shining force

Shining Force 3 [Saturn – Beta / Unused]

In 1997, Sega of Japan released the beta prototype for the game and featured several key diffences, such as an unused level format, key character voice differences and monsters of which would not appear in this early of the game. This demo was not released anywhere outside of Japan, and thus is a sought after item for retro gaming collectors and RPG collectors alike. With its key differences and even a final level of which was not in the final game, the Beta version was Sega’s way of testing the market for one of its popular series.

The main diffences from the finished game are very noticeable, in that given the early product, they would not have been put into the game at that time such as:

* Magic for the main character, Synbios, is not included in this version. In the finished product his magic is in fact Return, which would bring the party back to a church for saving progress. As this was only a demo, though, there was no need for it to be included. His Spark magic can be obtained at level 9 in this version; however, the spell doesn’t work, yet the icon and MP appears on the status screen.
* This particular version of the game’s character voiceovers for their special attacks are only included for Synbios, Masquirin, Grace and Hayward. The other characters, Obright and Dantares, have no voiceover and as such their mouths move for the attack but no voiceover happens.
* The various monsters included were in there to test out size and span of the monsters, such as Minotaur, Lich, Worm, Bat, and Lizard. These monsters together was unusual in the finished version, as the player encounters them at different times and with different statistics to that which they have in the beta.
* The Area which did not make it into the finished version of the game is known as Dwarf Valley Beta and is the original battle of Dwarf Valley. The level itself was a prototype of the Waterfall battle before Aspia in Scenario 1, as the virtually identical Suspension Bridge, waterfall and cliff area are included. However, the differences are that the land texture mappings have not been completely finished and the beginning and end areas of the level are different compared to the finished falls. – [Info from Wikipedia]

[Thanks to Zero7 for the contribute!]