A famous adventure game example of this is The Secret of Monkey Island, whose box featured a close-up of Spiffy (the dog from the SCUMM Bar), which had actually been taken out of the game to save disk space.
Spiffy the Dog as seen on the MI1 box
Screenshots of the conversation with the dog from the final game.
For more oddities taken from the Monkey Island 2 game box, visit this page.
Many other examples can be found on Sierra's adventure game boxes.
This is a screenshot of the castle gates in the King's Quest I SCI0 remake:
On the back of the game box, however, the castle gate looks like this:
The guards are missing, the moat is much wider, there are hedges in front of the castle instead of trees, ivy frames the gate, and the sea serpents look a bit bigger (gulp!).
Here's a screenshot from King's Quest VI: Heir Today, Gone Tomorrow that is different from the released game:
Alexander is showing something to the Lord of the Dead (either the gauntlet or the Mirror of Truth, but likely the gauntlet). His jacket is bright green with four orange stripes on the back.
Now, here are screenshots from the game of Alex holding the gauntlet and the mirror. Now his jacket appears a yellowish-green in this lighting, and it has three gold stripes on its back.
Also, his hand is a lot higher up in both screenshots than it is in the scanned image.
Here's a screenshot from Hero's Quest I, featuring the exterior of Baba Yaga's hut:
Pretty ordinary, right?
This is the same screen as it appears on the back of the original box.
The ground and mountainside are different colors, the skulls on the fence are missing, there's no dirt on the ground (it should be left behind when Bonehead's gate retracts), and the hut's door sports a different design.
Three similar odd screenshots can be found on the back of the Quest for Glory II: Trial by Fire box.
The first shows the Hero practicing combat with Uhura. However, the standard "fighting background" is used here, and there are status bars visible.
In the final game, the Hero and Uhura practice inside the Adventurers' Guild Hall. There are no status displays; it's likely they were removed to discourage players from being too aggressive. After all, this is only practice.
There is no Stamina bar for your opponent in the finished release, although there is one in the early screenshot; the terrain is slightly different too.
Here the Hero stands idly watching the passage of time in the desert... but an angry Griffin descends from the sky, looking for a fight.
This is how the Griffin battle looks in the actual game. The shot of the Hero standing and watching the dunes does not appear here.
It does show up, however, when the Hero joins the caravan headed for Raseir.
The third scanned screenshot shows the Hero casting a spell (Reversal?). Whether the bolt of lighting comes from his spell or from Ad Avis', I can't say.
(from the Wizard ending)
(from the Fighter ending)
In the completed game, the crescent moon is turned into a full moon, and the constellations have been removed from the sky.
Below is a screenshot of combat with a Croc from Quest for Glory III: Wages of War.
The scan of the same fight on the box, though, looks a bit different.
(Apologies for the fuzzy scan quality.)
The text on the status displays is golden instead of pink, and the Croc has visible legs. I've got no idea why he's legless in the final release, but maybe that unattached tail near his sprite has something to do with it.
The following screenshots come from the Conquests of the Longbow box. They show an early stage of the game when the dialogue portraits looked different. Instead of having borders that appeared to be made of wood and ivy, they had solid borders of varying colors.
This image is of the Prior of the Fens Monastery seen in close-up on the Monastery map, while an overhead shot of a monk's cell is also visible.
In the final game, the Prior is never seen on this screen.
The Prior's portrait as it appears in the game.
In the finished game, the diagram of the monk's cell is placed in a message box.
Here Robin plays Nine Men's Morris with Old Harry. Again, the close-up has a solid border.
For the actual release, Harry's portrait shows up in a different position on the screen, partially eclipsing the sprite of Harry's body.
Now here's a strange shot. A monk with a quarterstaff stands in the secret exit from the Fens Monastery. There's nothing like it at all in the full game.
This is how the above background looks during a play-through of the final product.
Robin never gets his hands on a quarterstaff, but other monks, such as the one from Watling Street, carry imposing staves.
The last Longbow box image shows Robin meeting with a false Scholar at the Saturday Fair in Nottingham.
Again, this is the scene as it looks in the actual game.
Gabriel Knight: Sins of the Fathers was another game with a few odd box screenshots.
This image seems normal, except for one thing: "Schattenjäger" is misspelled!
Obviously, Sierra fixed that in the final version.
There's also the matter of the total points available. In this early game build, the maximum point total was 340.
In the actual game it went up a bit to 342 points.
For a box/game disparity from Space Quest I VGA, visit this page.
Or, for a similar comparison from Quest for Glory III, visit this one.
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