Leaks of information and secrets relating to classic consoles have become more and more plentiful as the year goes on. While the source of these leaks has not been officially confirmed, what is known is that the latest leak, already nicknamed "The Gigaleak," is the most interesting of all. It contained data for popular SNES and N64 titles, including Star Fox 2 and multiple entries in the Mario, Pokemon, and Legend of Zelda franchises.
Star Fox 2 was a planned but canceled title for the Super Nintendo, which was intended to release a full quarter-century ago in 1995. A sequel to the original 1993 Star Fox, it would have allowed players to freely explore the Lylat System and battle enemies using a semi-real time combat style. It featured six playable characters: Fox, Slippy, Peppy, Falco, and two new female members of the team, a dog named Fay and a lynx named Miyu. Eventually, a complete version of the game did debut, first for the Super NES Classic Edition and later for Nintendo Switch via the Switch Online service.
Fans were especially excited to see prototypes of several characters that were planned to feature alongside Fox and his crew but were ultimately cut from the game. Cut characters include a hippo, a bear, some variety of wide-eyed primates, and even what appears to be a female human. It was also slated to feature Fara, a fox character (and potential love interest of Fox) who so far has only appeared in the Star Fox Nintendo Power comics.
I love all of these cut characters from Star Fox 2's prototype.... they're all so good pic.twitter.com/SmyRizPdi6
— morgankitten! (@morkitten) July 25, 2020
The leak also contained cut content from 1990's Super Mario World, 1992's Super Mario Kart, and 1996's Super Mario 64. Here's an early version of Super Mario Kart's title theme and character select screen theme:
I believe the character select screen music is also slightly different? Might be wrong on this one lol pic.twitter.com/C6EizHjga2
— Mors (@MorsGames) July 24, 2020
Super Mario World apparently once featured Luigi giving the player character the middle finger - although there's no indication what they could have possibly done to offend poor Luigi!
This is an actual unused character graphic asset of Luigi giving the player the middle finger that found within the source files for Super Mario World dated 1989. pic.twitter.com/IsnZ3qTEvz
— OKD (@OKeijiDragon) July 24, 2020
Mario's faithful steed, Yoshi, once looked significantly different, featuring a lankier, longer-necked design and lacking his signature round snout:
One leak which has certainly spurred extensive fan reaction is the reveal that Luigi was apparently once planned as a playable character in Super Mario 64. While this rumor has been present for years, it has never been officially confirmed until today. The leak also indicates that the game was initially titled Ultra Mario Bros. 64. Presumably, the title was changed when Luigi was removed as a playable character.
Here's an unused model of Luigi found in the game's files:
super luigi 64 in Real pic.twitter.com/2mbm8wlnK3
— axo #BlackLivesMatter (@axoonium) July 26, 2020
While we didn't get any vast secrets revealed regarding The Legend of Zelda, the leak did contain an early polygon model and some unused sprites for Link, including one in which his sword seems to be coated in visible blood, an element which was seemingly removed from the series entirely:
Dated from July 1994, this is possibly the first, or one of the first 3D model Nintendo ever made of Link, as an experiment on the Super FX chip. (colors were manually added). pic.twitter.com/0tV6DGaUjH
— Starxxon (@vl_tone) July 25, 2020
So here he is. It is now largely assumed that this particular Link sheet comes from a scrapped BS Zelda 2 remake. (for Satellaview) There's some interesting details here, like the blood or rust on the sword. Fascinating stuff. https://t.co/xPnEiLPI5v pic.twitter.com/FBlvt8TF4A
— Brian (@Protodude) July 25, 2020
Plus, the Gigaleak also contained unused and prototype designs for various monsters from the Pokemon series. This unnamed creature, which has wings and a jewel-like coat design, is currently theorized to be a beta version of the legendary Giratina. Rotom, a Pokemon which can inhabit various electricity-powered devices (and who serves as the player's Pokedex companion in later games), initially resembled nothing more than a simple blue spark:
BETA ROTOMMMMMMMMMMM pic.twitter.com/gjmUdusJnu
— Kaitlyn Molinas (@orcastraw) July 26, 2020
And Garchomp, a "land shark" type Pokemon, apparently was initially planned to look a great deal like Breath of the Wild's popular fish-man Prince Sidon.
Beta Garchomp full line! pic.twitter.com/MYsi9POmyk
— ⚡️Mixeli⚡️ (@PokeliYT) July 26, 2020
"Gigaleak" files are currently spreading throughout the Internet, primarily via social media sites such as Twitter. As some of the leak files contain personal information regarding programmers and developers working for Nintendo at the time, fans are encouraged not to share any personal data and instead report them if they are encountered.
Do you wish you got to play as Luigi in Super Mario 64? What do you think of the beta Pokemon designs? Are you as terrified of original Yoshi as I am? Let us know!