Those new villagers were seemingly supposed to be implemented into the N64 predecessor to Animal Crossing. For those who don’t know, the N64 version of Animal Crossing was released in Japan as Animal Forest. It’s basically the same game as Animal Crossing for GameCube with a few differences here and there. At the time, Nintendo just decided to bring Animal Crossing to their next-gen system rather than port it to the N64 so later in that console’s lifespan.
As for that new Animal Crossing villager, it was seemingly discovered (or at least first reported on) by a Twitter user known as TV who has been one of the many who have been combing over the various files released as part of the Nintendo leak in order to find the juiciest secrets. Said files refer to the villager as “CAT13” and they are, unsurprisingly, a cat-type villager. Fans have even taken to calling her “Catty” as they don’t appear to have a formal name.
Using the information included in those files and a GameCube emulator, data miners have been able to recreate Catty in-game. As some have already noted, the design of Catty is…rough. While that’s likely because the character was never properly completed, certain (potentially offensive) elements of the character’s design may shed some light on her exclusion from the final game.
Other Animal Crossing info included in this leak is relatively minor. For instance, it appears that Tom Nook’s store design was originally quite different from what we see in the final build. It also seems like the design for Blathers was created during Animal Forest‘s development but he didn’t actually appear in the game until Animal Crossing debuted on GameCube. Along those same lines, the files reveal some “work-in-progress” designs for popular Animal Crossing characters that did eventually make it into the final game.
Granted, none of that information is particularly mind-blowing, but that’s kind of been the theme of this massive Nintendo data leak. The various source codes and files included in this leak generally give us a better idea of the ins and outs of the development process for some of our favorite Nintendo games. They’ve also ignited a fresh debate regarding whether such leaks are really worth it due to how they can impact the studios affected by them.