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Super Nintendo Prototypes: Unreleased Games That Almost Were


In the illustrious tapestry of gaming history, few chapters are as revered as the era of the Super Nintendo Entertainment System (SNES). This iconic console, released in the early 1990s, became a cornerstone of gaming culture, enchanting players with its rich library of titles and pushing the boundaries of what was possible in interactive entertainment. However, nestled within the depths of this beloved system’s legacy lies a realm of untold stories and forgotten dreams – the world of Super Nintendo prototypes. These prototypes, often hidden away in dusty archives or scattered among collectors, represent the dreams of developers, the aspirations of a burgeoning industry, and the unforeseen twists of fate that shape the course of gaming history.

Venturing into this realm, one discovers a tapestry of unfinished symphonies – games that were tantalizingly close to completion yet never saw the light of day. From ambitious sequels to beloved classics to entirely original concepts, each prototype offers a window into a parallel universe of gaming possibilities. Some, like the elusive “EarthBound 64,” teetered on the brink of realization, promising to transport players back to the quirky world of Eagleland in stunning 3D. Others, such as the legendary “Star Fox 2,” pushed the boundaries of the SNES hardware with groundbreaking visuals and innovative gameplay mechanics. As we embark on this journey through the annals of gaming history, we unravel the mysteries of these lost treasures and celebrate the enduring legacy of the Super Nintendo Entertainment System.

Exploring the Archives

Delving into the archives of gaming history is akin to embarking on an archaeological expedition, uncovering hidden treasures and forgotten relics that offer invaluable insights into the evolution of the medium. Within the expansive catalog of the Super Nintendo Entertainment System (SNES), lie prototypes and unreleased games that provide a fascinating glimpse into the creative process behind some of gaming’s most cherished titles. These prototypes, often preserved in obscure corners of the internet or in the collections of dedicated enthusiasts, represent a tapestry of unrealized potential and alternate gaming realities.

As we navigate this labyrinth of lost gems, we encounter prototypes that range from early builds of established franchises to experimental concepts that dared to challenge the conventions of their time. Some prototypes offer tantalizing glimpses into what could have been, showcasing ambitious features and innovative gameplay mechanics that were ahead of their time. Others, shrouded in mystery and speculation, leave us to ponder the myriad possibilities that might have unfolded had they been completed and released to the public. In our quest to explore the archives of the SNES, we unearth stories of creativity, perseverance, and the ever-present allure of the unknown.

Unraveling the Mystery

Among the most intriguing SNES prototypes is “EarthBound 64,” the ill-fated sequel to the cult classic RPG “EarthBound.” Initially conceived for the SNES before transitioning to the Nintendo 64, this ambitious project promised to expand upon the quirky world of Eagleland with stunning 3D visuals and immersive gameplay. Despite years of development and anticipation, “EarthBound 64” ultimately met its demise due to technical challenges and creative differences. Yet, remnants of its SNES incarnation persist, offering tantalizing glimpses of what could have been.

Lost Legends

Within the annals of gaming lore, certain prototypes and unreleased games have achieved legendary status, their stories whispered among enthusiasts like fabled tales of lost treasure. Among these revered artifacts are prototypes that, for various reasons, never made it to the eager hands of gamers. One such legend is “EarthBound 64,” the ambitious sequel to the beloved cult classic RPG “EarthBound.” Originally conceived for the SNES before transitioning to the Nintendo 64, “EarthBound 64” promised to transport players back to the quirky world of Eagleland in stunning 3D. Despite years of development and mounting anticipation, the game ultimately succumbed to technical challenges and creative differences, consigning it to the realm of lost dreams.

Another lost legend that continues to captivate the imaginations of gamers is “Star Fox 2,” the sequel to the groundbreaking space shooter “Star Fox.” Developed in the mid-1990s, this ambitious title pushed the boundaries of the SNES hardware with its innovative polygonal graphics and real-time strategy elements. However, with the impending release of newer consoles, including the Nintendo 64, “Star Fox 2” was unceremoniously shelved, leaving fans to wonder what might have been. Decades later, the game finally emerged from obscurity, offering players a tantalizing glimpse into a parallel universe where this lost gem was allowed to shine. In the realm of lost legends, these prototypes stand as testaments to the boundless creativity and untold stories that lie within the world of gaming.

The Quest for Preservation

Preserving these prototypes is crucial for safeguarding gaming history and ensuring that future generations can appreciate the creative endeavors of the past. Organizations such as the Video Game History Foundation and enthusiasts worldwide dedicate themselves to uncovering, archiving, and, when possible, releasing these lost treasures. Through their efforts, the legacy of Super Nintendo prototypes lives on, enriching our understanding of the medium and inspiring new generations of game developers.


In the ever-evolving landscape of gaming, the journey doesn’t always end with what’s released to the public. Behind every cherished title lies a wealth of prototypes and unreleased games, each with its own story to tell. From lost legends like “EarthBound 64” to hidden gems like “Star Fox 2,” the world of Super Nintendo prototypes offers a captivating glimpse into what could have been. As we continue to explore and preserve these artifacts, we honor the ingenuity, creativity, and passion that define the legacy of the Super Nintendo Entertainment System.

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