In the last few days, I've been looking up the beta version of The Simpsons: Hit & Run, and I've noticed many changes during development in prerelease screenshots and 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:
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 white 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 earlier, there is a much very early radar seen in the two screenshots, judging by how the screenshots were shown on May 6, 2003 while the video on IGN was released on May 15, 2003. The minimap seen here is much more earlier than the one seen in the IGN video and prerelease screenshots.
- Collector Cards have a ? mark symbol on them.
- Sound effects for jumping, exiting a vehicle, kicking objects etc. sound much different compared to how they sound in the final version.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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 originally called "Stability", but was changed in the final game.
- A collector card can be seen on top of the Wiggum house in a prerelease 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.
- The phone booths are in different locations, such as the phone booth that is seen in front of the house facing the Simpsons House is moved to the side of the house, the same also applies with Level 4.
- Piles of tires can be seen near 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 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.
- The unused Station Wagon that can be found in the files for the game is shown driving past Homer at the beginning of the E3 Demo in place of the Glass Truck.
- Shown in the E3 demo, Milhouse's race was originally going to be located at the Kwik-E-Mart, 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.
- The phone booth at the stadium has been moved a lot to the left near the platform with the statue (You know, the place where the Monster Truck can be found in Level 5) as seen in the video.
- As seen in prerelease footage, the sky is cloudier and has rays of light shining from the sky.
- 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.
- The Planet Hype 50's Car can be seen merged into the Planet Hype in the level's scrapbook image, as the Cadillac was supposed to be a mere graphic, but ended up becoming drivable in the game as the sixth level's secret vehicle.
- Light blue chevrons can be seen highlighting Marge's vehicular path instead of the usual red and green arrows.
- The street lights aren't lighted up.
- One of the street races appears to be set at the blue house facing the Springfield Cemetery entrance as seen in the 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, the level was supposed to be a bit misty and if you look in the corner of the image really closely, the sign that has the name of the school doesn't have any other text as it simply reads "Springfield Elementary".
- As shown in the level's scrapbook image, the sky looks more lighter, being a blue-ish tone.
- 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.
- 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 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 prerelease footage, the level has 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 during the level in the final game. You can also see an unused red lamppost on the path in the middle of the two roads which is not in the final game, not sure why it got removed, but in my opinion that is a well, designed lamppost.
- For some weird reason as shown in the E3 Demo, the interior of the observatory has the same lighting used in the observatory 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.
- 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 even can be notified in cutscenes and in the level's scrapbook, here are the changes:
- The school appears in more varied colors rather than being just light brown.
- 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 are missing its leaves, but if you look in the picture on the right, it looks like trees were meant to have their leaves just like the previous six levels.
- 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 much more earlier in development long before the video was released on IGN.
- The sky looks darker and cloudy.
- 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 skeleton has a 2D head rather than a 3D one.
- 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 phone booth in front of the school is in a different position being on the right side of the exterior instead of being on the left side.
- 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 like 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.
- As shown in the level's scrapbook image, the wrecked playground bus was meant to be located in front of the school and the sky has a blue and yellow tone instead of it's usual dark green.
- Also in one of Level 7's scrapbook mission images, the rotating sign at the Kwik-E-Mart says "Spook-E-Mart" as that is what the location was called in the actual game, but probably because the two signs on the Kwik-E-Mart itself already has this feature, they decided to remove the feature on the rotating sign too.
- Even in the level's cutscene, there are a few changes, such as:
- The school's original colors (brown and purple) can be faintly seen.
- 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 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, this is because the school bus was not meant to appear in the sandpit.