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With E3 2020’s cancellation and the recent news of a “reimagined” E3 in the works this year, we’re already missing the traditional events of the Electronic Entertainment Expo. Thankfully,  Forest of Illusion, a group dedicated to preserving Nintendo content, has recently provided some much-needed nostalgia with footage of Nintendo’s E3 booths from 2006.

While much of the footage has been seen before across different videos, they are now available in greater HD quality and without all those pesky watermarks.



E3 2006 was a pivotal moment for Nintendo, as this was the first time that fans were able to play the Nintendo Wii. The combined 32 videos in the playlist consist of an hour of gameplay in total, featuring Super Mario Galaxy as well as minigames from Wii Sports, Wii Play, and Wii Music. You can also catch several DS titles, including Yoshi’s Island DS, Star Fox Command, and Final Fantasy III.

Much of the Galaxy gameplay will be familiar to fans of the final product, but there are some subtle differences in this demo version if you watch and listen closely. The following video opens with a satisfyingly simple loading screen as well as a “Welcome to the Star World!” message specific to this demo. At the 11-minute mark, you can also hear Super Mario Sunshine’s Shine Sprite sound effect being reused, and the opening area features prototype Toads with star shapes on their caps. According to Mario Wiki, these are “conjecturally named Cosmic Toads,” and “they gave players hints and explained the controls. Sometimes, the rabbits could change into Cosmic Toads. Their role was likely replaced by Lumas.”



Another highlight is the unreleased Wii Sports “Airplane” demo, wherein players used the Wii Remote to pilot a plane across what looks like a beta version of Wuhu Island from Wii Sports Resort.



It’s hard to believe that this footage is almost 15 years old. I still vividly recall these demos and all of the pre-Wii release hype like it was yesterday!


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Written by Reece Heather

A lifelong Nintendo fan and a longtime editor at Zelda Universe, Reece will forever be grateful that he somehow dodged the Naughty List of Christmas 1998, when Santa delivered the life-changing gift of a Nintendo 64 with Super Mario 64, Banjo-Kazooie, and Mario Kart 64. When he's not playing games, Reece is usually reading Punisher comics, delving helplessly into the weirdest depths of anime and manga, or spending time with his cocker spaniel Gracie -- the goodest girl ever!