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Game preservationists release hundreds of PS2 prototypes, demos

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Through Project Deluge, you can download 700 game demos and prototypes from the PS2 era

A close-up shot of the PlayStation 2 console Photo: Future via Getty Images

Video game preservation community Hidden Palace uploaded more than 700 video game demo and prototype files, all from the PlayStation 2 era, over the weekend. The collection, called Project Deluge, consists of “PlayStation 2 builds that were confirmed to be unique and not match the final build” of the games. Many of the games and demos are playable on Windows PC via emulators.

The collections in Project Deluge were uploaded from “various defunct media outlets, developers, and odds and ends from various collectors over a period of time,” Hidden Palace said on its website, all apparently collated by a single person before being handed over to Hidden Palace, as spotted by VGC.

“These aging items were miraculously rescued from being destroyed, thrown away, or sold through the herculean efforts of one person,” Hidden Palace wrote. “This person not only took on the task of backing up everything in their possession single handedly, but was so overwhelmingly kind enough to let us look at and preserve each item in his collection with no strings attached. Yes that’s right, all of it. For nothing in return.”

There are currently 752 games and demos uploaded as part of the collection. Hidden Palace researchers said the project was “so massive” that it “eclipses everything we’ve tackled up until this point.”

The full story on how Hidden Palace took on this massive project is on the organization’s website. The full list of prototypes is on there, too.

The sheer amount of builds in the collection means there’s a ton of stuff to dig through, but some of the highlights include E3 prototypes of Crash Bandicoot: The Wrath of Cortex and Shadow of the Colossus, as well as prototypes and previews of Dino Stalker, Katamari Damacy, God Hand, and Final Fantasy 10-2. Hidden Palace played through a whole bunch of the games during a six-hour livestream over the weekend, highlighting games like The Simpsons Skateboarding and Ty the Tasmanian Tiger.