Video game developers live under the constant fear of deadlines. This isn’t helped by external factors, like the publishers threatening to pull funding if the game isn’t out by Christmas. The fans are no help either, as they have taken to sending death threats to developers that dare to delay games (just ask the people who made No Man’s Sky).
When a video game is at the conceptual stage, a lot of amazing ideas for content will be pitched. As development goes on, these ideas might be removed for any number of reasons. In some cases, the developers will start an interesting idea and abandon it when the deadline draws too close. Thanks to fans who are skilled at hacking, these long forgotten secrets can be revealed to the world.
We are here today to look at some of the most important secrets that were removed from classic games at the last minute. From drastically changing New York City in a Spider-Man game to Lara Croft brutally murdering someone in the wilderness.
Here are 15 Important Moments Cut From Classic Video Games At The Last Second!
15. Spider-Man 2: Enter Electro – The Battle On the World Trade Center
Spider-Man 2: Enter Electro was a well-received action game for the original PlayStation. What most fans are probably not aware of is the fact that there are two versions of the game in existence. Spider-Man 2: Enter Electro was released in August of 2001. The game was quickly pulled, however, as the September 11th terrorist attacks forced a recall. This was because the final battle against Electro took place on top of the World Trade Center. There were also several references to the buildings in cutscenes throughout the game.
A second version of the game was quickly made and shipped. All mentions of the World Trade Center were removed and the final battle now took place on a new, unnamed building. This building changed the two towers into one (as Spider-Man previously had to swing between them in order to fight Electro).
In 2015, a copy of the original version of Spider-Man 2: Enter Electro was released online by a fan.
14. Star Wars Knights Of The Old Republic II: The Sith Lords – The Actual Ending
While there are likely a few people out there who would disagree with the changes made to Spider-Man 2: Enter Electro, you cannot argue with the fact that it was edited with good intentions in mind. When it comes to the many edits and issues with Star Wars Knights of the Old Republic II: The Sith Lords, they can all be blamed on simple greed.
The original Star Wars Knights of the Old Republic was considered to be one of the best exclusives for the Xbox (right behind Halo, although both games did eventually make their way to the PC). It was a huge critical and commercial success. Expectations for the upcoming sequel were sky high…
When the game was released, many fans noticed that a lot of content seemed to have been cut from the game. This was because LucasArts forced the developers to have the game ready for a Christmas launch, even though it was not ready yet. If you complete the original version of the game, then the story ends with a brief cutscene of a spaceship flying off. The ending was supposed to be a lot more complex, but it could not be finished on time.
After the game was released, a group of fans finished all of the incomplete content and added it back into the game via mods. It is now possible to see the true ending of Star Wars Knights of the Old Republic II: The Sith Lords, as it was meant to be seen.
13. Castlevania: Symphony Of The Night – The Death Of Maria
Castlevania: Symphony of the Night was a cruel game to players who did not have a strategy guide or access to the Internet. It was entirely possible to get the bad ending of the game, without realizing that there was still another half of the game and another ending left.
At one point in the game, you have to battle Richter Belmont. He has been possessed by the evil priest known as Shaft. If you defeat him without first meeting Maria and getting the Holy Glasses from her, then you will get the bad ending. You need to put on the Holy Glasses in order to see the spirit that is controlling Richter and kill that, in order to progress.
Fans have discovered audio files in the game that suggest there was going to be yet another ending. According to these files, Shaft would have possessed Maria and you would have had to fight her. If you killed Maria during the battle, then this would lead to a different bad ending (as Richter would also have perished during the fight).
12. Legacy Of Kain: Soul Reaver – Forcing The Sequel
Legacy of Kain: Soul Reaver is considered to be one of the best games on the original PlayStation. It was the closest thing to The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time that could be done on the 32-bit console. It had the puzzle solving and battle system of the 3D Zelda games, whilst also pioneering the loading techniques that would later be used in Dark Souls (where the game would disguise loading screens with long corridors and elevators).
Despite all of its acclaim, Soul Reaver took a lot of flak due to its ending. The game ends with Raziel chasing Kain through a portal into another dimension and then… credits. It was just a big sequel hook that didn’t resolve anything.
In recent years, it has been discovered that the game was intended to have a more conclusive ending. By compiling unused audio files from within the game and interviews with the development team, an outline has been made of the original ending of Soul Reaver.
Originally, Raziel was going to kill Kain, which would power up the Soul Reaver sword. Raziel would then travel to the Silent Cathedral (a location that does appear in the game) and use his powers within the great pipe organ that resides there. The sound from these pipes would destroy all of the vampires in the world and free Nosgoth from the tyranny of evil.
11. The Simpsons: Bartman Meets Radioactive Man – Stealing The Twist From Watchmen
It is likely that the creative staff on The Simpsons are huge fans of Alan Moore’s seminal work, Watchmen. One of the official Radioactive Man comics was called “Who Washes The Washmen’s Infinite Secrets Of Legendary Crossover Knight Wars”. Alan Moore actually appeared in an episode of The Simpsons, called “Husbands and Knives”, where he refused to sign Milhouse’s copy of Watchmen Babies.
With this in mind, it should come as no surprise that one of The Simpsons games on the NES was going to use the twist from Watchmen. In The Simpsons: Bartman Meets Radioactive Man, you end the game by defeating the evil Brain-O. The day is saved and Radioactive Man calls Bart a great hero.
In recent years, a beta version of the game has leaked online. Within this earlier build of the game, the ending is different. You defeat Brain-O as normal, but when Radioactive Man breaks open his body, he finds Larva Girl inside. She planned all of the events of the game and put the world in danger, just so Radioactive Man would notice her. She then goes full tsundere and smacks Radioactive Man, while repeatedly saying “I love you” and “I hate you”.
10. Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons Of Liberty – The Destruction Of Manhattan
Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty was originally going to end with the Arsenal Gear battle station crashing into Manhatten (a screenshot of this scene since has been released). This forces the Statue of Liberty to be displaced and moved to Ellis Island. The final battle of the game featured Raiden having a sword fight with Solidus Snake. This battle was originally going to end with an American flag being draped over Solidus’ body. This was deemed inappropriate, especially as Solidus was a former president of the United States of America.
One of the most amusing changes that needed to be made involves Raiden’s name. It was originally going to be written in the katakana script. This was changed to kanji, as the katakana version of his name could be read as Laden, which was considered too similar to Bin Laden.
9. Killer Instinct 2 – The Lost Arcade Endings
Most fighting games don’t put a lot of work into the endings for each character. At best, you might get a few still images that show what happens to your character after you beat the final boss. Most fans don’t care about this, as fighting games tend to have little in terms of story. It is all about the tight gameplay and competitive element of playing against other people.
The arcade version of Killer Instinct II has lots of endings programmed into the game that went unused. This is because there was going to be extra conditions built into the story mode of each character (like destroying objects on Spinal’s stage in order to find gold). These could not be implemented in time and the endings cannot be seen under normal circumstances.
8. Chrono Trigger – The Secret Of Singing Mountain
Squaresoft (now known as Square Enix) have produced some of the greatest soundtracks in video game history. The Final Fantasy series alone accounts for a lot of classic songs that are still loved by fans today. Due to the high quality of the soundtracks of their games, Square Enix tends to release them on CD or as digital downloads.
It was through a missing song on the soundtrack of Chrono Trigger that fans started to unearth the mystery of one the game’s most intriguing secrets.
On the Chrono Trigger soundtrack, there is a song called “Singing Mountain” which never appears in the game. The developers revealed that there was going to be an extra dungeon in the prehistoric era that was called Singing Mountain. It was scrapped in favour of the Black Omen ship and all elements of the mountain were removed from the game.
A demo cartridge of Chrono Trigger was released to Japanese gaming magazines in the ’90s. This was been uploaded online and fans found the original (albeit, unfinished) maps for Singing Mountain.
The “Singing Mountain” song would finally make its way into Chrono Trigger when an updated port was released for the Nintendo DS in 2008. One of the new areas in the game used the song as its soundtrack.
7. Mass Effect 3 – The Mirror Of The Trees
The ending of Mass Effect 3 might be the most controversial finale of any modern video game. The uproar concerning the nonsensical final ten minutes of the game managed to overshadow the other amazing 99% of content that came before it. One of the results of the ending was the rise 0f the “Indoctrination Theory”. This is a widely believed theory about the game that puts forth the belief that the ending takes place within Commander Shepard’s subconscious, as the Reapers try to take control of his/her mind.
With the Indoctrination Theory gaining popularity, fans started going through the files of the game in order to find clues that would support/go against it. One of the most peculiar discoveries was found within the final area of the game. The chamber that contains the three choices that Commander Shepard can choose from actually contains a secret within its floor.
By using a mod that allows you to move the camera, it is possible to see that the metal floor of the final chamber has reflections of trees on the surface. There are no trees in this area of the game (as you are on a space station). This is often considered a piece of evidence in support of the Indoctrination Theory, as it proves that you are still inside a dream (as Commander Shepard has dreams of running through a forest throughout the game). A leaked early version of the game’s script also refers to this area as the “Guardian’s Garden”, suggesting it may have had plant life at some point (that the developers forgot to remove the reflections of).
6. The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim – The Civil War
The story of Skyrim involves a civil war between the Stormcloaks and the Imperial Legion. Most players will never find out about this, as they will likely spend 100 hours doing sidequests/killing dragons before they get bored and move on to something else.
If the player does choose to follow the main story, then they can get caught up in the struggle between the two factions (and even take sides). It is usually suggested that you wait until later in the game to involve yourself with the civil war, as choosing a faction will prevent you from doing certain quests/accessing some locations.
The civil war was originally intended to be a lot more complex than it is in the final version of the game. Large scale battles were planned for every city in the game, as well as quests that were based around you escaping from a holdfast that is being invaded. You can actually play out the original civil war with the aid of mods, as fans have managed to complete the unfinished elements of the game.
5. Final Fantasy VI – The Vengeful Dragon
One of the recurring elements in the Final Fantasy series is the Superboss. These are powerful enemies that are usually stronger than the end boss of the game. They are included for the sole purpose of providing some extra challenge for the most dedicated players of the game.
Final Fantasy VI was going to include a Superboss of its own, but it could not be finished in time for release. By going through the files of the game, fans discovered data for the CzarDragon. This was a mostly completed enemy that would have been the strongest foe in the game, had it been included.
When Final Fantasy VI was released for the Game Boy Advance, it included a new area, called the Dragon’s Den. The final boss of this area is the Kaiser Dragon. It seems that this is what was originally planned for the CzarDragon, had the game spent more time in development.
4. Dark Souls – Shiva The Traitor
In what must be a once in a lifetime event, the developers of the Dark Souls series actually took pity on the players and removed an event that was meant to directly mess with them.
The original Dark Souls contains an NPC called Shiva of the East. He will only appear to members of the Forest Hunter covenant. Shiva can be found in Blighttown, where he will sell unique weapons to the player. Some of the other characters will comment on Shiva not being trustworthy, but nothing ever comes of this.
Originally, Shiva was intended to betray the player. If you approach him while in possession of a Chaos Blade, Shiva would kill you and steal the sword. It would then be possible to invade Shiva’s world and fight him, in order to reclaim the Chaos Blade. This event still works and can be accessed through hacking the PC version of the game.
3. Persona 4 – Loving Yosuke
A large part of the later Persona games is based on the social interactions that you have with other characters in the game. These include the party members that fight alongside you in battle, as well as the people you befriend around town. This has a tangible effect on gameplay, as increasing the levels of friendship you have with people will level up the Arcana of your party. This means that new Persona’s you create will be a higher level, which will make you a lot stronger in combat.
In Persona 4, there are audio files in the game that suggest it was going to be possible to have a relationship with the character of Yosuke. He was originally going to open up to the main character about his feelings and admit that he likes him.
This relationship might not have been finished due to the possible controversy of including a homosexual romance within the game. It could also just be that they ran out of time, as Atlus don’t seem to be prudish about their content (especially as one of the recruitable demons in the game is a giant green penis monster).
2. Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain – Mission 51
The troubled development of Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain has become well-known in the industry. It was one of the reasons for Hideo Kojima’s highly public departure from Konami. It also helped to shed a light on some of the behind the scenes issues with Konami, that seem to be affecting their video game division.
Metal Gear Solid V was a highly acclaimed game. Despite this, most fans agree that the game sort of flounders towards the end. It really should have ended with the battle against the Sahelanthropus, or the scene where Big Boss is forced to kill the infected soldiers on his base. Instead, the game continues on, towards one of the worst twists in video game history.
People who bought the Collector’s Edition of the game quickly discovered that the game was supposed to continue on a little further. There is a video on the bonus disc that reveals the concept for a “Mission 51“, which shows what was originally intended for the finale of the game.
During Mission 51, Big Boss would battle against Eli and the child Psycho Mantis, as they piloted a Sahelanthropus. The ending was going to help tie the events into those of the original Metal Gear Solid. With Kojima leaving Konami, we will likely never experience the intended finale of Metal Gear Solid V.
1. Tomb Raider: Underworld – Murder In The Snow
Tomb Raider: Underworld is the final game that follows the original Lara Croft. It received mixed reviews and caused the franchise to remain dormant until the 2013 reboot, with the exception of a single spin-off game in 2010.
One of the recurring villains of the original Tomb Raider games was a woman named Amanda Evert. She was a former friend of Lara’s from their university days. Lara was forced to leave Amanda behind when they were both caught in a cave-in during an expedition. Amanda managed to survive, with the aid of occultism. She developed a grudge against Lara for abandoning her and becomes one of her fiercest enemies.
At the end of Tomb Raider: Underworld, Amanda has the chance to kill Lara when they are transported to Nepal, but ultimately chooses not to. She leaves and is never heard from again (mainly because this was the last game before the reboot).
Fans discovered video files within the game that show an alternate fate for Amanda. The ending of Tomb Raider: Underworld was originally going to show Amanda attacking Lara in the snow. Lara shoots Amanda in the leg and leaves her to die. This is a horrible fate to inflict upon someone (even a villain), as Amanda will suffer a slow death from either exposure or blood loss.
This alternate ending was most likely removed for being too dark, as it portrays Lara Croft as a cold-blooded killer, who has no problem leaving her enemies to endure an agonising death. In this case, it was probably wise that the developers left something out of the game.