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News a large repository of development materials from WayForward has been recovered, and is gradually being released. (Shantae, Ducktales, Barbie.)

Krvavi Abadas

Mr. Archivist

concept sketches for the unreleased "Shantae: Risky Pistols" pitch, which was a downloadable Contra style shmup taking place in the Shantae universe
according to what i've heard, someone recovered all of this from a recycling shop a few months ago. and has been selling it off to interested buyers. items from the lot have been uploaded as early as January. but the really major things are incredibly recent. and it seems likely this (star)topic will get several updates over the coming weeks.

a sheet filled with early doodles of what would later become "Mighty Milky Way", a cropped version (featuring just the T-Rex image) appeared in a developer interview. which revealed the sketches were drawn while waiting for food at Jack in the Box
WayForward has had a noted history of supporting unofficial preservation efforts, with the source repos for the various GBA games recovered containing an internal emulator, and they later gave Jake "Virt" Kaufman permission to release his various 8-bit game OSTs in .nsf form, allowing them to be played on real NES hardware or an emulator, so i wouldn't be worried about that.
i also suspect the reason why these backups were in a recycling center in the first place is because they moved them to newer hardware, considering their current work reviving Shantae Advance shows they didn't get rid of that. (i'd highly recommend buying it when you can to support them though. as while i'm not sure if any direct assets from it were in the lot. there's still a chance earlier builds could leak before or after it's official release.)

a reference folder filled with various screenshots and backgrounds from classic games included in the Magic of Pegasus source code, showing their influence in even the most mundane of Wayforward's projects.
some of the most notable discoveries included in the lot are the full source code for Ducktales Remastered (albeit for a prototype dated 3 months prior to release), the full source code for the currently lost (thanks to the 3DS eshop closure) Mighty Milky Way that includes a folder for Virt's musical influences when composing that game's soundtrack, many different builds of Shantae Risky's Revenge from various stages of development (the "Risky Pistols" pitch document also originated here for some reason.), a tech demo for a 3D Shantae game on DS, the data for a cancelled plug-n-play Shantae game (work still needs to be done to get it emulatable, though) that was off-handedly mentioned on the official series site back in 2004, and the source code for their cult-classic GBA RPG Sigma Star Saga (jokingly referred to as "Star Namco" in the pitch document).
and here's the list of everything else.....
  • 5 builds (and full source code) of "Adventure Time: Hey Ice King! Why’d you steal our garbage?!!"
  • 4 builds (and full source code) of "Barbie and the Magic of Pegasus"
  • 2 builds of "Looney Tunes: Duck Amuck"
  • 4 builds (and the pitch document, which uses the working title of "Shrek Babies") of "Shrek: Ogres and Dronkeys"
  • a build of the Nintendo DS version of "SpongeBob SquarePants: Creature from the Krusty Krab"
  • 7 builds (and full source code) of the GBA version of "SpongeBob SquarePants: Lights, Camera, Pants!"
  • 3 builds (and full source code) of an unreleased DS port of "Nicktoons: Android Invasion", which ended up being an exclusive for the Leapfrog Didj of all systems.
  • design documents of "SpongeBob SquigglePants"
  • release candidates and development tools for "Nickelodeon Toon Twister 3-D"
  • a prototype (and assets) of the J2ME phone game "Star Wars: Ask Yoda"
  • a flash demo for the J2ME phone game "Snoop Dogg Boxing" (yes, this is a real thing.)
oh this is neat. A mini Giga Leak for a studio with a back catalog as "all over the place" (positive) as Wayforward is bound to have some interesting nuggets

And man, seeing them mess around with a 3D Shantae as far back as 2007 sure has me curious if they'll ever actually take a stab at a full game like that. They must have some ideas by now if they've been toying with it for so long
Oh wow this is awesome, especially the Shantae bits. I'm definitely going to take a look at Risky's Revenge because I just played that for the first time earlier this year and could tell it went through a number of phases due to how...short it felt?

Anyway thanks for the share OP. I'll definitely follow this.
Apparently the prototype WayForward made to pitch a handheld version of Crash Landed is also part of this?

Note that this was never greenlit, and is unrelated to the prototype by Renegade Kid uncovered in 2013.

Crash Landed was being developed only for consoles at the time (Wii, PS3 and 360).

This WayForward pitch however was turned into an actual game; and the fact it turned into a Looney Tunes' Taz game is just too perfect!

That's some super interesting stuff, great find! Seems like the world wasn't ready for 3D Shantae đź‘€
source code for the GBA port of The Spongebob Movie Game (and a Leapster Batman game)

amusingly, it appears it was built off Barbie and the Magic of Pegasus. as there's several filenames referring to it. (BarbieTool.exe , Barbie_22032004.ghx2)
the Leapster game is specifically based off "The Batman" animated series, and is mainly notable for being on such an obscure system.
Apparently the prototype WayForward made to pitch a handheld version of Crash Landed is also part of this?

yeah, there's a few active fundraisers going on for parts of the lot. but i'm mainly focusing on things that have been publicly shared.
the Crash Landed demo has been dumped (and Wayforward is aware of the lot)

there it is @CyberWolfBia
for those wondering why the Mario Kart 64 title theme is randomly playing in the background, it’s a stock track included in the Nintendo DS SDK

there’s two other smaller titles that have been dumped over the past few days as well, the unreleased (and rather bizarre) Photography game “Hannah Montana: Pop Star Exclusive”

and some sort of Barbie tech demo for the Wii, which is in the .rpf format used by dev kits.

as for the Wayforward situation, I’m having some issues getting the full details due to not knowing the lot owner and the people buying stuff from the lot.
but the gist seems to be that the staffers there sent a polite letter to Hidden Palace around March 6th-7th, requesting that direct links (documentation of the data was okay though) to the files be removed. and as such it’s likely the releases are going to slow down for a while.
a good chunk of the items were already mirrored and it seems likely HP was solely targeted just for compiling everything (I believe their main concern was the Source Code, as the person that posted the Crash Landed demo initially stated that the source wasn’t going to be released before backtracking.) into one place.

it’s not a complete loss, though. as Matt Bozon would later go on to provide context for the 3D Shantae tech demo in a recent interview.
Shantae Advance is the only canceled Shantae game. That said, WayForward has made a lot of internal tech demos over the years, and for a long time it was pretty common to grab Shantae assets, or use her as a test character by whoever was making the tech demo.
a Wii port of Mighty Switch Force has been found. New

with source code, as usual. that’s where the early logo came from.
notably it’s an extremely basic port, with no accommodations made to fit a single screen (what would normally be shown on the top and bottom screens of the 3DS are instead displayed simultaneously.)
while there was one released DS to Wii port that inexplicably used a similar setup, it’s more likely the build was just made to test using the “EngineBlack” toolkit across multiple platforms.

another notable find is full source code for the notoriously poorly received DS chat application “Ping Pals”. which was originally developed under the working title of “Chit Chat”.

rounding things out is more prototypes and source code repositories for various smaller licensed games. one based off the live-action series “Unfabulous”, and an “American Dragon: Jake Long” game made for both the DS and GBA.

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