Dream and Friends

Maybe it’s about time I explained this whole “Dream and Friends” thing.

Capcom’s DuckTales for the NES is my favorite video game. Everything about it is perfect, and nothing will ever surpass it.

It wasn’t always perfect, though. DuckTales went through a number of changes during development, as seen in a prototype version discovered several years back. The core gameplay mechanics and level design were largely finalized by the time the beta edition made its way to reviewers and strategy guide authors, but it was hampered by some minor issues and awkward dialogue that hadn’t yet been fully localized.

This in-progress version of DuckTales is fascinating, and it remains one of my favorite prototype discoveries to date. It’s interesting to see how minor tweaks to a mostly finished product made it so much more memorable and impactful. The iconic Moon level theme was sped up for the retail release, for instance (an unquestionable change for the better), and the rewritten dialogue is instantly recognizable for kids who grew up watching The Disney Afternoon.

My favorite difference between the prototype and retail versions of DuckTales is the ending, in which Scrooge McDuck claims that for all his adventuring, for all his discoveries, and for all his wealth, the most important treasure of all is…

Happily, the prototype version’s ending text was translated for DuckTales’ Japanese release, which concludes with the “DREAM AND FRIENDS” line, still in English. The Japanese version of DuckTales, by the way, is titled “Wanpaku Duck Yume Bouken,” or “Naughty Duck Dream Adventure,” which is just wonderful.

Here’s a somewhat speedy, non-tool assisted playthrough of the prototype version of DuckTales. I’m not a speedrunner by any means (I’m sure it’s been done faster), but I’m pretty happy with the results.

2012 is over, and things are looking up. Pursue your dream, and treasure your friends.

9 Responses to “Dream and Friends”

  1. Dubs Says:

    UPDATE YOU MORE, YOU GREAT PERSON

  2. Shih Tzu Says:

    yes I demand more of your spare time be devoted to providing me with free content

    no but seriously I read every post! each one is a slice of magic pizza

  3. Uno10 Says:

    http://ballz.rustedlogic.net/ducktales/production.htm

    “I remember really laughing at that original ending message from Scrooge. I was the one to dispense of that. Not sure why the music changed in some sections of the game… Capcom may have just decided to it on their own. I think the music was set when I joined the project.”

    http://www.nintendoplayer.com/interview/interview-with-former-disney-game-producer-darlene-lacey/

  4. gangrelion Says:

    You will be so happy knowing that they are doing a remastered version of this game to ps3 and xbox 360.

  5. lugnut Says:

    Yay Sardius, having a seemingly long-running website I never knew about until today! Turn to side B and insert to fucking box!

  6. Benjamin Says:

    Great game! My favorite game is Super Mario Bros 3. It was the first game I ever played and I love it to this day.

  7. Basil B. Daniel Says:

    There are known dump of the prototype of Batman that showcase some major differences from the finished version, such as the inclusion of a 1-Up, a different final boss and for the most part, completely new and different cutscenes. The removal of the cutscenes from the final version is odd, especially considering how high quality most of them are. In 2006, a Brazilian ROM-hacker named Macbee released a patch for Batman the Videogame in which the primary colors of the in-game Batman sprite were changed from purple and blue to the much more acceptable black and gold. The slight change makes a huge difference to what is already a great game. Screenshot of the Macbee hack below.

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