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 ideas. Even more of them were 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 were forced to put many of their plans on the cutting room floor. Not helping matters was the fact that they were developing the game during the transition to a new console generation, potentially meaning even more ideas were cut. It makes you wonder what the game would've been like, had they spent even just a little more time developing and polishing the game.
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)
, this post was initially only made to speculate on how MUA's own cut content would have been implemented. However, over time, many other new ideas unrelated to that content were added. At this rate, it's more of a mishmash of both unused content and stuff that I'd personally want. Some parts may be a bit ridiculous, but regardless, I hope you enjoy reading my outline for what a bigger, better MUA could be, without any developmental deadlines nor legal red tape. (Note that some pieces of known unused content are deliberately ignored to fit in with the EXG a bit more. Hey, it's now hard to imagine the game without the mod at this point, so best not to change Outsider's vision, right?)General Base Game Adjustments:
-All of the more minor bugs, inconsistencies, typos, etc. found in the original game would be ironed out. Not giving any specific examples, but essentially, most of the non-character additions and fixes from the OCP are also included here, so they won't be brought up in this post for the most part. (The only things not fixed are useful exploits that help players rather than hurt them)
-There is a new hidden skin for Wolverine: Highlight his Modern costume on the character select screen, hold Up, then select it to use his scrapped leather jacket skin. This makes Wolverine the only character with 5 skins, however this new one still uses the Modern costume passives. Modders benefit from this as well, as the new code required for this would allow for the addition of an "Easter Egg Skin" for characters.
-The My Team feature is expanded. The level cap is now 40, plus there are new buffs unlocked at level 10: "Team Training" increases Striking, Body, & Focus by 2 with each level (5 points for a maximum of 10). "Team Armor" increases Defense by 1 with each level, but only has 3 points (maxing this out and combining it with characters who have the Defense costume passive maxed out are able to take 0 damage from weaker attacks). With the old cap, you couldn't upgrade every single point, but now you can.
-Nick Fury now has a simulator mission, unlocked when you beat the game. Since Silver Surfer is unlocked through the simulator, 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 5 formerly exclusive Vs. simulator missions from the next-gen versions (now in every version of the game) are now narrated by Black Widow, like all of the others.
-Two new Vs. simulator missions are added for Rhino and Baron Mordo. This means there are now a total of 50 simulator missions, not including version exclusives.
-Version exclusive simulator missions are now listed in a new "Extra" category, and are not required for unlocking Silver Surfer. This is also where DLC simulator missions are added.
-Simulator missions exclusive to the PSP version now have fully voiced conversations.
-Hank Pym's planned role as a shopkeeper is now fully realized. Missed a collectable? No worries, Hank will have any collectables you didn't pick up in stock, as long as you have the money. There are some areas in the game that you can't go back to once you go through them, so this is a massive help for 100% completion of the game. But even if you know where everything is, he still has some exclusive stock in each Act, so you'll still need to save up some coin if you want to collect everything.
-The Radiated enemy type from X-Men Legends II returns. For those who don't know what they are, they are a type of buffed enemy that damages you over time when you are near them.
-While the hubs for Acts 1-3 has a side story involving Weasel, and Act 4 has a quest where you need to find where the Ultimate Nullifier is being kept, only the quests in Act 2 have proper "objectives"; Now, these side quests have optional objectives tied to it, meaning you can gain some reputation points for the My Team feature from them. (This is the only EXG addition that appears in the vanilla game)
-Before the Niffleheim level, if you talk to Weasel after the reveal that Doom stole SHIELD plans to take Odin's power, he asks you to talk to Valkyrie and see if she's romantically interested in him. She gives a resounding "no" to that question, but you couldn't tell him about it. Now you can, and this funny exchange is even a new optional objective. An Easter Egg triggers if Valkyrie is on your team, where Weasel tries to confess his love for her himself, but she bluntly refuses, immediately completing the objective.
-The aforementioned side quest to find where the Ultimate Nullifier is kept was probably rushed, as nothing bad happens if you give 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). After the Normandy level, you can see the three of them are gone.
-If you find Medusa, another objective is activated in which you must interrogate her before the Normandy level. She's apparently refusing to talk to the Inhumans, so it's up to you to ask questions about what Doom did to her. Report the answers she gives you to Crystal before you start the next mission to add yet another completed objective to your resume and earn even more XP.
-The Royal Court in Attilan now has a Daredevil action figure collectable hidden somewhere, to line up with the previous 3 Acts.
-Howard the Duck would make a cameo. Not as a playable character nor a major NPC, but he would be part of an Easter Egg hidden in one of the Act 4 levels.
-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, with their consistency changes from the OCP (plus new simulator missions). Dark Colossus is replaced entirely by a brand new "Dark Gambit".New Characters:
-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 evidenced by Hulk and Namor being scrapped, representing the next two levels). As it stands, you don't unlock anyone in the Omega Base and Atlantis, 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. Some are based on actual unused characters, others are fun additions that fit the story. The new characters, of course, have all the extras as well (load screens, costumes, simulator missions, gear).
-Punisher is my only brand new addition who's unlocked from the start.
-Hulk is made part of the base game, and is unlocked after completing a brief encounter in the Omega Base level, where an explosion is set off after you help Banner deactivate the gamma bomb. Going back to where Banner was, Hulk emerges from the rubble and initially thinks the heroes where the ones who bombed him, initiating a minor boss fight. After he is brought to his senses, he learns it was actually the Masters of Evil who tried killing him, and thusly joins the team. (This event is very basic compared to what's found in the EXG; Installing the EXG grants you Outsider's expanded version, only now with voiced dialogue whenever it's applicable)
-Namor is made a playable character, unlocked by first completing the optional Temple of Negrete objective, and then completing the rest of the Atlantis level. Should you complete that objective, new dialogue will play where he will now offer to repay his debt to the heroes by joining the team, rather than rudely telling them that he could've handled the situation alone.
-Valkyrie is now unlocked in the Bifrost level by completing the optional Dragonfang objective. Asgard needs more reps, considering how much the story revolves around them. When you save Odin's body in Doom's Castle, Balder now congratulates you rather than Valkyrie.
-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. While informing the heroes of their new objective to steal back Odin's power, Uatu will also say that Sif was impressed with how they were able to outsmart Loki, and wished to join them in their new quest, mentioning that she was regretful that she did not join them earlier, as well as wanting to make up for indirectly helping Loki when she opened the portals to the God Swords.
-Back in Mephisto's Realm, you had to make an impossible choice. Now, that choice affects more than a simple Epilogue video; After the initial dialogue of the Gladiator battle in the Shi'ar level, either Nightcrawler or Jean Grey appears to help the team face their near-invincible opponent. After defeating him, the X-Man explains that Lockjaw had sent them here, and that they have fully mourned the loss of the other. Now determined to avenge their fallen friend, they request that they join the team. This also serves as an incentive to replay the game to unlock the other one (assuming you don't use cheats). Mods that allow you to save both of them at once will unlock both characters after completing Mephisto's Realm instead, and make the Gladiator fight function as it does in the original game without any interventions.
-And finally, the character unlocked after the Skrull level: Black Bolt, the king of the Inhumans. Before returning to Earth, talk to Karnak, and he will inform the team that Black Bolt has grown 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.New Levels:
-The original game is already fine enough in terms of length (plus it's made even longer when you install the EXG). So, while there are no new Acts, this new version does add two additional levels, both of them coming from concept art that can be found in the final game. These two are placed in Act 4, set in between the Shi'ar and Skrull levels. The quest to create a weapon capable of stealing back Odin's power is now given two additional steps: First, a stabilizer must be found to prevent the heroes from tearing apart reality themselves with the overwhelming power. Then, a device to work alongside the Muonic Inducer must also be found, one that can help the heroes more quickly adapt to the power. Both missions also have an unlockable character tied to them, as well as one of each collectable upgrade/item. (Yes, this means Act 4 will have more upgrades than the other Acts. Inconsistent? Yeah. But useful? Most certainly!)
-The first of the new levels is Normandy, time traveling back to World War II. This plot would involve the heroes pursuing Kang the Conqueror, the final boss of the level, for his Light of the Centuries Sphere, which will be used as the weapon's stabilizer. But of course, you must help the Allied forces and the Howling Commandos fight HYDRA as well as you try to get back to the future (because hey, Kang's not just gonna give up his Sphere easily), including a boss fight against Red Skull (being assisted by Arnim Zola) near the end. As for the unlockable character, the heroes learn during the mission that Kang had kidnapped Wasp for his own nefarious purposes, and can be able to save her if they find where she's being held. This means she is one of the unlockable characters who can be missed if you don't take the time to seek her out. There is also an optional objective tied to the Epilogue, where you can choose to take the time to go through an extra map to fight Baron Strucker.
-The second new level is the Kree Empire. Uatu informs the heroes that the Kree are developing a new, smaller version of the Psyche-Magnitron, which the heroes can use to help their bodies better adapt to using godly powers. But to get to it, they must infiltrate Kree forces head-on, resulting in a mission that's extremely boss-heavy. Those bosses are the original members of Starforce, spread throughout the level (Captain Atlas, Doctor Minerva, Korath the Pursuer, Shatterax, and Ultimus), with Ronan the Accuser as a more major boss, and the Supreme Intelligence as the final boss of the level. During the second phase of the battle against the Supremor, another hero mysteriously appears out of nowhere to assist the team: Monica Rambeau (Photon). After the battle, they learn that she was one of the few heroes (or maybe even the only one) to escape Dr. Doom's wrath on Earth, and was found and warped to safety by Lockjaw. She now joins the team to help defeat Doom.Version Exclusive Characters:
-Initially part of the "New Characters" section, this part was split off due to the ideas being a bit stranger than what has been shown thus far. It has gone through a few revisions over time, and characters have come and gone, but the current idea is that fate is twisted; Instead of the next-gen versions getting characters, now the last-gen
versions receive them! Taking after the PSP version, each of these versions get 4 exclusive characters.
-The PC version has characters based on boss NPCs, a callback to when Beenox created exclusive characters for X-Men Legends II's PC version, as well as perhaps making up for simulator mission multiplayer being harder to do on PC. They are the first 4 bosses you face on the Helicarrier: Scorpion, Bullseye, Winter Soldier, and Radioactive Man. They are all unlocked from the start, but have no simulator missions.
-Both the PlayStation 2 and Xbox versions get the 3 characters that were scrapped from the PSP version, plus a bonus character: Captain Britain, Iron Fist, Longshot, and Professor X. Why Xavier? Well, consider it a callback to the X-Men Legends series, which was only on last-gen consoles. He may have passed the torch as the game's main commander over to Nick Fury, but he'll still have a bit of fun in Astral form, in these versions at least. The first 3 characters and their simulator missions are unlocked from the start, while Professor X and his mission are unlocked by beating the game.
-The Wii version now includes the fabled Nintendo guests, Link and Samus. But they don't come alone, as in this universe, not only did Nintendo agree to the crossover pitch, but they also allowed the use of two other characters as well: Fox and Captain Falcon, who were more relevant at the time and fit MUA's art style well. Both the characters and their simulator missions are unlocked from the start, with the missions including exclusive boss NPCs (Ganondorf for Link, Dark Samus for Samus, Wolf for Fox, and Black Shadow for Captain Falcon).The Community:
Of course, the PC version still has a dedicated modding scene, much like the one in the real world, and due to this version having more content, perhaps they have a few less limit issues to worry about? Over time, they too will make this game's world and lore their own, and use it as a safe haven for many Marvel and third-party characters alike, where any terrible stories associated with them are stricken from the record...Welcome to Earth-7155!DLC:
As mentioned earlier, Marvel Ultimate Alliance came out during a transitional period between two console generations. It also came out during the early days of DLC... MUA's own character DLC was strange, to say the least. It was exclusive to the Xbox 360, and was mainly an outsourced hodgepodge of old reused assets from seemingly random places. The DLC in this new universe will also reuse assets, but they will at least be a bit more consistent than what we got in real life, include actual brand-new levels, be made by Raven Software themselves, and be available for both Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3. The PC version also gets them through more old-school Expansion Pack discs.
Since this post has gone on long enough, the DLC roadmap will be in the Spoiler below.Spoiler
Free Post-Launch Update:
Releasing the same day as DLC Pack 1, this free update mainly focuses on porting features from the PSP version:
-A new Silver Surfer simulator mission is added.
-Survival simulator missions from the PSP version are added.
-Online stat tracking is now possible, similar to the PSP version.
-Bonus modes from the PSP version are added: Hardcore Heroes, Hardcore Squad, and Uber Hero. They are unlocked by completing the game once in Normal difficulty, same as the regular Hard difficulty.
-The circular elevator in Stark Tower can now be used to enter a new underground hub area, where you can access the DLC Acts. No levels can be accessed for now; Entrances will be added with each new campaign.
DLC Pack 1: Hero Expansion:
The first DLC Pack released is pretty basic, as it has no new levels, but makes up for it by featuring 8 characters! This pack focuses on porting the characters from the PSP and last-gen console versions.
-Adds 8 new playable heroes: Ronin, Captain Marvel, Hawkeye, Black Widow, Captain Britain, Iron Fist, Longshot, and Professor X, plus simulator missions for each.
DLC Pack 2: Villains Pack & Prequel Mission
This second DLC Pack could be considered a trial run for add-on levels. Only one new level is introduced with one of each collectable (minus a simulator disc), which is considered part of Act 1 on the Objectives and Review screens. The characters are ports of the playable villains from the PC version, and the level is based on a cut level from the PSP version.
-Adds 4 new playable villains: Scorpion, Bullseye, Winter Soldier, and Radioactive Man, plus brand new simulator missions for each not found on PC!
-Adds one new level: "Act 0", a prequel to the main story where Black Widow and Hawkeye lead a team of heroes through a Chitauri base to retrieve the frozen body of a superhero from World War II: Captain America. The Chitauri are attempting to start up their own Super Soldier Program with Cap's DNA, so you must fight their prototypes as well. The mission ends with a battle against Herr Kleiser, the destruction of the Chitauri base, and the rescue of Captain America, who will no doubt continue to be an inspiring figure in the modern era.
PC Expansion Pack 1: Hero Expansion & Prequel Mission
Instead of DLC Packs, the PC version gets on-disc Expansion Packs, which compile content from previously released console DLCs. This first one contains all the content from the Post-Launch Update and DLC Packs 1 & 2 (minus the addition of the villains, since they were already in this version, but their new simulator missions are added).
DLC Pack 3: ???
This is where the DLC formula is truly established. Those first two were just warm-ups. From here on out, each pack will be one half of a story campaign. The first part will add a new Act, hub, 2 new levels, and 4 new characters. The second part will add 4 other characters and 2 other levels (and yes, you can still play the second part's levels if you don't own the first). Each new Act will have the normal amount of collectables (5 of each upgrade, 2 skill points, etc.), with both skill points in particular always being in the second level of each pack. However, the new hubs have no second area, and there is no new trivia. More details coming soon.