The retro games community got excited recently when two development cartridges from a cancelled version of Resident Evil for the Game Boy Color were found and dumped by some shadowy, anonymous people.
Was the excitement worth it?
In some respects, yes: these games (same game – two different builds) were fairly complete when they were canned, so are now reasonably enjoyable. They also demonstrate why it was arguably a bad idea from the outset to even attempt a Game Boy Colour version…
As wonderful as Nintendo‘s handheld is, the resolution is a mere 160×144 pixels, and they were never going to get much out of that.
What is surprising about this leaked release, though, is that Resident Evil plays surprisingly well, considering the GBC‘s limitations. The controls and movement are fast and smooth, if a little weird, and the locations and story are definitely the Resident Evil we know and love.
Graphically, though, this GBC prototype is extremely basic. The graphics are impressionistic, almost.
Mix that with base level dialogue and you get something that is borderline worthy, and in this case Capcom decided to pull the plug.
Thankfully, though, we can still play it, and at least see what was cancelled.
Resident Evil on the Game Boy Color was developed by HotGen of London for Capcom, and was due for release in 1999, but never saw the light of day commercially. Two separate prototype cartridge ROMs were dumped and leaked in 2012.