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Beta Roms


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What's the most interesting beta ROM you've come across? I know there aren't a lot "out there", but I've just been going over a couple for some games I didn't know had them (World of Illusion and Revenge of Shinobi 3).

Personally I think it's the Sonic 2 one, due to it appearing so finished and yet being quite unfinished from what the version has.

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This one:

sonic1.gifsonic2.gif

The differences were quite substantial, here's a select few:

- in the finished game, Tails was merely an annoying character who hung around Sonic for most part, was invincible and usually had no real bearing on Sonic. Here, he could lose Sonic's rings and die himself.

- there's no invincibility to attacks after getting hit. Which meant you could get hit, fall back Sonic-style and then land on some spikes and die.

- the beta contains two never finished levels: the Hidden Palace (pictured) and the Wood Zone, or something. There's also something called the Genocide Zone, which was probably removed because it sounded nasty.

- the water level was literally only half finished, as the bottom half of the level wasn't there (and thus killed you).

- some levels are just a mass fuzz on the background (Sonic plummets to death) with no music. Others are just a woeful mess (Casino level).

- music tracks are different.

Around the time of Sonic 2's hyping up, this appeared a lot on Bad Influence, I think.

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- in the finished game, Tails was merely an annoying character who hung around Sonic for most part, was invincible and usually had no real bearing on Sonic. Here, he could lose Sonic's rings and die himself.

- there's no invincibility to attacks after getting hit. Which meant you could get hit, fall back Sonic-style and then land on some spikes and die.

That sounds incredibly difficult and especially infuriating, given the lack of control the player has on Tails.

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More Sonic 2 beta shots:

sonic5.gif

sonic3.gifsonic4.gif

The top one is the stage select, included by default on this cartridge. The left one below is the "Wood Zone" (there's not much more than shown, folks) and the right one is the "Casino Night Zone" (blocks thrown about pretty much at random). Other stages on the stage select work (asides "Genocide City" and "Death Egg") and they seem almost finished, save for a few holes.

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Ages ago probably 92/93 there was a Sega Video Tape on a magazine I got (Sega Power or Mean Machines or something). Anyway it had loads of beta footage of Sonic 2. It had the second zone - chemical zone (i think thats the name) and it was totally different.

Also, it had a totally different level of World of Illusions on it too.

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Ages ago probably 92/93 there was a Sega Video Tape on a magazine I got (Sega Power or Mean Machines or something). Anyway it had loads of beta footage of Sonic 2. It had the second zone - chemical zone (i think thats the name) and it was totally different.

Also, it had a totally different level of World of Illusions on it too.

All the levels from that video are in the Beta rom (I had it too). The Chemical Zone place is very similar mind (given that they only showed a small section on the video). I can't remember much about the WoI one, but there was also a Batman Returns one.

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wasnt it sonic and knuckles connected by a rubber band? or was that a game?

Nope, Sonic and Tails, although the ROM that appeared was barely playable and felt more like a (failed) proof of concept than any concrete attempt to create a game.

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I'm amazed at how many people believe that Tails is completely useless in Sonic 2. Plug in a second controller, and Player 2 can control him as long as he stays on screen. It's unbelievably useful in boss fights.

Yep, I know about that too. It's good for some extra participation when you're playing life or level with a friend, but otherwise having a second player participate for one quarter of one half of the levels is hardly ideal. There was a way of having Tails lead and Sonic follow too I think.

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There's a Megadrive version of Street Fighter 2 Turbo floating around on the net. I haven't got much time to post now, but the characters have more colours (the backgrounds less) and more frames of animation as well.

I've got quite a few MD protos including an unreleased baseball game on eprom.

I'll post some more when I get a chance.

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I once had the Duke Nukem 3D beta for the megadrive, quite impressive it was.

yeah it was quite good, but i could see why it never got past the beta stage. While the engine was good, the graphics were not upto much and the game was totally different from the pc one, and not as good.

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[Lemmings]

Yeah its weird.. And pretty crappy  :D

*nods*

The Amiga music had some truly wonderful soundtracks playing along in the background, considering the small amount of RAM Brian Johnston (I'm pretty sure it was him) was allocated for each track.

The Data East arcade version featured some truly awful renditions of the tracks featured in the Amiga version. I'm guessing this was down to crap sound hardware? Thank gawd it never got further than a prototype.

As a side note, the Amiga version was going to feature a number of well-known soundtracks such as Mission Impossible, but due to licensing reasons these were left out of the game.

Rob

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  • 2 weeks later...
yeah it was quite good, but i could see why it never got past the beta stage. While the engine was good, the graphics were not upto much and the game was totally different from the pc one, and not as good.

This was actually sold in Brazil, where there`s much oddness abound because until quite recently the MD, MS and GG were all still popular consoles that still got new releases

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i heard rumours years ago of a final fantasy 7 n64 rom floating around. highly likely to be bullshit, ive never seen it or known anyone who has, but iirc it was originally planned to be an n64 game... it'd be a nice find :(

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i heard rumours years ago of a final fantasy 7 n64 rom floating around. highly likely to be bullshit, ive never seen it or known anyone who has, but iirc it was originally planned to be an n64 game... it'd be a nice find :(

I believe that is more of a test that Square did showing some characters on the screen and precious little else. It never got to the game stage but it got people excited as the characters were versions of those that appeared in FF7.

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I believe that is more of a test that Square did showing some characters on the screen and precious little else. It never got to the game stage but it got people excited as the characters were versions of those that appeared in FF7.

aha. sounds a bit more likely. i'd still like to see it tho :(

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actually the 64 demo square did had a few characters from FF6 rendered in 3D. it was just to give nintendo and square an idea of what it was capable of though clearly square werent too pleased. they then went back to the drawing board and created FF7 from scratch. theres no shots of VII's characters on 64 hardware im afraid :

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