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Chrono Cross: the unseen interview

chronocrossinterv

GlitterBerri has finished translating the Chrono Cross Ultimania interview in which we can read various information about some plans they had during development that they never used in the final game! You can read the full interview on BerriBlue or in the Chrono Compendium.

Around the time we began development we had plans to do a short game where we were thinking you’d be able to recruit lots of allies and enjoy the variations in the messages and events. To top it off, we’d planned to have it so that you could befriend anyone in town. Using both the battle and the talk button, you’d gradually increase your number of allies. But we limited it at the extent you’d expect, first at 64 characters and then in the end it was decreased to 45.

Actually, we’d gone as far as talking about giving each character an ending. Each ending would fork into 3, depending on the conditions, resulting in 120 in all! … When talk turned to who was going to make all of these, the idea soon died out.

There were several events that weren’t disarded, but just couldn’t be put in due to time constraints. We wanted to have events for all the allies. We had a variety of thoughts concerning Zoah, for example.

 

Kingdom Hearts 358/2 Days [DS – Beta / Unused Stuff]

Kingdom Hearts 358/2 Days is an action RPG developed and published by Square Enix for the Nintendo DS with assistance from Hand. Granville has created a topic in our forum with an interesting series of beta screenshots and early videos that show various differences from the final version.

This footage is the earliest known footage from a Nintendo conference in 2007. The two worlds shown are Twilight Town and Wonderland. The structures of the levels are very different from the final game, there are a kind of heartless in wonderland where there aren’t supposed to be any of that species, and you’ll just notice a lot of general differences from the final game. Especially the HUD, which is nothing like the final game. Different sky color in Twilight Town, and you don’t go in that little underpass area to my knowledge.

In the gallery below you can see the gradual development of the game, with an early scenario that could have been used to test the gameplay. You can also notice a different hud, with magic bars: in the final game, there is no MP bar at all. Magic and items are both handled by numbers instead of a bar that depletes and refills.

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In one of the beta screens there’s a place that seems to have been removed from the final game: it’s a grassy area with some broken columns (probably a beta Twilight Town). In another image we can notice a scene in which the player is chasing the rabbit in Wonderland, but that does not happen in the released game. Also, the area in the final version of wonderland seems more cramped than this one.

We can also notice that in one screen Roxas’ mugshot is slightly different from the final game. However, the old mugshot is still hidden in the game code as seen in the sprite rip from Barubary. There are actually SIX unused battle portraits listed in there.

In the July issue of Nintendo Power, the magazine told everyone that the worlds of Pinocchio and Traverse Town would be present in the game. Not so unfortunately. In the final game, those 2 areas were removed. However, a new sprite rip from Barubary has unveiled some other interesting mugshots that were unused but still hidden in the code. You can notice 3 character portraits from Pinocchio (Pinocchio, the Fox Honest John, the cat, and Gepetto). As Smouvy has made us to notice, if you play the mission where you face Guard Armor for the first time in the Colosseum, you’ll see flashes of Sora fighting Guard Armor in a fully modeled area of Traverse Town. So at least one area of Traverse Town did make its way into the final game.

Hidden in the game’s code there is also a Hercules character that doesn’t appear either: Megara.

Two more videos show a couple of unused scenarios: they were taken at a game conference back in 2008. It seems that these 2 unused scenarios were created specifically for that conference they were not intended for the final product.

Roxas and Axel in Twilight Town:

I don’t believe the scenarios or dialog ever happened as seen in this video. Perhaps a few parts did, but I know for sure that Roxas and Axel never fight that armored heartless beast in the final game. He does appear as a boss, but not in this scenario of this video.

Roxas and Xaldin in Beast’s Castle:

This one I know for sure has unused parts. For one, you only start out at that area once in the entire game. And it is not with the partner in that video (Xaldin). The events seen there do not happen, including the heartless ambush in the beginning. One more important thing- The potions you collect around the 2:05 portion of the gameplay are totally different looking in the final game. They just look like generic packages in the final. Same sound but different appearance. The boss there though did appear in the final game. There were some minor camera angle differences though.

Thanks a lot to Granville for the contribution! 

Xenogears [PSX – Beta / Unused]

Xenogears is a RPG developed and published by Square for the PlayStation on February 1998 in Japan and on October 1998 in North America. Originally, Squaresoft had intended to call the game “Project Noah”. The name was later changed to Xenogears for unknown reasons. It is the fifth part of a six-part story detailed in Xenogears Perfect Works; at the end of the game’s credits, “Episode V” appears on screen. [Infos from Wikipedia]

In April 2009 UltimateGraphics has translated the Xenogears Perfect Works in English, and it’s now possible to check many informations about parts of the plot that were left out of the games or changed before the release. The full translation can be found in here.

In the book we can find different design for the Omnigears and some unknown monsters. As Kid Fenris on the Lost Levels forum has pointed out, one playable party member, Margie / Marguerite / Maroeur, was reduced to a supporting role. Also, some characters illustrations that we can see in the book were not in the final game, but they were used as the character portraits during battles in the beta version.

Thanks to some articles on Xenogears: God & Mind, we can read about much more unused stuff still hidden in the game code, as various dialogue and text not actually present / or censored. “Point Bethlehem” is the name of an area that can be found in the text rip, but there’s no place with that name in the final game.

While the released Xenogears has 59 chapters (and a final epilogue) to play, we can find the name of 9 other chapters that were removed:

  • 03. House On a Hill
  • 05. Attack on Lahan
  • 08. Broken Silence
  • 09. Path to Aveh
  • 53. Fall of Solaris
  • 54. Shevat’s Move
  • 55. Broken Ties
  • 63. Waiting Death
  • 67. Xenogears Wakes

Also, it’s possible to gain access to a series of Debug Rooms, in which we can see many deleted scenes, “new” areas and hidden extra’s.

As they wrote on X:G&M: “due to budget problems, lack of time, or perhaps merely a desire to forego work on Xenogears in favor of other projects, production on Xenogears was ultimately cut short, and the creator’s original vision for the game was never truly realized”. You can check X:G&M for more informations about the removed scenes and dialogues.

As Robert Seddon has made us to notice, there’s a Xenogears FMV (Stars of Tears) that exists in the game’s files and can be acessed from the debug rooms, but reportedly it isn’t used anywhere in the actual game. The song was included on the official OST, so in a sense it did get used.

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Final Fantasy VI (6) [SNES – Beta & Unused Stuff]

Thanks to the Caves Of Narshe website we found out that in the code of Final Fantasy 6 is possible to find an unused enemy, called “Czar Dragon”. An unused dialogue related to this monster is hidden too:

“Mwa, ha, ha…. Humans and their desires! I’m free at last! I bring you destruction… I bring you terror… I am Czar! Prepare yourselves!”

Also as Dragonsbrethren and Deathlike2 from the Slick Productions Forum has noted, some beta screenshots shown that Biggs and Wedge were named Leo and Banon, and Maduin was frozen in ice instead of Tritoch. The pictures also show that the fight/attack command was available when the M-tek status is applied. There may not have been a Magitek status at this point in development, the armor could have just been for show, or it could be what’s giving them those high HP totals.

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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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