Hotel Mario Phillips CD-I
Image: GamePakRat

A rare prototype of the Phillips CD-i game Hotel Mario has just been discovered in a Goodwill store in the US, by a YouTuber and collector named GamePakRat.

Hotel Mario, in case you've never heard of it, was a title for the Phillips CD-i — an early '90s CD-based console from the Dutch technology company Philips.

The game was released in 1994 and was part of a group of titles published for the console that were based on Nintendo properties like Mario and Zelda (the others being Zelda's Adventure, The Wand of Gamelon, and Link: The Faces of Evil). It saw players controlling Mario on another quest to save Princess Peach, with the plumber this time forced to travel across seven hotel worlds. The game in general is comprised of single-screen puzzles, with the goal being to shut every door on each stage while avoiding Goombas, Koopas, and various other minions.

According to GamePakRat in a video published earlier this month, he discovered the prototype while looking through the bins of old games and DVDs at his local Goodwill in the hopes of finding something good. Eventually, he came across the plain CD case and noticed that it was labelled Hotel Mario and that it was dated 11-23-93 (before the game's release) and had V0.09 written across it.

The YouTuber immediately posted his discovery online but has since published a second more detailed video comparing the opening and menu of the prototype to the final retail release.

Some of the interesting differences he was able to find in the prototype include Bower's voice actor reading out the note addressed to Mario at the start of the game (Mario reads it in the finished version), the note mentioning 8 hotels instead of 7, and there existing an audio feature to explain how to play the game (this went unused in the retail copy).

GamePakRat has promised to dump the prototype to make sure its preserved but asks that in return people help him grow his channel by subscribing and spreading the word.

He plans to share more videos documenting the differences between the prototype and the retail release in the future, including more info on that potential 8th hotel referenced in the opening.