The Mystery of the Purple Yoshi Tech Demo (Game Boy Advance, 2000)

The Mystery of the Purple Yoshi Tech Demo (Game Boy Advance, 2000)

There is so much knowledge within the game community regarding video game betas, unreleased materials, and canceled stuff. But with such a large area of content, it seems inevitable that some games can slip through the cracks. Today we’re going to look at one of those games, a little-known tech demo featuring Yoshi…which has rarely been seen and we’re not even entirely sure what it’s supposed to represent.
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The Mystery of the Purple Yoshi Tech Demo (Game Boy Advance, 2000)

I get asked a lot by my viewers where I find the topics for my videos and most of the time I tell them the lost MediaWiki or from my friends but sometimes in more rare cases topics come to me from the strangest of places the racist Gengar came to me while I was vacuuming a carpet and the robot Jones lost episodes were the result of watching a random assortment of Cartoon Network bumpers at 3:00 in the morning but today's topic comes from my mind an old memory that was recently brought to my attention after four years of forgetting it existed so the other day I was watching some gameplay of the Yoshi's Story GBA a tech demo this demos purpose was to showcase the gbas power a lot is known about this tech demo already and we even have the ROM for it but back when I was first discovering this tech demo even existed there was a second GBA Yoshi tech demo that I was always much more intrigued in back in 2014 on my blog I made a post talking about some beta games that I thought were interesting at the time and the very first theme that I talked about is something out of the ordinary check out this image of what appears to be a purple Yoshi running forward in a forest area he is locked onto an enemy with his tongue stretching out presumably to eat it according to my post this is a Yoshi tech demo that was made for the Game Boy Advance that I had found alongside space world 2000 content but that's all I knew for sure whatever site I got this image from which wasn't IGN said that the image looked like Yoshi's Safari on the senesce and at the graphics rivaled that of the n64 but that's it that's all I wrote in regards to this mysterious tech demo at the time I wasn't really into lost media and didn't even really have the mindset to research odd things further so I sort of just accepted this for what it is and forgot about it for four years well today I'd like to get to the bottom of this mystery and see what we can uncover about this image to begin our quest I want to figure out which site I originally got the image from so to do that I did a reverse image search hoping that the source site would pop up I ended up with three results one was my blog great start the other two were forums the first forum was called ARS technica in which the thread discussed the image more so regarding its authenticity over what it actually came from so that didn't help me much with what I was looking for but the second site the well-known Lost Levels forum was of much more help it seems like within the same year I had made my blog post this user made an attempt to get more info about the image himself although ends up rather unsuccessful he did leave two links though one to SM 128 C and another to pocket media dot I G n I clicked the first one and it was for Au Ford so I popped it into the Wayback Machine and up came a web page the web site was called super mario 128 central and things were feeling very familiar to me about this site there were lots of mentions about space world and the GBA so I felt like I was on the right track soon enough near the bottom of the page I found the exact same image from my blog I knew for certain this was the site I was looking for now that we're here I wanted to read through the source post to see if there was any important details I had missed or left out of my original blog post and unfortunately there were not I had pretty much reworded this entire article on my blog but not all hope was lost there was that other link on the Lost Levels forum the URL said pocket media i GN so I went to the Wayback Machine to check that out but where were we going to start to look on this site for one single image well earlier I had said I originally found the image alongside other space world content on the super mario 128 site so I decided to start looking in the early 2000s for space world related content I did find a multitude of space world coverage preview pictures of upcoming GBA games and even articles talking about the power of the GBA which is something I thought the image Illustrated perfectly but I wasn't finding anything about the image itself which means it was time to hone in on a specific date and section of the site I went back to the two places where we found the image at all the ARS technica forums and super mario 128 central the technical forums had a post date of August 14 2000 and the Mario 128 site had a post date of August 15 2008 err so I thought that maybe August 14th was the earliest and the actual date when IGN post the image but before I went back to the pocket site I inspected the images URL and saw that it said news there was a dedicated news section on the site so I decided that a news article dated August 14th would probably contain the picture it didn't take long to find what I was looking for a news article dated August 14th titled GBC and GBA at tokyo game show if there was ever an article that would have an image as rare or used in such a way as this then I thought I had hit gold I clicked the article and held my breath only to find out that there wasn't a single nintendo game on the list it was only third parties at this point I was really frustrated because it seemed like I was searching for a needle in a haystack so I decided to ask a contact what his thoughts were I chose Craig Harris someone who was credited on many of the articles on IGN pocket and someone who I just knew from prior knowledge had huge contributions made to IGN as a whole I sent him a message of the picture in a short summary of how I had no idea where it came from other than the IGN pocket site and asked if he remembered anything about its origin he replied very quickly and said he didn't remember it specifically but that it was probably sent in by a reader for their Q&A section asking whether or not the image was legit this was a great lead so I checked out their Q&A section as well as their letters section and went to July August and September month archives I read through a large selection of the posts most of which contained GBA content but nothing specifically about that Yoshi image these sections didn't even use pictures so I had no idea where to turn now and that's when the classic lost media luck came into the search out of my frustration I just randomly clicked an article I hadn't cooked on before and bam there it was well kinda while the image is heavily pixelated it was without a doubt the same image this was its origin but why is this version pixelated and what does it mean about the story surrounding our main image well there is one very very important piece of information on this page that almost answered all of our questions it reads and today we've posted a handheld board exclusive see that screwy picture above there's a crystal-clear version of that picture in the boards it's a game screen of some sort sent to us from our Japanese correspondent the resolution is exactly that of the Gameboy Advance and it's possible it might be an as-of-yet unannounced GBA game featuring a certain intended dinosaur or it might just be a mock-up some Japanese publication created as to what a GBA game could look like curious check it out to summarize this article is essentially a plug for the IGN boards IGN has this Yoshi screenshot that they obtained from their Japanese source they don't tell you anything about it in the article blurred the image and then tell you to join their forums to see the clear version of the picture and find out if it's real or fake luckily we don't have to worry about seeing the clear image because we have that but we don't have the original thread as it's totally lost so that means the real truth is also lost was this an unofficial mock-up that was created to hype up the GBA or does it actually come from a long-lost Nintendo tech demo well I don't know and that'd be very shocked if we ever found out personally I'd like to believe this images from an actual tech demo or at least originates from Nintendo and isn't some stupid magazine mock-up some editor made and there are a few signs that point us in that direction first of all we know that the image was exclusive to the IGN boards so for these sites to have gotten it we know it had to have come from there this means that someone had to have manually visited the site and grabbed the image from it but I assume whoever grabbed it also read up on what IG and had to say about it for context which is likely what would be retold on the websites that reposted it and since nothing about it being a mock-up or fake is mentioned it leads me to believe the image at least in the context of reporting is real on top of that keep in mind the repost dates are only days after I genes original post so it only means that whatever information was coupled with the image on IGN's boards is being retold more authentically here and here but that's just what I think of course I could understand the questioning behind how factual i Jan's reporting was or how truthful their Japanese source was but I don't really see a reason for either of them to perpetuate this image is real if either of them knew it wasn't and there have been certain projects that have been kept in secrecy for many years at Nintendo I can definitely see that being the case or this could be a more original GBA Yoshi demo that was phenomenally better than the earlier Yoshi's Story one which according to IGN was as old as 1999 so as it stands that's all there is to know right now while we might not have complete confirmation on its origin in the future I really hope we can gain some more insight about this image so for now the second GBA Yoshi tech demo will remain a mystery