Nintendo Company Report 1996 1
Image: Nintendo / Forest of Illusion

Always ready to unpack a little more of Nintendo's history, a collaboration between preservation site Forest of Illusion, @Render_Archive and @Nintoid has amounted in the upload of a long sought-after Nintendo Company Report from 1996. The edition includes a wealth of nostalgic gaming material from sales reports to upcoming hardware features, and it also gives a look at some exclusive early promo renders. And the best part? It's free to read online!

The company report, which you can download and read over on Forest of Illusion's blog, has all of the things that we would expect to find in Nintendo's yearly round-up accompanied by images of all its figureheads (we refer, of course, to Mario, Kirby and Link). But perhaps the most interesting nugget of rare retro goodness comes from a screenshot reel of the 1995 Nintendo 64 B-Roll, which shows a small section of Super Mario 64 in a stage that many die-hard fans of the game may not recognise.

Don't worry, you're not losing your touch and need to go play Super Mario 64 again (although, that's never a bad idea), no no, this mysterious ghost stage never made it into the final game, making it one of the many mysteries in Nintendo's development history. @forestillusion has taken these five separate scans and stuck them together in GIF form so we can see this mystery, eyeball-filled stage in action:

It's true that this is only a second of 'reconstructed' footage and hardly amounts to a full level run-down, but even this small peek at this cut level is enough to make us breathe a sigh of relief — taking on those nightmare-inducing Mr. I eyeballs in an underwater stage? No thank you!

The 1996 Nintendo Company Report contains much more besides single-second snippets of gameplay including taking a heartbreakingly optimistic tone in advertising the pros of the Virtual Boy (keep dreaming folks). Of course, the entire report is in Japanese so those of you who want to get an in-depth idea of the features and writing will have to settle for a "best attempt" by translation software we're afraid. But hey, the pictures are nice to look at nonetheless!

What do you make of this never-before-seen look of the ghost Mario stage? Get your overalls on and let us know your memories of the game down in the comments!

[source forestillusion.com, via twitter.com]