Kirby Air Ride beta version (lost video game build; 1996)

Kirby Air Ride is a 2003 Nintendo GameCube game featuring famous video game star, Kirby. It's a unique game in the fact that it's not a platformer and is thus far the only racer in the series. The game had unique controls, allowing for a vehicle to drive without having to hold a button. It has 3 modes: a straightforward racer called Air Ride, an overhead racer called Top Ride, and an adventure-like mode called City Trial.

The game had a very lengthy production spanning from 1996 to 2003 entering several different stages of development. At E3 1996, footage from the game (then-advertised as a Nintendo 64 game with the working title Kirby's Air Ride) was shown, though the footage, in retrospect, seems to be from a completely different version of the game than the final GameCube release. It appeared to have started out as an adventure-racing game, something that would have been new to the video game industry back then. Not much is known about what was intended of it, though several videos have found their way onto the internet, which show additional early beta footage (mostly in the form of pre-release advertisements).

There have been some unconfirmed claims that what eventually became City Trial was orginally supposed to be bigger and more ambitious. Very little early footage has been seen of City Trial, although, it has been alleged that, (in the actual GameCube release), a player can exit the boundaries set by the game in City Trial, where they would then see what appear to be other lands off in the distance, blocked off from the player (however, the existence of these additional lands has not yet been confirmed).

Besides the prior-mentioned videos, no other early material from this game has surfaced.

The Kirby's Air Ride clip shown at E3 1996.
Japanese advertisement featuring beta footage.
Compilation of screenshots from the beta version.
Another short snippet of beta footage.


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