Sega

Sonic Saturn [Cancelled Prototype]

Known simply as “Sonic Saturn“, it was another project that was in development in 1995 / 1996 by Sega Technical Institute (STI) along with Sonic X-treme. This prototype was created by Peter Morawiec, the coder of the Sonic 2 special stages, with an interesting 3D Engine that was more “realistic” than the ones used in X-Treme. It seems that Yuji Naka did not like this proto and so the Sonic Saturn Engine was never used to develope a full Sonic game. STI tried to use the engine to create some Bonus Stages to add in the Saturn version of “Sonic 3D”, but for the lack of time they abandoned them in favour of a 3D version of Sonic 2’s special stage.

More infos on Sonic Saturn can be found on Sonic Retro and Sonic-Cult.

Thanks to Matt3 for the contribution!

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Panzer Dragoon Zwei [Beta / Proto – Saturn]

Panzer Dragoon II Zwei is a shoot ’em up released for the Sega Saturn in 1996, it was the second Panzer Dragoon game released but it is a prequel of the series. It was developed by Team Andromeda, one of Sega’s internal development studios. [Infos from Wikipedia]

In the bonus section of the game,  the “pandora’s box”, you can find an interesting beta video that shows gameplay from its own prototype (from the Episode 2 mission, mostly from the easy path, with a couple clips from the hard path.). The beta graphic and the details of the level and the dragon / enemies are differend from the final game and you can notice that the music is completely different as well.

Thanks to Mozgus that has ripped this video from the Panzer Dragoon Zwei disc we can take a good look at the beta / proto and compare it to the final version below!

A Panzer Dragoon Zwei proto (45% complete – Feb 02, 1996) was leaked in 2008 thanks to Hidden Palace and The Will Of The Ancients community, a build that is visually nearly identical to the final. It just has a variety of small differences like font and gui colors, different prologue music, and a lot of minor gameplay adjustments. You can see in the third video below a list of those differences.

Thanks a lot to Mozgus for the contribution!

Prototype Video:

Final version (Episode 2, Route 1) Video:

Video from the Prototype 45% Completed:

 

It Came from the Desert [MD / Genesis – Cancelled]

It Came from the Desert” is a 1989 computer game developed by Cinemaware. It was originally released for the Amiga and the gameplay centers on the player choosing what they want to do by selecting an option on the multiple choice screens that pop up.

This unreleased Sega Genesis / Megadrive version was going to be released in 1990. The game has little in common with the Cinemaware classic as it’s more action oriented: an overhead shooter with the main protagonist running around on foot, and able to walk in all directions. Among the differences in play mechanics, the Sega version allowed the player to create powerups that were fashioned by collecting machinery pieces and joining them together in different combinations.

Note that the Sega version was originally cancelled and never actually released in physical cartridge: only later it was distributed as a ROM  from the Cinemaware website after the turn of the 21st century. Despite the similarity of camera perspective, the Sega version did not appear to reuse any of the graphical elements created for use in the computer-based versions. [Infos from Wikipedia]

We cant thanks Cinemaware enough for their decision to share this unreleased game with everyone, instead to forgot it somewhere in their basement! An interesting interview with the main programmer of this project can be read at SEGA 16.

Here’s an interview by Ross Sillifant with Bob Jacob (Cinemaware)

Ross Sillifant: What happened to the MD/Genesis version of It Came From The Desert? I believe it was a very different game in terms of plot and gameplay, being more akin to an overhead shooter. Why the changes to game format and further canning of project?

Bob: I don’t remember! (getting old)

Ross Sillifant: It’s been claimed that when S.D.I was in process of being ported to
another format, it’s release was delayed as the company had asked the programmer to add extra features and such needed extra time, is this claim true? If so which format was it and what extra features did you ask for and why?

Bob: The port referred to has to be the C64. It was never completed, not because we asked for features, but because the programmer was not up to the task (he later became quite good).

Thanks to Celine for the contribution!

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Panzer Dragoon Saga [Saturn – Beta / Unused Texts]

Panzer Dragoon Saga is a RPG released for the Sega Saturn in 1998. It was the third Panzer Dragoon game to be released and so far it remains the only game in the series that is not a rail shooter. Like the other Panzer Dragoon games on the Saturn, it was developed by Sega’s internal Team Andromeda development studio. The team disbanded after Saga’s release. [Infos from Wikipedia]

As we can read in an interesting article from The Will of the Ancients, in the early screenshots of the game we can see a beta HUD, unfinished environments, changes in the character placements and other minor differences. Also, in this other article we can read that some unused text is still hidden in the code: “If you put one of the Panzer Dragoon Saga game discs into your PC and open certain files in a text editor, you’ll be able to read the script for the game, which is all stored as normal text. […] However, virtually every section of text contains some lines of script that don’t appear in the finished game; there are bits of conversations that don’t take place, descriptions of items that don’t exist, and other odd things besides.”

In May 2008 Hidden Palace, thanks to donations from The Will of the Ancients community, released various beta versions of the game (from 1996 and 1997) with some differences like a removed Dermot’s Ranch camp area, missing Village of Cainus, different controls & english translation.

Also, Evilhamwizard was able to find a debug menu in the Panzer Dragoon Saga beta (Sept 16 1997 build):

Now, this appears to be the only debug that’s activated for the moment. For some reason, the battle system, the world map (I guess) system, and the menu/title screens don’t have debugs. I went though many of the PRG files, and it appears that some boss battles have special debugs enabled. But I’m not sure. The game DOES have a map select, battle select, and a sound test that’s all on the title screen (the files for the sound test still exist in this build as well as the final, I believe).[…]

Now onto the debug itself. Like I said, this debug in particular can only be loaded on a FIELD map. To get the debug to show up, however, is easy and only requires a second controller (you could probably use one controller and just switch ports). To enable it, you have to press START first to get it to show up on the second controller. Then you have to move the dpad a little to highlight what you want. After pressing start for the first time, you can then use the R button to call up the debug screen with the second controller as well. To select anything from the list, I believe I used the A button. To mess with the variables, ABC on the second controller decrease the values while XYZ increase them.

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Wonder Boy in Monster World [MS – Prototype]

Wonder Boy in Monster World (Wonder Boy V Monster World III in Japan) is a title in the series of Wonder Boy games which were developed in the 1980s and 1990s by Sega and Westone. It is the fifth game in the Wonder Boy series, and the third game in the Monster World sub-series. [Infos from Wikipedia]

As Zero7 has made us to notice with a topic in our forum, a prototype of this game was leaked online and it’s possible to find it on various Master System roms archives. Some of the differences that can be found in the proto are:

  • Title screen doesnt animate like the final
  • There is a placeholder picture for the intro cutscene
  • There is no textbox when you start, unlike the final
  • There is a debug mode on, you cant die (You’ll revive back to 8 hearts) and up+a+b = teleport
  • All the menu commands save items and magic go to the weapon’s screen
  • You cant equip anything different, so they’re just there to show how the screen would look (maybe)
  • “Night Sord”
  • Bosses cant be killed, but they can kill you
  • The first boss doesnt wake up for some reason
  • Shops dont work
  • Most doors dont work outside of the two towns and some others

Thanks to Zero7 for the contribution!

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