New Animal Forest Details Reveal Early Look at Animal Crossing Prototype

Human NPCs and Other Oddities

Some more details on Animal Forest — the very first game in the Animal Crossing franchise — have emerged as part of the continuing Nintendo Gigaleak discoveries.

Earlier this week, a game developer going by "TV" discovered a lost Animal Crossing villager codenamed "Cat13." This missing villager was built into the game code of the N64 version of the game, but it was never actually used for a villager.

 
 

An interview from a few years back (shared via ResetEra) tells us how shockingly different the first Animal Crossing game was. Animals would follow the player and his commands and it seemed like the developers had plans for it to be a dungeon crawling RPG, with humans serving as NPCs.

Many of these plans hinged on the larger storage space afforded to developers via the 64DD addon for the N64. Asmay know, the 64DD never really took off and that caused the devs to scale back their plans for the game, resulting in the experience we all know and love today.

Now, that same developer has continued to dig through the code and made discoveries about the earliest versions of this game.. Those discoveries have been translated into in-game models in all of their N64 glory with some assistance from experts in N64 modding.

Animal Forest details slice

What Have We Learned About Animal Forest Thus Far?

One of the most interesting discoveries is that of "SOLDIER" and "OBA", two human characters who never made their way into the game. If you don't follow Animal Crossing, you wouldn't know that there is only ever one human in the game, and that's the player character.

As best as TV can tell, SOLDIER's design was later used for the outfits worn by Copper and Booker in Animal Crossing: Wild World and Animal Crossing: City Folk. While these human NPCs weren't ever used in the game, it seems that their legacy lives on through this subtle shoutout.

OBA, on the other hand, is short for "Obaba", a Japanese term for "old lady." The model of the red-headed character seen in our header image might seem totally alien to a seasoned Animal Crossing fan — it would probably be surprising to learn that this redhead is likely a prototype for Joan, the wonderful piggy who sells you turnips in the game.

TV hasn't been working on this project alone, mind — he gives a shoutout to the modding community at N64brew who has been helping him assemble the models he's discovered. More information on further Animal Forest discoveries are likely to follow as his work continues.

 

These details about the early days of Animal Crossing aren't the only things we've learned lately. Other discoveries include the fact that Mario almost had wings of his own and how we almost got a Pokemon MMORPG. We'll be continuing our coverage of the Nintendo Gigaleak as more details emerge.

What do you think of these details from the early days of Animal Forest? Do you think Animal Crossing would have been good with human NPCs or is it better that they are all animals? Let us know in the comments below!

A photograph of Robert N Adams

Robert N. Adams

Senior Writer

I've had a controller in my hand since I was 4 and I haven't stopped gaming since. CCGs, Tabletop Games, Pen & Paper RPGs - I've tried a whole bunch of stuff over the years and I'm always looking to try more!