Dark Cloud [PS2 – Beta]

Dark Cloud [PS2 – Beta]

darkcloudlogo.jpg

Dark Cloud is an Action RPG developed for the Playstation 2 by Level-5 and published by Sony Computer Entertainment in 2000 and 2001 for Japan and American/PAL regions respectively. As we can read in Wikipedia, Dark Cloud was the first game of the Japanese developer Level-5, headed by designer Akihiro Hino. When the PlayStation 2 was announced on March 2, 1999, Sony president and CEO Ken Kutaragi used a demo of Dark Cloud to showcase the capabilities of the platform. However, many elements of the demo were not used in the release version of the game.

In 1999, Sony had an early playable version of Dark Cloud at the Tokyo Game Show. This version focused on a character who needed to return a floating piece of land back to where it originally came from but its location had been replaced with an evil kingdom. The world building parts where demonstrated in this version. At the Tokyo Game Show in 2000 a more complete demo was available far more similar to the final version.

CallingCard noticed various differences in the early video:

  • The main character, Toan, had a fair redesign between this demo and the final release.
  • The magic carpet never appears in game as far as I’m aware.
  • The ability to jump in and out of the water as seen around the 1:00 mark was removed.
  • The world map is pretty much the same, can’t see anything new aside from the floating island town area which I don’t recall being in the game. Given that it’s just a large blank area, it might’ve been used for demonstration purposes only.
  • Georama system looks almost identical in-game as it does in beta, though the volcanoes never made it in to the final product.

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Videos:


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4 thoughts on “Dark Cloud [PS2 – Beta]

  1. CallingCard

    Dark Cloud being the first PS2 game I played, I can comment a little on what changed based on the video:

    -The main character, Toan, had a fair redesign between this demo and the final release.
    -The magic carpet never appears in game as far as I’m aware.
    -The ability to jump in and out of the water as seen around the 1:00 mark was removed.
    -The world map is pretty much the same, can’t see anything new aside from the floating island town area which I don’t recall being in the game. Given that it’s just a large blank area, it might’ve been used for demonstration purposes only.
    -Georama system looks almost identical in-game as it does in beta, though the volcanoes never made it in to the final product.

    Some aspects of the game (such as the world map) I’m not entirely certain of thanks to not playing the game in a long time, but still, interesting to see what changes were made. There are also a few other changes such as NPCs appearing on the wrong map when we see the main character talking to them, but I’m putting that down to this being a demo, rather than it was intended for them to appear there.

  2. Harvey

    The map is actually totally different. For example, the Arabesque palace on the right side of the map never appears in the final game. The port town of Queens doesn’t appear to be there either. The town on the left part of the map in the ocean appears to be Brownboo (which also appears in this video where the protagonist is falling in the water), however, for some reason, some of the villagers from Norune (the starting town in the final version) appear in the town, whereas in the final version only the rabbits are there. Specifically, Alnet (the female in the hat) and the Old Gaffer (the old man labeled as “Jisama” in the video). Norune doesn’t seem to be on this version of the map, either — presumably because his home town was destroyed and replaced by that castle you see in the giant hole in the middle of the map.

    There are flying carpets in the final game, but you don’t control them and they only take you to a backroom in one of the dungeons (and due to a glitch, you can’t even access the backrooms in that dungeon so North American players will have never seen the flying carpet).

    Some videos on GameSpot and IGN from TGS1999 have some videos where somebody is explaining some mechanics from the game. He mentions that the game would use the PS2’s modem to allow other people to visit your town (and vice versa). This never made it to the final game. The buildings used in the Georama mode are also different — the European-style house never appears in the final version of the game, however, Dark Cloud 2 does feature the European-style houses, but not the same as in the video.

    One more thing, the Atlamillia and the Atla spheres seem to be something they came up with after this build of the game, as the protagonist doesn’t have the stone on his hand.

  3. ConsoleDev

    I really wish that someday this version (or any other pre-release version) will see the light of the day

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