Home Game prototypes and code found on discarded hard drive, now it’s obviously been uploaded to the Internet

Game prototypes and code found on discarded hard drive, now it’s obviously been uploaded to the Internet

Even novice computer users know to not just throw a hard drive in the trash. Even if all it contains is photos of your cat and a few old dodgy mp3s downloaded from Napster back in the day, you just never know where it will end up. That’s what’s happened to Game Studio Wayforward which appears to have launched an old hard drive into a bin somewhere, only for it to surface years later, packed full of game prototypes and source code which is now steadily making its way to the Internet.

The data seems to be mainly from the Nintendo DS era, around 2009-2013, and includes prototypes for many of the half-genie gaming heroine Shantae platform games as well as a DuckTales remaster.

A new Shantae game is about to arrive on the Switch – Shantae Advance: Risky Revolution which was originally earmarked for a release in the early 2000s, was shelved, but is now coming to Switch. A strange story in itself.

According to a report on NintendoLife, the person in possession of the drive has said they will not be leaking anything to do with this particular game, presumably to minimize harm to Wayforward, going, er forward.

Even though this material is more than a decade old, presumably some of the source code for games such as Shantae may still be relevant, so it is less than ideal.

The data is still being uploaded so we also do not know what else is there. It is a fascinating treasure trove of gaming history however and the way it has been discovered is at least more interesting than just some scruffy hacking gang breaking into a server and stealing it in an attempt to extort Bitcoin.

But let this be a lesson to us all about how to dispose of our old hard drives in a more permanent way, because there is always somebody with a fast internet connection standing by to upload this stuff.

Featured Image: AI-generated with Ideogram

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Paul McNally
Gaming Editor

Paul McNally has been around consoles and computers since his parents bought him a Mattel Intellivision in 1980. He has been a prominent games journalist since the 1990s, spending over a decade as editor of popular print-based video games and computer magazines, including a market-leading PlayStation title published by IDG Media. Having spent time as Head of Communications at a professional sports club and working for high-profile charities such as the National Literacy Trust, he returned as Managing Editor in charge of large US-based technology websites in 2020. Paul has written high-end gaming content for GamePro, Official Australian PlayStation Magazine,…

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