Occasionally a piece of concept art for a treasured icon of gaming pops up and we all gawp and have a laugh at how off-model the initial sketches looked before the character was established. Even official takes on characters can be vastly different from the versions we know and love today (we all remember the legendarily hilarious US Mega Man box art, after all).
@TanookiKuribo has posted on Twitter the discovery of an auction currently live on ebay featuring some rare promo art related to the 'Super Mario Bros. Power Hour', an animated show that never went into production. It seems that the estate of a former employee of DIC (the animation company behind classics such as Inspector Gadget and the Sonic cartoons) has come across four concept images of games that might have featured on the show:
As you can see, Double Dragon, California Games, Castlevania and Metroid would have been part of the (presumably hour-long) show, although the promo art shows a somewhat different interpretation of the sources than we're used to seeing all these years later. To be fair, Double Dragon's not too bad, and the California Games image expands on the original box art in a cartoon-y fashion. The other two properties, however, have gone through some changes. Let's look at the Castlevania one first:
Well, it's got the Universal monsters in there, although they've certainly been given a makeover for the kids. And speaking of kids, we assume the terrified children represent characters from the show rather than a hip '90s makeover of the Belmonts. The current Netflix show is certainly a more adult take on the source.
Moving on, the Metroid image makes a more significant change to canon:
Yes, it appears Samus has lost her golden locks in this iteration. It seems that the artist never made it to the end of the game - at least not in five hours or under - and went for a different interpretation to the one we're all accustomed to. If you fancy putting in a bid, there's another five days on the auction, although you'll need deep pockets should you want to bag these 8x10s. The description also states that there's more 'rare Nintendo DIC items' to come, so you might want to keep an eye on the seller.
Of course, off-model versions of fan-favourite characters are still easy enough to find these days - you've all seen the Sonic movie trailer, right?
Ah, we remember having a good old chuckle whenever that company logo came up at the end of our favourite 'toons... So, what's your favourite 'off-model' portrayal of a favourite video game character? Let us know with a comment in the usual place.
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[source twitter.com, via ebay.co.uk]
That art looks so inaccurate. I love it! I like the retro future take on Samus's suit
The Double Dragon one looks better than the cartoon we ended up with. Metroid also doesn't look bad at all in terms of art, but yeah, that gender swap is a no-no.
The less said about Castlevania the better
I could see why DiC made the artwork the way they did, they were never inform that the bounty hunter was suppose to be a man or woman. It's this misinformation from Nintendo that they gave the Koopalings the names they were given.
I don't think that's meant to be Samus, but rather the player
going from the Castlevania poster, has two teenagers rather then Simon.
perhaps like they did for Captain N
DIC - Do It Cheap.
Frankenstein looks a lot like Frank in Hotel Transylvania.
They made Samus a dude?
DiC made a Double Dragon cartoon, but was this art used in the cartoon they made? Did this concept art actually became the cartoon?
Samus who? That guy's name is Metroid
Sam Aran looks terrible and I find it odd that his face is so easy to see.
It's not Samus, it's Houston from the comics. /sarcasm
@LinktotheFuture And Medusa looks like Yzma from Emperor's New Groove!
The Metroid one looks awesome, would totally watch Sam Aran in a cartoon.
Speaking of old Nintendo cartoons: anyone else up for Captain N as a DLC character from Smash Bros? They could include Princess Lana as an assist trophy, alternate skins for Simon Belmont, Kid Icarus and Megaman and his stage could start out as Kevin’s room and then the characters get sucked into video land.
Huh. This is surprising. I know it's inaccurate to the games and such, especially Metroid and Castlevania. Even though both concepts would have been interesting with a few tweaks. Like they coulda' made Castlevania an Kid Dracula Cartoon. And Metroid depicted Samus as this Mysterious Space Hero who doesn't speak or show "it's" face (like the games.), sorta like a Sci-fi equivalent to Snake-Eyes from G.I Joe. Speaking of which, i wonder if the G.I Joe show format even work for an Animated take on Metroid?
I think that design for Samus is really cool as long as they didn't play it straight.
Exactly everyone knows Metroid is a guy. This is supposed to be a gaming site for crying out loud.
I wonder if this was made by the guy who made the Megaman 1 boxart, or by the guy who made the character designs from Captain N?
Considering this was made by Vic, chances are these would all be comedy oriented. (I mean look at the Castlevenia concept for crying out loud) so I'm thinking the idea behind Metroid was to make Samus into a handsome manly space Marine, but with a very feminine personality.
@RadioHedgeFund That would be great. A topping would be the voices changing with the skins. Imagine Belmont’s final smash voices from the cartoon! 😂
This isn't Samus, his name is Metroid. Isn't that right, Kid Icarus?
Well, let‘s take a look into the official manual of NES Metroid:
„[...] Samus Aran. [...] He is a cyborg“
@AlohaPizzaJack with the original voice actors!
@victordamazio I mean, yes, they did make a DD cartoon in the 90's but it was utter junk compared to the Fist of the North Star style show seen here.
@vanYth But what does it say on the official Japanese one? Anyways I believe they were planning on Samus being a girl anyways (since I think Nintendo life did an article somewhat about that).
That's Samuel Aran
Samus was actually a guy in the original game...sorta. The manual and ads claimed she was a dude so the ending would be a twist. If we know anything about Video Game TV shows, the producers never actually play the games
I'm just going to copy and paste what I said in forums about this below.
Some people have been saying for a while that Nintendo was always in the background of the production of DiC's Mario, Zelda, and Captain N. Yoshi always acting like a baby long after being hatched, Koopa kid's with incorrect names, Link being an obnoxious jerk to everyone including Zelda, Calling Pit "Kid Icarus", Simon wearing aviator clothing with an oddly flamboyant attitude, and Megaman having a green suit with an annoying chain-smoker voice. They were the ones that made all those approvals according to the fans.
The image with Samus is full proof that never was the case and is made up by the fans of the shows to make them seem better than they actually were. I understand that DiC had to take some creative liberties, but they clearly based all the visual and character designs on poor research and just made up the rest. They most likely got instructions from Nintendo on what they should and should not do with each character, but only followed it very little during production. Hell, I wouldn't be surprised if they only did research from either the game's manual or within the game itself.
OMG Nintendolife did you just assume the gender based on appearance? Don't you understand gender is fluid?! How transphobic of you.
Don't you see this is simply Samus being their true, authentic, genuine, real self and that sex has nothing to do with DNA, despite overwhelming scientific evidence to the contrary?!
Can't you understand that the content of one's character is no longer relevant, but rather the manner in which one superficially presents themselves?
At least DiC did much better with the Sonic properties than the Nintendo one.
Samus appears to have a healthy heaping of thyroid cartilage.
It's a holographic disguise so the space pirates think she's a guy and don't ask for her number or if she's in London.
That was the original casting for Samus, until he took a Metroid to the knee.
I say we swap Samus' gender.
They've been doing it the other way around (gender swapping) left, right and centre recently in movies and comics and so on, and even just placing women in position of strength and power that often feels like totally forced virtue signalling rather than anything truly authentic. So let's flip that script and see how all the "feminists" (who are apparently all about "equality" for ALL sexes/genders and not just about getting everything for women only) and activists and the like act now when it's a famous and beloved female heroine being gender swapped to a man.
You think they'll be as all-supportive and stuff as they are every time they see a famous and beloved male hero figure get swapped to a female for no good reason?
The funny thing is that even as a man/male I'd still complain if they changed Samus into a man (because it's dumb and unnecessary)--now asks the supposed "feminists" what they'd say about it. . . .
Who are the real sexists. . . .
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