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Recently, I've been looking up at The Simpsons: Hit & Run, of what it was like during development and before the game was officially released, and I've noticed many changes changed to it in prerelease articles, screenshots, videos and also on the game's scrapbook. I will say the prerelease and unused content for each level, starting with Level 1, but first I'll do other objects and such:

Early Builds

IGN (May 2003)

  • Trees look more cartoon-styled and less detailed, they were also less realistic and featured no layering.
  • The Street Race icons that appear above the three characters' head look different in early releases, being a black circle with two wing-like shapes in a speech bubble rather than being two flags as seen in the final game.
  • There is a very early radar seen in the video as well as in some prerelease screenshots, there is no indication when the player is about to get a Hit & Run. Despite this, a much more earlier radar is seen in two Level 7 prerelease screenshots, which I'll get onto after this.

Level 7 Screenshots

  • Like I said before, there is a much very earlier radar seen in the two screenshots, judging by how the screenshots were taken on May 6, 2003 while the Sizzle Reel on IGN was released on May 15, 2003. The minimap seen here is much older than the one seen in the IGN video and in prerelease screenshots.

E3 Demo

  • Sound effects for jumping, kicking objects etc. sound much different compared to how they sound in the final version.
  • There were originally sounds for entering and exiting vehicles.
  • Wrenches have a darker color scheme making them look more brown then yellow unlike the final version.
  • Wasp Cameras are not as detailed and appear to be brighter. They lack the metal texture they have in the final game. In addition, their wings are not opaque, and no electricity can be seen from their stinger.

Environment

  • A majority of the characters' models (including the Simpsons family) have very similar designs to their appearances in The Simpsons: Road Rage.
  • Environment maps don't seem to have been implemented yet, such as no lens flare can be seen from the sun in the first three levels seen in both the IGN video, E3 Demo and in prerelease screenshots.
  • Phone Booths originally had a 2D sprite of a telephone on top of it. In later early releases, the telephone gained a 3D model, which still resembled the 2D sprite seen in the IGN Sizzle Reel video. Some early screenshots also show phone booths without their bottom part.
  • Word Font seen when selecting a vehicle on a phone booth, seen on a stage message or on mission objectives appears much thinner and taller than they do in the final game.
  • Mission objectives were originally going to show images comparing to each mission, but in the final game, they were changed to pictograms illustrating the objectives.
  • Character mugshots appear to show 3D models of characters instead of 2D sprites.
  • On the phone booth, handling was called "Stability", but was changed in the final game.
  • Light blue chevrons were used to highlight players' vehicular path instead of the usual red and green arrows.
  • Collector Cards have ? mark symbols on them.
  • The "$" sign on Character Costumes icons are taller and less detailed.

Level Differences

Level 1

  • A collector card can be seen on top of the Wiggum house in the IGN video, but the player is unable to get on top of most rooftops in the game, well in the final game, there is a collector card in the backyard, so it is likely that the card seen at the top of the house in the video was moved to the backyard.
  • In the IGN video, the phone booth that is seen in front of the house facing the Simpsons House in the final game is shown at the side of the house, the same also applies with Level 4.
  • Piles of tires can be seen outside the Tire Fire, but in the final game, tires can only be found inside the yard.
  • As shown in the level's scrapbook image, the trees that were seen in the IGN video and Levels 1 and 6 bonus race courses can be seen behind the Simpsons House. Also, the "Evergreen Terrace" sign appears to be located at the house facing the Simpsons House.
  • Originally, there would've been a Station Wagon in the level's traffic, but it got replaced by the Glass Truck in the final game. However you can still see the car in the IGN video, E3 Demo and in prerelease screenshots.
  • Shown in the E3 demo, Milhouse was shown stood in front of one of the houses in the row of houses between the Kwik-E-Mart and the Burlesque House, but his position was changed to near Moe's House in the final game.
  • Seen in the E3 Demo, there is a wrench that appears to be floating above the Tire Fire, very weird of why it's there.
  • Shown in a prerelease screenshot, Gil is stood in a different position being stood in front of the first house that appears in the line of houses near Moe's House instead of being stood on the path near Cletus' House like in the final game.
  • There is a mansion gate in front of the house facing the Simpsons House in both the IGN and E3 demo videos, as well as screenshots, but in the final game, there is no gate at all.
  • There is a fence with bushes placed in-between the blue house to the left of the Simpsons House and the fence beside the playground in Evergreen Terrace, but the fence is absent in the final game.
  • In the opening cutscene of the game, there are a few changes around the Simpsons House, with these changes being:
    • The two bushes situated at each side of the path leading into the door of the Simpsons House appear taller and have a completely different design.
    • A bush that has the same appearance can also be seen in the corner of the Simpsons House.
    • There is no fence situated between the Simpsons House and the Blue House next to it, the blue house is also missing and a backyard is shown right behind where the house would be. In the final game however, there is no backyard behind the blue house as it is simply empty with no features whatsoever.
    • The Flanders backyard also has no fence in the middle of it and the Simpsons backyard, the bomb shelter is missing and the fence around the Simpsons House is brown instead of white.
    • The Talking Tiki in the Simpsons backyard is missing.
  • Also shown in the "Flowers By Irene" cutscene, the house facing the Simpsons House is pink and has a completely different design resembling the pink houses shown around Evergreen Terrace.

Level 2

  • The phone booth at the stadium is located a lot to the left near the concrete block with the statue in the corner (You know, the place where the Monster Truck can be found in Level 5) as seen in the IGN video.
  • As seen in a prerelease photo and the E3 demo, the sky is cloudier and has rays of light shining from the sky. The sky also appears cloudy in the level's cutscene.
  • The Character Costumes icon in Moe's Tavern is shown on the right side of the tavern in front of the Duff poster instead of being on the left side.
  • In the level's scrapbook image, the Jebediah statue in the middle of the square outside the Springfield Court House is facing the Springfield Town Hall instead of the Springfield Court House.
  • The Itchy balloon that can be seen around the Sit 'n' Rotate has red gloves instead of white ones. However, the Itchy balloon did appear in the Level 5 bonus race track in the final game with red gloves.
  • In the level's cutscene, there are a few differences around the Springfield Stadium, these changes being:
    • The fence blocking the entrance of the Springfield Stadium is missing, since Bart is shown driving out of the stadium through the entrance.
    • Lampposts are present in front of the stadium, while they do not appear in the game itself.
    • The sign that reads "Springfield vs. Shelbyville", along with the two Duff Beer cutouts next to it are at the front of the stadium instead of behind it.
    • The fountain seen in front of the stadium can be seen when Bart exits the stadium, but when he gets abducted, the fountain disappears.

Level 3

  • The Planet Hype 50's Car can be seen merged into the Planet Hype in the level's scrapbook image, this is because there was a gag that was intended for the level which shown Hans Moleman stuck in the cadillac merged into the Planet Hype, the file name for the gag is called "moleman in cadillac".
  • Shown in some screenshots, there is no background outside the Android's Dungeon when the player is inside the building, though this could be because that backgrounds shown when inside interiors hadn't been implemented yet.
  • The cabs on the C. Spanker are black and have larger windows then they do in the final game, shown in another screenshot.
  • The sign that advertises the Android's Dungeon shown hovering above the middle of the Aztec Theater and the bowlarama is situated on top of the fence to the left of the Krusty Burger and was originally a sign rather then a billboard, shown in two prerelease screenshots.
  • The phone booth located near the front of the Squidport entrance has been moved further to the left and some bushes are shown in the spot where the large tree would be in the final game.
  • The lampposts shown around the area where Mr. Burns' Casino is, have a different design.
  • The billboard that changes images to say "Eat Deer" to "Don't Eat Beef" is missing from its regular spot, what's more interesting is that in the final game, when the player is inside the Android's Dungeon, the billboard is seen next to the Krusty Burger meaning that this was its original location.
  • As shown in prerelease screenshots, there were many changes around the Duff Brewery, more interestingly enough is that all of these changes can be pointed out in the Level 6 cutscene, here are the changes:
    • There were originally four duff wagons in the Duff Brewery parking lot with the fourth wagon being placed besides the entrance to the brewery, but that wagon got removed in the final game and resulted in three wagons altogether.
    • The three large boilers underneath the pipes that pour the duff bear into the boilers at the Duff Brewery are larger and taller then they are in the final, plus the pipes are connected to the boilers.
    • The drive-through garage at the side of the Duff Brewery that leads to the duff blimp is shut-off with a garage door, plus the Krusty Glass is missing.
    • There is a large gap in-between the fence at the entrance of the brewery and the building itself to accommodate the fourth duff wagon.

Level 4

  • As shown in the IGN video, the street lights haven't got their lights on.
  • One of the street races appears to be set at the blue house across the road from the Springfield Cemetery entrance as seen in the IGN video, but it is hard to see who is the host for this race, as the character who is hosting it is too far away in the distance, besides the low quality in the video.
  • As shown in the level's scrapbook image and in prerelease screenshots, the level was supposed to have more noticeable clouds and if you look in the corner of the scrapbook image really closely, the sign that has the name of the school doesn't have any other text as it simply reads "Springfield Elementary".
  • Shown in the E3 Demo, Nelson was stood in front of the church, but in the final game, his position has been changed to in front of the Solid Ghost House on the 939 district of Springfield.

Level 5

  • As shown in the level's scrapbook image, the sky has a bluish tone, and has no detail, missing the stars and clouds seen on the sky in the final game, this could be because the skybox for the level hadn't been implemented yet.
  • In a prerelease screenshot, the sky looks much vibrant and has more noticeable clouds.
  • Also in the same screenshot, the large bushes situated in front of the Springfield General Hospital are missing and the sign noting the hospital's name is in a different position. The hospital's car park is also missing being replaced with an empty lot.

Level 6

  • Like Level 5's scrapbook image which shows a different sky color, the sky in this level's scrapbook image appears in a more Lavender tone, also missing detail.
  • The light cone of the street lights appear to be set at an angle, as opposed to facing straight down as seen in the video.
  • Also, as seen in the video like Level 4, one of the street races is set at a different location, with that location being in front of the concrete mixer at the gas station near the Noiseland Arcade, you can't see who the race host is because of the wall next to the stairway blocking its view.
  • Seen in the E3 Demo, the level had a larger moon with more noticeable clouds, and the maroon colour is less vibrant than it is in the final, although this background is used for the background of interiors in the level in the final game and as the background for the Level 6 bonus race track. There are also some very differently-designed lampposts shown on the street dividers near the Bowlarama, though in my opinion, they are very well-designed and should've been kept in the final game.
  • For some weird reason, shown in the E3 Demo, the interior of the observatory has the same lighting used in the building in Level 3. Also, there is a dusk background seen outside the window instead of the usual night one, although I'm not sure if this is Level 6 or it might be possible that they're actually playing as Bart in the third level.
  • The phone booth situated across the road from the gas station near the Noiseland Arcade is shown beside where the gas pumps are at the station as shown in the IGN video. The phone booth in front of the ramp at Mr. Burns' Casino is also located in front of the casino itself.
    • In addition, the phone booth seen in the middle of the path that is going down the hill from the gas station to the Aztec Theater is missing shown in the E3 demo.
  • Seen in a prerelease screenshot, there were originally trees that would've appeared on the pier at the Squidport, but there are no trees at all on the pier in the final game.
  • Originally, Chase Sedans would've chased the player when they got a Hit & Run instead of the usual police cars.

Level 7

SHAR Level 7 prerelease

An early screenshot of Level 7. Notice the many differences around the school.

  • As shown in two prerelease screenshots, the level was entirely different, especially the school that had many vastly changes as seen in the picture on the right, this can even be notified in the level's cutscene and scrapbook images, here are the changes:
    • The building itself is textured with more varied colors instead of the mostly light-brown and yellow palette found in the final.
    • The flag seen in front of the school is purple with yellow spots instead of red with white spots.
    • In the actual game, the trees that appear in Level 7 don't have leaves, but if you look in the picture on the right, it looks like trees were meant to have their leaves just like in the previous six levels.
    • The pylon that appears on top of the school in the final game is missing and so is the grey pipe on top of the right side of the school.
    • Like in Level 4's scrapbook image, the school sign just says the name of the school without any other text, but in the actual game, the sign seen in front of the school and the sign above the door leading into the school say "Springwarts School of Magicry", but in the prerelease screenshot on the right, it just says "Springfield Elementary" which is the actual name for the school, this likely meant that the school wouldn't have changed its name, but the building would've done.
  • The radar looks entirely different and is coloured blue, this is a little strange as the beta radar that was seen in other prerelease builds was green, but it seems that there was a map exclusive for this level or it might be because the two prerelease screenshots were shown a while before the Sizzle Reel video on IGN was released, where they replaced it with a less-detailed green one.
  • The sky looks darker and cloudy compared to how it looks in the final game.
  • Ralph can be seen stood in front of the school with the early street race icon above his head, this possibly meant that Milhouse, Nelson and Ralph were the race hosts of this level, but due to the Halloween aesthetic of the level were all replaced by zombies.
  • The grass is brighter then it was in the final game.
  • Skeletons had 2D heads instead of 3D ones, their Coffin Carts also looked slightly more taller in height.
  • The Springfield Downs advert can be seen on the billboard next to the Grocery Store instead of the billboard that says "KZMB All Zombie Radio".
  • The large building with the sign reading "SPRINGFIELD PUBLIC LIBRARY" next to the library itself is missing, so the whole space where the building was is empty and is just an empty lot.
  • There is a parking lot shown outside the Springfield Library, but there is no parking lot at all in the final game.
  • The phone booth in front of the school was moved from the left side to the right side in the final game.
  • In the actual game, the bridge that leads to the richer side of Springfield is blocked-off and the power plant is shut off with a metal door making them both inaccessible, but if one looks at the minimap in the two prerelease screenshots, it looks as if the rich side was meant to be accessed in Level 7, this is one thing that I really wished would've stayed in this level.
    • Though plenty years later, it was finally revealed of why the rich side ended up cut in the final game, it was only to make workload on the level more manageable for the artists who were working on it during the game's development.
  • As shown in the level's scrapbook image, the wrecked playground bus was meant to be located in front of the school and the school appears blue strangely, though this could be the lighting and the sky has a yellow tone instead of its usual dark green. The school's sign also has white wording and is coloured green, saying "Springfield Elementary" instead of yellow, saying "Springwarts School of Magicry".
  • Also in one of Level 7's scrapbook mission images, the rotating sign at the Kwik-E-Mart says "Spook-E-Mart" instead of "Kwik-E-Mart" as that is what the location was called in the actual level, but probably because the two signs on the Kwik-E-Mart itself already say "Spook-E-Mart", they decided to remove this feature on the rotating sign too, and changed the wording so it would just say "Kwik-E-Mart".
  • As said earlier, there are a couple of differences shown around the school in the level's cutscene with these changes being:
    • The school can be seen in its original colors (brown and purple).
    • The brown houses that appear in front of the Springfield Prison are blue with one being pink.
    • The Krusty Glass has a different insignia which features orange wording and Krusty's face, the logo shown here is actually the same logo used on the Krusty Glass at the Sit-N-Rotate in Levels 2 and 5.
    • The playground area in the sandpit is missing.
    • The wrecked playground bus is also missing from the sandpit, considering how it wasn't intended to be in that location usually.
    • The basketball pitch is also missing, as a large green hill is shown in its place.
    • The sky also looks different, as it looks darker and the clouds are smaller then they are in-game.

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