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Proto:DuckTales (NES)

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This page details one or more prototype versions of DuckTales (NES).

General

Title Screen

Prototype Final
Walt Disney's head lives! And creates characters! Disney has a strange aversion to copyright dates.

The prototype has an option to continue at the title screen. This works perfectly fine, but it was removed from the final version anyway. Probably because Capcom thought that given the game's difficulty, it wasn't really needed. A trademark symbol was added, and the copyright text was adjusted. Strangely, the final version no longer has the copyright year in the text.

Money Matters

Item Prototype Final
Small Diamond $200 $2,000
Large Diamond $1,000 $10,000
Red Diamond $3,000 $50,000
Hidden Treasure $10,000 $1,000,000

What would a game about accumulating wealth be without inflation? Between the prototype and final, all values relating to money were massively inflated. These changes made the Red Diamond worth five Large Diamonds instead of three, and the hidden treasures were bumped up to 100 Large Diamonds rather than 10.

Other money differences:

  • Refilling life by pressing Select costs $70,000 in the prototype, but $3,000,000 in the final.
  • The money required to pay off the statue in the Amazon was raised from $3,000 to $300,000.
  • When a level is completed, every 10 seconds remaining add $100 in the prototype and $1,000 in the final.
  • The amount needed for the good ending was raised from $400,000 in the prototype to $10,000,000 in the final.

Stage Select

Prototype Final
Wow, the entire underground? Oh, you know, just the Moon.

All of the generic stage names were changed into real-world locations.

Prototype Final
I've got spiders on springs! No, not Duckula. That's copyrighted.

Flintheart Glomgold's end-game message was adjusted slightly to take these changes into account.

Prototype Final
This is going to take a while... I like money!

The land money's dollar sign was moved to the left to allow for the adjusted money values. The money here counts down by hundreds in the prototype rather than ten-thousands, meaning that this sequence takes a lot longer to complete.

Dialogue Box

Prototype Final
I can't quite... Finally, some room!

The in-stage dialogue in the prototype is confined to the tiny Time box. This was (thankfully) expanded in the final version, and now uses the same dialogue box as the items list.

Music Differences

Two pieces of music are different in the prototype.

Transylvania

Prototype
Final

Transylvania uses a completely different music piece in the prototype!

The Moon

Prototype
Final

The Moon theme in the prototype is about 20% slower than the final's theme.

Graphical Differences

Sometimes graphics are changed. These are those times.

Prototype Final
Tasty human burgers. Ducks can eat ice cream, right?

The extra health item was changed from a cheeseburger to ice cream, Scrooge's favorite food in the TV series.

Prototype Final
It could just be a T for "Tombstone"... ...and tear.

The cross was removed from the tombstones in Transylvania. Certainly not because of Nintendo's content guidelines. Nope.

Prototype Final
Thrust exercise! Maybe he ate all the burgers?

This xenomorph-snake looking thing was changed to resemble an alien that appeared in the episode "Where No Duck Has Gone Before". And possibly because its animation looks obscene.

Dialogue Changes

All of the game's dialogue was changed, both to take advantage of the game's bigger dialogue boxes, and to fix some odd-sounding text.

General

Prototype Final
UNCLE
SCROOGE
ARE YOU
GOING
BACK TO
YOUR
HOME.
YES - A
NO  - B
YOU WANT A LIFT
BACK TO DUCKBURG
MR. MC D.
YES - A.
NO  - B.

The start of the dialogue fixing. Launchpad incorrectly says "Uncle Scrooge" rather than "Mr. McD." in the prototype. This error made it into the final version of DuckTales 2, interestingly enough.

Prototype Final
I GOT
THE 
HIDDEN
TREASURE
.
IT'S A HIDDEN
TREASURE.

A lot of the text changes were done to make the dialogue snappier.

The Amazon

Prototype Final
PAY
$3000
IF YOU
WANT TO
GO
THROUGH
HERE.
YES - A
NO  - B.
PAY $300000 TO
PASS THROUGH
HERE.
YES - A.
NO  - B.

Dialogue adjusted to account for the new money values. A period was added after the Yes option.

Prototype Final
THE BOSS
CAN BE
DEFEATED
BY
LOWERING
SCROOGES
CANE.
USE YOUR CANE
TO DEFEAT THE
TREASURE
KEEPERS.

Dewey's hint was changed from being incomprehensible to just obvious.

Transylvania

Prototype Final
OH NO!
HUEY
HAS BEEN
CAPTURED
!
HELP
HUEY.
HELP!
HUEY HAS BEEN
KIDNAPPED!
SAVE HIM PLEASE.

Webby is a lot more polite about Huey's rescue from a dangerous criminal in the prototype.

Prototype Final
THANKS
SCROOGE.
BEWARE
THIS
HOUSE
HAS AN
ILLU-
SION 
WALL
INSIDE
OF IT.
THANKS UNCLE
SCROOGE.
GUESS WHAT. THIS
HOUSE HAS AN
ILLUSION WALL.

Huey, traumatized by the kidnapping, forgets to call the player "Uncle Scrooge" in the prototype. His dialogue was also compressed a bit.

African Mines

Prototype Final
YOU
CAN'T
ENTER
THIS
HOUSE
WITHOUT
A KEY.
THE KEY
IS
SUPPOSED
TO BE
INSIDE
THE
GHOST
HOUSE.
YOU'LL NEED A
KEY TO GET IN.
IT'S IN
TRANSYLVANIA.

Louie keyblocks Scrooge. He bizarrely refers to the mine as a "house" in the prototype, and the dialogue is less certain as to the location of the key.

Prototype Final
I GOT
THE
SKELETON
KEY FOR
UNDER-
GROUND.
EUREKA!
IT'S THE
SKELETON KEY
TO THE MINE.

The final version rewrites Uncle Scrooge's dialogue so that it's no longer in the first-person.

Prototype Final
TRY
GETTING
ON THIS
SEESAW.
USE THE SEESAW
UNCLE SCROOGE.

Do or do not, there is no try.

The Himalayas

Prototype Final
UNCLE
SCROOGE
IT LOOKS
LIKE
BUBBA
DUCK
IS LOST
SOME-
WHERE
BACK
HERE.
PLEASE
HELP HIM
.
BUBBA'S TRAPPED
IN THE ICE!
PLEASE HELP HIM.

In addition to the usual dialogue compression, Bubba's name was corrected from "Bubba Duck".

Prototype Final
THANK
YOU
SCROOGE.
TO SHOW
MY
APPRE-
CIATION
I'LL
GIVE YOU
THIS
TREASURE
.
YOU SAVE ME!
GOOD!
I SHOW YOU
SECRET TREASURE.

Bubba lost most of his brain cells in the final.

The Moon

Prototype Final
THE
KEY IS
HIDDEN
SOME-
WHERE
INSIDE
THIS UFO
.
IT SEEMS
WE CAN'T
MOVE
FURTHER
WITHOUT
IT.
THERE'S A KEY
INSIDE THE UFO.
WE CAN'T GO ON
WITHOUT IT.

Dialogue compression.

Prototype Final
UNCLE
SCROOGE
ROBO-
DUCK'S
REMOTE
CONTROL
HAS BEEN
STOLEN
BY A
SPACE 
MONSTER.
IF YOU
FIND IT
ROBODUCK
COULD
BREAK
DOWN
THIS
WALL.
FIND GIZMO
DUCK'S REMOTE
CONTROL!
THEN HE CAN
BLAST THE WALL.

Gizmoduck is not named "Roboduck", so this was fixed. The remote control goes from being stolen to just lost.

Prototype Final
I'VE GOT
THE KEY
FOR THE
UFO.
IT'S THE KEY
TO THE UFO.

Another first-person dialogue rewrite.

Prototype Final
ALRIGHT
I'LL 
CALL
ROBODUCK
WITH
THIS
REMOTE
CONTROL
AND
HAVE HIM
BREAK
DOWN THE
WALL
THAT
IS IN
THE WAY.
BLESS ME
BAGPIPES!
NOW GIZMO DUCK
CAN BLAST THAT
WALL.

First-person dialogue + "Roboduck" = Bad. One of Scrooge's catchphrases was also snuck in.

Last Level

Prototype Final
SHOOT
I NEVER
THOUGHT
DRACULA
DUCK
WOULD BE
DE-
STROYED.
BUT WE
WON'T
GIVE YOU
THE
TREA-
SURES.
IF YOU
WANT IT
THAT
BADLY
YOU'LL
HAVE TO
CATCH UP
TO ME.
YOU MAY HAVE
BEATEN DRACULA
DUCK BUT NOT ME!
IF YOU WANT THE
TREASURES BACK
YOU'LL HAVE TO
CATCH ME.

The last of the dialogue compression.

Prototype Final
DARN!
GLOMGOLD
TOOK THE
TREA-
SURES.
WE'LL
HAVE TO
START
OVER
FROM
DRACULA
DUCK.
CURSE ME KILTS!
GLOMGOLD HAS THE
TREASURES.
I MUST FIGHT
DRACULA DUCK
AGAIN.

Interestingly, the first-person dialogue was retained this time. Another one of Scrooge's catchphrases was also snuck in.

Unused

Prototype Final
I
BROUGHT
YOU A
PRSENT
KING OF
TERRA
FERMICS
HERE'S A
GIFT FOR YOU
OH KING OF THE
TERRA FERMIES.

Even this unused, typo-laden dialogue string was rewritten, changing "prsent" to "a gift", and "Terra Fermics" to "Terra Fermies".

Endings

The different endings were rewritten as well.

Prototype Final
I love monnney! Status quo maintained!

Scrooge becomes the richest duck in the prototype, but he already is in the final. The misspelling "monney" was also fixed. This applies to the other two endings, as well.

Prototype Final
Thanks, I am pretty great! Status quo *still* maintained!

The five main treasures get bumped to legendary status in the final.

Prototype Final
...But not that good. Scrooge is so awesome, he has to try really hard to suck this much.

The bad ending. Apparently the five treasures weren't good enough for the world in the final version. Stupid world. The final version actually introduces a typo, "looses".

Prototype Final
YOU ARE MAGIC WINNER! Well, you kinda helped...sorta.

The prototype's ending dialogue was completely rewritten for reasons that should be fairly obvious by now.

Strangely enough, the infamous "DREAM AND FRIENDS" line made its way into the Japanese version of the game, completely unadulterated. WayForward would later include this line in the Extreme difficulty ending of DuckTales Remastered as a silly little Easter egg.