Dragon King: The Fighting Game (lost early prototype of "Super Smash Bros." crossover fighting game; 1990s)
The immensely popular 1999 crossover fighting game Super Smash Bros. originally began development without any ties to established Nintendo franchises under the title Kakuto-Geemu Ryuoh, which translates to Dragon King: The Fighting Game. Very little is known about the game, and the only pieces of evidence that prove it exists are in the form of 3 screenshots that were released in an "Iwata Asks" interview with series director Masahiro Sakurai.
Based on the screenshots, the game would have played very similarly to the game it eventually became. It is also speculated that the nameless fighter in the game became Captain Falcon in Super Smash Bros., as the Dragon King character appears to use some of Falcon's attacks and shares a similar-looking model and pose. This theory has since been greatly elaborated on in a Smash Compendium piece.
For over a decade the screenshots were the only known pieces of media available to the public, until October 20th 2022, when Super Smash Bros. creator, Masahiro Sakurai, revealed gameplay footage for the very first time, in his restrospect on the first game in his YouTube channel. According to Sakurai, the prototype was in development in conjunction with another Nintendo 64 prototype, described as an RC robot adventure game, which was eventually turned down in favor of Dragon King.
Gameplay-wise it contains all key mechanics seen in the final product, with the exepction of items. Dodges and special attacks are mentioned in the video, although those mechanics were introduced in Super Smash Bros Melee and Super Smash Bros Brawl, respectively, and likely not considered for the first game during development.
- "Iwata Asks" interview in which the game is discussed at length. Retrieved 17 May '13