The cartridges used for games on the Nintendo Entertainment System could only carry so much memory, which meant that the developers had to be careful about everything that was put in each game. The games that appeared on later systems had the luxury of extra memory, which meant that the developers could seal off any content that had been added into the game but wasn't going to be used.
The limitations of the Nintendo Entertainment System's hardware meant that there aren't as many secrets buried in each game as there are compared to games on other systems, but there are still a few amazing pieces of content that were never meant to be seen by the players at home. We are here today to uncover the secrets that have been buried in many different Nintendo Entertainment System games—from the less-violent end for the Joker, to the gamers of Japan receiving a reprieve from the hardest game of all time.
Here are Twenty Amazing Things Deleted From NES Games (That Would Have Changed Everything)
20 Batman: The Video Game Had Its Ending Changed
One of the rules that most incarnations of Batman will follow is a refusal to take a life, which is why villains like the Joker are free to keep coming back and annoying the general public.
Batman: The Video Game for the Nintendo Entertainment System ends with Batman throwing the Joker off the top of a building to his doom. A prototype of Batman: The Video Game has leaked online and has revealed that the game was originally going to end with Batman beating up the Joker instead of taking his life.
19 Unei From Final Fantasy III Almost Looked Totally Different
One of the most important NPCs in Final Fantasy III is an elderly witch named Unei with power over the realm of dreams. Unei briefly aids the party, before being fought in a monstrous form near the end of the game.
There is some unused concept for Unei that was created by Yoshitaka Amano that has a totally different design where she is a young and beautiful woman, which was left out of Final Fantasy III but was used in the manga based on the game.
18 Bad Dudes Was Missing Introduction Cutscenes For The Boss Battles
It's a common occurrence for cutscenes to appear in video games nowadays, but the Nintendo Entertainment System had a severe lack of memory on their cartridges, which meant that there wasn't much room for story breaks.
The Japanese version of Bad Dudes featured interlude scenes before each boss fight, where you would see an image of their face and had a text box with them cutting a promo on you, but these were cut from the international versions of the game without explanation.
17 Battletoads & Double Dragon Had A Powerful Enemy That Was Cut From The Game
Super Smash Bros. Ultimate may have over seventy characters pulled from the greatest video games of all time (and R.O.B.) but does it have both the Battletoads and the characters from Double Dragon?
Battletoads & Double Dragon - The Ultimate Team combined the rosters from both series into a brand new beat 'em up game.
There is a cut enemy in Battletoads & Double Dragon called Linda Lash who trashed the player with a whip. It was impossible to take down Linda Lash without taking damage, which is likely why she was cut.
16 Dracula Was Meant To Have Six Body Parts In Simon's Quest
Simon Belmont defeated Dracula at the end of the original Castlevania, but this didn't stop five of Dracula's body parts from being spread around the land. Dracula placed a curse on Simon, so Simon has to bring Dracula's body parts together again and finish the job.
It seems that the developers initially planned for there to be a sixth part of Dracula's body for Simon to collect, as there is an image of Dracula's fangs hidden among the other body parts.
15 Bartman Meets Radioactive Man Had Its Ending Changed
There were tons of licensed games based on The Simpsons throughout the early '90s and they were almost all terrible. The developers of The Simpsons: Bartman Meets Radioactive Man had to dig deep to find a premise for the game, but the ending almost made up for it.
The standard version of the game ends with Bartman and Radioactive Man defeating the villainous Brain-O, but the leaked prototype of the game revealed that the story was going to pull a Watchmen twist and reveal that Brain-O's rampage was a plot by Larva Girl, who disguised herself as Brain-O to get Radioactive Man to notice her.
14 Digital Devil Story: Megami Tensei II Had A Cut Battle With The Dark Hero
The Shin Megami Tensei series started out with games referred to as the Digital Devil Saga: Megami Tensei games, due to how they were based on novels of the same name. The second Digital Devil Saga game has a recurring villain called the Dark Hero, who starts out as a friend of the protagonist before being slain by Bael.
It seems that the Dark Hero was planned to return, as there is a cut battle with him that takes place after his demise, where the Dark Hero claims that Satan brought him back to life. The strength of the Dark Hero suggests that he was planned for late in the game, or as a secret boss.
13 A Powerful (But Useless) Weapon Was Cut From Final Fantasy II
Final Fantasy II allowed every party member to wield whatever weapon they wanted, as there was no job system to limit the choices. Those who chose to specialize in ranged weapons missed out on something awesome, as there is a weapon hidden in the files of the game called the Killer Bow which will instantly slay any enemy it hits.
The problem with the Killer Bow is that it has zero accuracy, which means that it can't hit anything. It has been suggested that this weapon was used for debugging purposes.
12 Angilas & Rodan Were Meant To Be Playable In Godzilla: Monster Of Monsters!
Godzilla: Monster of Monsters! was a strange game that mixed side-scrolling action segments with a boardgame-like world map that involved moving Godzilla and his allies across occupied spaces.
You were originally going to be able to play as both Angilas and Rodan, as their character sprites can be accessed through hacking. The programming of Angilas and Rodan is still an incomplete form, so they can't do much more than move about the screen.
11 The Entire Story Of Karnov Was Cut
There wasn't much expectation for games on the Nintendo Entertainment System to have a story, due to the limitations of the memory available on cartridges and the level of the hardware available at the time. The international fans of Karnov likely never noticed the game lacked any kind of story, but this was due to censorship.
There is a cut intro sequence to Karnov that explains how the title character was a bad man in life but became a servant of God in the afterlife. When a wizard started terrorizing the land, God sent Karnov down to deal with the monster, promising to free him from his servitude if he succeeded in his task.
10 Maniac Mansion Almost Allowed You To Put A Hamster Somewhere Weird
The original version of Maniac Mansion allowed the player to put a hamster in the microwave and switch it on, resulting in Ed disposing of the character responsible for dealing with his beloved pet.
The guidelines laid down by Nintendo during the NES era would have prevented the hamster scene from being included in the NES port of Maniac Mansion, but the developers still included it, forcing later prints of the game to take out the scene. The European version of Maniac Mansion also dummied out the hamster scene.
9 You Were Going To Be Able To Burn Wood Man's Stage In Mega Man 2
Mega Man 2 features a forest area for Wood Man's stage, which is filled with trees and animals. The fans discovered two unused color palettes for Wood Man's stage that showed the leaves on the trees with a brown tint and a purple tint, which are meant to cycle.
The reason these alternate palettes exist is due to how the player would have been able to burn up the stage using Atomic Fire (if they had unlocked it) but the feature was removed from the final version of the game.
8 There Was Going To Be A Stage That Featured The In-Betweener In Silver Surfer
The Silver Surfer games for the NES uses a stage selection screen that is similar to the one used by Mega Man, with five levels that are all defined by the boss in each area.
There are six stages in total in Silver Surfer (you need to complete the first five to unlock the sixth), but it seems that there may have been seven stages planned at one point in development. There is an unused graphic for the Silver Surfer villain called the In-Betweener within the files of Silver Surfer, suggesting that he was also planned to have a level based on him at some point during development.
7 There Are A Ton Of Unused Levels In Super Mario Bros. 3
Super Mario Bros. 3 features an abundance of levels that are split across eight different worlds, but it seems that the developers had plans to include even more at one point in time.
There are numerous unused levels hidden within the files of Super Mario Bros. 3, which include more difficult versions of the levels that appear in the game, a few brand new ones that seemed to have been planned for different worlds, and a few unique gimmick levels, such as one that only contains waterfalls, which would require the player to keep swimming upwards to complete the stage.
6 Tetris Has An Unfinished Two-Player Mode
There are two versions of Tetris released for the Nintendo Entertainment System, due to a copyright lawsuit concerning the first version of the game (produced by a company called Tengen), which resulted in it being recalled and Nintendo releasing their own licensed version of the game.
The Nintendo version of Tetris is considered to be the inferior port, due to the fact that it lacks the two-player mode of the Tengen version of the game. There is an unfinished prototype of a two-player mode hidden within the files of Nintendo's Tetris, which has numerous bugs and glitches.
5 Bomberman Was Almost A Prequel To Lode Runner
It seems that the original version of Bomberman was something of a Pinocchio story, as the ending for the international version of the game ends with the titular hero transforming into a human being, with the ending text suggesting that he would appear in a different game produced by Hudson Soft.
The Japanese version of Bomberman was a little more obvious in its intentions, as the ending text outright stated that Bomberman had transformed into the hero from Lode Runner, making Bomberman a prequel to that game.
4 You Were Going To Be Able To Play As Yourself In WWF Wrestlemania: Steel Cage Challenge
The majority of WWE video games feature a mode where you can create a wrestler based on different premade assets, with some games including a career mode that lets you start from the bottom and work your way up the belts.
WWF Wrestlemania Challenge on the NES featured an option to play as a generic wrestler called "Yourself", which was a feature that was planned to appear in the sequel. WWF WrestleMania: Steel Cage Challenge has assets for a "Yourself" character hidden in the files of the game, but they go unused.
3 Street Fighter 2010 Almost Had Nothing To Do With Ken
Street Fighter 2010: The Final Fight is considered to be the black sheep of the Street Fighter franchise, which is no small feat when you consider some of the terrible spin-off games that the series has produced. Capcom rarely references Street Fighter 2010: The Final Fight due to how it barely connects to the other games.
The idea of turning Ken into a cyborg scientist was the creation of the English localization team, as he was originally a different character called Kevin in the Japan version of the game.
2 A Sphinx Miniboss Was Cut From Mega Man 3
The Mega Man games often feature minibosses at the halfway point of each stage. Mega Man 4 was planned to have an additional miniboss that would have appeared in Pharaoh Man's stage, but it was cut during development.
There are photos that were taken during the development of Mega Man 4 that show a Sphinx boss in Pharaoh Man's stage. The boss was ultimately cut from Mega Man 4, but there are still graphical assets for its attacks hidden within the code of the game.
1 Battletoads Was Almost Way Easier
Battletoads for the Nintendo Entertainment System is notorious for being one of the most difficult video games of all time. Only the most skilled gamers have ever passed the horrors of the Turbo Tunnel and most of them turned back when they saw that the game only became more difficult from there.
It turns out that the NES fans in Japan had a much easier time with Battletoads, as a fair bit of the content was removed to make it easier. The Japanese version of Battletoads is missing enemies and stage hazards, while all of the racing sections were slowed down to make them easier to finish.