An estate sale for a former DIC Animation City employee has turned up promo art for four old Nintendo cartoons (like the Mario and Zelda ones) that never actually made it into production, including California Games, Castlevania and a very different take on Metroid.
There’s nothing else to go on other than the art itself, which has each pitch as part of something called the Super Mario Bros. Power Hour, which I’m going to guess was a planned expansion or sequel to 1989's The Super Mario Bros. Super Show!, only with extra shows like those being outlined here.
Double Dragon looks pretty cool! Better than the actual Double Dragon show we got, at least.
As does California Games!
Now things start getting weird. Castlevania seems to have gone from “big dudes murdering vampires” to “Scooby Doo without the dog”, which is one hell of a leap. Maybe it was for the best that everyone had to wait until the 21st century for a different studio to handle it.
The oddest one, though, has to be this Metroid art, which manages to look strangely faithful to the source except for the single most important thing about the source. Either nobody at DIC actually got to the end of the game, or a suit figured they’d only be able to sell ads/toys by turning “Samus Aran” into “Jake Spaceman”.
Obviously these shows never got made—and maybe never even made it out of boardroom meetings — since this is the first we’re hearing of them. It makes you wonder if there are more Nintendo pitches lying around out there — Kid Icarus, maybe, or even F-Zero — back from the days Nintendo actually licensed this stuff.
Then again, considering the quality of the shows that did get made, maybe it’s for the best we never got to see the adventures of Jake Spaceman.