Lost Media From Nintendo
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A spin-off of the relatively popular 1989 Super Mario Bros. Super Show, it featured a live crowd, a heavily made-up presenter, and various different segments. The show was presented by an ugly version of King Koopa… who you probably know better as Bowser. The character of Bowser actually has more than one name, but that’s a story for a different video.
King Koopa’s Kool Kartoons was a pretty low-key show. It only lasted for one season, allegedly airing for 65 episodes in 1989 and 1990 on a Southern California TV station. Each episode clocked in at around 30 minutes. This short-lived and little-known local run was seemingly a test to determine how popular the show would be… and if it was successful, Nintendo might have attempted to give the platform a wider release.
But when King Koopa’s Kool Kartoons proved to be massively unpopular, the show obviously wasn’t renewed or rolled out further. Some sources suggest that King Koopa’s Kool Kartoons also aired sporadically in both Arizona and the UK, but there’s no real proof to back up either of those possibly-made-up claims. If you saw any episodes in either of those locations or anywhere else, please let me know in the comments below! Anyways, King Koopa’s Kool Kartoons was a pretty weird show, with a pretty weird intro. In this pre-recorded intro, Koopa dances down a Los Angeles street in the direction of a TV studio. Accompanied by a raucous bunch of kids and his dog-like pet puppet Ratso, he breaks into the TV studio, confronting those who stop him, and aggressively declaring “it’s my show now!”.
The rest of the show was filmed in front of a live studio audience, made up of young children referred to as ‘King Koopa’s Troopas.’ The show was made up of various skits and segments, including a character called Mr. Mean Jeans, and sections in which King Koopa would read out jokes. Recovered clips include footage of King Koopa bottle-feeding an egg, King Koopa talking to his pet-slash-mascot Ratso, and a two-character puppet show… but instead of actual puppets, the characters are played by vegetables. Strangely, the show also played public-domain cartoons from the 1920s and 1930s—but these cartoons were entirely unrelated to Mario and the Mario franchise… and seemingly had no connection at all to the content of the rest of the show or its characters. So yeah, really really weird.
Another regular segment included King Koopa reading fan mail from people who had written into the show. This fan mail was often negative and critical—the show wasn’t particularly popular, and the fan mail often reflected that perception. Many parents also wrote into King Koopa’s Kool Kartoons, to complain that the content was sometimes scary and inappropriate. Because the show had a limited release, it’s unlikely that any other clips will ever surface in the future—so we might never know quite how scary and inappropriate the show sometimes was. As always, if you have access to any more clips, or if you have any more information, please let us know in the comments below. The Pokémon Pirate Ship Show Back in September 2000, a little-known and barely-remembered Pokémon sailboat show came to the shores of Sydney, Australia.
Nintendo have served up plenty of Pokémon-related events over a number of years, including card swaps, open tournaments, new-game launches, costume character appearances, and plenty more. This particular sailboat show was part of the first-ever world championship event for the iconic Nintendo 64 Pokémon Stadium game. The three-day competition was allegedly part of a massive 22-day event held in Sydney—and the lengthy event featured way more than just the championship tournament. Other attractions included performances, trading events, product launches, and gaming sessions. Although it was billed as the “biggest free Pokémon show on earth,” very little of the event was recorded… so not much is known about exactly what happened at the events. The best summary we have is from a September 2000 edition of the video-game-related IGN magazine, which describes the event as follows… “While in Sydney, kids and adults will take over Pokémon Park, an interactive area where they can compete in trading card tournaments and video game face-offs, and enjoy concerts, dancing, games, food and much, much more including a Pokémon Team Rocket live show, a Pokémon disco and limited edition, first-in-the-world Pokémon products.”
In this synopsis, there are no details about any sailboat show… but it definitely occurred, which is proven by the presence of a small number of photographs, and an even-smaller amount of video footage. According to one Italian Pokémon magazine published around the same time as the event, two so-called “galleons” sailed into Sydney’s port before engaging in battle. According to another source, this featured a cannon fight between Team Rocket and a bunch of Pokémon.
And yeah, little else is known about the tournament—or about the pirate ship show. There’s nothing on the Wayback Machine, nothing on any official Pokémon platforms, and very few memories or recollections from Pokémon fans. So if you’re from the Sydney area, and have any memories or footage, please let us know in the comments. Shitamachi Ninjō Gekijō Next up is the most bizarre entry on our list. So strap yourself in for some pretty strange and disturbing stuff. Shitamachi Ninjō Gekijō was a so-called ‘virtual magazine,’ initially released in 1995 for the barely-remembered Satellaview platform.
This platform was a satellite modem add-on for Nintendo’s Super Famicom console… which was the Japanese equivalent of the Super Nintendo. The Satellaview wasn’t particularly popular or successful, even in Japan… and it was never released in the US or Europe. On this satellite modem add-on, users could download games and satellite broadcasts, and play quizzes and competitions. They could also download and watch magazine-style shows… and one of the most notorious was Shitamachi Ninjō Gekijō. The magazine featured six episodes, originally broadcast between November 1995 and March 1996. All episodes were made up of still images, and featured Mario, and characters from the Mario universe.
Because the show was magazine-style, viewers could use their console to freely flip between the pages. But the content of some of these pages was disturbing. While most other Mario content is innocent and family-friendly, this stuff was graphic and bizarre. In episode one, Mario tells Toad to kill Bowser with a butter knife. In episode two, Mario pulls a poop-covered spoon out of his anus. In episode three, he pulls a drill out of his scrotum… and Mario and Toad use this drill to escape from jail.
In episode four, Mario and Toad accidentally mistake Windows 95 for a vehicle… until they are corrected by Bill Gates, who, in a surprise appearance, instead informs them that Windows 95 is in fact… an object you put on your head. In episode five, things become even more bizarre. Mario kills both Toad and Peach, before smoking a cigarette and announcing he has a new girlfriend.
The ghosts of both Peach and Toad arrive, and watch as Mario’s new girlfriend is unveiled. Weirdly, this new girlfriend is revealed to be… Bowser. In the sixth and final episode, the stills are purposely crude and simple… and an unnamed male main character travels to Hell before doing stuff with a lobster. This is definitely the most unusual piece of Nintendo Media we’re aware of, much of this content was once lost for a long while. But for now, it’s all available on YouTube.
So watch it while you can, before it disappears again… Zelda Gaiden The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time is highly-lauded,and universally considered to be one of the best games of all time. But when it was first being built, Nintendo team wanted to make it even more innovative and interesting. Ocarina of Time was first set to be released as one of the launch titles for the Nintendo 64DD, a much-anticipated disk-based add-on for the Nintendo 64.
These disks offered more storage capacity than traditional cartridges… meaning that the game could be packed with more stories, better graphics, and a whole load of unique features and animations. But when the 64DD add-on wound up being a massive failure, with less processing power than first thought, the Zelda team needed to do a rethink. Ocarina of Time was instead moved back over to a cartridge… and this meant that lots of the game’s development and content had to be adapted, scrapped and deleted. But the Nintendo team didn’t want to lose all the stuff they’d worked on… so they planned to release this extra content as a pair of expansion packs. One was known as ‘Ura Zelda’ (which imaginatively translates to ‘Other Zelda’).
And the other was known as ‘Zelda Gaiden’ (which even-more-imaginatively translates to ‘Zelda Side-Story’). Ura Zelda was canceled, but the Nintendo team pushed on with their plans for Zelda Gaiden. And so, in May 1999, the Nintendo team announced the upcoming release of Zelda Gaiden, claiming that it was a sequel to Ocarina of Time… but that it was set to take place in some sort of alternate reality. But some of the Nintendo team were worried that Zelda Gaiden was too similar to Ocarina of Time, which postponed the release date. Eventually, the partially-reformed and partially-reimagined game was adapted into the later-released Majora’s Mask.
Majora’s Mask came out in April 2000, 11 months after Zelda Gaiden was first advertised. Not much is known about exactly what Zelda Gaiden would have looked like or contained… and much of the beta footage has seemingly been lost forever. But from what we do know, the beta version of Zelda Gaiden is pretty different from the Majora’s Mask that was eventually released.
The game was initially planned to be set over 7 days rather than 3… and it was allegedly set to be played in real-time. The game was also planned to have an Adult Link mask… which implies that the adult version of Link would have been a much more significant character in the game. And other details also might have been different. A screenshot exists showing the faceless version of the Termina’s moon, without its gruesome grimace.
Lots of items, instruments and cut scenes were also lost. But little of the early game remains, and it’s unlikely that any more will ever resurface. Kirby Bowl 64 Planned but unreleased N64 game Kirby Bowl 64 has had a storied history… but despite its relative infamy, not much is known about the never-released game. The game was an unreleased prototype of what was later set to become the N64 game Kirby’s Air Ride… but the N64 version of Kirby’s Air Ride was also canceled.
Back in 1995, Nintendo announced that they’d be releasing three huge new games, which they would launch along with their upcoming Nintendo 64 console (which, at the time, was known by the name ‘Ultra 64’). These three games were Super Mario 64, Pilotwings 64, and Kirby Bowl 64. Covered extensively in magazine pages, and at Nintendo’s 1995 Shoshinkai trade show, Kirby Bowl 64 was set to be a 3D sequel to 1994’s much-loved Kirby Bowl (you might instead know Kirby Bowl as ‘Kirby’s Dream Course,’ which was its name in western markets).
Just like in Kirby’s Bowl, Kirby Bowl 64 was partially set to see Kirby take on the role of a golf ball… and players would putt and ping him around various courses of increasing difficulty. During other parts of the game, he would skate, float in the air, roll around the floor, and be bounced around a bunch of strange and kooky courses. These course-based stages would have featured obstacles, enemies, psychedelic settings, and a whole bunch of physics-defying features.
In multiplayer mode, up to four players would each have controlled a ball, zooming around a 3D landscape in attempts to knock each other off the platform… and out of the game. But although the game was sort-of similar to Kirby Bowl, the graphics were set to be much more intricate and sophisticated, moving from a basic 2D design to a much more complex 3D design. In one magazine article advertising the upcoming release of the game, Kirby Bowl 64 was summarized as follows… “function defeats form in one of the year’s strangest and more abstract puzzle and action games”. The game was heavily publicized and advertised, so Nintendo seemed dead-set on its release. But despite their eager promotion of the game across many platforms, it was never released… and no-one really seems sure why.
No playable version of Kirby Bowl 64 has ever been found or released, and there’s very little footage anywhere online. There’s also very little information online about the replanned and repackaged N64 Kirby’s Air Ride, which was also canceled. Kirby’s Air Ride was eventually released for the Gamecube 8 years later, with the slightly-altered title of Kirby Air Ride.
But because there was such a hefty time between the first planned release and the subsequent actual release, the games are probably very dissimilar to one another. It’s pretty weird that so little is known about such a well-publicized and highly-anticipated game… but I guess that’s how lost media works. Metroid Dread The most modern entry on our lost media list, Metroid Dread was planned to be a direct sequel to 2002’s super-successful Metroid Fusion, which was released on the Game Boy Advance. Metroid Fusion was the fourth game in the Metroid series, and it was hugely popular. Its supposed sequel, Metroid Dread, was first planned and conceptualized around 2005, and it was due to be released for the Nintendo DS.
In 2006, the Official Nintendo Magazine announced the forthcoming release of the game, with a planned date for November of the same year. According to most sources at the time, it was going to be a direct sequel to its predecessor, and continue exactly where Metroid Fusion left off. But when November 2006 rolled around, the game didn’t surface. For several following years, Metroid Dread was canceled, postponed and pushed back.
Dates kept changing, speculation kept varying, and rumors around the game’s contents and existence circulated for years. Fans weren’t sure whether the game was ever going to be released, or whether it had been canceled forever. It was supposedly set to be a key release for the Nintendo DS… and players eagerly waited for a long while… but this release never came. This was largely because of the lofty goals and visions of the team behind the game. Game designer Yoshio Sakamoto was ambitious—and he felt that the technological and graphical limitations of the Nintendo DS wouldn’t be able to fully realize his aims for the project.
In 2009, another prototype was readied for the DS… but, again, Sakamoto wasn’t happy with the result. So the prototype was pulled, the footage wasn’t released, and the game was once again put on hold. For many years, the game was seemingly forgotten. Most fans feared that it would never be released at all… and some even started to speculate that rumors of its existence were just some weird publicity stunt. Eventually, the much-anticipated Metroid Dread was released, but for the Nintendo Switch… and not until October 2021.
As promised, the game is a direct sequel to 2002’s Metroid Fusion… but it’s of course probably vastly different to earlier versions of the game—and no details of these early versions have ever been released to the public.