A Prototype of Unreleased GameCube Game Has Been Found

The Nintendo GameCube was first launched in 2001 and was a relative disappointment for the company considering it was outsold by its predecessor. In spite of somewhat tepid sales, the console is beloved by fans thanks to several incredibly popular games like Super Smash Bros. Melee, Resident Evil 4, and Metroid Prime, among many others. As with any console, there were several games in development for the console that were eventually canceled before release for various reasons. That said, some of those games had prototype versions that have popped up in different ways over the years. Recently, a YouTuber got their hands on one of those unreleased prototypes and has been sharing details with their fans.

Because this is a prototype version of the game, you shouldn’t expect it to be feature-complete. The game is called Pickles and Cake_Hoarder, the YouTuber who purchased the disc, says that it’s about monkeys riding unicycles. Cake purchased the game alongside a GameCube dev kit from a person who claims their dad was a developer at Santa Cruz Games, who supposedly prototyped Pickles in between its work on several movie tie-in games. If you look up Santa Cruz games, you’ll notice they worked on games like Shark Tale for PC and 101 Dalmatians 2: Patch’s London Adventure on PSOne, so that part at least checks out.

Cake follows that up by showing what looks to be in-game footage. As you’d expect from a prototype demo, it’s all pretty rudimentary. In fact, the level Cake shows off seems more like it’s there for testing the different mechanics than something players would actually get to dive into. We also get to see a bit of the stacking mechanic in action, but again, everything looks very incomplete.

Is Pickles a Real GameCube Game?

Because of that and the obscurity of the game, many assumed that this was some type of ARG. However, if you follow Cake’s trail explaining where the game came from, everything checks out. In the video, Cake mentions a post on Unseen64 about the game, which does exist. Unfortunately, the original article by Frank Cifaldi seems to have been taken down, but using the Wayback Machine, you can actually see some snapshots of the original page from 2006. With that in mind, there’s no real reason to assume that Cake isn’t telling the truth.

That all being said, it does seem unlikely we’ll get too much more come out about this. Cake even notes that the game only boots about 10% of the time. Plus, as noted in the original Cifaldi article, Pickles was made to be “a tech demo of [Santa Cruz] running [their] engine.” Even still, Cake does say they are doing everything they can to document the game as much as possible and will dump the ROM online to help preservation efforts. If nothing else, this is the kind of story that doesn’t happen often and will be interesting to follow if you’re someone who loves the Nintendo Gamecube.