Resident Evil 4 beta (partially found tech demos of GameCube survival horror game sequel; 2001-2005)
Resident Evil 4 was the fourth installment of the Resident Evil franchise. It started development in December of 2001 and was released on January 11th, 2005. This Resident Evil title was critically acclaimed and is often regarded as one of the best Resident Evil games of all time, but what many people don't know is that this was not the final draft of the game which still defines the survival horror genre today.
There are currently two released beta trailers for the survival horror game, both of which tell a different story that is not present in the final draft of the game.
Resident Evil 4 had a troubled development cycle. The game was originally slated to be released on the PlayStation 2 in 2001. Due to conflicts with the writing staff, Capcom took the assets from the first build of Resident Evil 4 and made it into Devil May Cry. It was stated that the beta for the first build was "too action orientated" and thus it was scrapped.
The first beta showed Leon in a metallic structure (later confirmed for the setting to be on an airship). fighting a bizarre fog creature. The few words spoken in the trailer were about the Cradle of the Progenitor Virus, and apparently, the story centered on the assault of our heroes to Umbrella Europe. Moreover, Leon would have probably been infected and possibly wielded supernatural powers.
At E3 2003, Resident Evil 4 was shown again. This version presented had different features and a new emphasis on the supernatural that seemed to bring the game closer to Silent Hill. In this new trailer, Leon (who still had some strange power) was inside a mansion infested with some strange presence, notably a strong creature with a hook (given the name 'Hookman' in one video). An extended video of this beta is featured on Biohazard 4 Secret DVD, where we can also see the Killer's Armors still present in the final game on Ashley’s stage.
Although the last beta seemed to be the most promising and polished version yet, Capcom decided to scrap the beta and start over again. The third beta, which according to the programmers featured zombies, was not presented to the public. Finally, the final game was shown at E3 2004. The Resident Evil 4 Unseen Saga didn’t end there, though.
Code Madman: A Fan Recreation
There is currently a playable fan recreation of one of the betas to the game. The download for the game is now defunct and can't be played. The game, titled "Code:Madman" after the Cube Magazine fiction of a similar name published in the lead up to Resident Evil 4's original release ("Diary of a Madman"), is the only supposedly available gameplay that is now on the internet.
- The Mega folder that had the "Supposed Playable Demo" of the beta (now-defunct). Retrieved 23 Jun '17
- Unseen64 article discussing the betas. Retrieved 23 Jun '17