Nintendo published a digital manual for its (yet) unreleased Super Nintendo game Star Fox 2 last week, and it contains a hidden gem: scans of original design documents used during the game’s development over two decades ago.
The documents are written in Japanese, but even curious devs who can’t read the language may appreciate looking back at the Star Fox 2 team’s plans (excerpted below) for everything from levels to character designs.
Kotaku’s Chris Kohler noticed the links to the design docs (which aren’t mentioned in the manual’s table of contents) and reports that, when translated, they appear to include a partial draft of the game’s planned manual, as well as everything from enemy formation layouts to mechanically-feasible Arwing designs.
They’re reportedly dated June of 1995, the year the game was expected to release before it was shelved by Nintendo. Now, 22 years later, Nintendo is releasing the game as one of the 21 bundled into its upcoming Super NES Classic Edition mini-console.
Speaking with Gamasutra earlier this summer, Star Fox and Star Fox 2 programmer Dylan Cuthbert said he was “over the moon” about the game’s impending release and noted that while some of the systems and mechanics planned for Star Fox 2 were adapted into later Star Fox games, the game still contains some unique (to Star Fox, at least) bits of design.