Reduce content material is an inevitability within the enterprise of creating videogames. A studio may generate 1,000,000 concepts over the course of a five-year growth cycle, however as the discharge date looms, the casualties begin piling up. Storylines get scrapped, idea artwork by no means migrates into the code, narratives are truncated, mechanics are abstracted and simplified, and years later, artistic leads conduct interviews about their lingering white whales—the grand ambitions that had been negotiated down to be able to meet a deadline, or good concepts that simply acquired iterated out as a result of they did not make sense for that individual game.

The individuals who obsess over minimize content material are usually essentially the most diehard followers of a selected franchise. It’s tough for a layperson like me to develop into actually fascinated by, say, a junked ax mannequin in Skyrim. Plenty of minimize content material is mundane. 

However there are different, rarer cut-content artifacts that flare with intrigue and implications, as modders exhume the code for all of us to see. Perhaps they trace at a beguiling gameplay course {that a} growth crew experimented with, or perhaps we’re granted proof of a extra fulfilling storytelling coda that was sadly watered down by time constraints or managerial meddling. 

This checklist focuses on the minimize content material that lights up our creativeness with the agonizing, immortal query of what if. That is the humorous factor about minimize content material—these unfilled gaps permit a videogame to dwell perpetually.

Star Wars: Knights of the Previous Republic 2

It is truthfully form of stunning how buggy Knights of the Previous Republic 2 was at launch, given how a lot content material hit the chopping room flooring. The RPG is widely known by a ravenous group of followers for its unflinching portrayal of the flawed morality on the coronary heart of the Star Wars fiction, however you might be additionally prone to run into damaged sidequests, weird soft-locks, and frequent crashes. 

Fortunately, an ardent modding group has patched up quite a few these points, and on the identical time, restored the game’s deserted sequences. You may discover a hellish manufacturing planet, managed totally by droids, which is where the notorious HK robots originated from. The endings are completely reworked, together with prolonged epilogues that includes a few of the game’s extra memorable characters. (Darth Sion, specifically, will get a worthy ship off.) 

There’s a parallel universe on the market where Knights of the Previous Republic 2 kicked off a venerable renaissance of Star Wars mythmaking; refracting the universe in all kinds of fascinating, twisted methods. Sadly for us, all we will do is piece by the rubble. 

Fallout: New Vegas

No, we’re not performed with Obsidian fairly but. The studio is chargeable for a few of the most celebrated PC RPGs of all time, and lots of of them are completely plagued by unfastened threads dangling within the source code. Working example: Yow will discover an hour-long compilation of minimize content material from Fallout: New Vegas on YouTube, as followers have resuscitated cutscenes, enemies, questlines, and objects hiding out on the disc. Plenty of these things is in remarkably fine condition, which makes it all of the extra stunning that it did not make the minimize. Fortunately, New Vegas has one of the vital passionate modding scenes within the interest, so if you wish to play the unabridged model of Obsidian’s calling card, you are just a few patches away from making that occur.

Steel Gear Stable 5: The Phantom Ache

Steel Gear Stable V is without doubt one of the best motion video games of all time. Kojima put aside the frilly, eccentric counterintuitiveness that outlined the sooner video games within the collection in favor of a bountiful sandbox stuffed with unbelievable espionage hijinks. (You may shoot your arm off like a missile, dart it by a window, and knock a guard out chilly. Game of the yr.) 

That mentioned, if you happen to’ve performed the game, you may really feel just like the storytelling is borderline nonsensical—which may partly be chalked as much as Kojima’s acrimonious exit from Konami throughout growth. Naturally, eagle-eyed modders have discovered a prolonged cutscene, deep within the game’s code, that factors to a pivotal showdown with the once-and-future Liquid Snake, which might tie up a number of ambiguities in what’s, for now, Huge Boss’s send-off. It is truthfully form of baffling that it did not make it throughout the end line, particularly for a saga as beloved as Steel Gear. Let Kojima prepare dinner!

Star Wars Jedi Knight: Jedi Academy

Jedi Academy is extremely regarded inside PC circles, as a result of it is the primary game that taught us how a lot enjoyable pugilistic saber fight could be with a mouse and keyboard. It is a blast to eject your pals into molten lava with the ability of the drive, however it’d be even cooler if you happen to may accomplish that whereas piloting an X-Wing. Aspyr clearly felt the identical approach, as a result of spelunkers uncovered a semi-functional X-Wing lingering deep within the game’s information. Did Jedi Academy’s famously chaotic fight as soon as additionally embody intergalactic dogfights, like a prototype of the long run Star Wars Battlefront? My palms are getting sweaty simply eager about it.

Star Wars Battlefront 2

Talking of which: Star Wars Battlefront 2, like so many different triple-A video games within the twenty first century, entered our lives on the again of some outrageously dangerous vibes. The game was beset with carnivorous loot packing containers on the precise second the gaming public had develop into conclusively fed-up with the business’s playing flip, which gave solution to a prolonged EA apology tour. Because the years glided by, Battlefront 2 morphed into, arguably, the definitive Star Wars videogame, stringing collectively all the disparate parts of the universe—from the regrettable prequels to the questionable sequels—into one proudly complete bundle. 

The humorous factor? Battlefront 2 may’ve additionally been rather a lot greater. Voice strains within the information insinuate that when upon a time, EA was contemplating hero items like Ahsoka and Padme. I discover the latter entry significantly fascinating, if solely as a result of Padme looks as if a no brainer for any wide-ranging Star Wars mission. I really like the concept of her having a particular capacity tied to her sonorous, senatorial diction. A possible Battlefront 3 looks as if a longshot at this level, however I am nonetheless holding out hope.

L.A. Noire

L.A. Noire

(Picture credit score: Rockstar)

Should you’ve adopted videogames for a very long time, then you definitely may bear in mind the mounds of controversy that dogged the discharge of L.A. Noire. The game was the product of frequent crunch, which was brutal sufficient to make headlines lengthy earlier than labor points at studios had been some extent of main scrutiny. (That is saying one thing!) And but, all of that extra time nonetheless left loads of content material on the chopping room flooring. Brendan McNamara, L.A. Noire’s director, talked about that 11 missions—pertaining to fraud and housebreaking—had been deliberate and deserted as deadlines loomed.


I do know Banjo-Kazooie is not a PC game, however this story is bizarre sufficient that I feel it deserves inclusion. Within the second world of Uncommon’s eternally beloved platformer, Treasure Trove Cove, you could find a bizarre little mausoleum with a matrix of letters on the ground. It appeared to haven’t any actual goal—it did not look like a keystone of a puzzle or an easter egg—till just a few Banjo-Kazooie megafans discovered that you may use this matrix to enter prolonged, verbose codes that might permit gamers to unlock a handful of mysterious collectibles left to molder within the game information. Throughout the Banjo-Kazooie lexicon, these collectibles had been referred to as “Cease ‘N Swop” objects, they usually’re the bones of a scrapped characteristic that supposed to attach the unique game to its sequel, Banjo-Tooie. 

The concept was that you just’d receive a kind of objects in Banjo-Kazooie, boot down your Nintendo 64, exchange the cartridge with Tooie, and be granted entry to an extra perk within the sequel to reward your hustle. This was a daring technical endeavor within the late ’90s—how precisely was an offline, 64-bit console going to retain the info after a reset?—so it most likely should not be stunning that the mechanic was finally deserted. And but, a long time later, Uncommon did lastly comply with by with the Cease ‘N Swop characteristic after the discharge of Banjo-Kazooie on Xbox Stay Arcade. Acquire the Cease ‘N Swop objects within the Microsoft model, and you may unlock just a few doodads within the underrated, scarcely remembered, Banjo-Kazooie Nuts & Bolts. I can solely think about on the fateful day that Banjo-Threeie makes it to our laborious drives, we’ll be Cease ‘N Swopping by numerous beauty skins, all tiered by rarity. The top is nigh!