Nintendo’s official release schedule may be a little thin, but the hits keep coming in the form of data leaks. The latest batch, which some have dubbed “Gigaleak III,” involves a huge “lotcheck” dump of Game Boy and Game Boy Color games that were either finished or close to being finished and sent off to Nintendo for internal certification. As such, the leak includes a variety of complete games that were canceled or otherwise unreleased.
This leak, which first appeared on 4chan yesterday morning, is said to include ROMs of the entirety of the Game Boy and Game Boy Color lineups. Folks are still digging through this data, but the most interesting finds involve fully playable versions of games that were never officially released. Game Boy Color’s Pokémon Picross, for instance, was promoted in several Japanese gaming magazines in 1999 but would never actually see release.
The thread below includes a bunch of screenshots and gameplay details. I particularly love its unique remix of the original Pokémon theme.
Another big find revolves around an early AlphaDream game known as Gimmick Land. Development finished near the tail end of the Game Boy Color’s lifespan, but it was never released due to the launch of the Game Boy Advance. AlphaDream would go on to rework the game into a spiritual reboot, Tomato Adventure, for the new handheld, and soon after create Nintendo’s famous Mario & Luigi series.
The leak also includes a Hello Kitty game that would have supposedly worked with the Game Boy Printer. There isn’t a whole lot to Hello Kitty Pocket Camera, which allows players to design scenes with Hello Kitty characters and graphics, but it’s interesting to see a game that focused entirely on the unusual printer add-on rather than tacking on support as a diversion. Maybe that’s why it never came out.
Various developers were also working on handheld ports of Famicom and Super Famicom games, including Mega Man board game Rockboard, the point-and-click adventure Hajimari no Mori (a character from which recently appeared in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate), and Satellaview puzzle game Sutte Hakkun.
Perhaps more exciting are all the English localizations that were apparently finished but never officially released outside of Japan. The most notable include the Game Boy Color versions of Gargoyle’s Quest II and Legend of the Sea King, a handheld spin-off of the popular The Legend of River King series.
And if you’re curious how many of these games play, French software developer LuigiBlood recently hosted a three-hour livestream on Twitch showing off some of their finds.
Like the first two “Gigaleaks,” this lotcheck dump is a massive boon for fans of old-school video games. These unreleased games would have never seen the light of day otherwise, and now historians, preservationists, and the rest of the general public have a chance to check them out and appreciate the developers’ work.