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Author Topic: What if Marvel Ultimate Alliance had more development time? (Earth-7155)  (Read 804 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 more development time itself. Assume they are given an additional 6-12 months. Without any further ado, here are the new additions:

General Base Game Adjustments:

-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)

-The MyTeam feature is expanded. The level cap is now 40, plus there is a new "Team Armor" buff which increases the team's defense stat.

-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 the 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). After the Normandy level, you can see the three of them are gone.

-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 now have their own sim missions 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 on top of other big additions, so take what I say with a grain of salt and know that there's a good chance not all of them would make it in depending on how much additional dev time is given, 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. While informing the team on their new objective to steal back Odin's power, Uatu will also mention that Lady Sif was impressed with how they were able to outsmart Loki, and wished to join them in their new quest, 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, talk to Karnak, and he will inform 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.

-The PSP version may get even more exclusive characters. There are already 4, but with more dev time, who's to say Vicarious Visions wouldn't try squeezing in a few more? Just for fun, I've listed 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 the 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. Plus, these characters are made by Vicarious Visions... see where I'm going?

-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 no amount of extra dev time is 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, as they were much more relevant at the time and, in my opinion, fit in the most with MUA's art style compared to most other Nintendo characters.

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 back Odin's power is now given two additional steps to justify them: 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.

-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, who is 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 fight Hydra as well, with the bosses including Daniel Whitehall, Arnim Zola, and the Red Skull. 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 the Winter Soldier; the plot being that Kang summons him from the present in order to have a rematch with your team after his defeat on the Helicarrier. This time, however, Kang reveals that the Winter Soldier was actually 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. We learn that the Kree are developing a new, smaller version of the Psyche-Magnitron, which the heroes can use to help better adapt to using godly powers. But to get to it, they must infiltrate Kree forces, facing them head-on. The bosses include Captain Atlas, Ronan the Accuser, Yon-Rogg, and the Supreme Intelligence, who is the final boss of the level. If there was an unlockable character associated with this level, I would make it Monica Rambeau, going by the codename Photon. During the battle against the Supreme Intelligence, she mysteriously appears out of nowhere to assist the team. 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.

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
« Last Edit: September 26, 2022, 10:43pm by Cyborg Sun »