Action Adventure

Beyond Oasis / Story of Thor [MD/GEN – Beta / Debug]

Beyond Oasis (aka Story of Thor in Japan/Europe) is an action rpg developed by Ancient and published by SEGA in 1994.

Alert reader Servbot01 found a beta version of the game (check the video below):

It’s a strange version of Beyond Oasis for Mega Drive/Genesis, probably an early beta. It comes on an old Smash Pack collection for Dreamcast. Features a new enemy (it shows blood when defeated), new (but locked) items like a spear, a teleport system, different music, and other things.

The beta is freely available on the internet. Also, there are some sound effects from Streets of Rage (Yuzo koshiro scored both games).

It’s a very interesting build, so let’s have a little look at the most important changes:


The three different title screens. The EUR version is the same as the japanese one (minus the ideograms of course)

Interestingly, the final debug shows 28 areas compared to the 27 of the beta build.

The spear was completely removed from the final game. Unfortunately it’s just an icon, we can’t use it in the beta.

The guy with the horns is nowhere to be found in the final version.

In the beta we can find some random items in the field. Probably they are there just for testing purposes.

In the beta every building lacks a door and we can’t talk to anyone.

I wonder why they changed the position of this character.

Originally the elder was outside his house. Probably he was there just because  the developers were still creating the inside of the building.

In the final version they added a fire and some enemies near the bridge.


Some small changes to the area around the bidge.

In the final version there is a trap room where we have to jump over waves. In the beta this room is still empty.

In the final room of the beta temple the water spirit is nowhere to be found.

No door and no siren statues in the upper floor of the royal palace.

The village is still empty and it lacks some objects

The beach

The mountain

The marshes

The castle on the summit of the mountain became much bigger in the final version. They added an elegant set of stairs too.

Now the sky looks much more realistic with those nice clouds.

I wonder why they changed the sea, in the beta it looks much better. Maybe the developers encountered some technical issues when they were testing the enemies in the water ?


The crater

As always, if you know more about this beta let us know!

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The Witcher: Rise of the White Wolf [X360 / PS3 – Cancelled]

The original Witcher is a action adventure / RPG for the PC developed by CD Projekt RED STUDIO and published in 2007 by CD Projekt in Poland and Atari for the rest of the world. The console version of the The Witcher (known as Rise of the White Wolf) was to be the best version yet, with enhanced graphics, new combat system, and rebuilt pixel by pixel for the consoles. Soon followed financial issues between co developers CD Projekt RED STUDIO and co Widescreen Games as CD Projekt had not been financed in three months after fully committing to the new project. Michal Kicinski, Joint CEO CD Projekt Group for Widescreen Games response popped up as a comment on the VG247 article:

  • All payments were done on time according to milestone plan.
  • Truth is that payments were later than originally planned but this was solely due to delays in production. The delays were growing in the project due to WSG continued to miss the deadlines.
  • Delays and risks of further development by WSG were unacceptable by CD Projekt (this happened even though CDProjekt RED was constantly increasing main team involvement to help in the production). The most important fact is that development process didn’t make planned release date possible and moreover propositions of the new release date were changing few times. Besides the schedule, technical incapability created a risk of missing planned quality which is absolutely unacceptable. And this brought an end in our cooperation with WSG.
  • Currently the works are on hold. We are evaluating all possible options to continue the production.
  • Some time later CD Projekt officially canceled the console versions of The Witcher: Rise of the White Wolf and is currently working on the sequel The Witcher 2 for PC.

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    StarFox Adventures [GC – Beta / Unused Stuff]

    We already knew that StarFox Adventures once was the Nintendo 64 title Dinosaur Planet. However, the title did not only change during that transition, but also during its time as a StarFox game.

    Although the main enemy in the game is General Scales, you will never fight him. Such a battle against General Scales was planned however, evidence was found in unused audio files on the StarFox Adventures game disc. In addition, it appears as if Fox McCloud would have had only to collect the Krazoa Spirits to save Dinosaur Planet; the Spellstones were only needed for saving Krystal. Fox did not want to leave the planet before Krystal was not safe.

    Prior to fighting against General Scales, it seems as if Fox McCloud would have released Krystal. Both would have teamed up for the final section in the Krazoa Palace. [Sadly only Krystal’s audio files for this part were recorded.]

    For games developed by Rare, it is also common that a special animation of the company logos was made [Example of Perfect Dark Zero]. For Starfox Adventures something similar was planned, but it did not end up in the final product:

    Lead designer Lee Schunemann tried to give an explanation for all these changes: “We ran out of dev time due to the looming Microsoft buyout so we had to wrap up the game and just focus on one final boss.”

    In the Krystal Archive we can listen to various unused voice clips that reveale many details on lost parts of the story. There are upwards of 50 clips for other characters that never made it into the game. The Starfox Online archive contains pages for ALL Star Fox Adventures voice clips. There were 730 non-duplicate voice clips in the game. All clips under the Unknown heading were not in the game. You’ll also find a few error clips, many alternate versions of clips, differing voice actors for characters, references to places and events that never made it to the game, and other interesting plotpoints.

    Special thanks to Mr Krystal from the Krystal Archive!

    As we can read from Giant Bomb’s Starfox Adventure page:

    Members of the Star Fox Online forums discovered that a decent portion of the original Dinosaur Planet script is still contained within Star Fox Adventures. A file on the Star Fox Adventures disc called GAMETEXT.bin contains  text used in the entire game, both for the Nintendo 64 version of Dinosaur Planet and the GameCube version of Star Fox Adventures. Though not entirely complete, many scenes from Dinosaur Planet’s storyline remain intact.

    […]

    It would eventually be revealed that by joining all Krazoa Spirits together at the Krazoa Shrine (originally called “Warlock Mountain” in Dinosaur Planet) they would form the ultimate weapon in the galaxy. Not enough of the Dinosaur Planet script remains to describe what happens after that.

    You can find the GAMETEXT.bin to download at the Krystal Archive! Sadly there are numerous examples of text not listed in the file. While the amount listed is considerable, Mr Krystal noticed that only one version of each existed: a given phrase would only be from one game or the other, not both, but which game it referred to would switch from line to line. Large sections, and whole plotpoints appeared to be missing.

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    Metroid Prime 3: Corruption [Wii – Beta]

    Retro Studios intended to give Metroid Prime 3: Corruption larger environments than Metroid Prime 2: Echoes, and enable the game to run at 60 frames per second. The developers were also interested in using the WiiConnect24 feature to provide additional content for the game that would be accessible from the Internet. A small Metroid Prime 3 Tech Demo was shown at E3 2005, created with the MP2 3D Engine. Nintendo then demonstrated how Metroid Prime 3 would take advantage of the controller’s special abilities with a version of Echoes modified for the Wii and shown at the Tokyo Game Show in 2005. The title Corruption and some of the first gameplay footage were revealed at Nintendo’s Media Release at the E3 2006 trade show.

    From early screenshots we can notice that the Ridley fight in the beta did not have Meta-Ridley as in the final, different HUD, graphic details and thanks to some concept arts we can see various early character designs that were created before the final ones.

    Also, thanks to a model viewer created by Interdpth and Revel8n, it is possible to find various unused models hidden in the game’s data. You can download the Metroid Prime model viewer (mpxviewer) in here. If you are able to find more unused models, please do let us know.

    In January 2012, thanks to fundraising organized by user over on Assembler Games, a 2006 demo, which documented a beta version of the second planet of Metroid Prime 3, was dumped and released to the community. The proto was developed to run on Gamecube hardware with 128 mb of ram, so it’s playable only on a custom version of the Wii emulator Dolphin. Using the debug menu it is possible to active/deactivate the various power-up and to try the third-person  camera.  The map is still incomplete, so only a few areas are accessible. Apart from minor differences, the general layout of the location is remarkably similar to the final version. Cutscenes are unfinished, and of course  the interface is still based on the gamecube controller.

    Thanks to Dark_ViVi for the contribution!

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    Castlevania: The Bloodletting [32X – Cancelled]

    As we can read from Castlevania Wiki, Castlevania: The Bloodletting is a cancelled Castlevania game that was intended to be released for the Sega 32X add-on for the Sega Genesis console sometime in 1996 or 1997. A single sprite for three characters are all that remain of this game. Through later interviews with Iga, it has been revealed that the game was intended to feature Richter Belmont, Maria Renard, and a rival to Richter.

    Although announced for the Sega 32x (including two reported, although currently unrecovered, screenshots), the game soon disappeared from the radar. Sometime thereafter, Symphony of the Night was announced for the PlayStation.

    As noted by Celine:

    “Konami showed new installments to some major franchises, with Parodius on display, as well as Dracula X for the SNES. There was also Castlevania: The Bloodletting images to look at, a new Castlevania, which was being planned for the 32X. However, the team working on this game was eventually swallowed up by the Symphony of the Night team, and Bloodletting was no more.”

    More infos on the game can be found on Castlevania Realm!

    Thanks to Kiddo for the contribution!

    Images:

    casltevania-bloodletting-01 casltevania-bloodletting-02

    Also, James found this short ads about Castlevania: The Bloodletting from a 1995 Konami CES brochures, in which the game was promoted as a Playstation / Saturn title.

    castlevania the bloodletting cancelled