RPG

Pokemon Emerald [GBA – Beta / Unused]

Pokémon Emerald is an updated version of Pokemon Ruby and Sapphire, that was released in Japan in September 2004 and in America and Europe in 2005. Even if the game is just an “add-on” to Ruby and Sapphire, it’s possible to find some beta and unused content still hidden in its code. As noted by Bulbapedia:

  • There’s an unused map header into the ROM called “SPECIAL AREA”.It was probably used for the battle frontier back then.
  • All the music tracks found in FireRed and LeafGreen are present in Emerald too, but only few of them are used for special events.

Also, from an early Pokèmon Emerald screenshot by IGN you can clearly see that ROUTE 109 had glitched up tiles!)

In the ROM LucaPM found an unused Prof.B irch sprite, that was probably used for the beta intro sequence. HEX Offset : 557AF0 (varies between ROMS)

Unused sprite:

Final sprite:

Things to notice between the unused and the final sprite:

  • Different stance (of course)
  • Less outlined sprite
  • Shorter shirt
  • Different,bigger belt
  • Different designed and coloured pants
  • Different right leg
  • Slightly different haircut

As noted by Zero7, it’s possible that he was suppose to have his hands in his pockets, go into the now final sprite for throwing out the pokemon, then either stay in the final sprite or back to the unused sprite for the rest of the intro. 

Airs Adventure [SAT – Tech Demo]

Airs Adventure is a RPG developed by Game Studio in 1995 / 1996 for the Saturn. The game use a mix of pre-rendered characters and polygon backgrounds: even if the game is not that good, it has an interesting look at least. Celine was able to find an old news about this game (from Cd Consoles magazine #8), when it was still called “Sega Adventure”, in which they show a pre-rendered dragon that  probably looks much better than anything in the final game.

We can assume that this shot was took from a tech demo or a target render. You can compare the scan with the video below, from the final version of the game.

Thanks to Celine for the contribution!

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Chrono Cross [PSX – Beta]

Chrono Cross is a RPG developed and published in 1999 by Squaresoft for the original PlayStation. As we can read on Wikipedia, Square began planning Chrono Cross immediately after the release of Xenogears in 1998. Chrono Trigger’s scenario director Masato Kato had brainstormed ideas for a sequel as early as 1996, following the release of Radical Dreamers.

Developers brainstormed traits and archetypes during the character-creation process, originally planning 64 characters with unique endings that could vary in three different ways per character. As production continued, the length of Cross increased, leading the event team to reduce the number of characters to 45 and scrap most of the alternate endings.

More info about the Chrono Cross beta can be found in the Chrono Compendium:

Before the official release of Chrono Cross, Square Enix marketed a PlayStation release of Chrono Trigger and attached a demo of the game to it and Legend of Mana.[…] This demo has allowed a short look into the late stages of the development of Chrono Cross, offering a few prizes such as a scrapped facial portrait of Kid and missing playable characters.

Serge’s Swallow is tinted green and looks like the Mastermune.

Once the Fort Dragonia sequence is concluded, Serge wakes up in Arni and is instructed to find Leena as usual. Una has no portrait, hampering the suggestion that she was once planned to be a playable character.

The most glaring difference is the presence of a seemingly new character in Pierre’s slot. Since Pierre’s dialogue icon was already in its final state, it’s probable that this was an earlier design for Pierre.

There’s a different Viper Manor Study window.

There’s a different Lucca drawing.

Yasuyuki Honne is the artist of the Chrono series, and made some background art that was never used in the final game.

There’s also an incomplete debug room in the beta demo and some unused characters can be seen in the Chrono Cross artbook.

Also, GlitterBerri translated the Chrono Cross Ultimania interview in which we can read about some ideas that were never used in the final game. You can read the full interview at BerriBlue or in the Chrono Compendium.

Thanks to ace.dark and Megalol for the contributions!

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Resonance of Fate (End of Eternity) [PS3 X360 – Beta]

Resonance of Fate (End of Eternity in Japan) is a j-rpg developed by Tri-ace and published by Sega in 2010. The game was released on January 2010 in Japan and on March 2010 in North America and Europe.Directing was handled by Takayuki Suguro, who has previously worked on tri-Ace game Valkyrie Profile 2: Silmeria . Below we can see some screens from a beta version of the game:  

Final Fantasy 13 (XIII) [PS3 X360 – Beta]

Final Fantasy XIII is an RPG developed and published by Square Enix for the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 in 2009 / 2010. First appearing at E3 2006, FF13 runs on the Crystal Tools engine, a seventh generation multiplatform game engine built by Square Enix for its games.

Final Fantasy 13 was originally in development for the PlayStation 2 but it was later moved to the PlayStation 3, as we can read in an article at  IGN:

Toriyama, director of FFXIII, commented a bit on the differences between the PS2 and PS3 versions of the game. FFXIII was originally in development for the PS2, but underwent a platform change following May 2005.

There is apparently very little shared between the two versions. The graphical elements that were prepared for the PS2 couldn’t be used, explained Toriyama. “The areas that we kept are the Fabula Nova Crystallis world, the pieces of the mythology related to FFXIII, and the character details. On the other hand, the battle and gameplay systems were restarted from scratch when production moved to the PS3.”

The development staff also underwent some changes. “During development for the PS2, the staff was centered on the Final Fantasy X-2 team. However, in an effort to work with the new PS3 hardware, many new staff members are now taking part.”

As reported by Siliconera and Kotaku, according to art director Isamu Kamikokuryou, many additional areas that were functioning in an unreleased build, from Team Nora’s secret base, to Lightning’s home and even a zoo, were cut from the game owing to concerns about the game’s length and volume. Kamikokuryou additionally remarked that the volume of content cut was, in itself, enough to make another game. [Info from Wikipedia]

Zero7 noticed some beta differences in the early screens released (preserved in the gallery below):

  • Mock up HUD, completely changed in the final
  • Fang at one hour in? You cannot meet her so soon in the final
  • Snow had a slightly different coat
  • The black-haired girl has a different outfit

If you can notice more differences in the early screens and videos, please let us know!

Thanks to Robert Seddon, Zero7 and Anonymous for the contributions!

Thanks to Jason for the english corrections!

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