Random: Beta Footage From Cancelled Kirby N64 Racer Glides Onto The Internet

Beta footage can often be a double-edged sword. On the one hand you get to see the origins of some of your favourite games – with poorer graphics and mechanics to boot – but on the other you occasionally experience a sense of delayed loss, especially when seeing footage from a game that never saw the light of day.

We are currently in the stages of something like this after watching GameXplain’s latest video (thanks, Go Nintendo for the heads up) which breaks down footage from a Japanese promotional video for the Super Mario 64 soundtrack – pfft, as if those bangers needed promotion. Aside from some pre-release Mario footage, the advert also contains a small number of clips from the cancelled Kirby’s Air Ride game on the N64. Some of this footage has appeared online in the past, though the higher quality of this video really gives us a sneak peek at what the console’s puff-ball racer could have been.

Of course, Kirby’s Air Ride was later released on the GameCube (dropping the ‘s’ for an ultimately less possessive title, Kirby Air Ride) though the footage shown in the GameXplain breakdown demonstrates what the game would have looked like with the N64’s reduced graphics potential.

Aside from these clear visual differences, the small amount of footage also teases that the mechanics of the N64 game may have been a marked change from those we saw on the released version. It seems that the gameplay of this beta video plays more like a down-hill racer than the final Mario Kart-esque experience of the GameCube game. Notice how Kirby and King Dedede are stand-up surfing on their warp stars instead of their eventual seated position? Totally gnarly dude!

The promotional video (originally posted to YouTube by Tanks Caps) also contains footage of a five-racer version of Wave Race 64 (the Switch port of which we currently can’t get enough of), the preliminarily titled ‘Mario Kart R’ – which would go on to become Mario Kart 64 – with original item sprites and character icons in place of their released version, and original footage of GoldenEye 007 and Blast Corps. While some of this footage may not be new to us, we will never pass up the chance to see some un-released mechanics – especially if it involves SSX-Kirby.

What do you make of this Kirby footage? Exit mouthful mode and let us know in the comments!

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