Follow TV Tropes

Following

What Could Have Been / Video Games N to S

Go To

  • NBA Live 13, a planned reboot of the series, was cancelled by EA.
  • Neverwinter Nights: The Premium Modules Witch's Wake and Shadowguard were planned as mini-series, but both ended with a cliffhanger and never got a proper conclusion. Other modules cancelled by Atari were Tyrants of the Moonsea and Darkness over Daggerford. Both were however released for free by the developers.
  • Neverwinter Nights 2 had a few examples.
    • In the first campaign, at Crossroad Keep there's a sidequest from Elanee to plant a garden that was cut. The PC could've also set up a gambling den, and been given control of their faction's operations on the docks in a section similar to managing Crossroad Keep. The structure that would have been your base is still in the game next to the Sunken Flagon. Quite a bit of dialog in Act 1 and early in Act 2 still references your character as being in charge of a faction there, even though you never have any authority in the final version.
    • Advertisement:
    • Back in 2009, there was talk of a possible third expansion and another patch for the game, but everything went down the drain when Hasbro (owner of the D&D license) sued Atari (the game's publisher). By the time the dispute was settled everybody had moved on to other games.
    • Neeshka and Bishop were originally meant to be fully fledged romances. They're still there to an extent but trail off without true resolution.
  • NiGHTS: Journey of Dreams was originally going to be called Air NiGHTS, and was going to use a motion controller for the Saturn. Then the project was moved to the Dreamcast, but never got past the prototype stage. Then it was going to be for the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360, until it was switched to the Wii, without any extension on development time or budget.
  • Nintendogs originally began as a pet simulator named Cabbage for the 64DD which was slated for a 1998 release. After the add-on was discontinued they decided to move the game to the Gamecube, and ultimately to the Nintendo DS to make use of its touch screen, microphone and wi-fi. Miyamoto added dogs to the game after his family adopted a dog. They also wanted to incorporate realistic fur animations in the game but they could not due to technical limitations. Iwata also presented the idea of 15 different versions of the game, one for each available dog breed. The game's original US title was going to be Puppy Life.
  • Advertisement:
  • In No More Heroes 2: Desperate Struggle, Henry was going to be playable in at least two more stages, but he's in only one due to time constraints.
  • No One Lives Forever and its sequel could have been re-released on online services like Steam and GOG Dot Com, but Night Dive Studios was denied the license to re-release the games, due to the complicated legal arrangement regarding who actually owns the rights to the series (Activision, Fox and Warner Bros. all have potential claim to them; none of them are interested in confirming since the records of who owns it predate any of their digital archives, but they were still perfectly willing to sue if Night Dive did anything with the series).
  • The ObsCure series:
    • The data files for the first game reveal that Dan was intended to play a much larger role than he actually did. Instead of serving as a Red Shirt who gets killed off in the prologue, he was supposed to have been one of the main characters, taking the place of Kenny, who was originally the one who got killed. Indeed, the end of the game's trailer shows Kenny getting killed and dragged off by a monster, which obviously wasn't in the final game.
    • Advertisement:
    • As seen here, Final Exam, a Divorced Installment of the series, went through multiple incarnations and quite a bit of Development Hell before it was released.
      • The first incarnation, ObsCure: Dark Aura, was to have been a budget title released for the PlayStation Portable and Nintendo DS, taking place right after the end of the second game with Shannon as the main character. It was scrapped, with elements from it being used for...
      • ObsCure D, which was to have been an interquel to the two ObsCure games. It would have been about a group of people, led by a teenage girl named Liddyah (the younger sister of Ashley, one of the first game's protagonists), searching for Josh and Ashley a few days before the events of the second game. It was here that the more exaggerated, Lighter and Softer art style of what became Final Exam is first known to have showed up, as well as the 2½D gameplay and four-player co-op. That version was canceled after Hydravision, the developer of the series, went out of business.
      • After the project was resurrected by Mighty Rocket (a studio formed by ex-Hydravision devs), it was intended as a reboot of the series, but fan backlash over the game's radically different gameplay, art style, and story forced the developers to retool it into a non-canon spinoff.
  • Oddworld:
    • A reward for saving all 99 Mudokans in Abe's Oddysee is a bizarre cutscene called "Guardian Angel," where a robotic monstrosity with a chilling voice, a luminescent halo, and an overabundance of cutting implements taunts and corners Abe, claiming he has to "look inside if he wants to be free." Apparently, this "Guardian Angel" was supposed to be a boss until the game's producers realized children were interested in buying the game. Although the rest of the blood and nightmare fuel remains, they cut this boss for being exceptionally creepy. It still appears as a cameo; the television screen that serves as its face can faintly be seen in the background of Zulag 3.
    • Several projects have been announced and delayed: The Brutal Ballad of Fangus Klot, Oddworld: Squeek's Oddysee, Oddworld: Munch's Exoddus, online RTS Oddworld: The Hand of Odd, Oddworld: Slave Circus, Oddworld: Stranger's Wrath 2, SligStorm, and Stranger Arena, though the developers have stated several will be completed.
  • Odin Sphere: A recent interview with Kentaro Onishi, a Vanillaware employee and the director of "Odin Sphere: Leifthrasir", reveals that there were multiple add-ons that didn't make it into the final game.
    • There was an idea for an online multiplayer minigame called Erion Wars. They didn't have the time and couldn't get George Kamitani's approval.
    • There are also apparently a lot of missing story cutscenes such as those detailing King Odin's past. They considered making a separate library with new cutscenes showing these missing events, but time restraints and story consistency meant it wasn't possible.
    • Remember how there's a lot of missing story regarding Ingway and some of what he was up to during the events of the main story? They actually considered giving him his own chapter, but it was difficult to angle the story from his point of view and his lack of a Psypher meant that his gameplay wouldn't match up with the main system anyway.
  • Ōkami was originally going to use a standard realistic 3D style before the designers realized sumi-e would be a lot more fitting. Ammy's original realistic design can be seen in the video gallery unlocked by beating the game, as well as an alternate skin. In addition, the video and art gallery showcases an absolutely insane amount of content (locations, characters, monsters) that didn't make it into the final game. If it had, the game probably would have been twice as long. Also, the creators revealed in the artbook that they originally wanted to make the game about dinosaurs.
  • Jonochrome has stated that he wants to do nothing more with the One Night at Flumpty's series, including the cancellation of the follow-up One Week at Flumpty's. Specific details on what the third game would have included can be read at the trivia page for that game.
  • Oni had to abandon a lot of features and set pieces that were originally planned due to developer Bungie's acquisition by Microsoft causing development to be rushed. Such features included a Puzzle Boss fight with a Humongous Mecha (to be called the "Iron Demon") and online multiplayer, as well as expansion of the story that would fill some of the more glaring plotholes. The modding community did eventually create a rudimentary multiplayer mod for the PC version of the game.
  • While Star Wars: The Old Republic was still in the planning stages, EA had contingencies in case they couldn't secure the Star Wars license. If they couldn't get Star Wars, EA would have then went on to make a The Lord of the Rings MMO along with a Silmarillion MMO. There were even plans for A Game of Thrones MMO.
  • The Oregon Trail: All of the programmers at MECC wanted the food supply to increase slightly if the wagon train had reached the starvation stage and a settler died. Management vetoed this No Party Like a Donner Party reference.
  • An analysis of Pac-Man's famous Kill Screen determined that if the programmers had included a simple check to prevent the split screen bug, the game would not have been limited to 255 levels and 3,333,360 points. In fact, due to the existence of special "parking spaces" where Pac Man can avoid being tagged by ghosts, a high score would not even be limited by conditions of employment, family or even human endurance. A player could keep a Pac Man session going for years or even decades, racking up ever higher scored as long as the hardware continued to operate.
  • Ori and the Blind Forest began development as a fast-paced action platformer in the style of Sonic the Hedgehog, titled Sein after its protagonist, whose name was eventually used for Ori's Fairy Companion. The Definitive Edition's bonus videos show many more gameplay concepts that didn't make the cut, including a Pull ability and Ocarina of Time-style musical locks.
  • Quake was orignally teased in the end of Commander Keen as Quake: The Fight for Justice, as a platformer followup to the Keen trilogy. After the run away success of Video Game/Doom, Id software played was inspired once again by their Dungeon And Dragon sessions. They imagined a nordic themed game with progagonist based on Thor with a magic hammer using magic and melee. However, the stress of developement, deadlines, and fear of starying to far from Doom's success cause the game to shift into a gun focused First Person Shooter. The creative differences led John Romero to leave Id shortly after Quake's release.
  • Parasol Stars, a spin-off to Bubble Bobble was going to have a port to the Commodore 64 developed by Ocean Gaming, but unfortunately someone stole the developer's computer just before the game was due... well, officially. The publisher had contracted an external programmer to develop the game since they didn't want to work on it in-house and it was going to be one of the last games published to the system. The problem was that his wife was The Alcoholic and he confronted her on this and sleeping with her ex-husband. In a drunken rage, she destroyed his computer, his notes and even the back-ups he made of his work. Upon learning what happened, Ocean chose simply to cancel the game and, in a show of solidarity to the programmer due to his marriage problems, came up with the official story about a thief stealing the computer the game was on.
  • PAYDAY The Heist:
    • The game was originally going to be called "Stonecold". The name changed due to not fitting with the theme of the game plus possible lawsuits for being too similar to the wrestler "Stone Cold" Steve Austin. The developers also came up with "Crime Wave" as the game's title before scrapping it, though the name stuck around as the title for the Slaughterhouse heist's music track, then as the subtitle for the next-gen console port of the sequel.
    • The music heard in the Green Bridge heist was originally used for the First World Bank heist. The music composer managed to come up with something more suited for the bank level and he pushed the old music onto Green Bridge.
    • The sequel, PAYDAY 2, had cars that would explode when shot at and the game also rewarded players for bagging a corpse and throwing it in a dumpster. The exploding cars were removed for possibly being a Game-Breaker where players could lure groups of cops to cars and kill them easily. Being given money for hiding a dead body was also removed for possibly getting money too easily and avoiding penalties players would get for killing civilians. The sequel also had several heists that were Dummied Out, one of them being a heist contracted by The Elephant where you had to sabotage votes for him and the finale would involve you wrecking stuff like you would do in Mallcrashers. All the cut heists were cut for simply not working the way the developers had envisioned them to be, but Election Day was remade and released in the game in a later update.
    • PAYDAY 2 was also supposed to have the entire crew (except for Wolf and Bain) be replaced with new characters with similar backgrounds to the old crew. Dallas was supposed to have a Texan accent and he gained a new look, but fan reception to the new Dallas was extremely negative, which got the developers to bring back the old voice actor from the first game.note 
    • The Infamy system started out as a parallel meta-skill tree to the basic one and could grant various bonuses to reduce the cost of climbing a skill tree, which gave players a lot more customization as they can now afford much more high-end skills than before. It also originally had a playing cards theme with 14 levels. Originally only 5 levels were released, with the remaining 9 intended to have other bonuses as the developers got to them, with each tier of 4 levels having different effects. The Infamy 2.0 update changed all of this, doing away with a semi-linear progression in favour of a circuit board-type chart and, aside from the original 5 released, granting only experience bonuses and mask unlocks for the remaining 20 levels (making the levels only good for grinding for more levels). They also removed the playing cards theme, as that theme couldn't support 25 levels (there are only at most 14 cards to any one suit when including the Joker).
    • Infamy 3.0 was presented in a stream on Marth 24th, 2017, featuring two trees where players could either grind infinitely for high infamy levels, or another for capping them at reputation level 100. Players were unsure about the perks they could gain from the new infamy system and the devs did not properly explain how things would work out. Negative feedback resulted in it being scrapped.
  • Penny Arcade Adventures: The ESRB's listing for Episode 2 mentions something about "robots humping legs, testicles, and taxidermy". We assume this is from a beta version, because in the final product, the only thing we see the Fruit Fuckers humping is a giant structure designed to look like an orange.
  • Perfect Dark was originally going to include a feature that let users take self portraits with the Game Boy Camera and use them in the game's multiplayer mode. This was scrapped; the original official explanation was that the N64 couldn't handle such a processor-intensive feature, but it was later admitted that it was because, due to the Columbine massacre, the idea of putting the heads of fellow students and teachers on in-game characters and then shooting them to death wasn't exactly respectful at the time.
  • Pikmin 3:
    • The game began as a Wii game, but development was moved to the Wii U once that console was nearing release.
    • A few elements were cut from the game. The game was originally going to feature four playable captains. Along with Alph, Brittany and Charlie, it was going to have a 4th "D" character.
    • The game features two Shaggy Long Legs bosses, but the second was originally going to be a Beady Long Legs with a fifth leg instead of a head.
  • Pirates of the Caribbean: Armada of the Damned, by Propaganda Games / Disney Interactive Studios, was a cancelled action-adventure role-playing game in an open world with land and sea combat, set before The Curse of the Black Pearl.
  • Plok was almost published by Nintendo. Legendary producer Shigeru Miyamoto had interest in co-developing the title. It's rumored that Super Mario World 2: Yoshi's Island, which had a similar look, is the reason it didn't happen.
  • Popful Mail avoided being dolled-up for international release as Sister Sonic.
  • Populous would originally have been published as a LEGO Licensed Game, except that LEGO at the time wanted to avoid Moral Guardians associating its brand with violent video games.
  • Portal 2:
    • The game, as originally conceived by Valve, would have been a prequel set in Aperture Science's labs during the 1950s. This version of the game, known internally as F-STOP, introduced a new gameplay mechanic (the details of which remain secret) and removed both portals and GLaDOS entirely. GLaDOS's role as antagonist would be filled by Aperture founder Cave Johnson, who had been turned into an AI and now led a robot army against humanity. Though Valve loved the new gameplay mechanic behind F-STOP, they found that players wanted GLaDOS and the Handheld Portal Device back, forcing a complete rewrite the game to make it a direct sequel to the original Portal.
    • The game was initially supposed to have six individual personality spheres instead of Wheatley following you around and helping the player in the early game. Valve decided that this would be too confusing, and they scrapped these characters and replaced them with Wheatley. Some of the scrapped spheres still appear in the final battle, however, like the Space Sphere, Adventure Sphere and Fact Sphere, and are a vital part of defeating Wheatley.
    • The game's ending would have included Chell revealing she can indeed talk, and Want You Gone was to be a duet between her and GLaDOS.
    • Multiplayer was originally envisioned to have human characters (Chell + another female) but Valve felt that it was a bit too gruesome to constantly watch a human falling into acid, get crushed, etc. over and over again, so they changed the characters to robots, which would make deaths more hilarious since robots don't feel pain and are reassembled to justify respawning.
    • The reveal of Caroline becoming GLaDOS was originally going to have an audio only scene of the transformation with Caroline trying to refuse Cave Johnson's decision. Apparently, Cave Johnson's voice actor refused to read his lines for the scene because it sounded too disturbing. The lines were Dummied Out and can only be accessed through the game's files.
  • Prey 2 by Human Head/Bethesda, announced in 2011, was cancelled in 2014.
  • Prince of Persia:
    • Prince of Persia, in Jordan Mechner's first concept, was to have been an entirely puzzle-oriented game like Lode Runner, with a Level Editor, but Brøderbund demanded that the game have combat. It seemed at one point that there would not be enough memory on the Apple ][ for more than one set of large, fully animated character sprites; the shadow Prince was therefore planned to be the main antagonist rather than a secondary character, and his strength in the Final Boss battle would be determined by the player's performance against him in previous levels.
    • Prince of Persia 2 ends with an image of a mysterious witch watching the hero in a crystal ball. Word of God has that she was the one responsible for giving Jafar his powers, killing the Prince's family, and sacking the Prince's kingdom. However, the sequel it foreshadowed never came to pass. Prince of Persia 3D had a standalone story, and ever since then the series has stuck to new continuities.
    • Early promo cutscenes released for Prince of Persia: The Two Thrones had the Dark Prince as an entirely different person, instead of just a voice in his head and a model and gameplay change.
  • Princess Maker 2 was set to be released in the United States, but a series of mishaps including the bankruptcy of the localization's publisher caused the translated game to be shelved indefinitely. A mostly-translated prototype of the game showed up on the internet years later, and an Updated Re-release of the game was finally given a worldwide release over Steam in September 2016.
  • Project Goliath was an attempted pitch to Junction Point, owned by Disney. It would have been the studio's first IP with original characters, a gorilla named Tarek and a girl named Ky in a Jak and Daxter-style 3D platformer where they battle cyborg monsters led by an alien Mad Scientist in an attempt to escape his island. With some inspiration from Shadow of the Colossus, the game was meant to focus on themes like family, where Ky ran away from her family due to not getting along and the alien Big Bad was revealed to be a Tragic Villain, he was the Last of His Kind and creating an army of cyborgs to take revenge on the aliens who wiped out his people and his family. Due to the success of Epic Mickey, Junction Point was put to make the sequel right away. Sadly, the sequel wasn't the hit they hoped for and, despite Junction Point's willingness to keep working, was shut down. Though the studio was closed, the team could always pitch to another studio or just keep it as something for work experience. Unfortunately, even this couldn't happen, as one of the artists, a college student, was revealed to have plagiarized much of the art for the game. Thus the designers couldn't even keep the game in their résumés.
  • Project H.A.M.M.E.R. (or its apparent working title "Machinex") was a game teased by Nintendo Software Technology in Redmond Washington for several years. The game was being developed for the Wii, about a hammer wielding android named "M-09" who smashes his way through an army of robots led by a terrorist organization, the same that originally created him. Notably dark for a Nintendo game, it met a plethora of problems, from arguments between Western and Eastern developers, to the gameplay not being fun, to the poor decision of spending most of its budget on CGI cutscenes. Many who worked on the game have little nice things to say, criticizing the plot, dialogue and the main character, who one developer described "part man, part machine, all mediocre". There was a redesign to make it a cuter, more casual game called "Wii Crush", but the gameplay still didn't improve enough. The game ultimately ended production and is the reason NST no longer makes large scale games.
  • Propeller Arena: Aviation Battle Championship/Propeller Head Online by Sega AM2, for the Dreamcast. It was a World War II airplane combat game with multiplayer deathmatch, and a Spiritual Successor to Wing Arms. The game was actually fully completed and was just about to release when the tragic terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001 caused the game to be swiftly canceled. (It didn't help that the game contained a stage where the planes did battle in a city that resembled modern day New York...) The game wasn't lost however, for a bootable disk image of it later got leaked onto the internet and it can be played in it's entirety on both an emulator and an actual Dreamcast console by burning the image to a CD.
  • Project Offset, a fantasy FPS by Offset Software, was cancelled after the creators were bought out by Intel.
  • In Psychic Force Puzzle Taisen, there is a hidden character named Masato/Masahito Suzuki who was supposed to have been a playable character from within the first Psychic Force game, but was eventually cut out during the later development of the game. Background information reveals that Suzuki would've been a neutral fighter (like Genma and Gates) and that he was a bounty hunter who had sought out the Psychiccers through one of his bounty hunting jobs (this fact, along with the other one that he's a swordsman as well would eventually be passed over to Might from within 2012). Aside from Suzuki, there are two other unknown characters from within the bonus pictures of Psychic Force Puzzle Taisen and that they appear alongside with him, indicating the possibility that they were intended to be playable characters as well and that they would've shared a storyline with Suzuki, but like him, they and the storyline was dropped as well.
  • Psychonauts:
    • The player character was originally a completely different character named D'artagan (or Dart) who sported a signature floppy hat that proved "too awesome for Doublefine to animate". He gets referenced a few times in-game (such as Coach Oleander declaring that Raz's name "starts with a D") and manages a short cameo in the game's final cutscene. Also, the main character was created as a mentally-unstable ostrich. That admittedly makes sense - considering the mind of Tim Schafer - but the master himself admitted that games usually act as kind of a wish-fulfillment fantasy, and that there are likely very few people who wished to be an insane ratite.
    • The game was also initially going to be a horror-like platformer that would be Xbox-exclusive, as the 2002 trailer (which was included on the discs for Blinx the Time Sweeper, Voodoo Vince, and some printings of Halo: Combat Evolved) shows. The logo was also going to look like a logo for a spy movie, the camp was going to have a darker atmosphere and was going to be called "Whispering Pines" instead of "Whispering Rock", in Lungfishopolis you were going to fight Linda instead of Kochamara, and the final level was going to take place inside Lili's mind (which Dr. Loboto was taking over), and was apparently going to be extremely terrifying. Halfway through development, Double Fine made the game less scary and more funny, which caused Microsoft to refuse to publish the game.
    • The two Nightmare bosses you face in the Milkman Conspiracy were originally part of Milla's level (thus explaining why them and the stage you fight them on are so similar to what you find in Milla's Room, instead of the level's usual Stepford Suburbia), but the developers moved them because it didn't make sense with respect to why you were in Milla's mind in the first place. Raz and a bunch of other campers were invited there for a party, so she'd have no reason to put him against the Nightmares intentionally, and losing control of them would reflect rather negatively on her abilities and mental state.
  • Psi-Ops: The Mindgate Conspiracy ended in the middle of a cutscene. A planned sequel was never announced due to a lawsuit suggesting the concept was stolen. Midway won but, by then, it was in great financial trouble, ultimately going into bankruptcy and the current liquidation. It looks like Psi-Ops 2 is never going to see the light of day. Also, the game was going to have a GameCube port, titled ESPionage, that was cancelled.
  • Punch-Out!!:
    • In the Wii installment, Disco Kid's files are typed as “kidquick.” Kid Quick was a character in the original arcade version of Punch-Out!!. Whether Disco Kid is the same character as Kid Quick or replaced him is unknown. However, they share the same stats and both have somewhat similar names.
    • Early gameplay footage of Super Punch-Out!! suggests that Little Mac would have made a return appearance as playable character, instead of the unnamed blond boxer in the final game.
  • Quantum Break was, according to Sam Lake, originally going to include a new Poets of the Fall song, "The Labyrinth" (as per Remedy tradition) but shared contractual red tape held up the deal until time ran out.
  • Quake:
    • Early versions of Quake I were based around it being a very different hack-and-slash RPG set in Aztec temples (which was eventually changed to medieval European castles), starring a barbarian demigod named Quake who beats people up with his giant hammer. It was an eleventh-hour decision to abandon this concept and turn it into a Doom-like run-and-gun shooter, which is why the finished game has a muddled and inconsequential plot that tries to explain why you're running and jumping around medieval castles wielding a hand-held rocket launcher.
    • Quake II didn't go through any massive gameplay-style shifts mid-development like the first Quake, but it did get shoehorned into being a Quake game. Originally, the massively-different story and aesthetics were supposed to go along with it being an entirely different game, sharing only its basic gameplay style of a Doom-like run-and-gun shooter, and several possible names for the game were floated around, including "Strogg" (which ended up being the name of the enemy faction) and "Lock and Load"; however, whenever the team settled on a name, it was found to be either unsatisfactory or unavailable due to existing trademarks, and ultimately the game was branded as a second Quake. Ironically, it's since gone on to completely define the singleplayer part of the Quake franchise, getting another singleplayer followup and a prequel in the ten years after its release, whereas talk of elder gods and alternate dimensions and whatnot from the first Quake has mostly been restricted to Ranger's backstory in the multiplayer games.
    • Quake III: Arena began life as an idea for a single player game called Trinity, which was abandoned very early in the game design process in favour of a game focusing more on the deathmatch experience and online gaming.
  • The Queen's Blade: Spiral Chaos game was planned originally as a multi-series crossover game, Super Robot Wars-style, but using non-mecha series (besides Queen's Blade, other anime series were planned to appear) but it wasn't possible for those series to be included, due to the authors and companies involved being reticent to allow their characters to cross-over with other characters from other series. The sequel, Queen's Gate Spiral Chaos is the closest thing to the original idea Banpresto was able to get, and even then they still weren't allowed to use Kasumi from the Dead or Alive series, with Wonder Momo having to take her intended place.
  • Rainbow Six:
    • The original game was meant to be focused on the FBI's Hostage Rescue Team, but early in development Ubisoft struck a deal with Tom Clancy to tie it into his upcoming Rainbow Six novel and give the game more international appeal. Ironically, their later adaptation of The Sum of All Fears starts off similarly to the original plan for Rainbow Six, with the player as part of the HRT for a few missions.
    • Rainbow Six: Patriots was going to be the next game in the series after Vegas 2, getting far enough to get a trailer or two and promotional camo patterns in Ghost Recon: Future Soldier. It would have involved a group known as the "True Patriots", a group that had legitimate grievances against the government and the rich, but chose to voice them with shockingly-brutal acts against innocent people, and the game would have also involved some form of morality, highlighted by the new Six being a former Navy SEAL who believed ethics are wasted in dealing with the True Patriots, meaning Team Rainbow would be forced to make some difficult decisions to stop them, with the trailer showing an instance of them being forced to push a man off a bridge to his death so that the bomb strapped to him wouldn't kill many more people when it detonated. The game was announced in 2011, then went mostly quiet after that trailer, probably owing to the negative reaction it had garnered for its extremely on-the-nose story, and saw no further news beyond an announcement that it was still in development before it was canned in 2014; the series finally saw a new release with Rainbow Six Siege in 2015, which gained critical acclaim in part for going back to the series' roots as a tactical shooter.
    • Siege itself has gone through noticeable changes during development; the earliest trailers showed no hint of the Operator system from the released game. Several of the Operators also have Dummied Out lines implying they were meant to have access to different gadgets than they actually use (such as Blackbeard, who uses breaching charges or stun grenades, having lines for deploying C4) and/or that they were on opposite sides than in the released game (e.g. Defender operators having lines suggesting they are Attackers instead and vice versa).
  • Ragnarok Online:
    • The game will likely never have a great many of features that were originally planned for it, such as player-owned apartments, and is only now, late its life, beginning to see some of the things which were a little more easily brought back such as the 3rd jobs. This was not due to internal reasons, but rather due to an attack on Gravity by hackers after the Korean version entered pay-to-play. The attack destroyed basically everything, including a large portion of the development materials. The infant international Ragnarok Online was wholly cannibalized in a vain effort to keep the company afloat, and Gravity was only 'saved' on being bought out by Samsung. The game was then almost lost a second time when the director Samsung forced on the developer's tried to impose his wholly different vision on the recovery, leading to several members of the original development team quitting - mercifully, an act that lead Samsung to pull their director and leave Gravity alone to restore what they could of the project into what we have today. Further information here.
    • The developers tried for a long time to implement a Karma system, that would have operated based on a player's actions within a global PVP system. Things like 'a wholly bad' player would be free game for others to attack without penalty. There are still glimpses of the system, though a lot have been removed. The unresponsive 'Temper.' tab (that for a while lead to an inactive chart window) under character status is the only one presently springs to mind. One reason for its failure was supposedly the local ratings board not much liking depictions of humans killing one another.
    • The PVP system was originally supposed to have been much, much more complex, with league tables and the like, and was supposed to have operated wholly within a specialized arena in Izlude. Instead, for a long time, a somewhat clumsy system running on empty versions of the various town maps was the nearest thing. More recently, an actual Izlude arena has been implemented, however it still lacks a great deal of the functionality it was originally intended to have.
    • There was, at one point, also talk of the game originally having had a rather-more involved combat system than the version anyone saw, dropped very early on for 'detracting from the game's social aspects', though that story's veracity is somewhat more questionable.
  • Ratchet & Clank has the Insomniac Museum bonus that shows all the various things that had been cut, such as original designs for gadgets, unused weapons, missing enemies and level ideas, and even variant physics engines.
  • For Rare Replay, Rare had at some point at least considered every game they ever made for the compilation - even GoldenEye (1997), a game infamous for licensing issues preventing a rerelease for 18 years and counting as of Rare Replay's release. They cut the list down to the final 30 based on various factors such as whether the characters and environments were their own creation, ruling out licensed games like the Donkey Kong Country series. They also wanted to include Kinect Sports and Kinect Sports: Season 2, but were forced to leave them out due to technical differences between the Xbox 360 and Xbox One versions of the Kinect.
  • Rayman:
    • Rayman 4 as it was originally conceived was to be another platformer like its predecessors, on the Wii. There was even a trailer advertising it as such. In it, Rayman dons various costumes as he fights his way through hoardes of vicious rabbit-like monsters. The rumour is that Nintendo gave the development team a pack for mini-game programming, and the game was changed entirely. As you may have sussed, the vicious rabbit-like monsters were Rabbids, and Rayman 4 became Rayman Raving Rabbids, a launch title for the Wii, consisting of humourous mini-games, and one of the most popular Wii games of all time.
    • The original Rayman was going to be an SNES title, and Rayman was originally going to have a neck, arms, and legs, but apparently they were too hard to render, so they removed them. The game was also going to be about a boy who is sucked into a virtual world he made, and he becomes his own creation: Rayman.
    • Rayman 2 was going to be a 2D platformer for the PS1 and Saturn, but when Ubisoft saw that 3D platformers like Super Mario 64 and Crash Bandicoot were wowing everyone at E3, they reworked it into a 3D platformer, and it remains to this very day one of the greatest 3D platformers ever created. However, certain versions of the game have the first level of the original 2D game as an Easter Egg after completing the main game. The kicker? It only exists in the PS1 version.
    • Rayman 3 was also different during its development; while the game's basic story was the same throughout the different iterations, several levels, such as an underwater world, and characters, like Clark and Ly returning from 2, were removed, to say nothing of the many Hoodlum varieties and enemies that got the axe.
    • Rayman Origins was going to be an episodic title for Xbox Live Arcade, PlayStation Network, and PC, about the origins of Rayman, and each episode was going to be about him growing up and maturing. The episodic idea was canned because Michael Ancel thought episodic format would ruin the exploration nature of the franchise, and it was reworked into a retail title. The final game was released as a sequel game involving Rayman and the gang tackling the Livid Dead army instead of the prequel it was marketed as. The game was also going to have lots of dialogue too (some of the dialogue from the beta version is present in the ESRB's parental guide for the game, and the script was in the demo's files), however final product ended up having very little dialogue, and is unclear as to whether it takes place before Rayman 1, or after Rayman 3, though Ancel has at least clarified that Origins occurs after Rayman 2.
  • Resident Evil:
    • Resident Evil 1 was going to have every item box be its own storage instead of being linked with each other, which meant players that placed specific items in one box would have to go back to that particular box to get the item back. Also, the original game was meant to have an auto-aim feature to make combat easier, but possibly due to lack of time to implement it the game released with manual-only aiming, though auto-aim was restored in the Director's Cut version. The GameCube REmake brings back the manual-only aim and unlinked item boxes as a part of Real Survival mode.
    • The second and fourth games went through a number of iterations (respectively known as Resident Evil 1.5 and 3.5 to fans and Capcom) before the developers settled on the final versions of each game.
    • RE1.5 was similar to the game that would eventually be released, with the main differences being with the characters. The female main character was Elza Walker, a college student and motorcycle enthusiast who is returning home to Raccoon City on vacation. She would be Retooled into Claire Redfield in order to have a greater connection with the first game. Robert Kendo (known here as John) and Marvin Branagh were to play much larger roles in the game, acting as supporting characters for Elza and Leon respectively. Annette Birkin was to get infected with the G-virus and turn into a monster like her husband William, Ada was to be known as Linda, Chief Irons was to be a hero rather than a villain, the zombies were to be more varied and gruesome, and the Chimera and Eliminator B.O.W.s (which would appear in future games) were to serve as enemies. The police station itself was also going to more closely resemble a real-life office building, complete with a firing range, as opposed to the repurposed art museum it was in the finished product. A fanmade project to restore this incomplete version into a full-fledged game is currently under way, and a playable ISO of their work so far can be found online with a little snooping around.
    • RE3.5, meanwhile, is the name collectively given to several prototypes, all of which were scrapped for various reasons:
      • The first iteration of RE3.5 is the game that would later become Devil May Cry, with far more action-packed gameplay and mechanics that were a far cry from what was expected of the series, and a story based on unraveling various mysteries behind protagonist Tony Redgrave and his twin brother Vergil. Its development included several trips to Spain to study architecture as inspiration for the game's environments. This version was deemed too much of a departure from the Survival Horror genre and not cut out to be a Resident Evil title, but those trips to Spain would be put to use for the final version of the game.
      • There was also the "Fog Version," whose premise involved Leon infiltrating Umbrella's European headquarters (a castle owned by Oswell Spencer, hence an alternative "Castle Version" name for this iteration), getting infected with the Progenitor Virus after surviving a fight between friendly USSTRATCOM units and a force lead by Albert Wesker, and fighting fog-like creatures. One of the levels was to take place on an airship. The plot point about Leon becoming infected was another thing that made it into the final game.
      • After that version was scrapped, Capcom made the "Hooked Man Version," which was set in a seemingly haunted mansion and had Leon fighting what appeared to be paranormal enemies, such as medieval suits of armor (which would make it into the final game), living dolls, and the eponymous, ghost-like "Hooked Man," a possessed-looking man who wielded a giant hook on a chain and would stalk Leon throughout the mansion. The game was reportedly so scary that, when the trailer debuted at E3, Shinji Mikami told the audience, "Don't pee your pants." However, the game would be scrapped for two reasons. First, there were technical issues concerning how Leon's hallucinations were to be shown, necessitating the creation of two 3D models for every level, which was both beyond the limitations of the Nintendo GameCube and would've massively increased the work load for the team. Second, it was deemed too outright supernatural for an RE game. A few technical details remained from this version, however, notably having a button for quickly switching to another weapon (grenades in this version, a knife in the final game) and the over-the-shoulder aiming with a Laser Sight attached to Leon's weapons. Some assets from its development are also rumored to have been recycled for Haunting Ground.
      • The final version proposed returning to a more traditional RE survival horror style. Little is known about this version, beyond zombies serving as the main enemies once more and a plot involving Leon being infected with the Progenitor Virus like in the Fog/Castle Version. This game was discarded for being too formulaic, especially with the remake of Resident Evil 1 and Resident Evil 0 selling below Capcom's expectations, which led to the next iteration, which was ultimately released as RE4, going in a more action-heavy direction with a new enemy design. Resident Evil: Dead Aim may have been based on this version of the game, explaining the heavy similarity of its protagonists Bruce McGivern and Fong Ling to Leon and Ada.
    • The UK's official Nintendo magazine actually ran a review for the Game Boy Color port of the original Resident Evil, as it was canned so close to release that it was by all accounts actually finished. Resident Evil Gaiden was launched as a replacement, and the RE1 port languished in oblivion until a prototype was finally discovered and ROM-dumped in 2012. Gaiden's ending showed that Leon was the parasite B.O.W., which implied that the real Leon was either missing or dead. Naturally, the game is considered non-canon for various reasons, one of them being Leon appearing to be alive and well in future games.
    • Resident Evil Outbreak was initially conceived as one big three-disc game containing twenty scenarios to play through. What actually came to be, however, was ten scenarios split between two separate releases.
    • Resident Evil 5 had several omissions evidenced by the concept art, which include Wesker becoming human for the final boss battle and getting a better send off, an Uroboros battle on top of a train, Jill being your partner for half of the game, a boss battle with a horde of Ndesus, and a Tyrant. A Tyrant. Which kills Excella.
    • Resident Evil had a Game Boy Color port planned and it was nearly complete until Capcom scrapped the project. The ROM of the game was eventually leaked online and from what was seen, the game was going to be nearly identical to how the Playstation version played, which had the use of fixed camera angles. Likewise, Resident Evil 2 did have an incomplete port made on the Game Boy Advance which was done as a concept demo by a third party and said third party wanted approval by Capcom to fully develop the game. The demo looked nearly identical to the Playstation version in the graphics department with the only difference being the low framerate. Capcom didn't approve of the project, thus it was canned.
  • In a podcast, Insomniac Games revealed that Resistance: Fall of Man was originally envisioned as a futuristic, time-travelling World War I game with loads of inspiration taken from the film version of Starship Troopers. Also, the actual game was supposed to start with Hale touring an American aircraft carrier before leaving for Britain, but the level was cut due to time constraints. There were also plans to include a grappling gun, but that weapon was cut since the team felt it was too much of a Game-Breaker.
  • Rez, or Project K as it was known during pre-production, featured a more humanoid character running across an infinite bridge and a much different control scheme. At one point the music was planned to be composed by Aphex Twin.
  • Ringworld: The adventure games Ringworld: Revenge of the Patriarch and Return to Ringworld were to be followed by a third game, Ringworld: Within ARM's Reach.
  • Rise of Nations: Rise of Legends was supposed to have four nations instead of three, and four campaigns, to fit. The mysterious “fourth nation” that was eventually scrapped went through several iterations too: first they were the Skald, based on Finnish, Slavic, and some northern Europeans mythology. And then they were the Kragar(?), apparently a race of bestial giants who tamed great beasts. And then they were the Khan, based on ancient Mongol Mythology and history.
  • Rival Schools was originally going to be called Justice Fist, with the plot revolving around the strongest fighters in the world gathering for an international martial arts tournament. The Capcom staff eventually shifted to the idea of using a schoolyard setting and a cast of teenagers to differentiate the game from the sea of similar titles that had already used tournament plots.
  • Robotech: Crystal Dreams for the Nintendo 64, a space fighter simulator with a tie-in comic by Antarctic Press, which would have been localized in Japan as The Super Dimension Fortress Macross: Another Dimension.
  • Rogue Warrior. Initially developed by Zombie Inc. (subtitled Black Razor), it was supposed to be a tactical First-Person Shooter that featured four player co-op and randomized level layout (somewhat in the vein of Left 4 Dead 2). Then Bethesda in 2009 stated they weren't completely satisfied with the current status and handed the development to Rebellion Developments.
  • When planning bachelorettes for Rune Factory 4 there was serious consideration to make Minerva, the fan-favorite little sister of a previous game's marriage candidate, one of the male MC's potential brides. Unfortunately, two other fan-favorites had already been decided on as returning characters, and the developers worried that adding more returning characters might isolate newcomers to the series.
  • Runemaster, a cancelled game by Paradox Interactive, was going to be an RPG based on Norse Mythology.
  • Saints Row:
    • According to the second-to-last paragraph in this article, a feature called "Freegunning" was scrapped from the final cut of Saints Row: The Third. This combat style would have incorporated the series' firearm emphasis with Assassin's Creed-style freerunning.
    • The Third was supposed to have a DLC titled Enter the Dominatrix, involving an alien overlord named Zinyak kidnapping the Boss and placing them in a parody of The Matrix, "The Dominatrix", while he worked to take control of the planet. The expansion was later cancelled with the announcement that elements of it would be worked into Saints Row IV.
    • In addition, the Prima guide for The Third hints that more of Stilwater would have been seen in the game, primarily dealing with a "Saints Con" that the Syndicate would have attacked, ending in the deaths of Tobias and Laura from the first two games.
    • Saints Row IV was supposed to have more dead characters from previous games appearing in the simulation and be reprogrammed into homies, which include Lin, William Sharp, Viola, and Philippe Loren. The cut characters have audio logs that are in the game's data, but are Dummied Out. Philippe and Sharp can be recruited since they have a working character model, but only through modding.
    • Saints Row Undercover was going to be a PSP port of Saints Row 2. The game became its own game on the PSP until it was cancelled, and the developers released the ISO for free.
  • Samurai Shodown RPG/Shinsetsu Samurai Spirits Bushidō Retsuden: The Neo Geo CD, PlayStation and Saturn versions were to each have one different chapter, making three chapters total, but instead the games focus on the first two chapters, with the Neo Geo CD having an extra mini-chapter.
  • Back in 2004, there was supposed to be a sequel to the popular PC game Sam & Max Hit the Road, titled simply Sam & Max: Freelance Police!!. However, LucasArts cancelled the game, stating that there wasn't a market for its kind of game. This would lead to the creation of Telltale Games, who made the episodic Sam & Max: Freelance Police games, and the would-be game would be referenced as probably one of the ultimate Noodle Incidents.
  • Sabre Man: Mire Mare was going to be the next game. It was alluded to in the last three games.
  • Sakura Wars:
    • During pre-development of the first game, Oji Hiroi contemplated that the game would be set during the Meiji period, but ultimately decided against it and changed the setting to the Taisho period.
    • Ichiro Ogami was originally a placeholder name for the then-nameless protagonist and that name ultimately stuck. At one point, he was also going to be named Kusaku Kanuma, an officer from the Tokyo Metropolitan Police Department.
    • Sakura Shinguji was initially named Sakura Nishijo and came from a family of enemy witches. Her first battle was going to be with Ogami in the first chapter and for the next two chapters, she fought with Sumire. By chapter three, however, Sakura and Sumire would settle their differences when they are dispatched to fight the enemy in the Sumida River.
    • During the early stages of development, Sumire Kanzaki was a member of the Dream Division. She was also named Sumire Shinguji.
    • Chapter 7 of the original game would originally take place after the Great Kanto Earthquake. Sakura was going to be the Flower Division's captain after Ayame was killed and Maria would make her debut as a new American recruit. The latter scenario would later be revisited in Sakura Wars: The Movie where Ratchet Altair arrives from American to join the Flower Division.
    • Kanna was originally a nice girl named Koume Ono who stood at 2 meters (a shade above 6'6") tall and the most feminine of the combat revue.
    • Kohran was initially a male character named Ran Yuki.
    • Also during the 1996 game's early development stages, Crimson Miroku was originally named Miroku Hosokawa. She eventually defected to help the Flower Division rescue Sakura from Satan's clutches in chapter 10, and gets killed for her troubles. Parts of that character were incorporated into Ayame for the final game.
    • Kumiko Nishihara and Chisa Yokoyama were originally selected to play Sakura and Iris, respectively. Yokoyama was the one who requested that they switched roles.
    • Kohei Tanaka originally planned 50 songs for the first game. However, due to budget and time limitations, it was reduced to 24 and finally to seven. When Tanaka learned from the developers that a CD's worth of content was enough, he settled between eleven to twelve songs.
    • The PSP port of the first two games were to be localized at one point, but Sony scrapped the project.
    • There were plans to release Sakura Wars 4: Fall in Love, Maidens on the PlayStation 2 when the Sega Dreamcast was ending production, but Red Entertainment and Overworks refused. Oji Hiroi, in particular, felt that they didn't want to have Is Paris Burning? as the final game in the series to be released for the Dreamcast. Also, Ogami traveled to Taiwan and New York to head the newly-formed Flower Division teams, but those ideas were scrapped. The New York concepts were later used in the next installment, Sakura Wars: So Long, My Love.
    • Production I.G almost refused to participate in Sakura Wars 2: Thou Shalt Not Die since it was halfway through development. They would later go on to produce the FMV sequences for the next three games.
    • There have been quite a few canceled games since the fourth game. Gaming news sites reported that Sega had plans to export Sakura Wars outside of Asia under the "Sakura Wars World Project". So Long, My Love, Sakura Wars V: Episode Zero, Sakura Wars Story: Mysterious Paris and the remake of the first game were released.
    • As part of the World Project, there were also plans for a Prequel game detailing the Kouma War, something that was touched upon in the games and given a Whole Episode Flashback in the anime adaptation. Unfortunately, it was canceled.
    • So Long, My Love was planned to have eleven chapters. Tutankhamun was also considered to be a villain in the game and a storyline involving Cleopatra was also considered. However, they were nixed due to unavoidable circumstances in development. Fortunately, Tutankhamun would return in the New York, NY OVA.
    • Takaharu Terada once considered setting Shin Sakura Wars in Kyoto as well as in a future timeline, before Sega decided to set it in The '40s.
  • Sands of Destruction originally had an allegedly much more darker story, drafted by Masato Kato, who's responsible for the Chrono series, Xenogears and Baten Kaitos, before Executive Meddling came in and had the game marketed towards a younger audience. It results in the game's strange case of Mood Whiplash. In the original version, all Ferals actually ate humans, rather than just Porcus Rex. However, this, among other things, was toned down in order to get a much more accessible rating in Japan (since Japan doesn't exactly have a Avoid the Dreaded G Rating/Rated M for Money mentality). Despite the fact that the writers actually did approve of the change, they were cited as saying they thought it would have been interesting.
  • Secret of Mana was originally intended to be for the Super Nintendo CD add-on, which would've allowed the game to be much larger and to feature CD-quality music tracks. Notice how many of the plot threads concerning the Empire seem incomplete and rushed, and how the game's sound and music glitches at times when there's a lot going on (the result of the Super Nintendo's eight music channels being too few for the game's complex music).
  • Serious Sam:
    • Croteam began designing what became this game in 1996, where it was first titled "In the Flesh", running on a proprietary engine then called "S-Cape 1" because the team didn't have the money to license the Doom engine. As per its inspiration, it would have taken place in hellish areas, and props designed to decorate the levels included sofas and tables. Around 1998, the game was re-tooled into Serious Sam: The First Encounter.
    • At one point, Sam's initial design (think Duke Nukem with black hair, a white shirt, and bright red sneakers) was thought to be too silly for the game. However, there was near-universal backlash against the "realistic" redesign they came up with, so Sam went back to his original look. The would-be realistic version became the multiplayer model named "Hilarious Harry".
    • Before the announcement of Serious Sam 3: BFE, Croteam had been working on an "Unnamed Military Shooter" for a now-defunct publishing company. It would have been a more realistic shooter, possibly in the vein of Call of Duty, set somewhere in the modern Middle East. BFE still has some elements of the Unnamed Military Shooter in its code: unused idle animations for three weapons that would have appeared in the game, and a fourth being referred to in the animations for the assault rifle.
  • Shantae:
    • The game would have originally been released for the Super Nintendo Entertainment System, then the original PlayStation (the final version is a Game Boy Color game). Towards the end of the game, Shantae would have received a blue version of her ordinary clothes (these were later made available to certain Half-Genie Hero donors as a Development Gag).
    • At some point, Risky Boots was going to be a pirate ghost, which would explain her unearthly appearance. In the final games, she's just a regular pirate who happens to have blueish-gray skin.
    • Shantae: Risky's Revenge was supposed to be an episodic game, but this was scrapped in favor of a single game.
  • Shenmue:
    • In several gaming magazines, it was mentioned that the story for Shenmue would be spanning a total of 25 games, one for each year Ryo would have spent on his quest for revenge. Yowza. This was condensed down into 25 chapters, with each game having multiple chapters (for instance, the first game was chapter 1, the second game had 3-5 or so, the 2nd chapter being in an unshown part of the games). This was still a lot more than what was fit into the two games that saw release.
    • It was also going to be a Sega Saturn game at first; Ryo has a Saturn in his house as a Shout-Out to this, despite the game being set before the Saturn existed.
    • It was also originally going to be a game set in the Virtua Fighter universe, with Akira Yuki as the main character.
    • A Shenmue Online MMORPG was planned, but the game appears to have been cancelled.
  • Shin Megami Tensei
    • Devil Summoner: There were official attempts to bring the Saturn and PSP versions to North America at one point, but both were cancelled at the last minute. Atlus has never revealed the reason why; some members of the rom hacking community claim that the game's coding is an absolute nightmare, thus making any sort of translation next to impossible.
    • Digital Devil Saga: The game was originally planned to have a slightly different story, however the writer, Yu Godai, was forced to abandon the work due to illness and Atlus where left with trying to finish up the story on their own. Yu would continue the story after she recovered, however, which led to the Quantum Devil Saga: Avatar Tuner novels.
    • Persona 1:
      • There is an unused track in the official soundtrack which is called "Time Count Event". The track was later remixed in Persona 2 as the "Time Castle", which is owned by the titular count. Given The Reveal in Eternal Punishment that the Count is an avatar of Nyarlathotep, it's fairly obvious that he was meant to appear in the game.
      • Yuka Ayase's role in the Snow Queen Quest was meant to be much greater; there is a key item in the game's files called "Ambrosia" which she had cooked herself. This is referenced in the final game, as she wonders where the Home Economy room is.
      • The files from the game's initial western release also reveal that the Snow Queen Quest was meant to be included. It's entirety still exists in the game's data, and the first line of the Quest is even translated. It is possible to trigger it by hacking the game, but it is incredibly glitchy and completely freezes from a point onward.
    • Persona 2:
      • Supposedly, the player could have influenced Joker's One-Winged Angel form by spreading rumors describing the Joker as angelic or devilish. The NPCs that reference this are still in the game, and both the concept art and a sprite of the Joker's "devil" form still exist, but there's no way to influence his appearance.
      • A find in Eternal Punishment almost 20 years later; apparently, the protagonist was supposed to be Jun.
    • Persona 3:
      • As far as the game's development itself, it seems that, in addition to battles taking place on-screen instead of changing (like a Random Encounter), Persona-users would use tarot cards for summoning, which is more or less what goes on in both the earlier games and in Persona 4. The evokers were made to better evoke the theme of death that the game is built on.
      • Apparently, the creators had always intended to let the player pick the Protagonist's gender; for the original release, it could not be implemented in time.
      • Most of the characters' personalities remained consistent throughout development, but with some drastic design changes: Fuuka's early designs had her more resembling Chihiro Fushimi (a Social Link), a lot of Mitsuru's early concept art featured her with short hair, and one of the dog breeds that Koromaru was considered as was a dalmatian. Ironically, one early concept of Akihiko penned him as an outright obnoxious ladies' man, whereas he's the complete opposite in the final product. Aigis also went through a lot of design changes, on top of the fact that a sizable portion of the staff were reluctant to put a robot of her caliber in the game in the first place.
      • Junpei was going to be a romance option for the female protagonist in Portable. One can actually hack the game to see a video of him being the one to find her and hold her at the ending of a New Game+ (link here.) There was also the intention of making Yukari the straight up canon Love Interest for the male protagonist, which was phased out when Social Links were put in the game.
      • Ken was originally planned to use thrown projectiles (darts in this case) as his Weapon of Choice, like Yukino, Jun, and Baofu before him, instead of the spear he would end up using.
      • The game taking place over the course of three school years was an early consideration before being cut down to a single year.
      • A funeral scene for the protagonist was considered, with more attendees depending on how far Social Links were progressed over the course of the game.
    • Persona 4 had a lot of unused concepts:
      • Kanji Tatsumi originally had a much more adult-looking design.
      • Rise Kujikawa was to be a juvenile delinquent with Saki Konishi's design and chains for weapons.
      • Naoto and Teddie switched genders in development; Naoto was originally going a boy, and Teddie a girl. According to the artbook, when it was decided Naoto would be female, Teddie was made male in response just to keep the party's gender ratio even. An early sketch of his female form resembles his Alice Costume from the final game, except looking somewhat older.
      • Also, weird little things like Chie and Yukiko having long and short hair, respectively.
      • Some character portraits from Persona 3 were found in the game data, albeit it's been said that those are actually leftovers from the fact that Persona 4 was made with Persona 3 FES' engine.
      • Some Dummied Out dub dialogue seems to have implied a romantic route for Yosuke, despite no such option being available in the original. However, Yosuke's Social Link actually does contain a "Girlfriend Flag" usually only used for Romance Routes - except that in his case, said flag only determines whether or not you get to hug him at a certain point in the final game. This all has become a huge subject of fan art and fanfiction.
      • There's also evidence that at one point in the story the killer was going to turn out to be your uncle Dojima but this was apparently so disturbing to testers that it was changed during production. Some elements of this early version stayed around with the eventual killer Tohru Adachi, such as him being someone you trust implicitly and who's welcome in the house at any time but dialed down somewhat.
    • Persona 4: Arena:
      • Ryotaro Dojima was considered as a playable character (instead of a Persona, he'd summon Nanako, giving the impression he would have been a Joke Character), but Atlus bluntly shot the idea down.
      • Akihiko's initial design for the game was, in the words of Zen United, similar to Jason Statham in The Transporter, implying Soejima may have planned to give him a design similar to his Trinity Soul appearance. However, the director felt a 'wild man' was needed, and influenced Akihiko's drastic change in appearance.
      • Aigis was intended to have a braided ponytail in her new design. That went to Fuuka in the end.
      • Going through the sound test in Gallery mode shows some unused lines for each of the characters, including the Investigation Team calling out their Ultimate Personas, and the Shadow Operatives calling out their own initial Personas. Obviously, the unused Personas were considered for the game at some time, but ultimately failed to make it into the final product.
    • Persona Q: Shadow of the Labyrinth: Some discarded designs exist for Zen and Rei that were surprisingly different from the final product. Most of them had a Deliberately Monochrome color palette for their clothes, and some designs had them physically bound to each other to emphasize their codependency.
    • For Persona 5, it is best to visit its trivia page, as there is so much cut content and scenarios that they are separated by folders.
    • Megami Tensei II: The Dark Hero was supposed to be a boss fought during the player's trip to the Suzuki Company, hence his boss data and incredibly high stats. Also, Yumiko, a major character from the original Megami Tensei (now an old woman), was supposed to make a cameo in an unknown capacity according to a magazine preview.
    • Shin Megami Tensei:
      • The artbook had designs of demons that did not make the final cut.
      • Originally the game was only meant to start in Tokyo and then to take place on a global scale before ending in Israel.
    • Shin Megami Tensei Synchronicity Prologue: Jack Ripper was originally going to be a playable character, but was scrapped for unknown reasons.
    • Shin Megami Tensei IV:
      • The standard Samurai uniforms used to be gray and black until they decided that it wouldn't make sense for the Black Samurai to be considered conspicuous if all Samurai wore dark uniforms so they switched to blue and white.
      • The audience room of Mikado Castle was cut as a visitable location because of how little importance the king ended up having in the game itself.
      • Lucifer Palace and Purgatorium were originally the final dungeons for the opposite alignment route, Lucifer Palace for the Chaos route and Purgatorium for the Law route, they were switched for symbolism.
      • An idea that went unused for Lucifer Palace was Lucifer's eye being seen in windows, watching the party as they make their way through the dungeon.
      • Akihabara was originally going to be explorable before being cut entirely. It's explained in-universe as the Ashura-Kai destroying the ward in what appeared to be a military strike.
      • Reverse Hills had some content that was too graphic for a Cero C rating, so they toned it down.
      • The designer of Chemtrail, Tamotsu Shinohara, had initially wanted to put Illuminati symbolism in its design as part of its conspiracy theory aspect, like a one eyed pyramid imprinted on its stomach, before deciding that it might cause problems later and scrapped the idea.
      • Jonathan used to look like an older Ken Amada. Similarly, Nevarre has gone under several redesigns.
      • According to the Megaten Maniax book, the original script Kaneko had created for the game was so massive, it is described to have been able to fill upwards of 7 to 8 volumes of Japanese novels. Supposedly it was split into two huge parts internally called the Resurrection arc and the Destruction arc. The game is mostly based on the content in the Resurrection arc, while the material of the Destruction arc mostly went unused. According to revealed material about the second arc, it was supposed to take place in 201X and was going to act as a sort of interactive backstory for the Resurrection Arc. It also reveals that Kenji was originally going to have a much more central role.
    • Shin Megami Tensei IV: Apocalypse:
      • The game started as an Updated Re-release of Shin Megami Tensei IV, until the production staff realized they had so much new content and so many new ideas they needed an entirely new game to fit them all.
      • Nanashi was initially meant to be a middle-aged man trying to save his daughter. This was scrapped for a 15-year old protagonist, and Nanashi's original design was recycled for Asahi's father. Likewise, several young playable characters such as Toki and Asahi appeared much older in their initial designs.
  • Shovel Knight:
    • The original idea for the checkpoints would be to have them only work if the player had a certain amount of gold on them when they first touched them. It was canned because the developers decided that it would punish less skilled players unfairly.
    • Plague Knight's campaign was to have a crafting system through which most if not all items and upgrades would have been obtained. This was ditched in favor of the simpler cipher coin and relic trading systems.
    • Any of the Order of No Quarter Knights could have had their own campaign and individual game mechanics, but the fan votes decided on three: Plague Knight, King Knight, and Specter Knight. The developers teased that Propeller Knight, had he won a spot, would have probably been a Glass Cannon with short-range flight.
  • Sierra:
    • Plans to continue with VGA remakes of previous titles, including ''King's Quest II & III, were cancelled when sales of their released remakes did not meet expectations.
    • King's Quest fans feel King's Quest: Mask of Eternity turned out to be radically different from original designs. The main character would have been a statue that had come to life rather than a village tanner, some characters (such as the swamp witch) had much larger or entirely different roles, and the game world was a lot lighter and cheerier, matching the rest of the series more than the darker final product. And one can only imagine what could have happened if the game had stayed as a lighthearted point and click adventure like the rest of the series rather than the Darker and Edgier hack and slash RPG it ended up as.
    • A proposed version of Mask of Eternity by Davidson and Associates was going to be a more non-violent version of the game.
    • When Mask of Eternity was being developed, Roberta Williams discussed concepts for King's Quest IX, including being a multiplayer or MMO adventure; the project was not further developed. Ideas included Connor starring in the series; King Graham would be older and unable to go on further adventures, and Alexander would be busy as king of the Green Isles. Connor would meet Rosella, forming an eventual love triangle between Connor, Rosella and Edgar. In-game, Connor and Rosella could swap items, helping each other in solving puzzles and fighting monsters together.
    • Along with Leisure Suit Larry: Magna Cum Laude, Vivendi Games planned to release more In Name Only console action titles. King's Quest would be a console action game with King Graham wielding a huge sword, wearing armor, and doing flips. Space Quest by Escape Factory was to be an Xbox/PS2 action platformer.
    • Another King's Quest was being developed by Silicon Knights on the Unreal Engine.
    • Telltale Games was going to release an episodic King's Quest series.
    • Space Quest 7 was planned to be 3D with a multiplayer mode. The project was put on hold, restarted, then cancelled.
    • Leisure Suit Larry: Cancelled games include the 3D Leisure Suit Larry 8: Lust in Space, Leisure Suit Larry: Pocket Party for the N-Gage by TKO-Software, and Leisure Suit Larry: Magna Cum Laude sequel Leisure Suit Larry: Cocoa Butter for PC, PS2 and Xbox.
    • Quest for Glory V:
      • Multiplayer was planned for the game, then planned as a downloadable add-on. A Playable Epilogue expansion would have focused on the Hero's choice of marriage as King of Silmaria and the character Punny Bones, with additional quests and a new storyline.
      • Originally the game was planned to use a voxel-based graphics engine. However due to severe performance issues a change was made to a conventional 3D engine using prerendered backgrounds.
  • Silent Hill:
    • Silent Hill 4 was originally just going to be a Gaiden Game and not a full sequel; the only parts of that idea to survive are the first person bits in Henry's apartment. Hacking into the game has revealed placeholder items (the same gems from Silent Hill) for unlocking the absent UFO ending.
    • Origins changed development teams entirely not long before it was released. The original version was a Resident Evil 4 clone that drew on a great deal more material from the movie. The first previews indicated the game was going to use the Over the Shoulder camera to deal with the smaller PSP screen.
    • Silent Hills, a hotly anticipated sequel run by a dream team of Hideo Kojima and Guillermo del Toro, has been cancelled following Kojima's departure from Konami. This is one of the biggest What Ifs in video games to date, thanks to the massive amount of hype surrounding the project.
  • Maxis Software (creator of SimCity) has had a few. First, prior to 1998, SimCity 3000 was to be in full 3D. Then, when Electronic Arts acquired them, they put an end to developing non-Sim products (this included employee personal projects, a sports brand, and much more.) Finally, even after the acquisition, two other games, SimMars and SimsVille were scrapped.
  • SimCity was going to be released on the NES.
  • The Sims:
    • Console spin-off The Urbz was planned to be a mini-series of around three games, as well as a PC port. Some assets were used in The Sims 2.
    • The Sims 2: The original version was lost in a server room fire, and many features had to be redone from scratch.
    • MySims Social was to be another social game similar to The Sims Social and SimCity Social.
    • The Sims 4: Leaked images and files show that it was originally known as "Olympus", a fully online game similar to SimCity (2013), where all sims were controlled by humans, but following the massively negative backlash that game received and its eventual abandonment, the Sims team was forced to scrap almost all their progress only a year and a half from release. This is speculated to be why many features, including pools and toddlers, were nowhere to be seen in the base game and were only added later through free patches. Other players' Plumbobs were blue, similar to The Sims Mobile.
  • Shadow Realms was originally going to be a 4 versus 1 multiplayer action RPG by BioWare Austin.
  • The Japanese Xbox exclusive Shin Megami Tensei NINE was planned to lead into a Shin Megami Tensei MMORPG which was never released.
  • Skullgirls: Squiggly was part of the original roster, but was replaced by Valentine, due to Lab Zero wanting to have a playable villainous character. Squiggly was eventually included as a DLC character in the updated version, Skullgirls Encore.
  • Sleeping Dogs started as a game called Black Lotus, became part of the True Crime franchise as True Crime: Hong Kong, then became a separate game as the rights were bought from Activision by Square Enix.
  • An early draft of Sly Cooper and the Thievius Raccoonus featured Sly with a more Cockney accent (the comment track mocks this slightly) and Bentley with a more studied one. Sly also had a different name. Also, a slight change between the demo and the production game: in the first, the save points weren't remote beacons, but apparently a girl in a trunk who would pop out and photograph Sly (and remain inside giggling no matter how much you smacked her trunk with your cane).
  • In late 2009, NBA Jam co-creator Mark Turmell revealed that he was working on a Smash TV remake at the time his former employers at Midway Games went bankrupt. The project died, and Turmell was hired by EA Tiburon shortly thereafter.
  • For The Smurfs franchise, there was a Smurfs educational game called Smurf Play & Learn advertised by Coleco that would have been released for the ColecoVision, as well as Smurfette's Birthday and Papa Smurf's Treasure Hunt, none of which were ever worked on.
  • Soulcalibur V would have originally had a story mode for each character in the roster, and would have been 4 times as long and featuring confrontations with the entire cast, but ultimately ended up focusing on the story of Patroklos and his sister Pyrrha due to a limited team of developers and time constraints to release the game.
  • At one point, Sound Voltex ran a remix contest based on in-house BEMANI artist DJ Yoshitaka's original songs. However, the contest was suddenly canceled around the time the "BEMANI Sound Team" controversy started, and no remix contests have taken place since then.
  • There was going to be a South Park platformer for the Game Boy Color. A "Coming Soon" section in a Nintendo Power magazine depicted a screenshot from it. The game even got an ESRB rating, but the project was canned because Nintendo knew that there were more kids with Game Boys than teens or adults, and they feared that children would be getting their hands on it. It has been said that Matt Stone and Trey Parker keep a cartridge of this game though.
  • Speedball was born from an abandoned real tennis game that the Bitmap Brothers originally proposed to Mastertronic.
  • A follow-up to Spider-Man: Web of Shadows called Spider-Man Classic was planned, with players able to control Spidey or Wolverine as they battled against villains like Carnage and Mysterio. The project was cancelled when Shaba Games went bankrupt.
  • During its creation, Shigeru Miyamoto briefly proposed that Splatoon become a Mario game, as the development team was having trouble crafting characters that would fit the game mechanics they've come up with it. The team was adamantly against it, pushing ahead and eventually decided upon squids once they included the ability to swim through ink.
  • Splinter Cell: Conviction changed drastically from the time it was announced (in 2007) to when it was released in 2010. In 2008, Ubisoft Montreal put the game on hold and completely overhauled it, changing almost every element as a result. Reportedly, Ubisoft did this because of fears that the gameplay was too similar to Assassin's Creed (also a Ubisoft title). The original character design for Sam Fisher had him looking like a homeless man, who sported a hoodie and a large amount of facial hair, and carried a small satchel on his back (in the final version, he simply wears a more casual variant of his normal attire). The “social stealth” gameplay (wherein Fisher could use items, furniture and people in the environment as tools to distract the authorities, as well as being able to hide under tables) was also removed, and replaced with a cover system that measured how long an enemy saw you for, and a ghost of your “last known position” that would distract enemies. Also, according to beta gameplay seen at the UBIDays game convention, Sam would have to outwit ordinary policemen and bystanders who wanted to take a shot at him. In the final version, he just goes up against conventional terrorist forces and Third Echelon troops. The story changed as well, as the bulk of the game was supposed to be playing Sam as a fugitive on the run as he helped Grim uncover a plot within Third Echelon. Some of this was retained in the final version, however he is no longer a fugitive and his daughter is retconned to still be alive. The beta also had “memento sequences” you would activate at certain points to get flashbacks. In the final version, these sequences are automatically played on walls as you progress through a level.
  • SpongeBob Gravjet Blast was a Nicktoons racing game that was going to be released on the Xbox Live Arcade. The game was an F-Zero / Wipeout clone that featured Nicktoons characters like SpongeBob, Ren and Stimpy, Jenny Wakeman, and Fanboy and Chum Chum. The game was cancelled due to budget constraints.
  • SpongeBob SquarePants: Battle for Bikini Bottom has a theater in-game for viewing concept art, some of which shows off concepts that were never in the game proper. One such idea is a Robo-Squidward boss, to go along with Robo-Sandy, Robo-Patrick, and SpongeBot SteelPants .
  • Spore originally had a much different interface, procedurally generated content for many more things, an underwater part, more complexity, more animal behaviors. Look at what everyone expected here.
    Maxis had two groups of people that wanted to shape Spore: those who wanted it to be scientific, and those who wanted it to be "accessible". According to Will Wright himself, the game had to be retooled, because the first group was winning, and it wasn't fun at all. An early version had a sub atomic stage preceding the cell stage before it was cut.
  • The classic arcade game Spy Hunter was originally intended to have the James Bond theme as its theme music, but when the rights for it couldn't be obtained, the Peter Gunn theme was used instead.
  • Ladies and gentlemen, S.T.A.L.K.E.R.: Oblivion Lost, circa 2001. It didn't have the Chernobyl setting until a year later. There was other stuff that endured, and got implemented in development as far as 2006, but got cut in the released game, like vehicles (likely cut due to the overpresence of anomalies) and the ability for allied NPCs to beat the game by themselves. For curious fans, GSC Game World has released the 2004 beta build for free download.
  • Seed, by Runestone Game Development, was a cel-shaded, "role play-centric" sci-fi MMO, set in a terraforming colony, focusing on cooperative projects, politics and crafting. It was cancelled in 2006 shortly after beta.
  • Spyborgs is perhaps one of the most drastic case of a game being overhauled during development. First announced at Capcom's 2008 Captivate event, it was meant to be a humourous action-adventure game whose action would be framed by silly WarioWare-esque commercial running through the levels. However, a tepid reception led to the developers scrapping their original idea and overhauling the game in a gritty, generic hack & slash which only shared the design of the main characters.
  • Spyro the Dragon:
    • Spyro started out as a green adult dragon named Pete. He was aged down into a Kid Hero for ease of animation and better appeal to the target audience, his name was changed to avoid potential conflicts with the Disney movie Pete's Dragon, and he finally gained his familiar purple color scheme for better contrast against the typically grassy stages.
    • Early concept art for Elora depicts her as a centaur. She lost two legs and became a faun by the time of release, presumably because that was easier to animate.
    • Moneybags originally had a more intimidating "mobster"-like appearance. He was toned down for the final game, as the developers thought he looked too scary.
    • Sheila was originally a Half-Dressed Cartoon Animal in a T-shirt and boxing gloves and had horns on her head(?). She lost all these features by the time of the final game and fights by kicking (like a real kangaroo) instead of punching. Sheila would get a shirt again by the time of the Reignited Trilogy remake.
    • Agent 9 was first conceived as a pig. By the time concept art for him was drawn, though, he had evolved into his final monkey design.
    • Spyro: Enter the Dragonfly was originally going to have 120 dragonflies to collect across 25 levels, and feature Gnasty Gnorc and Ripto in a Villain Team-Up. The game was Christmas Rushed, however, resulting in what many fans and critics feel is the worst game in the classic Spyro the Dragon series.
  • The flagship in Star Control II was going to acquire a cloaking device eventually, but by that point the developers were running out of time and couldn't think of a way to make it “more interesting than the Ilwrath's.” Also, allying with the Orz was originally intended to be more ambiguous than favorable; bringing Orz ships into Quasispace would have had unpleasant consequences. Most interestingly of all, Groombridge was programmed as a Developer's Room and would have enabled the Captain to talk to godlike graphical representations of Fred Ford and Paul Reiche III. Hence, the significance of the Rainbow Worlds.
  • StarCraft II would have been considerably different if Blizzard hadn't backtracked and made a game far closer to the original than what their initial concepts had been. Going by early fan suggestions, the game could have included just about 'anything'.
  • Star Fox:
    • After the 3DS version of Star Fox 64, co-developer Q-Games wanted to do another 3DS port, this time of the original Super Nintendo title. Although a demo was made, Nintendo never went through with it.
    • Star Fox Adventures by Rare: Originally, this was going to be a game called Dinosaur Planet for the Nintendo 64. It would've featured a wholly original universe and played very similarly to The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time. It also would've likely been the most technologically advanced game on the N64, spanning a massive 512 megabit cartridgenote  and containing a giant open world to explore. At some point during development, Shigeru Miyamoto noticed that the game's main character Sabre looked strikingly similar to Star Fox hero Fox McCloud. It was also decided that the game would've ultimately been too ambitious for the N64's vastly outdated hardware. So, in early 2001, it was moved to the Nintendo GameCube and reworked into a Star Fox title. The game was released in late 2002note , and while it garnered pretty good reviews and solid sales overall, most people agreed that it probably would've been much better if Rare and Nintendo had left it as a new IP rather than shoehorning the Star Fox license into it.
  • Capcom's Star Gladiator was, according to an interview with Capcom's Seth Killian, at one point supposed to have been a Star Wars Fighting Game. Presumably, Lucasarts thought it would be easier and cheaper to make their own game rather than license a foreign company to make it. A year after Star Gladiator released, the result was Masters of Teras Kasi.
  • Erin Roberts' space combat game Starlancer was supposed to be the first title in an epic trilogy depicting a vast war lasting over a century between two factions of humans for control of the entire solar system which would end with one of the sides victorious and the other fleeing to other star systems on colonization ships, shortly before aliens would show up and vaporize the solar system. There were also going to be side-games, of which one, a tactical squad shooter, was being planned. Naturally, the first game did not sell as well as expected and the whole project was shelved. This had an effect on his brother Chris Roberts' game Freelancer, which was in simultaneous development, and is a continuation of Starlancer. It was supposed to resolve the mystery of the aliens who destroyed Earth, as well as simultaneously being the definitive trading space simulator featuring unparalleled AI and freedom. However, studio pressure saw the project's ambitions being greatly reduced (probably for the best, as Freelancer was nearly Vapor Ware to begin with). The cancellation of the remaining Starlancer games also saw all references to the destruction of Sol being removed, although some CGI sequences depicting this did survive.
  • Star Trek
    • A Star Trek point & click adventure game entitled Secret of Vulcan Fury was in development by Interplay during the late 1990's, and would have featured the Original Series crew portrayed by the original cast in an episodic story. Each episode would focus on a different character, with the overall story revolving around an ancient Vulcan superweapon known as "Fury". While slated for a 1998 release and several trailers were released, the game would sadly end up being quietly cancelled. Several animation tests and environmental renders were later released, showing, among other things, plans to include a bowling alley on the USS Enterprise as an Easter Egg. Even later, lead designer Ken Allen released a never before seen WIP gameplay demo that showed part of Scotty's chapter of the game. note 
    • Star Trek V: The Final Frontier was a game already completed for the NES, and was cancelled.
    • Star Trek: The Next Generation: A World For All Seasons was going to be a Star Trek: The Next Generation adventure game for the 3DO.
    • Voyager was going to be a Star Trek: Voyager adventure game by Looking Glass Studios.
    • Borg Assimilator was going to allow the player to play as the Borg and assimilate planets by constructing Borg structures.
    • Infinite Space was going to be a 2011 browser-based game by Keen Games and Gameforge.
  • Star Trek Online:
    • Perpetual Entertainment was working on a different version of the game before development was taken over by Cryptic Studios and the game design was overhauled.
    • During the game's initial development, most aspects of gameplay were dramatically different. The plan was that you would control your character in the first-person perspective, and you would play the role of a bridge officer aboard a ship along with other players filling the other officer roles, each player would have their role (tactical controls weapons and shields, conn navigates the ship, engineering manages resources, etc) with a player also taking the role of captain. Among other things, your ship could be boarded, requiring you to engage in personal combat with the boarding parties. This concept eventually proved too difficult to implement effectively, and the game was retooled into the more approachable "WoW In Space" format we now know.
    • There were plans for a three-parter mission series for the Federation involving an Undine infiltrator in the Romulan group. The first part was made, which infuriated players with how But Thou Must! it ended up being and Cryptic was angry that they couldn't finish it. However, a fan continuation spearheaded by Cryptic and using the game's Foundry system allowed for a continuation of sorts before the mission was dropped during the 5th Anniversary.
    • The mission "A Step Between Stars" was meant to have Harry Kim in it instead of Tuvok due to Harry's involvement with Species 8472.
    • When they brought back Seven of Nine for the second expansion Delta Rising, Cryptic and Jeri Ryan both tried to get Seven to wear something that wasn't a catsuit. They failed.
    • There was meant to be a map for the planet Ferenginar which would have been home to a Featured Episode series starring Chase Masterson reprising her role as Leeta.
  • Star Wars:
    • Star Wars: Ewok Adventure, also known as Revenge of the Jedi: Game I, was an unreleased Atari2600 game by Parker Brothers. Luckily, prototypes have been found.
    • Star Wars: The New Emperor was going to be a game about C-3PO investigating a new Galactic Emperor. The game was being developed in 1998. As the game would have had live actors, it may have been planned as an FMV game.
    • Proteus was the code name for a cancelled Star Wars console MMORPG being developed in 2003. Proteus was merged with Pangea, a project planned for the PS3 and Xbox 360. Both projects were eventually cancelled.
    • A Star Wars fighting game by Robomodo, developed for the Xbox, ended up being cancelled in 2005.
    • Star Wars: Attack Squadrons was a browser game that was canceled before leaving beta.
    • Star Wars: Battlefront III: After Free Radical went bankrupt, concept art leaked showing Sith Lord Obi-Wan Kenobi. Prototype footage of what would have been Free Radical's game has since surfaced. There were plans for between twenty to one hundred player multiplayer, and art assets were being worked on for Star Wars: Battlefront IV. Another Star Wars: Battlefront III project was to be developed by Slant Six as a download-only title.
    • Star Wars: Darth Maul was going to have Darth Maul as the Player Character, and then became a Star Wars: The Clone Wars tie-in known as Damage. The game was later changed to be about a Legacy-era clone or descendant of Darth Maul, teaming up with Darth Talon, and fighting Darth Krayt and the Sith army, in Battle of the Sith Lords for PC, PS3, Xbox 360, and Wii U. The game was planned for a release in 2010, and cancelled in 2011.
    • Star Wars: Death Star was a planned iOS game that was cancelled.
    • Star Wars: First Assault was an FPS, focusing on multiplayer, developed on the Unreal Engine. The game was put on indefinite hold, and eventually cancelled, along with Star Wars: 1313.
    • Star Wars: The Force Unleashed: Darth Vader's apprentice was to use Starkiller only as a call sign, and was supposed to have an actual Darth title, but this was dropped when the official suggestions were Darth Icky or Darth Insanius.
    • Star Wars: Imperial Commando would have been a sequel to Star Wars: Republic Commando focusing on an Imperial assault team.
    • Star Wars: Jedi Knight would have continued with Star Wars: Jedi Knight III: Brink of Darkness and Jedi Master.
    • Star Wars: Jedi Outlaw was going to be a game set 500 years after the original trilogy, with the Jedi and Sith reaching peace and establishing "The Council", and a descendant of Luke Skywalker, acting as a sort of sheriff, being framed for murder.
    • The Knights of the Old Republic games in general are rife with What Could Have Been. The second game in particular is infamous for it, but both have some cut content:
      • The first KOTOR game had some cut material - most notably the star map on the volcanic planet of Sleheyron. The planet was cut early on in the production schedule, so most of the content relating to it was removed from the game files. The character of Yuthura Ban was given a backstory with the planet in reference to the cut material. There was also an alternate Dark Side ending for the Player Character if they were female that got cut.
      • Originally, Knights of the Old Republic II: The Sith Lords had an intricate and complex finale which resolved all the outstanding storylines and gave all the NPCs and their subplots decent closure. Thanks to LucasArts rushing the game out before Christmas, most of this stuff was cut and the game's ending doesn't entirely make much sense any more.
      • In addition to the material left out of the ending (such as the fact that "Darth Traya" could have been one of two different characters depending on certain choices), KotOR II was also supposed to include a planet of droids, where you would have found and talked with one of the Jedi Masters (who in the released game is found already dead on Korriban), and the HK-50 factory as a late-game solo mission for HK-47, where you would have had the option of either destroying the factory and all the droids outright, or convincing either the HK-50s or a new set of HK-51 droids to assist HK-47. Also, according to Avellone, Bao-Dur was supposed to die while helping HK-47 reach the factory, which explains his complete absence (save for a pre-programmed recording in his remote) during the finale.
      • KotOR II also includes a Lampshade Hanging regarding another what-could-have-been; with the right conditions met, Atton Rand breaks the fourth wall to comment that he was originally intended to be the protagonist of Jedi Knight: Jedi Academy before that character was named Jaden Korr instead.
      • Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic III had a developed concept and story, including the female character Naresha, before it ended up being cancelled.
      • BioWare expressed interest in developing more Knights of the Old Republic single player games even after the relase of the MMORPG Star Wars: The Old Republic, but were denied by EA.
    • Star Wars: Outpost would have been both a browser game and iOS/Android game, inspired by EVE Online and Settlers of Catan, by a studio that was also working on an HD re-release of Day of the Tentacle. It was similar to FarmVille, in that the player could run their own moisture farm, and players could ally with either the light or the dark side while fighting over resources.
    • Star Wars: Rebel Warrior was going to be an action game featuring a Wookiee fighting the Empire.
    • Star Wars: Rogue Leaders: Rogue Squadron Wii was going to be a Wii compilation by Factor 5, containing the first three Rogue Squadron games, and would have also included Mii lightsaber duels.
    • Star Wars: Rogue Squadron: X-Wing vs. Tie Fighter was going to be an Xbox launch title. The game was planned to be an MMO about warring factions.
    • Star Wars: Smuggler, known as Star Wars: Scum And Villainy, would have focused on a Han Solo style smuggler. The game was cancelled in 2005, and some of the concept art was used in The Force Unleashed.
    • Star Wars: Super Bombad Racing was going to have a sequel, known as Project Hermes, that was cancelled in 2002.
    • Star Wars Trilogy was a game planned for the Xbox that was moved to the Wii, and cancelled in 2008. The game would have featured speeder bike races, lightsaber battles, and ship battles.
    • Star Wars: Underworld would have been an open world RPG and tie-in to the planned live-action TV series. It became Star Wars: 1313 when Lucas suggested the bounty hunter protagonist be Boba Fett. It was shown at E3 2012, then canceled.
    • Star Wars: Vernost was a game being developed by Hughes Training. It would have been about Rebel and Imperial ships fighting over the volcanic planet Vernost.
    • X-Wing Alliance: Planned ships that didn't made the final cut were the Starviper from Shadows of the Empire and a modified Strike Cruiser. Also, a multiplayer function would have allowed one player to fly the ship and a second one control the turret (for freighter ships). The odd bit is that the turret function is programmed into the game, but none of the ships are flagged for being flyable with a gunner. It is unknown why this is the case, since re-enabling the function causes no issues.
    • The book Rogue Leaders: The Story Of LucasArts shows developed concept logos for several more projects, with little more known about them than the title, including Star Wars: Rise Of The Rebellion, Star Wars: Rogue Jedi, Star Wars: Rebel Jedi, Star Wars: Jedi Rebel, Star Wars: Episode VII: Shadows of the Sith, Star Wars: Han Solo, Star Wars: Rebel Agent, Star Wars: Vader, Star Wars: Rebel Fury, Star Wars: Jedi Hunter, and Star Wars: Dark Jedi. It is unclear how many were titles of projects that were cancelled or were working titles for other projects.
  • Stonekeep was going to be called Brian's Dungeon, with system requirements including a floppy disk drive, 640K ram, a 286 processor, and no required mouse or hard drive. Stonekeep 2: Godmaker, cancelled in 2001, was being developed by Black Isle Studios.
  • Street Fighter:
    • Street Fighter II:
      • Mike Haggar from Final Fight was originally planned to initially appear as the game's wrestling character and that his appearance would've helped connect the two series together (a concept that would later be used with the appearances of Guy, Sodom, Rolento, Cody, Maki, Hugo, and Poison in both the Street Fighter Alpha and Street Fighter III sub-series respectively), but later on in development, he was replaced by Zangief after the creative team had noticed that there were already three other American fighters (Ken, Guile, and Balrog) in the game. Zangief was also originally going to be named "Vodka Gobalsky".
      • T. Hawk's proposed name was Geronimo, but thankfully, a member of the American development team suggested that they change it to something else.
      • Two of the four new fighters in Super Street Fighter II were meant to be Head Swaps of each other, namely Fei Long and an unnamed rival. James Goddard argued against the idea (since Ryu and Ken were already head swaps of one another), leading to the creation of Dee Jay. Also, they pitched the names "Mantis" and "JJ Bam" for the character who would eventually became Dee Jay.
      • Actually, the 4 original New Challengers were Cammy, T. Hawk and 2 Kung Fu brothers from Hong Kong who would be very similar. Indeed, they were scrapped in favor of Dee Jay and the remaining Kung Fu character was hastily reworked into Fei Long. However, the Kung Fu brothers would eventually make it into Street Fighter, as Yun and Yang.
      • A few proposed gameplay mechanics never made it in, such as characters having weak points, characters taking more damage while dizzied, the ability to duck underneath projectiles, and the ability to perform juggle combos.
    • Street Fighter III:
      • The game was initially meant to be a clean slate from the previous installments, with none of the original cast returning, hence the subtitle of the first game in the sub-series, New Generation. However, Capcom had ended up not going through with this initial plan and eventually included both Ryu and Ken in order to avoid potential fan backlash, with Akuma and Chun-Li following suit and returning to the roster as well in the respective 2nd Impact and 3rd Strike Updated Rereleases. Originally, Sean was supposed to have been the only Shotoclone character in the game (effectively being the successor to Ryu and Ken), and had this happened, he might not have been Nerfed so hard or regarded as a joke.
      • Dan was considered for the roster at one point.
      • Hugo was meant to appear in New Generation, and Shin Akuma in 3rd Strike. Hugo later made it into 2nd Impact, but Shin Akuma was left out of 3rd Strike.
      • A poison-using fighter was planned, but was ultimately replaced with Remy. The idea would later be revisited with F.A.N.G. in Street Fighter V.
      • Gill was originally planned to wield light and darkness, but Capcom had decided to have him use fire and ice instead as it would be a much more better demonstration of their new CPS-III arcade hardware.
    • Street Fighter Alpha:
      • Alpha 3 was originally going to have Joe (from the original Street Fighter I) as the escaped prisoner fighter, which would've continued Alpha's pattern of bringing back and re-introducing forgotten SF1 characters as the previous revisions had already done with Adon, Birdie, and Gen. However, he was dropped and replaced with Cody from Final Fight.
      • Karin, Sakura's rival, was originally supposed to debut in Marvel Super Heroes vs. Street Fighter similarly to how Shadaloo Cammy first appeared in X-Men vs. Street Fighter. An early version of her sprite can be found in the game's data, which reveals that she was originally planned to be a simple head swap of Sakura.
    • Street Fighter IV:
      • Dee Jay and T. Hawk were meant to appear in the first iteration of the game.
      • The Super Street Fighter IV artbook proves that Strider Hiryu was originally going to be an alternate outfit for Guy.
      • In the case of Abel and Rufus, their original designs were very different, especially the latter: Abel was originally a judo practitioner with a "the weak can beat the strong" gimmick. He was also a teenager and could be mistaken for a girl. As for Rufus, instead of being a middle-aged, obese white guy who taught himself kung-fu, he was originally a young, thin (yet muscular) black male who combined his kung-fu skills with breakdancing, calling it "breakung-fu". He was originally named "King Cobra" and had a rivalry with Ken, although it most likely wouldn't have been Played for Laughs as it is with the version of him that made it into the game. All in all, he was redesigned, because the developers wanted an absurd, over-the-top design that would "freak people out". What's left of Cobra in the final release of Street Fighter IV is his gi, which is Ken's 1st DLC costume.
      • Karin, Elena and R. Mika were all considered for Super Street Fighter IV, and while Elena eventually made it into Ultra, the other two would have to wait until Street Fighter V for their next-gen debut.
      • For the initial brainstorming session for Street Fighter IV, there was an idea for a character that never made it past the idea board: Karate Klown.
    • Street Fighter X Tekken:
    • Street Fighter V:
      • Sodom from Final Fight was considered for the launch roster, but Capcom couldn't think of a way to work him into the story.
      • Necalli was originally going to eat his opponents, but this was considered too violent for a T-rated game.
      • Numerous concepts were considered but abandoned, including a President Fighter (who looked suspiciously like Bison's Legend of Chun-Li incarnation. However, this concept was able to make it into second wave of DLC in the form of G, the "President of the World"), a Literary Master (a Badass Bookworm), Careless Sexy-chan (a dark-skinned young woman who'd accidentally tear up her own clothes during battle; the character eventually became Laura), Gen's disciple (Exactly What It Says on the Tin), a football-themed female fighter from America and a hockey-themed female fighter from Canada, a Yeti (rejected for seeming like something out of Darkstalkers rather than Street Fighter), a Brazilian Soccer Fighter (rejected for being too similar to Roberto from Rival Schools), Asuka (a young, female aikido practitioner who looked suspiciously like Hokuto from Street Fighter EX; rejected because the game already had too many Japanese fighters), Elizabeth (a wealthy French savate user; rejected because Karin's inclusion made another rich girl character redundant), and a South American assassin (rejected in favor of Necalli).
      • Momotaro, a character from a very early Capcom arcade game called Pirate Ship Higemaru, was considered but ultimately dropped.
  • Streets of Rage 3 had more features planned for the game before the final version had dummied them out. In the 2nd scene of stage 1, there was going to be a mini-boss by the name of Ash, who was a tall, Camp Gay, man that would mostly body slam you and giggle and if you beat him, he would emit a female cry instead of a male one and sits on the ground crying. This is actually present in the Japanese version, but Executive Meddling forced him to be cut outside of Japan for obvious reasons. A side scrolling motorbike level was going to be in the game as well as shown by the previews in video game magazines, but this concept was cut out.
  • Sunsoft had made a game called Sunman for the original NES that, sadly, never got released. Its gameplay mechanics seem to hint, though, that they had planned to make this as a Superman game, but Sunsoft couldn't keep the rights to the Man of Steel and had planned to make a game using the engine they had made with original characters.
  • Super Heroine Chronicle could have had a vastly different cast of characters. If this post is true, then the series could have had Strike Witches, Slayers, Bubblegum Crisis, Tenchi Muyo!, Puella Magi Madoka Magica, Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha The Movie 1st and more.
  • Factor 5 was working on Superman: Man of Steel, a Wide Open Sandbox Superman game code named "Blue Steel", on PlayStation 3, Wii, and Xbox 360, as a tie-in to the cancelled Superman Returns sequel, then as its own Superman game, before being cancelled.
  • Super Monkey Ball originally had nothing to do with monkeys. At first the game used a plain single-colored ball but the developers couldn't achieve the perspective of movement they wanted. They then tried to use balls wrapped with images. When that still didn't work, they decided on 3D models inside the balls, and one of the developers suggested the use of monkeys.
  • Super Robot Wars:
    • Super Robot Wars Alpha 3 originally intended to avert one of the greatest What Could Have Beens in Anime history: Giant Robo. The proposed storyline would have had Big Fire attempting to usurp the godhead of Irui, claiming the power of Nashim Ganeden for himself. Unfortunately, Mitsuteru Yokoyama died while the game was in development, and his estate raised the licensing cost for all his works, meaning Giant Robo had to sit out of the Grand Finale of the Alpha timeline. Furthermore, sprites for Gundam Sentinel were found within the game data when hacked; fans suspect that the story was originally planned to be the conclusion of Universal Century Gundam in Alpha, but was cut when Executive Meddling forced Banpresto to include the up-and-coming fan favorite Mobile Suit Gundam SEED in Alpha 3 instead. But digging inside Alpha 2 revealed that sprites of the Strike Gundam and Aegis Gundam were hidden inside the game. It's unknown, though, if this meant that SEED would have just made cameos of some sort, like how Star GaoGaiGar was a cameo of sorts, or if they were going to outright use Gundam SEED to a degree, a la Gao Gai Gar. On a lesser note, that digging also revealed that there was a second Getter Robo theme placed in, "Gattai! Getter Robo", which wasn't used in favor of again "Getter Robo!". A later-revealed a video from Nico Nico was discovered that reveals the extent of Gundam Sentinel's influence in the game, as sprites for both Task Force Alpha heroes and the New Decides units were shown. One notable addition was Amuro's Zeta Plus A1. Also found on there was leftover data from Alpha 2 with the Nightingale, the Wing Gundam Ver. Ka., and units from Crossbone Gundam and Brain Powerd.
    • A lack of money forced Banpresto to leave out a video game recreation of Mobile Suit Gundam 00's final fight between Gundam Exia and 0 Gundam in Super Robot Wars Z2.2, though it's also hinted that it was removed because they didn't want to dump a Mid-Season Upgrade 00 Gundam in favor for a majorly weaker unit.
    • Super Robot Wars Z almost had two other Gundam series — Mobile Suit Gundam ZZ and Mobile Suit Victory Gundam. There were audio files with Amuro supporting Judau and Usso, but were Dummied Out. While it's possible for Victory Gundam to show up, the fact that the game uses the movie trilogy for Zeta Gundam pretty much leaves Judau out in the cold.
    • In Super Robot Wars 2, when attempting to get all the characters they wanted for the game, Banpresto attempted to obtain characters from Aura Battler Dunbine. However, for whatever reason, they were declined. To fill in the gap, they created a new hero and a new villain - Masaki Ando and Shu Shirakawa.
    • Though Shin Super Robot Wars left a wide opening for a sequel, none was ever made. The game writing makes it easy to see why: vast amounts of tedious filler in the early stages and numerous examples of insufficient motivation for many of the member series.
  • Super Smash Bros.:
    • The first SSB wasn't supposed to feature Nintendo characters at all, instead having original characters. After it was changed to the characters from Nintendo, Peach, Bowser, Mewtwo, Meowth, and King Dedede were considered, but were scrapped. Also, Final Smashes were meant to be in from the very first game. Side-special moves also technically exist in the game, but except for the unplayable Master Hand, everyone's side-special move is the same as their normal special.
    • In Melee, Roy and Marth weren't supposed to be in the international versions, Ness was planned to be replaced by Lucas (which didn't happen because the latter's game, MOTHER 3, hadn't been released and was later canceled until 2006 when it was released for Game Boy Advance), and Pit and Balloon Fighter were considered for a spot as retro characters, but lost to the Ice Climbers.
    • Hideo Kojima wanted Solid Snake to show up in Melee, but by the time he approached them about it, the game was too far into production to implement him into the game.
    • In Brawl, the Subspace Emissary story was supposed to have more details in it and show that King Dedede knew of Tabuu's plan to turn everyone into trophies, but because that part of the story was cut due to time constraints and/or disc space limits, Dedede's actions in the story remained ambiguous to most people.
    • Certain file names in the game files of Brawl suggest that Peach was going to use Perry to fight and drift with, instead of her own parasol used in the final game.
    • The trophy of Starfy's sister Starly is interestingly sorted under the "Fighter Related" category, possibly implying Starfy was considered for the roster at some point in development.
    • Masahiro Sakurai, the creator of the series, is a big fan of Panel de Pon and would have liked to put its main character Lip in as early as the first game in the series, but ultimately decided against it, as he thought no one would recognize her.
    • Some lost data found in Brawl suggests that it was originally going to have Roy, Toon Zelda, Toon Sheiknote , Dr. Mario, Mewtwo, Dixie Kong, and "Pra_Mai" (presumably Plusle and Minun) as playable characters. They are often called the Forbidden Seven. Aside from Mewtwo, it's not a major loss since most of them probably would've ended up as (semi)-clones anyway. There are also 14-18 blank music tracks that they didn't end up using as well, known as the Lost Tracks. Interestingly, it was said that Sonic and Solid Snake weren't going to be the only characters from their franchises - Shadow and Grey Fox were supposed to join them. However, Sega and Konami vetoed this and they were Demoted to Assist Trophies.
    • Masahiro Sakurai was ready to pull Pac-Man from the SSB4 lineup had they rejected him using the classic character design over his modern design.
    • Heihachi Mishima from Tekken and Geno from Super Mario RPG were both planned, or at least considered, for Smash Bros. at some point. However, they were included as Mii costumes instead.
  • Super Sprint initially supported up to four players, but the fourth car was made into a permanent AI drone so races could be guaranteed to end without instituting an explicit time limit.

Top

How well does it match the trope?

Example of:

/

Media sources:

/

Report