The archival group Forest Of Illusion has released eight prototypes for games released on the Gamecube around 2002. You can now find dumps online for 007: Agent Under Fire, Lost Kingdoms, Driven, Burnout, Sega Soccer Slam and several other sports titles. They are all accessible at Archive.org.
Forest of Illusion surmises that these discs might have been sent to critics as review copies. Since their builds are so close to their actual release dates, there is little that is actually different about them from the finished retail versions — except in the case of debug menus. Most of them have fully functional debug options, which are fun to play around with, as they give you power over your lives, health, location and anything else.
The most interesting dump is the prototype for Lost Kingdoms, a Gamecube cult classic with a unique gameplay style. The title screen reveals the game was called Rune until the last minute. While runes factor into the plot (they’re etched on Macguffin stones the protagonist must collect), the actual gameplay involves collecting cards and summoning monsters from them. We prefer the retail name.
One more weirdity: the disc for Sega Soccer Slam has the words “Mario’s Mansion” written across it. OMG AN UNREVEALED GAME? …..No, Luigi’s Mansion was one of the Gamecube launch titles, remember? Alas, the disc does not contain a prototype for Luigi’s Mansion, or “Mario’s Mansion” for that matter….and it’s a mystery as to why someone wrote it there.