Although not one of the better Capcom
titles on the Nintendo Entertainment System, Adventures in the
Magic Kingdom still holds a special place in
my gaming heart for a couple of reasons.
first is because of its stellar soundtrack.
Composed by Yoko Shimomura, who went on to
do the musical scores for Super Mario RPG
and Kingdom Hearts, this game has some
incredibly memorable and catchy songs, especially the energetic tune that plays during the Autopia level. Each track perfectly captures the distinct
tone of the attraction, whether
it's a spunky beat spurring the exploration
of a pirate-infested burning seaside town in the Caribbean,
or a haunting, repeating refrain echoing within
a lonely, dilapidated mansion.
second reason is more nostalgic: I used to play this game nonstop as a child during
my many visits to my relatives' house. These
family members didn't have a wide selection
of cartridges to choose fromonly Tetris,
Dr. Mario, Wheel of Fortune,
and Adventures in the
Magic Kingdom. So instead of making small talk
with stinky perfumed old ladies on plastic-wrapped
couches, I usually stuck myself in front
of the tube and played this game until it was time to say our goodbyes and rub my cheeks of saliva.
This was before I had ever gone to any of
the Disney theme parks, so it was also kind
of a way of coping with friends bragging about how great Walt Disney World was when I had never experienced its majestic splendor firsthand.
was only when I was older that I finally visited Disney in Orlando.
I've returned several times since to
make up for lost time. I can't
quite explain it; there is a certain "charm"
to the place, from the rides to the restaurants.
I don't know what it is, but the park transforms you into
a kid again, and that feeling never grows old.
In 2008, I jumped at the chance to purchase a prototype
of Adentures in the Magic Kingdom from a Dutch video game collector named Niels Thomassen. I had
always wondered if there were extra levels never
used in the game. Just by strolling around the
virtual park, you will notice a number of
unused attractions that simply blend into the scenery. One is found at the very top of the
map, it's a small world. If Capcom can make a level based on a roller coaster ride that mostly takes place in the dark, surely a colorful adaptation of it's a small world
was possible. During the trivia game, one of
the characters even refers to it's a small
world by name and presupposes that you
know where it's located. (Tom
Sawyer Island is also mentioned by a character
during the trivia. Could that have been another
level at one time?)
will also see around Space Mountain another
inaccessible ride known as Astro-Jets.
last unused ride on the map was always a mystery
to me. Using the Anaheim Disneyland park
layout as a guide, the placement of the brown-and-yellow
building to the right of Pirates of Caribbean
could mean that it's likely one of two attractions,
either Swiss Family Treehouse or The Enchanted
There are other strange things, too.
Start without entering your name at the beginning, the game will
refer to you as "Bamboo.7."
Search around the game code, and you'll come across this:
TENTIWOKURAU WO YOROSIKU SATURDAY S MORNING
IS MORNING SALAD
the? Morning salad? Bamboo croutons?
INSTEAD I MEAN EARNED WELL GOOD JOB FOR A
SQUIRT I HAVE A FOR YA BUT YA MIGHT AS WELL
TAKE DIS INSTEAD MAYBE IT LL HELP YA GROW
YO HO HO WELL DONE DESERVE MATEY BUT ALL I
HAVE IS I HOPE IT GOOD
this is just great. The majority of
the Pirates of the Caribbean attraction centers around drunken
pirates doing and saying crazy things. If
you read between the lines, it almost sounds
as if "help ya grow" is like a rough
and tough way of saying take a swig of
rum or something (kind of like the idiom "it'll
put hair on your chest"). None of this
text is seen anywhere in the game.
There's even a hidden music track:
Allow me to
break down the differences for you fellow sleuths.
in the XXX Kingdom: Garbled Title Screen
some odd reason, in the prototype version, the top
portion of the castle's graphics and the title's
text are covered in X's. Am I sensing some anti-Disney
Version: Missing Main Street, U.S.A. Store
wouldn't be Disney without shops at every corner,
peddling everything from character autograph
books to smoked turkey legs. Not so in the
prototype, as the graphics on top of Main Street's
roofs have not yet been implemented.
Mickey: Modified Cutscene Graphics
Mouse appears to have lazy eye in the prototype version,
as his eyes stare away from you during cutscenes.
A From Outer Space: Letterless Stars
Space Mountain, the letter of the current
star is blacked out
on the HUD in the prototype. This
spot is actually
meaning that the scrolling background can be seen through it.
Mouse's Missing Meteorite Missiles: Altered
on Space Mountain, when you go to press A to
blast a meteor, the released version's missiles
are replaced with more dreaded X's in the prototype, not unlike the
ones that we saw earlier on the title screen, only
they're now white.
Toad's Wild Toll Bridge: Different
drawbridge looks ricketier in the prototype.
Your Blessings: Missing Station Numbers
Big Thunder Mountain Railroad station numbers are missing in the prototype; in their place are
Seal-Wrap: Not-Yet-Changed Star Icon
the released version, you might have noticed that
the stars littering the tracks of Big Thunder
Mountain Railroad have slightly different graphics than
the ones you find in other levels. That's because
the Big Thunder Mountain Railroad stars are worth 5
points. These special
stars can be distinguished from normal stars by
their white, squarish outline.
The prototype does not have this 5-star icon drawn yet, so it shows the sprite of a regular star
Thunder Drunken Train Derailment: Glitch
and Secret Unused Track
This is a crazy one. In the prototype, there
is a way to derail the train on Big Thunder
Mountain Railroad so that you go straight
down the course, unharmed, and right past
the goal at the end. Eventually, the terrain
will turn into scrolling zeroes that race alongside
the traveling train for a good 10-15
seconds. There is an end to this madness;
the scenery comes back, as does a new hidden
track, then it
dead ends. Still, wow, what a ride while it
lasted. No more moonshine for this cowboy.