RPG

Megaman Starforce [Beta / Unused – DS]

Granville has wrote an interesting topic in the U64 Forum, in which he showed us some misterious textures that seems to have been found by The Spriters Resource in the Megaman Starforce code. In these textures we can recognize various 3D models from the Megaman Battle Network series!

The problem is that there was no 3D MMBN for the DS and MMBN5 DS was just a compilation port of both GBA versions of Battle Network 5. It was pretty much identical to the GBA as it had the same 2D graphics apart from a couple of models. There were a total of 3 3D models in MMBN5 DS- Megaman, Protoman, and Colonel. The Megaman model that was found in MM Starforce could be from BN5, but that’s about it. Hidden in the MMSF code there’s Lan, some kid, a town, Lan’s room, and some net areas all in 3D and can’t be found anywhere in BN5DS.

As Granville has wrote, it could be possible that Capcom used “MMBN5’s engine as a base for Starforce at first. Likely they intended Starforce to be a true Battle Network 7 originally, but then they modded the game so much that it became its own series.” If this is trye, then these Battle Network 3D models could be the only remains from the original Starforce prototype.

You can read more info about these unused models at Mega Rock Blog!

Here are some beta images from MHFsilver, used in promotional videos and articles:

These images show a wide difference between the beta and final version. Some images include their beta version compared to their final version. For more information, you can check the Rockman EXE Zone Forum!

Thanks a lot to Granville, MegaRockReborn, tgarciao and MHFsilver for the contributions and huge props to MegaRockEXE for the find!

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Unused SaGa Frontier text now translated!

Do you remember the unused japanese text that Robert Seddon found in the American version of  SaGa Frontier (along with other interesting stuff)?  Well, now thanks to another great translation from GlitterBerri, we are able to understand what it all means! Also, we are able to wonder where it could have been used originally. You can read the full text translation (by GlitterBerri) with comments (by Robert Seddon) in here:

Lost Text of SaGa Frontier @ The Face of the Moon

Lost Text of SaGa Frontier @ BerriBlue

Here are some of the most interesting parts:

[… ] The blood of mystics is different from your human blood.
It is not mere substance.
You are inheriting Orlouge’s spirit power.
He killed a woman, you see.
Knocked off a regular human girl.
He didn’t intend for that to happen.
He didn’t want that at all.
So he used his own power to prevent it.[…]

One of the lost scenes from Asellus’s quest: not much new information (why would it bother Orlouge, not the most pleasant of souls, that he unintentionally killed a human?), but her being told to accept her fate like this would have added a little more depth to her predicament.

[…] Be safe, White Rose….
Please protect Lady Asellus.

Thank you, Princess Kurenai.

Another scene cut from Asellus’s quest, showing why Kurenai was included in the game; in the final version she’s still present in Rootville, but after greeting Asellus she serves no function in the plot at all. This escape scene apparently follows the unused scene in Asellus’s bedroom (0x1A9 below) and leads to arrival in Mosperiburg (0x1F3 below).

[…] Furdo1 has come.
What do you think of my true collection?

Perhaps ‘Furdo1’ is another placeholder for the developers.

So: Furdo would have had a larger role in the game, Nashiira and the Bio Research Lab would have had more of a purpose, and not only Zozma but also Ciato and Rastaban would have had more developed roles in Asellus’s quest.

Huge props to Robert and GlitterBerri for this! 

RS Links: Baldur’s Gate origin and Imoen addition

A new RS Links chapter: Robert Seddon sent to us a link to an interview at IGN with a couple of Baldur’s Gate developers, in wich we can read some interesting informations about the creation of the game and its characters:

Imoen’s popularity was a surprise, mostly because she didn’t exist. What’s that mean? Her character was a late addition to fill a non-psychotic-thief gap in the early levels. We had no recording budget left, so I assembled her lines by editing voice-over left from a scrapped demo. The original character was a guard named Pique. That’s why she has no standalone confrontations / interactions with other party members, which makes her relationship to the player seem closer, and led to making her a half-sister in BG II.

I was hired by BioWare just before Christmas in 1996, but didn’t actually start until May of 1997 when I actually completed my Computer Science degree. Between those two dates, our original concept for a game called Battleground: Infinity had begun to transform into Baldur’s Gate.

 

Pokemon Red / Blue (Capsule Monsters) [GB – Beta / Concept]

Pokémon Red and Pokémon Blue (Pokèmon Green in Japan) are the first installments of the Pocket Monsters series of RPG developed by Game Freak and published by Nintendo for the Game Boy 1996. The Pokemon project originally started in 1990 and was internally know as “Capsule Monsters”, as found out by Celebi23 in his researches on the development of the saga.

The name “Capsule Monsters” is inspired by Japanese gashapon machines. Apparently, Tajiri had trouble trademarking the name “Capsule Monsters” so he changed it first to “CapuMon” and then later “Pocket Monsters”.

It looks like development started in the Fall of 1990 & was scheduled to be released in December of 1991. From what I can tell, there was not enough funds to continue development so, “Capsule Monsters” was put on hold in early 1992. About 80% of the music was already finished. They then developed “Yoshi” for the NES & the GameBoy.

The surprising success of that game helped to give GameFreak the resources that it needed. In 1993, it was put to an internal vote as to whether Game Freak should complete the Pokémon games (then still called Capsule Monsters). 80% were for finishing development. In the summer of 1994, “Pocket Monsters” resumed development. While development has started once more, numerous interruptions (all money related) kept popping up. And as such, they developed many other games while still working on Red/Green.

You can find more info on Celebi23’s researches on his website!

Tajiri was also influenced by Square’s Game Boy game The Final Fantasy Legend, noting in an interview that the game gave him the idea that more than just action games could be developed for the handheld.

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In Pokémon Red, Blue and Yellow it’s possible to discover a mysterious truck in the north-east of the Anne S.s. ship anchored at the port of  Vermillion City. This van is technically unattainable, located at a point of the game where it is visited only through GameShark or external programs.

In reality however there is a way for reaching it with an in-game glitch, that is to lose a fight (and so do a “game over”) and then Start over to another location. That truck was probably designed for some reason, but ultimately was not used in the final game.

The van is present in the original Gameboy version and also in Pokémon FireRed and LeafGreen for the Game Boy Advance. Since it is still unused and unreachable (this time it cant be reached without a GameShark) is thought to be a reference and homage to the original one.

Thanks to Enricothedark for the contribution!

What exactly is MissingNo?

Missingno. is the Glitch Pokémon that appears after viewing the Old Man’s tutorial in Viridian City on how to catch Pokémon, then immediately Flying to Cinnabar Island and Surfing along the right hand side of the island until one is encountered, without visiting any other areas.

Whenever the game “sets up” the planned battle against the Old Man’s Weedle, it needs to change the player’s character name to “OLD MAN” so that it will display “OLD MAN” instead of the name the player has entered.

The programmers decided to use the area of data where wild Pokémon information is as a temporary storage area for the player’s name, due to the lack of memory on a Game Boy. Normally this wouldn’t cause any abnormal activity, as the correct data for the wild Pokémon available is written to this area in memory whenever the player travels to an area where it is possible to catch wild Pokémon, such as walking in tall grass or using a fishing rod.

Along Cinnabar Island’s coast, however, there is no data indicating which wild Pokémon are catchable, and the same is true for both Viridian City and Cinnabar Island itself, at least by movement in long grass. The game uses whatever data was already in the corresponding area of data when determining which wild Pokémon encountered and their levels—now the player’s name. Normally this space in memory would hold the data of the last area visited where wild Pokémon were catchable in grass and their level data (this same glitch allows players to exit the Safari Zone and Fly immediately to Cinnabar Island to be able to catch and fight Safari Zone Pokémon in the same way as they would in other areas, as Fuchsia City also has no wild Pokémon data for long grass), however, since in both Viridian City and Cinnabar Island the data is empty for Pokémon obtainable in the grass, the active data is never overwritten, leading to Missingno.’s. availability, among other things.

The name of the player has six hexadecimal values in it. The game needs only three “slots” of wild Pokémon data to store this.

The wild Pokémon the player encounters along the coast are determined by the third, fifth, and seventh characters of the player’s name, while the levels are determined by the second, fourth, and sixth characters, respectively. By knowing which letters and symbols match which species and levels, through use of certain calculators and charts, it is possible to set the player name at the start of the game so as to find specific Pokémon at specific levels.

Also, Coolboyman found a beta song in Pokemon Red! You can listen to it in the video below

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SaGa Frontier [PSX – Beta / Concepts]

SaGa Frontier is a PlayStation RPG by Square, released in Japan on July 11, 1997 and in North America on March 25, 1998.

Originally, the title of this game was “Romancing SaGa 4” during early development. In that stage of development, two more heroes’ quests were also being planned, in addition to the existing seven lead characters. One of them was Fuse, the IRPO agent who may be enlisted as a playable character in the actual release. In his quest, Fuse was supposed to be able to take part in other characters’ scenarios, and the ultimate goal of his quest might be determined by what the player did in the course of gameplay. The “ninth” protagonist was to be the daughter of a channellers family who is engaging in a controversy as to who of them shall inherit the property of their former patriarch. This scenario seems to be dropped during the early development because of being too comedic.

Due to time constraints, some plot points of Asellus’ story were removed too. During those events, Asellus was supposed to visit Dr. Nusakan’s clinic, Bio Research Lab, Lambda Base, and Furdo’s Workshop so that she would find her true identity so that she would decide to live as a human being or as a mystic. These quests were also intended to affect her scenario’s ending. [Infos from Wikipedia]

Eriol made us to notice that “Asellus […] supposed to throw herself at Kurenai, and it explains why she has a naked sprite (just go to the debug mode). And also, does Rei-hime suppose to sell sacred lot in first place? I never able to draw anything from her, she always said SOLD OUT.”

Thanks to Robert Seddon we found out that there’s some untranslated text in the North American version of SaGa Frontier (though of course it might turn out just to be duplicate stuff from other maps). You can check the “misterious” japanese text in the gallery below. At Robert’s Blog we can even read that the “Fuse’s sprite, seen in the bottom left of the prototype title screen shown in The Essence of SaGa Frontier, but cut from the final one, with his entire quest, actually still exists and is even loaded into VRAM.” You can read more about it in here.

Also Zedprice has translated an interesting interview with Akitoshi Kawazu, director of the game:

What is the reason that Rouge can learn Mind Magic, but Blue can’t?

My bad. Blue and Rouge should have both been able to earn the gift of Mind Magic before their final confrontation. If the game is released in an English version, we will certainly fix that. “Saga Frontier International”? That probably won’t happen.

Where exactly does the final showdown between Blue and Rouge take place?

Actually, that was never decided. At first we were thinking that when you go to a swamp or a dungeon, you would meet Rouge there, talk a bit, then fight. Being pursued just in like in Asellus’ story, right? Having that ultimate battle in any location turned out to be impossible, so we settled on the current location.

Right after the beginning of the scenario, a message saying, “Hurry, seek out magical talents before Rouge” appears. Is there actually a time limit on Blue’s magic quest?

There was when we first started out. […] But, in the spirit of SaGa games allowing players to develop their characters the way they like, we decided restricting players like that would be a waste.

As we wrote already in another news, informations on the removed SaGa Frontier scenes can be found in a Japanese book called ‘The Essence of SaGa Frontier‘.  “‘Red’s quest was supposed to have a unique spin to it– he was supposed to have a  love parameter that would determine how close Red and Yuria are.” Some scans of this book, with concept arts and screens from the removed stuff, can be found at IRPO website and in this  Livejournal gallery.

Also, you can find much more screens and info about the unused stuff hidden in the game’s code at The Cutting Room Floor!

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