Over the years, we’ve discussed some strange unused content in all kinds of games. From those humanoid cats in Paper Mario to the unused ghosts of Luigi’s Mansion and the disturbing Guardian concepts for Breath of the Wild, it’s crazy to see some of the insane things left lying around a game’s files or in its spinoff media.
But what’s weirder still isn’t when an unused idea stays unused. It’s when out of the blue, a random spinoff or later instalment decides to use it in game years later.
Which is exactly what happened with Luigi’s Mansion Dark Moon and its spinoff Luigi Mansion Arcade [sic]. In the former, an eerie rendition of the nursery rhyme ‘Ring a Ring o’ Roses’ showed up in the game’s files, but was never used in game:
Whereas in the latter, said song suddenly appears in the battle with the Three Sisters in the Old Clockworks. Here’s a comparison if you don’t believe us:
Note: Arcade audio taken from this video by Bears_1995
As well as a video showing where it’s originally used in game:
As you can see, the songs are identical. This really is a case of Capcom taking an unused track from the original 3DS game and placing it in their arcade spinoff.
And it hints quite heavily at the original purpose of the song in the process. Why? Because up until now, we’ve not really figured out why this ominous nursery rhyme would ever appear in Dark Moon. We made some guesses (like that it’d be played in the Big Boo arena toy box or for the jack in the boxes in Haunted Towers), but nothing seemed overly concrete there.
But now, the connection between the tune and the Three Sisters makes perfect sense. Think about it, think back to the boss battle itself.
The whole setup was the sisters circling Luigi like a bunch of kids playing, before suddenly trying to attack him out of the blue. Seems like a pretty good use case for a music box rendition of ‘Ring a Ring o’ Roses’ if you ask us.
And it’s clear the developers agreed. But why did it get scrapped?
Well, we honestly don’t know. Best guess would be that the devs thought the tune wouldn’t work well when sped up, since the version in the game’s files only has one speed. Hence they scrapped it, replaced it with this somewhat dull tune:
Then just left it there for Capcom to find when making the spinoff a couple of years later. It’s a neat dev story really, and one that I genuinely wouldn’t have looked into had it not been for a random comment posted on my YouTube channel a year ago.
So thanks Shelltoast. You’ve not only shown that this previously unheard song game actually did get used in some manner, but also gave me the likely context it was meant for to begin with. Thanks for the tip off!