Players interested in prototype games are having quite a time at the moment, and the train keeps rolling with the discovery of Super Mario 64 Disk Version. The game was created for display at Nintendo’s Shoshinkai show in 1996, to help promote the 64DD add-on, but never received a general release – by the time the 64DD was finally launched in December 1999, it would have been a rather pointless release.
The prototype disk was found for sale alongside a 64DD in a second-hand shop in Japan, the owners apparently unaware of the treasure they held. It was then purchased by French N64 collector jimmy130, who has shown pictures of the disk on his blog. There are few clues that the game isn’t a finished 64DD release, beyond the roughly cut label and some design inconsistencies. Any doubts about the authenticity of the find were put to rest with the release of two YouTube videos showing the game in action, which you can see on this page.
The game itself is only slightly different to the cartridge version that had been released in Japan some months prior, with an altered castle theme, the omission of the famous 3D Mario head and a couple of game-breaking bugs in Tiny Huge Land. Still, it’s always interesting when a piece of history like this surfaces – and a good reminder of what you can find hiding in plain sight.
(Shout to Retrocollect for this news!)