Early Screenshots

Posted By at 7:49 PM on Friday August 12, 2011

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Now updated with new screenshots and commentary from Fizz.

“The third in the Zelda series will make its debut on their Super NES this Fall!. This time the plot changes, as you are not looking for the Triforce of Power, but rather, you will travel back in time to the land of Hyrule before it was destroyed by the evil wizard, Ganon. You will be aided by all new allies that you must find and locate as you proceed on your quest. Battle the minions of evil and use new spells, magic and powerful weapons to help protect you in your travels. Expect to see a lot of spectacular Mode 7 effects, as you proceed through an adventure four times the size of the last game!”

So spake page 62 of the November, 1991 issue of Electronic Gaming Monthly, revealing for the first time a plot synopsis of questionable accuracy to western gamers eager for their first look at the upcoming Zelda for SNES.

Acting as a companion piece to the recently-translated developer interview, the following article provides a glimpse at prerelease ALttP and how it differed from the final game. Part of the commentary in this article was provided by members of The Cutting Room Floor wiki, a site devoted to the unused and debug content that remains in otherwise polished games. They are credited by username below.

Beta Shots

These prerelease screenshots were kindly scanned by DigitalZero Domain’s xdaniel from a European SNES ad poster that came packaged with the system circa 1992. (A larger shot of the full poster can be viewed here.) They exemplify a few of the differences between the early version of A Link to the Past and the final game.

Liliana says: The object here must be a *very* early lamp design. Unlike in the final game, the passageway is a level one, instead of a staircase leading down.

Fizz says: Link never swings his sword that far in the final game.

Beta screenshot.

Final game.

Teflon says: The soldiers’ swords appear to be different.

Liliana says: There are no green archers that walk around. Blue ones walk around in the final, but green archers just hide in the grass.

Fizz says: A tree appears from nowhere.

Beta screenshot.

Final game.

Fizz says: The main difference here is 4 Armos instead of the 2 in the final game. A few ledges get barriers in the final game, where there weren’t any before.

Terra says: In all three of the preceding prerelease screenshots the icons for rupees, bombs, and arrows are next to the number instead of above them like in the final version. Heart containers are in rows of 8 instead of 10, and a key count shows up in the overworld (in the final game, it only appears in the dungeons). Also, the word LIFE is surrounded by dashes in the final game, not the plus signs here.

Rena says: Also interesting that the rupee count is 255 in the first 2 images. May it have been an 8-bit value in this version, like in the first Zelda?

Beta screenshot.

Final game.

Fizz says: It’s possible that the early version of the game had a max of 50 arrows. The bow sprite is different as well, looking more like the sprite used when throwing it into a fairy fountain. There’s an extra Buzz Blob, slightly different waterfall graphics, and less bushes.

Beta screenshot.

Final game.

Fizz says: Link’s shield is brown, as seen in official art for the shield (and the game logo). There is a completely different pedestal for the Master Sword (which looks more like the Pedestal of Time in the later games) and different steps. In addition, there are slight variations in the layout of the trees and other environmental details.

Curious for more? Check out the plethora of unused content and version differences by heading over to The Cutting Room Floor article on A Link to the Past.

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3 Responses

  1. […] Article here Permalink […]

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  2. Fizz より:

    There are only two Armos outside the Palace in the final game, and the soldiers that walk around with bows are always blue. You never see so many of them at once in the final game, either.

    There’s a fourth and possibly fifth screenshot too on the UK version, a larger version of the Master Sword image is one of them. I scanned it myself and have it lying around somewhere, I’ll hafta see if I can get it passed on so it can be added here.

  3. Max より:

    Notice that there’s also a counter for keys. Wasn’t there a game where you had to have a certain number of keys before going in a specific door?

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