Kirby's Air Ride (lost Nintendo 64 development build of "Kirby Air Ride" GameCube racing game; 1996)
Kirby Air Ride is a Nintendo GameCube game that was released in 2003. It is a spin-off in the Kirby franchise and is currently the only racer game in the series.
The game had a very long production spanning from 1995 to 2003. At Nintendo's 1995 Shoshinkai trade show, footage from the game (then called Kirby Bowl 64) in a very early and different state was shown. However, by E3 1996, the game was renamed to Kirby's Air Ride. The game was closer to the GameCube version at this point, albeit with still many major differences shown in the footage available. Not only was it on a completely different system (the Nintendo 64), but it appeared to have started out as an adventure-racing game, a type of game that was rarely if ever made back then. Not much is known about how different it would have been to the final product, but several videos have found their way onto the internet, which shows additional early footage (mostly in the form of pre-release advertisements).
There have also been some unconfirmed claims that what eventually became City Trial was originally supposed to be bigger and more ambitious. Very little early footage has been seen of City Trial, but in the final release, it's rumored that the player can exit City Trial's boundaries and see distant islands. These would either simply be background objects or may possibly be remnants of the expanded City Trial.
Besides the aforementioned videos, little other early material of the game has surfaced.
- Kirby Bowl 64 (lost unreleased Nintendo 64 prototype of "Kirby Air Ride" GameCube racing game; 1996)
- Kirby's Return to Dreamland (lost builds of cancelled prototypes to Wii action-platformer series; 2000-2011)
- Kid Kirby (lost build of cancelled Super Nintendo game of action-platformer series; 1990s)
- Unseen64 article on the Nintendo 64 build of Kirby Air Ride. Retrieved 02 Sept '19