(This was a joint release between us and our good friends at Gaming Alexandria!)
It’s no secret that a good majority of prototypes are very bare bones in what they have to offer. In today’s case, we’ve got a prototype of the skulls and crossbones variety; a build of Eurocom’s “Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End,” for the Nintendo GameCube. This generously came to us through way of GamingLegend64! For those who don’t know, this game was never released on GameCube, however, it later made an appearence on the Nintendo Wii, PlayStation 2, and many more systems.
Dated April 5, 2004, this build seems to very much be mid-way through development. At this point the game is simply titled Pirates of the Caribbean with no subtitle. Booting up the game shows a splash screen that tells us this is a PSP and PlayStation 2 title, possibly a hint at what their original development platforms were. This is made even more painfully obvious when prompts for the Triangle button on a PS2 pad show up near NPCs in-game.
All levels from the final game are available in various states of completion, albeit some under different names. One level titled “Cannibal Isle” later became “Isla de Pelegostos” while another titled “Hell” was changed to “Davy Jone’s Locker.” Perhaps the work of Nintendo censorship is behind this?
Starting a new game takes you to Tortuga, the fifth level in the game, leaving the first level only accessible through the level select option at the title. This level, like a couple of the others, seems pretty far along, but your character freezes up when freeing prisoners from their cells, so not much can be explored. Speaking of freezing, the Z button lets you switch your character model at any time, but on some levels this seems to crash the game.
Further exploration shows that while some levels are untextured in parts and generally incomplete, most layouts seem to be established at this point. Some have a preliminary cutscene transition to secondary areas, while others are pretty barren with scarse enemies and don’t allow you to explore more than a linear path before hitting a dead end. Other differences include different camera angles, as well as a couple of levels taking place at different times of the day.
Other features include a Test Level option (complete with a “Jackanisms” test room that brings to mind something out of a David Lynch film) and some early bonus games.
----| File Data |-------------------------------------------------- System: Nintendo - Nintendo GameCube File: Pirates Port-Apr 5,2004.gcm BitSize: 10 Gbit Size (Bytes): 1459978240 CRC32: F1EEF03F MD5: 1D3608F19A16F0D9D1F4296104D7E13C SHA1: 80F0FC50A2602F1281CF84AA2D44CF330DCF50B3 SHA256: 3D49FA4E6E4322C2BA95B10C2A9E389B3CCAED1D6FC842C4779736156DA78839 ----| Header Data |------------------------------------------------ Game Title: Gamex Game Serial: GXPE (USA) Maker Code: 78 (THQ / Play THQ) Version: 0x00 (v1.0) Disc Id: 1