Mario Goes Hollywood: A Collaborative Timeline

...so, what did you guys think?

Well I'd say it's pretty damn good. While it's a bit disappointing that a full version of the plot wasn't made, but this suffices quite well with the opening background, "The Cradle under the stars" Speech and the 'deafening' climax.

Something I neglected to mention in the brainstorming, but was most likely something well received about Clock Tower was the score by Ryuichi Sakamoto. Sakamoto basically took the original game's music and beefed it up, helping the chilling atmosphere.

Unfortunately, it seemed that Human had actually folded in OTL before the movie's release and even with the TTL overseas success of the first two Clock Tower games on the SNES-CD and PS1, the mixed reception of Clock Tower 3: The Struggle Within and failure to restructure meant selling off to Capcom, who had been in a bit of a buying spree at the time. Capcom probably allowed the movie since they were wanting to gauge interest in the franchise while working on Clock Tower 4.

Shame that it can't be saved, but it'll be 'fascinating' what TTL's Clock Tower 3/4 will be since we've likely killed most of the original idea. Also not shocked at how Struggle Within/Ghost Head is received, absolute pain in the ass that doesn't exploits it's interesting concepts (Which maybe we can retool into a film to vent out about it)
 
Nintendo Game Boy Alpha

Potential Launch Date: May 20th, 2001 in Japan, July 31st, 2001 in North America, and October 18th, 2001 in Europe and Australia.
Media: Philips Go Gear Flash Cartridges. Minimum Size: 12MB. Maximum Size: 80MB.
Screen dimensions: (2.4 in × 1.8 in), 4.24 in diagonally, 0.30 mm dot pitch, 24-bit depth (262,144 colors),.
Screen Resolution: 256 × 210 pixels
A 3-stage backlight screen is installed in the console.
Shell dimensions: A rectangle with the screen in the center, an 8-direction d-pad on the left, the back light power switch underneath it, 4 face buttons marked A, B, X, Y on the right along with the select and start buttons underneath it. On the bottom of the handheld is the cartridge slot which can hold all Game Boy Games, a ac plugin and the L trigger on the left and a link cable port and the R trigger on the right. On the bottom of the handheld is the volume switch on the left, , and a headphone jack in the center. On the right side of the handheld is the power switch.
CPU: ARM7EJ-S for Alpha Games clocked at 33 Mhz, along with an Intel 8080 set at 8.4 Mhz for Game Boy Emulation.
Soundchip: Philips SAA1099
Memory: 4 MB of ROM. 1 MB is used to store game saves, 1MB is used to run the OS, and 2 MB is used to store E-reader data.
Battery: Rechargeable lithium-ion battery. 10-18 hours depending on the backlight.

Development History:
In 1996, longtime engineer and creator of the Game Boy line Gunepi Yokoi departed Nintendo to form his own electronics company, Koto Labs. Together with Sega and NEC, his first post-Nintendo project, the Pluto would release in November 14th, 1998 to rave reviews from the gaming press and a commercial launch of over 750,000 units in Japan alone. Touting a 10MB cartridge limit, the ability to turn on and off the backlight screen, a battery life of up to 20 hours on 2 AA batteries, and eventually the ability to play all games through their next home console, the Neptune. Nintendo knew that once again they had an uphill battle to keep developer support on their handheld and keep consumers willing to buy their brand, so together with Philips they looked for a new group to create their next handheld. Philips decided to place a design pitch contest to various partners. Several companies pitched their ideas, including Nokia, Samsung, Hasbro; through their Tiger Electronics brand, and even Philips's partner in the LCD industry; LG Electronics. All pitches would be turned down by Nintendo due to the sheer cost of parts in the manufacturing. Ultimately, Nintendo and Philips would partner with Intel (who is also developing the main CPU for the GNES) to create the next handheld. Its codename: Project Cyprus.

Boosting the Power of Storage

From day one, Philips and Nintendo wanted to create a handheld as powerful as the Super Nintendo CD, but it just wasn’t feasible due to the memory size of 400MB. One such attempt, Project Atlantis; was a portable cd player with a flip top screen attached.

Pictured: A Project Atlantis Prototype running The Legend of Zelda: War for Hyrule.
Unfortunately, the unit cost $400 to manufacture in 1996 with the technology at the time. By 1997, the price had only dipped down to $350 effectively scuttling this pitch for good. With Sega’s announcement of the 10MB limit on Pluto carts, Nintendo decided to look back to another project used: the UNES Game Pak. When the UNES was in development, it was originally done in mind with cartridges. But once Philips was brought in with CDs, that project was abandoned by Nintendo. Philips however seem to like the compression technique used that allowed these carts to reach 32MB on their own. With Nintendo’s permission, Philips would use this compression technique in their own cartridge prototype: The Go Gear Flash Carts. These cartridges would have a minimum limit of 12MB minimum limit and a maximum limit of 80MB. With Intel providing the chips that would allow backwards compatibility with the previous Game Boy Carts and Philips providing the memory and soundchip. All that was left was the design of the shell. Head Engineer Satoru Okada (not to be confused with Satoru Iwata) insisted that the system should have a landscape layout to emulate the SNES’s controller as much as possible. As such the final layout is as follows: A d-pad on the upper left corner, four face buttons on the upper right corner marked a, b, x, and y, the select and start button a few inches down. In the bottom corners are two stereo speakers. On the bottom edge is the power switch and the headphone jack. On the top edge is the cartridge slot in the center, a plugin connector for the ac adaptor at the right, a link cable port at the left, and the L and R triggers at the very end. Finally on the right edge is the power switch and the backlight button.

Pictured prototype running Donkey Kong Country 2

The Spaceworld Unveiling

While development continued behind closed doors, the rumor mill began running like a wheel on a stock car. Nintendo kept tight lipped about the GBα throughout 1999 despite constant pestering from the press. This continued even into 2000 when the PS2 and Sega Neptune was announced its final launch lineup at E3. Nintendo would roll into E3 with only a tip of the hand. Tune into Spaceworld and you will see the beginning of a new era of gaming. That was all it took to light the fuse of both consumers and press officials alike. On August 24th, 2000, Nintendo Spaceworld opened with a massive demo reel of the Super NES greatest titles: Super Mario World, Donkey Kong Country, Zelda: A Link to the Past, Fire Emblem: Mystery of the Emblem, Megaman X, Final Fantasy VI, Chrono Trigger, and finally The Legend of Zelda: War for Hyrule. With the final release, the screen then shrunk to the GBα with practically no loss of detail on the sprites or backgrounds. The screen shifts to a montage of the new games, which are as follows: Return to Sarasaland, Zelda: Another Hero, Advance Wars, Fire Emblem: The Blazing Sword of Ellibe, Megaman 8, Faselei: Trials of a Mercenary, Castlevania: Circle of the Moon, Dragon Ball: Kami’s Trial, and finally Metroid: Zero Mission. The montage ends with the console itself.

Final Shell of the Game Boy Alpha

The show would continue with a demonstration of the console’s features. Backwards compatibility with all game boy family titles along with super game boy enhancements and the ability to speed up and slow down gameplay on these games. Link cable accessibility would be done through a new port for up to 4 levels of connectivity. Once all the hardware features were spoken, a gameplay demo for Super Mario Bros: Return to Sarasaland would be shown. After that, the official price was announced: $150 for the console and Mario as its pack-in game along with its release date: May 20th, 2001 for Japan, July 31st, 2001 for North America, and October 18th, 2001 for Europe and Oceania. Following that, the presentation would move onto unveiling to the Giga Nintendo Entertainment System.

Launch Titles:

Note: *- marks timed exclusive games for the system, * marks a multiplatorm release or the system.

Super Mario Bros: Return to Sarasaland.
Publisher: Nintendo. Developer: Nintendo R&D 1/Alphadream
An action RPG that sees Mario, Luigi, and Princess Daisy liberating the kingdoms of Sarasaland from Tatanga and his new consort, Queen Shroob.

The Legend of Zelda: Another Hero
Publisher: Nintendo. Developer: Flagship Games (a subsidiary of Capcom).
Set in the timeline of the live action movies, this game sees Prince Ricard Hyrule journeying to the protectorate of Picor to seal the Wind Mage Vaati from unleashing a gale storm on the kingdom and all that follow it. It is the first Zelda to have four player co-op as its centerpiece as Ricard must bring together three other warriors to brave the eight dungeons that can seal Vaati away.

Advance Wars
Publisher: Nintendo. Developer: Intelligent Systems.
Essentially the same as OTL but with the slight change that each nation is a clan in a popular online strategy game.

Megaman 8: Scourge of the Stardroids *-
Publisher: Capcom. Developer: Capcom CGDP Studio 1
Also available for the Pluto, this game sees Megaman and Bass teaming together to stop the machinations of the Stardroids, a group of alien robots hellbent on wiping out all organic life. This would be the final classic Megaman game until the release of the reboot, (NAME REDACTED DUE TO SPOILERS).

Faselei-Trials of the Mercenary. *
Publisher: SNK. Developer: Sacnoth Inc.
Released in otl on the Neo Geo Pocket Color, this is another tactical strategy game pushed to be a homage to Square’s Front Mission.

Dragon Ball: Kami’s Trial. *-
Publisher: Bandai. Developer: SNK (Dimps Division)
Developed in co-op with Dragon Ball Z: A Cold Retribution, this game is a what-if scenario detaling what would happen if Kami undertook the trials of Earth Guardian with King Piccolo still being part of him.

Megaman Battle Network. *-
Publisher: Capcom. Developer: Capcom CGDP Studio 3
Developed by former members of the Megaman Legends team, the game shows alternate universe where network communication became the front lead of technology in the 21st century instead of robotics.

F-Zero Maximum Velocity.
Publisher: Nintendo. Developer: ND Cube.
The massive fast paced racing game returns to its roots but with the addition of a 2D story mode that sees a bounty being placed on the the solar system's greatest bounty hunter: Captain Falcon.

Dodgeball Advance.
Publisher: Atlus. Developer: Million Co. LTD.
Same as otl.

Golden Sun.
Publisher: Nintendo. Developer: Camelot Software Planning.
Same as otl.

Klonoa: Moonlight Museum *
Publisher: Namco. Developer: Phantomile Games.
Released alongside The Phantom Prison home video release, this game sees Klonoa and Huepow enter a Museum to find the information about the sleepless emperor.

Crash Bandicoot: The Huge Adventure *
Publisher: Universal Interactive Studios. Developer: Vicarious Visions.
Same as otl, but it would have do well as establishing VV as the go to studio for Crash Bandicoot. Their next game, Crash Bandicoot: The Twisted Timeline, would be released for all home consoles one year later.

Castlevania: Circle of the Moon *-
Publisher: Konami. Developer: KCEJ Studio 2.
Same as otl.

Shantae: Half-Genie Shapeshifter *
Publisher: Capcom. Developer: WayForward Technologies.
Originally built for the Game Boy Color, this title is placed to be the next big 2D franchise for Capcom.

Spyro: Catacombs of Avalar *
Publisher: Universal Interactive Studios. Developer: Krome Studios.
Instead of the otl game Season of Ice, Catacombs of Avalar is a metroidvania game that sees Spyro, Elora, and Hunter explore a lost dragon colony underneath the castle of summer forest. Together the three must work together to bring these dragons back to the surface.


Overall Results:


Upon launch, the Game Boy Alpha would sell over 1 million units within its first month in Japan. As for North America, a modest 700,000 units. For Europe, 500,000 units sold within the first day. This beat out the launch of the Pluto’s launch in every territory except the U.S. launch where Sega pulled in about 750,000 in the first month. With the Pluto currently at 10 million units shipped worldwide at the end of 2000, Nintendo knows they have an uphill battle ahead of them. The next round of the handheld wars have began in full.

Part 2 of the launch will be about the pack-in game, Super Mario Bros: Return to Sarasaland.​
 
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