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NESWORLD.COM - MACE: THE DARK AGE (N64 PROTO - NINTENDO 64 PROTOTYPE)
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CREATION INFORMATION
CREATED JAN.29.2011
UPDATED JAN.29.2011
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TEXT WRITTEN BY
MARTIN NIELSEN & BERT HAZELHOF
MACE: THE DARK AGE
COMBO!
FULL TITLE MACE: THE DARK AGE
DEVELOPER MIDWAY
PUBLISHER MIDWAY
FLASH CART TYPE NUS-8F16F (128M)
GAME STATE VERY EARLY BETA
GAME TYPE FIGHTING
GAME RELEASED YES

CART FRONT SCAN AVAILABLE
CART BACK SCAN NOT AVAILABLE (NOTHING TO SEE)
OTHER CART SCAN NOT AVAILABLE (NOTHING TO SEE)
OWNER DUTCHNESGAMER

A prototype of Mace appeared on ebay back in November 2010 and sold on December 5th for 176, which is roughly US$239.

The proto was aqquired by a fellow N64 collector, and here's what he had to say about the proto.


Welcome to another n64 prototype exposed this time with Bert (DutchNesGamer) instead of martin. Just like Martin I love the n64 and I am also collect n64 prototypes. I also really like the articles Martin writes so here is 1 from me for Martin and all you n64 fans out there.

This n64 prototype story starts a couple of weeks back when I saw a prototype of Mace the Dark Age on EBay. The prototype immediately got my attention for 2 reasons. 1. Mace was 1 of my favourite n64 games back in the day and still is, and I have great memories of the game playing it with my friends. 2. The prototype cartridge looked very interesting with many labels glued over each other.

So I made a couple of bids and won the cartridge. When the cartridge dropped on my doorstep I popped it in my n64 and saw many differences right away. I'll be real honest here... I didn't expect it. I thought it would have a couple of differences but nothing huge, well I was wrong. Ill tell you all about it...but first the cartridge itself.

The cartridge has many labels glued over each other and 1 can be seen very easy: French Hexen. But under that 1 is also a label that I can't read unfortunately. 1 interesting thing I didn't see at first is that the cartridge has previews written on it with a pencil. I saw that there was something written on it but it was faded, I thought it said review BUT when I looked at it better it said previews. Hmm, an n64 flash cartridge can only hold 1 game so why would it say previews, with the many labels over each other I suspect this cartridge was used for previews and used over and over again?

That was the cartridge lets talk about the game mace itself. Mace (the Dark Age) was a fighting game or beat m up that was a hit in the arcade at first in 1996 and released for the n64 in 1997 .A PlayStation version was also planned but canned. Funny though, most of the time it was the other way around. The prototype I played is different than the released version, let's go through them.

1.The first thing you see when you put the power on is the copyright screen that almost the same with only a small difference the prototype says licensed to midway home entertainment instead of licensed by Nintendo. Makes sense though, it was in production so it had no license from Nintendo yet.

2. The intro with the book is missing and instead of that the game shows a demo fight. I'm guessing because it took them too much time to program and they laid all there focus on the ingame action.

3. The title screen only shows the option press start instead of start, practice, options. So the practice mode is missing, hmm I guess they made this only for the home version later on.

4. The options screen is present in the prototype version but you get it later on and its different then the release version. The difficulty is counted in 1 2 or 3 instead of easy medium hard etc. Continues are called coins? And round times is called "timer adjust". This shows excellent that this prototype is an early beta. The fine tuning is missing.

5. So on too the character select screen it looks the same but later I saw the writing is a little different. The hidden characters are all available and not hidden yet.

6. The VS screen also shows clearly that the game is still in need of fine tuning because the talking/insulting is missing on the proto.

7. that is all off game stuff so what about ingame? The ingame is pretty much the same. You can see that this was there main focus at the beginning of programming the game. The music is the same but the camera is not really perfect jet and is a little closer on the action then the released version. The game also is a lot darker then the released version. But there are other differences. The executioner is red instead of black a bloody look? Nintendo censorship? The biggest difference is the missing desert level. Yes the desert background level is missing and replaced by the level of Grendel.

Here is a YouTube video of the prototype maybe other readers can spot even more differences, because every time I play I spot more tiny little differences, like wrong names for the secret characters fire missing in the background etc.

There are so many differences in this early beta. This beta is not complete because the game freezes up when you reach the first boss Grendel. It looks like this prototype is a very early version of the game mace the Dark Age. The main focus of this prototype was the core of the game and it's a nice 'to see how n64 are made and how they develop.

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