Developed by Capcom, Street Fighter II was released in 1991 as a sequel to the original 1987 Street Fighter and it’s credited for starting the fighting game boom during the 1990s. Its success led to the production of a series of updated versions, each offering additional features and characters over previous versions, as well as several home versions. The roster initially included Ryu and Ken plus six new characters from different nationalities. [Info from Wikipedia]
In EGM issue #33 there was an interesting article with some early character designs, that show different versions of Vega (Balrog), Chun Li and Blanka.
Sonic Battle is a fighting game in the Sonic the Hedgehog series, developed by Sonic Team and released for the Game Boy Advance in 2003 / 2004. As we can see at Sonic Cult, there are some images of a beta version, even if most of the differences are just an old HP meter.We can only hope that some earlier beta could be leaked in the future, to learn more about Sonic Battle’s development.
As we can read on Wikipedia, Kasumi Ninja is a 1994 one-on-one fighting game developed by Hand Made Software and published by Atari Corporation for the Atari Jaguar. The game went through several changes before it was released to the public. Kasumi Ninja was previewed approximately 8 months before its original release by a virtual game magazine distributed via CD. In this preview, Kasumi Ninja had a very heavy story element to it. Beating the game with each character would produce a specific key which, when combined, would unlock the gates to the final confrontation with Lord Gyaku.
This method of gameplay would have required the player to invest more time in order to complete the story mode. Players would have to navigate the labyrinth to find their opponents, and characters would be unlocked for play only as they were defeated by Senzo and Habaki.
Many of the backgrounds and character designs went through several revisions. For example, Alaric’s default outfit had red trim, as opposed to blue. Habaki was garbed in black, but this was changed to represent Lord Gyaku. A fourth palette-swap ninja, garbed in blue, was seen in previews but apparently never made it to the final game.
The final game became a rush job. Pressuring the development team to get Kasumi Ninja out in a “timely fashion” (holiday season 1994), Kasumi’s story mode was dropped in favor of the fighting concept sans storyline. The labyrinth exploration and key gathering concept was condensed, but the character unlocking system remained intact. Video from viMasterJag’s YouTube Channel!
Burning Fist (also known as Force Striker in its early alpha build) is a cancelled fighting game that was in development in 1994 by Sega of Japan for the Mega CD. As we can read at Sega Base, both the Force Striker alpha and the Burning Fists beta were leaked rom a former SoJ employee and sold on eBay some years ago. Burning Fist was never officially released, but in 2006 those alpha / beta builds were re-sold to Good Deal Games.
GDG worked in collaboration with J2 Games to finish Burning Fist and published it in their online shop. In an interview that Sega 16 had with GDG’s Michael Thomasson we read that
The game was about 80% complete. It was missing the final boss, the full-motion video was running at about four frames per second, had several bugs, the menu system was corrupt, and the one-player computer artificial intelligence was quite, well, stupid. We were able to get the FMV running at a respectable rate […]. We also completely reworked the menu system. We made the artificial intelligence on the one-player game a decent opponent.
In the gallery below you can check some screenshots from the game and a scan that Celine found in EGM #49.
Melty Blood is a visual novel and fighting game, co-developed by dōjin circles Type-Moon and French-Bread, originally released at Comiket on December 2002. Melty Blood: Actress Again, is the third game in the Melty Blood series, released in 2008 on Sega Naomi hardware and the year later on the Playstation 2. Megalol found a removed playable character in the PS2 version and some beta differences, as he wrote in our forum:
It’s interesting, I found this character by using “ArtMoney” and “PCSX2 emulator”. Her name is Powered Ciel, unfortunately the game does not start after selecting her (i think that the developers planned to use Powered Ciel as a playable character, but she was removed at the last moment)
also in the characters-select screen, one of the portraits is the icon of Powered Ciel
In the final screen of “nero chaos arcade mode” you can see Powered Ciel
in an old picture from a magazine, we can see the beta “character select screen” from the arcade version, but “akiha” has a different icon, the icon that will be used in “school form akiha” only a year later in the PS2 version.
Powerd Ciel has been confirmed to be a fully-playable character in the newest Melty Blood revision, dubbed Melty Blood Actress Again: Current Code. The video below shows her in action:
If you have more info about this lost character, please let us know!