some legal wrangling.
    • Also, Kendall Town Center in Miami was supposed to be a mixed-use property consisting of a mall and apartments. It was put on indefinite hold after the financially-strapped developer merged with another company, but there are still occasional rumblings of the vacant site coming to life.
  • Thailand has a large number of unfinished "ghost buildings"; monuments to the late 1990's Asian financial crash.
  • Greece apparently has a property tax loophole where you don't need to pay it if your house is under construction. This means that there are whole neighborhoods of houses that are in an "incomplete" state (half-finished extension of the kitchen, a room with no roof, house with no west wall etc.) so their occupants don't pay the property taxes.
    • Egypt has a similar loophole for buildings that haven't been finished, leading to many buildings with an unfinished top floor which appears in the original plans, but which the builders had no intention of ever finishing, and in many cases isn't even accessible from the floors below it.
  • Even though the popular games explorer in Windows 8 was removed, it can still be accessed with the run command "%SystemRoot%\explorer.exe /E,::{ED228FDF-9EA8-4870-83b1-96b02CFE0D52}". Some programs for bringing back the start menu also use this.
    • Speaking of the start menu, the prerelease version of Windows 8 did have the start menu, just disabled by default. It can be turned back on with a registry edit.
    • Windows Vista, 7, and 8 all have sounds in "C:/Windows/Media" that aren't linked to any event by default. Some examples are "Windows Minimize", "Windows Restore" (both of which were probably removed for being too annoying), "chimes", "chord", "notify, and "recycle". The latter three sound like they are leftovers from Windows 2000, except their filenames are lowercase (as they are capital in 2000).
    • At least one of the preview builds for Windows 8 can be forced to load the Aero desktop interface from Windows 7 by modifying the Registry. However, this disables all the enhanced Desktop Mode functions that the Modern UI would implement.
    • Windows 8 still has "Windows Ding" and "Windows Critical Stop" even though they were replaced by "Windows Background" and "Windows Foreground" respectively. Both of the sounds aren't linked to any sound scheme by default.
      • Not only are there unused sounds, but there are also a variety of MIDI files lurking within each version of Windows. Windows 9x had "canyon" and "passport," while later versions have "town", "onestop", and "flourish".
      • Actually, flourish is likely a relic from the past and the net result of something else being dummied out. It was once used as the test music for the Direct X Diagnostics (DxDiag) program to see if the hardware MIDI synthesizer was working back when such a thing was still common in PCs (most PCs nowadays only have a software synth- hardware synths are now only common on professional audio cards). The options to test devices within the program was removed from DirectX 10 for Vista onwards.
    • Windows 7 has the so-called "GodMode" folder. This folder contains every Control Panel item.
  • In Florida, a fixture along I-4 is the unfinished Majesty Building in Altamonte. Described as "God's electric razor" for its shape, it's a skyscraper intended to be the headquarters of a not-for-profit religious organization and is funded entirely by public donations. The building hasn't progressed beyond a glass facade in 10 years, and continues to fail to live up to its promises to be finished within the "next year."
  • Hasbro's Nerf N-Strike Barricade REV-10 has an unused electrical switch set inside the grip that is not wired to the engine/trigger circuit. Canny modders have used this switch to create a secondary trigger switch, a feature that Hasbro would later incorporate into the N-Strike Elite blasters that had electrical components.
  • The original PlayStation Dual Analog gamepad has circuitry and mounts for a vibration motor, which was only included in the Japanese version; hence why some non-Dual Shock games have vibration when using a Dual Shock gamepad.
  • WebTV devices had a large "smart card" slot on the front, though they were never used for anything.
  • Tampa International Airport is supposed to have six airside terminals; however, Airside D was demolished in the mid-2000s and never rebuilt. Since the airside terminals connect to the main terminal via tram lines, this led to there being an elevated tram line that abruptly dead-ends into nothing.

Disc One NukeError IndexDungeon Bypass
Drill Sergeant NastySelf-Demonstrating ArticleEar Trumpet
Crosshair AwareImageSource/Video GamesLevels Take Flight
Dueling GamesVideo Game CultureEffortless Achievement

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