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Author Topic: What if Marvel Ultimate Alliance had 6 more months of development?  (Read 545 times)

Offline Cyborg Sun

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Over the years, fans of Marvel Ultimate Alliance have dug through the game's code countless times, discovering evidence of a fair bit of cut content. Even more evidence of cut content was found in the leaked Marvel Legends prototype as well. As Raven Software only had about a year of dev time between each X-Men Legends & later their only MUA installment, it's not surprising that they had many ideas that were forced onto the cutting room floor. Inspired by a video speculating how Super Smash Bros. Melee would turn out if that game had an additional half a year of development time (see here), I decided to theorize on what new content would be added had MUA been given an additional 6 months or so of development. I attempted to be semi-realistic with these additions, but given how much Raven was already able to develop under a strict deadline, 6 months could yield more results than one would think. Without any further ado, here are the new additions:

General Base Game Adjustments:

-The new release date is May 22, 2007. You may notice that this was the release date of the Gold Edition; this is intentional, as that date happens to fit with the timeframe I've given.
-Some of the bugs, inconsistencies, typos, etc. found in the original game would be ironed out. (One example being that Rhino and Shocker in Asgard now have their Ultra skins, to match with Scorpion)
-Silver Surfer's costumes now all have unique skins, rather than using the same one.
-Nick Fury now has a simulator mission. Since Fury is a post-game unlock, his simulator mission also unlocks when you beat the game. And, since Silver Surfer is unlocked through the simulators, this means that he is now a true post-game unlock (as opposed to the original, where he could technically be unlocked in Act 4 without cheats).
-The Fairgrounds area in the Murderworld level now has a fight against Lizard at the end of the map, using the unused lab coat skin; He is now called "Ultra Lizard" in Asgard.
-The Niffleheim level has a new event where Ultron and Baron Mordo destroy a bridge, delaying the team's quest to locate Odin. This can take place after the team locates the broken Twilight Sword, with the destroyed bridge forcing the team to take the longer, more dangerous path that leads to Ymir.
-The hubs for Acts 1-3 has the side story involving Weasel, however only the quests in Act 2 have proper "objectives"; Now, every Weasel quest has an optional objective tied to it, meaning you can gain some reputation points for the My Team feature from them.
-Before the Shi'ar level in Act 4, Crystal gives the team a small quest to find out where Medusa went, similar to the past Weasel quests. However, this part was probably rushed, as nothing bad happens if you give her the wrong location (Medusa still being found either way), and the team doesn't gain a small XP boost if they give the correct location. This small quest is a bit more fleshed out, with Medusa not being found if you give the wrong location, and you get a proper XP + reputation point reward if you gave the correct location. Either way, Crystal, Gorgon, and Triton still decide to face Doom themselves (either to force him to reverse his brainwashing of Medusa, or to find the still-missing Medusa).
-The Royal Court in Attilan now has a Daredevil action figure.
-Howard the Duck would make a cameo. Not as a playable character nor a major NPC, but he would be a hidden Easter Egg in one of the Act 4 levels.
-This is personal speculation on my part, but chances are, Moon Knight and Colossus were added late in development, since Moon Knight only has 3 costumes, and Colossus' appearance contradicts the events of the game's story (he doesn't even have a special conversation with his dark self to handwave it). Not to mention, both characters were relegated to being "Next-Gen Exclusives". In this new version, these two are playable in every port of the game. As well, Moon Knight has a 4th costume, and Colossus uses his classic outfit by default (matching his loadscreen artwork). Dark Colossus is replaced in the story entirely by Dark Gambit (who, along with Psylocke, was a character considered for a playable spot but was rejected since there were already 4 X-Men). They have their own sim missions now as well.

New Characters:

-Again, this is my speculation, but I think what they might've been going for was that after the first level, you would unlock one character per level, at least for the first half of the game. As it stands, you don't unlock anyone in the first three levels, and then you get three levels in a row where you unlock characters (Strange in the Valley of Spirits, Blade in Murderworld, and Ghost Rider in Mephisto's Realm), and then no characters are unlocked after that until Fury at the end of the game (not counting the action figure characters nor Silver Surfer). So, I've listed characters who could be unlocked in all of the other levels. It's admittedly farfetched to assume that Raven would be able add this many more characters in just 6 months, so take what I say with a grain of salt and know that not all of them would make it in, but I still wanted to have some fun associating a character with each level. Each character also has their own sim mission.
-Should the licensing issues concerning Punisher be sorted out by the time of the new release date, he could be added to the roster, being unlocked from the start. (In other words, he is first accessible from the first Helicarrier extraction point)
-The licensing issues concerning Hulk may also be sorted out in that time, allowing him to be implemented into the base game. He is unlocked after completing a brief encounter in the Omega Base level.
-Namor is made a playable character. He is unlocked by first completing the optional Temple of Negrete objective, and then completing the rest of the Atlantis level.
-Valkyrie is unlocked in the Bifrost level by completing the optional Dragonfang objective. Asgard needs more reps.
-Speaking of Asgard, there is a part in that respective level where you can choose whether or not to find Heimdall's horn. In this new version, doing so will now unlock him as a playable character.
-The fourth Asgardian is unlocked after completing the Niffleheim level. Uatu will inform the team that Lady Sif was impressed with how they were able to outsmart Loki, and wished to join them in their new quest to take back Doom's stolen power of Odin, regretful that she did not join them earlier.
-This one is the most farfetched of all (as well as contradicting what was said in an interview about how the devs felt 4 X-Men were enough), but what if during the Gladiator battle in the Shi'ar level, either Nightcrawler or Jean Grey appear to intervene and help the team against their near-invincible opponent (having fully mourned the loss of the other, and determined to avenge them by defeating Doom), depending on who you decided to save back in Mephisto's Realm? It would give your choice much more importance, as well as an incentive to replay the game again to unlock the other one (assuming you don't use cheats). Jean was a striker in the GBA version, like Namor, meaning the devs did play with the idea of her being playable, at least for a moment.
-And finally, the character unlocked after the Skrull level: Black Bolt, the king of the Inhumans. Before returning to Earth, Karnak informs the team that Black Bolt grew worried about the state of the three Inhumans who decided to face Doom themselves, having not heard back from them in quite some time. He then says that he saw no flaws in having Black Bolt join the team while he and Lockjaw guard the brainwashed Medusa (this last detail is only mentioned if she was found in the earlier minor quest). And thus, the team is complete, at least until Fury and Silver Surfer are unlocked post-game.
-Despite there being unused PSP exclusive characters, I am unsure if they would be implemented, especially if they decide to add all those other characters. Besides, four is already plenty. Just for fun though, here are a whopping 4 additional characters who could be added: Iron Fist, Captain Britain (these 2 are unlocked from the start), Longshot (like Hawkeye, he's unlocked by creating an online stat tracking account, or by beating the game), and Vision (like Black Widow, he's unlocked by beating the game). Vision is the only one who has zero evidence of being considered, but I chose him for being a major NPC and a prominent member of the Avengers, as well as a reference to false information that he was a GBA striker.
-To address the elephant in the room, no, I don't think Link and Samus would be added to the Wii version. No matter whose fault it was that led to the idea being canned, I believe that ship had already sailed, and a little extra dev time isn't going to change that. However, just for the heck of it, if the idea was approved then extra dev time might've yielded two more Nintendo guests for a full team; My choices are Fox McCloud and Captain Falcon.

New Levels:

-This is where the bulk of development may go towards (and will most likely be a priority over some of the additional characters that I previously proposed). For this post, I will say that two additional levels are added to the game, both of them coming from concept art that can be found in the final game. These two are meant to be placed in Act 4, set in between the Shi'ar and Skrull levels. The quest to create a weapon capable of stealing Doom's new power is now given two additional steps to justify this.
-The first of the new levels is Normandy, time traveling back to World War II. This plot would involve Kang the Conqueror (who is the final boss of the level), and you would also fight Red Skull & Arnim Zola at some point. Being a time travel level, there would also be an optional objective that gives either a good or bad ending in the Epilogue. If there was an unlockable character associated with this level, I would make it Winter Soldier; the plot being that Kang summons him from the present in order to have a rematch with your team. This time, however, Kang reveals that Winter Soldier was once Captain America's sidekick Bucky. The team now fights to knock him out of his brainwashing, and once that is done, he agrees to join the team to atone for his past actions.
-The second new level is the Kree empire. Some of the major enemies you fight could include Sentry 459, Ronan the Accuser, and the Supreme Intelligence (the last of these would be the level's final boss). If an unlockable character was added to this level, I would choose Monica Rambeau, who was going by the codename Photon at the time. Like Dr. Strange in the Valley of Spirits, you happen to encounter her fighting some Kree soldiers on her own. After helping her out, she is brought up to speed on the threat of Dr. Doom, leading to her joining the team.

This is more of a community thing, but yes, I do envision the original PC version still gets a modding scene. Due to the game having more content, I would imagine that there would be at least a few less limit issues to worry about. In other words, they would still exist, but hopefully to a lesser extent.

Right now, this thread has every new addition that I'd want add to the game in this hypothetical alternate timeline. However, more may come in the future (mainly potential DLC teams I'd want to add).
« Last Edit: August 17, 2022, 01:29pm by Cyborg Sun »