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Old February 2nd, 2016, 11:18 PM #1
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MMPR - Prototypes, Interviews & Sprite Rips! Oh my! (New Update!)

I posted quite a bit of this research in someone else's thread years ago, but while it was on-topic, I felt like I hijacked the thread, and at the end of the day there wasn't much discussion that came of it. I always thought that it deserved it's own thread, so here goes.

There are a number of prototype ROMs available for the old Mighty Morphin' Power Rangers games, which were dumped by DRX, incidentally, including the following.

- Mighty Morphin' Power Rangers - (Sega Megadrive/Genesis)
- Mighty Morphin' Power Rangers: The Movie - (Sega Megadrive/Genesis)
- Mighty Morphin' Power Rangers - (Sega Game Gear)
- Mighty Morphin' Power Rangers: The Movie - (Sega Game Gear)

There are multiple prototypes of each, and I find the development of the games fascinating, considering how slapdash the incorporation of separate Sentai elements into PR ultimately was.

I'm going to focus on one game at a time, so I think for the first post, it's only fair to focus on the first MMPR game for Megadrive/Genesis.

There's a prevailing theory that the first MMPR game was originally intended to be a 16-bit Zyuranger game, or at the very least was originally designed with the adapted Zyuranger elements in mind, barring any civilian or plot details.

The earliest known prototype so far for MMPR (Megadrive/Genesis) is dated July 08, 1994.

Prototype Build: July 08, 1994

-If we take a peek inside the ROM with a Hex Editor, we can see a string of text that suggests that the game originally began production in October of 1993, or at the very least, this incarnation of the game.



- For this build and the next, the ROM header names it as "POWER RANGER". Successive builds have the full "MIGHTY MORPHIN POWER RANGERS" ROM header.

- The game boots without the SEGA logo screen, and without the usual Banpresto logo screen.

- The Main Menu options are "1Player Scenario Mode", "2Players Battle Mode" and "Option Mode". It remains like this until the August 04 build.

- The MMPR logo is on the Title Screen, but the title screen, and indeed the entire build contains no sound or music whatsoever. The Sound Test slots are active as if there were already sounds intended to be implemented in those slots so it seems that in this build, either the sound has been removed for later replacement, or that it's just been dummied out. I'm not certain if there are any sound files exist within the prototype that are just unable to be accessed, or if they're yet to be implemented.

- When winning a match, the text says "WINNER PLAYER 1", and when losing it says "LOSER PLAYER 1". It will remain like this through the July 18 build too.

- During the automated demonstration mode, all characters are able to be randomly selected. The only stages that the demo mode boots into are the Ranger Stage, the Madam Woe Stage, and the Goldar Stage.

-On the Options Menu, we have the options "<Key Config>", and the attack types are designated as "Light At." and "Heavy At.". In subsequent versions, this is changed to "<Key Configuration>", "Normal" and "Fierce".

- It seems to be a little way into the MMPR-specific design elements, as we have the digitized Morph sequence images.

- Pink Ranger's sprite, like the rest of them, is just a recolored Red Ranger instead of the unique Pink Ranger sprite that we get in later builds.


- The cutscenes contain no dialogue text whatsoever, and only contain the usual graphics of Rita/Bandora in the Moon Palace. So it seems that they knew what kinds of elements were to be adapted, but had no MMPR-consistent dialogue to insert into the scenes yet.


- Upon reaching the Cyclopsis stage, instead of choosing a Megazord, you still choose a Ranger. You fight Cyclopsis as a normal Ranger. Cyclopsis's name, however, just appears as a mess of garbled characters.



- On the next stage, with Cyclopsis's upgraded form, you fight with the Megazord as normal, and Cyclopsis's name appears as "K.I.Shiny". I'm not sure what this refers to.

- Goldar's name consistently appears as "Golder" throughout this build.

- Megazord and Dragonzord are referred to in this build as "MEGA ZORD" and "DRAGON ZORD" - two words rather than one.

- When defeating Giant...*ahem* "Golder", he disappears, but doesn't have the little teleportation ball to signify his escape.

- Note that the Ranger names (Red Ranger, Green Ranger, etc.), Minotaur's name, and Madame Woe's name are all in the game suggesting that these had been finalized at Saban at this stage in production. So "Golder" is simply a typo.

- The end credits have it's usual Zord Formation stuff, mimicking the credits of the TV show, but like the other cutscenes, it too has no text.

All in all, it seems like the majority of the graphics were already implemented by this point, and that it was mostly just the game engine and music that received further tweaking.

- The ROM header strikes me as interesting when compared to the prototypes for the other games. When looking at the prototypes for the MMPR Game Gear ROM, dated around the same time as these Megadrive ROMs, the ROM header in all builds is consistently "Mighty Morphin Power Rangers", as if it was intended to be an MMPR game from the start, instead of "POWER RANGER", as if it was just hastily renamed from ZYURANGER or something..

It's no surprise that the Game Gear game has much more American stuff in it like Zordon, Alpha, the Command Center, and forward facing Ranger unmorphed sprites for the character select screen.

Prototype Build: July 18, 1994

When it comes to the next prototype, dated July 18, 94, which is still titled "POWER RANGER" incidentally, the first thing I did was the check whether the sound had been implemented.

To my astonishment, I found that this build contained a LOT of music that didn't end up in the final version. Many of the tracks sound like they have more of a Japanese influence, rather than every successive build, which have the more MMPR-esque metal-influenced tracks. That being said, some of the music from this build remains in the final, and I believe that at least one still exists within the final as an unused track.

Jumping ahead momentarily to the next build, dated Aug 04, 1994 we see that it's the first version with credits, and it credits "P.E. Young" and "Ken-Chan" for composing the music in the game. The two differing styles of music between the July 18 build and the August 04 build, combined with the fact that some music remains in the final, suggests that one of the composers was responsible for the final soundtrack elements, and another was responsible for the earlier soundtrack elements.

The jury's still out on who Ken-Chan and P.E. Young are. The credits seem to list multiple people under pseudonyms - for what reason I don't know - but from the investigation I've done, I've found that there's evidence suggesting that Ken-Chan is video game composer Kennosuke Suemera. He seems to have had a working relationship with fellow composer Hiroshi Ebihara, who was credited as "H.P. Ebihara" in Guilty Gear Judgment, leading me to think that he MAY be P.E. Young, but given the large majority of pseudonyms in this game, I don't think we'll ever know for sure.


- Back to the July 18th build, if we take a look at the the sound test, we've got voices now! We've got a couple of American cries of "Power Rangers!" which is to be expected, and "JUSTICE SHALL OVERCOME!" which was used during the Megazord finisher. The voices used for this build are markedly different from most of the voice clips in the final version.

- We hear a slow drawn out "Poowweerr Raanngerrrs!" on the title screen. In subsequent versions, it's a snappier "Power Rangers!"

- Another thing I've noticed in this build is that instead of just the Rangers' attack calls like in the final, this build has an American-sounding Male & Female voice calling out attack names for both the Rangers AND the Monsters. The thing is, though, rather than the attacks being the Rangers calling out "Power Sword!" or "Dino Lance!" like they are in the final, the sound test instead includes these rather Japanese sounding attack calls spoken by American voices.

- Much more emphasis is placed on the enemy voices and grunts than on the Rangers in this build. Something which will reverse by the next build.

- There are also soundbites saying "Battle Stage #" (with # representing the number), "Final Battle!" and "You Won!" which don't exist in later builds, and their slots seem to have been replaced in later builds with English Ranger attack calls.

I've attempted to pair an attack call with a character, through in-game evidence, or assumption (where noted).

- "Water Ball!" - Madame Woe.
- "Arm Thunder!" - Cyclopsis.
- "Hurricane Sword!" - Goldar.
- "Gold Slash" - Goldar.
- "Shine Missile!" - Possibly Cyclopsis, given the "K.I. Shiny" moniker.
- "Tornado Horn" - Minotaur

- "Smash Bomber!" - Unknown, but note that Smash Bomber was the name of one of the team attacks from Choujin Sentai Jetman.

- "Lightning Plasma!" - Rangers in the Megazord.

According to the user PositiveJosh:
PositiveJosh wrote: View Post

"Lightning Plasma!" IS in the final build. It's the Back-Halfcircle-Forward attack of the Megazord. It's kinda hard to pull off, though.
- "Dragon Antler!" - Dragonzord (in his Mega Dragonzord attack).

We also get something that sounds like "Dragon Harley!" or "Dragon Parley!". The poor voice digitization makes it hard to tell, but I'd go with Dragon Harley. I haven't seen much Zyuranger, but according to this Zyuranger promo, Dragon Harley was Dragon Caesar's missile attack, although according to the automated demo fights, this voice clip doesn't occur when Dragonzord fires his missiles, so I'm not sure what's up with that.

The trouble in identifying the characters calling some of the attacks is partly due to the fact that they weren't entirely programmed in yet, and partly due to the fact that I'm actually pretty lousy at this game and find it hard to go through and beat the opponents enough times to check. The sounds were in the game, but I'm not sure all of them were set to react to an action, and by the next build dated Aug 04, 1994, many of these attack call soundbites have been replaced by more Ranger attack calls, which seems to be a step into the further Americanization of the game.

- In this build, we now get our first bits of dialogue text. Note that between builds, they added a starfield and altered the sky palette for Rita's palace.



However, not all cutscenes contain dialogue yet, as seen here.



- During the automated demonstration mode, like the previous build, all characters are able to be randomly selected. The only stages that the demo mode boots into are the Ranger Stage, the Madam Woe Stage, and the Goldar Stage. However, Cyclopsis's name has been fixed, and "Golder" was corrected to Goldar.

Prototype Build: August 04, 1994

- As of this build, the ROM header has been updated to "MIGHTY MORPHIN POWER RANGERS", and rather than the October 1993 date from the previous builds, it's been updated to a more accurate date, and now has its official serial number. The serial number remains consistent with the final build. Interestingly, rather than saying "SEGA MEGA DRIVE" like the previous builds, it contains the string "SEGA GENESIS" instead. Naturally, this is the first version of the ROM to have region lockout.


- "MEGA ZORD" and "DRAGON ZORD" are corrected to "MEGAZORD" and "DRAGONZORD" respectively.

- When winning or losing a match, the text now says the more grammatically correct "PLAYER 1 WINS" or "PLAYER 1 LOSES".

- As noted previously, a lot of enemy grunts, soundbites and attack calls were replaced in this build by a greater emphasis on the Rangers' attack calls.

They include:

- A group "Yeah!"
- Male and Female yells.
- A group "We need Dinozord Power, now!"
- A group "Megazord Activated!!"
- "Yes!" - Male.
- "Power Sword!" - Male.
- "Dino Lance!" - Male.
- "Tiger Crasher!" - Female.
- "Dino Arrow!" - Female.
- "Dragon Buster!" - Gruff Male, sounding much more like one of the Enemy attack calls than the Green Ranger, although considering Green Ranger was Evil, that may have been intentional.
- "Hurricane Tackle!" - Male - may have been intended for Black Ranger seeing as he spins his axe in a hurricane-like fashion.

-The music used in this build of the game is identical to the music used in the final build, and the credits and English dialogue has has all been completed here.

- It's in this build that we finally get dialogue for some of the remaining textless scenes.


- In this build, the automated demonstration mode that the game launches into from the title screen no longer automatically allows Green Ranger, Dragonzord or Cyclopsis battles for the demos. In addition to the demo stages in previous builds, the demo now allows booting into the Minotaur Stage.

- Unlike the two previous builds, the demonstration doesn't immediately end after the designated time period. It starts with a Ranger demo, shows the quick Megazord cutscene flashing intermittently with the MMPR logo to replicate the TV opening credits, and then cuts to a Megazord demo. I presumed that a similar demo for Dragonzord would occur once I unlock Green Ranger/Dragonzord, but even after I beat the game, it didn't unlock Green Ranger for Single Player mode.

- I tried using character modification codes, and it still didn't use any other Zord summon cutscenes for the demonstration mode.

- The Main Menu text has been corrected to "1 Player Scenario Mode" and "2 Player Battle Mode" rather than the slightly incorrect versions they were previously.

- Apart from possible differences with the Green Ranger/Dragonzord unlock, the next few builds all just seem to be minor tweaks to the Enemy Opponent A.I, but on the whole, it's pretty much close to the final game at this point. I'll make updates where necessary if I find any more differences and discrepancies, and if anyone with more knowledge or expertise would like to help me, I'm sure you can find the DRX prototypes online. If you can't, I'll send you copies. I just didn't want to upload any ROMs and share them on the board.

Prototype Build: September 05, 1994
The only noticeable difference I can see is that the game is back to saying "MEGA DRIVE" instead of "GENESIS", and as you'd expect, this version only works on PAL and French SECAM Mega Drive systems.


So, from what I can tell, the game started development as a region-free Mega Drive game, and was then worked on for NTSC systems (presumably since America got the game before the rest of the world), before being essentially finalized in late August. It was only once the game was finalized for NTSC that it was re-altered to run correctly on PAL and French SECAM systems, hence the September 05 version being the final known prototype.

For completion's sake, here are the list of prototypes available for this game. I didn't go into them all, for the aforementioned reason of them simply seeming to be A.I tweaks.

July 08, 1994.
July 18, 1994.
August 04, 1994.
August 08, 1994.


August 09, 1994.
August 09, 1994 - B.
(Note, I'm not sure of the differences between these two builds from the same day. Whatever the difference, it was important enough of a change to have to create another build on the same day.)
August 10, 1994.
September 05, 1994.

I'm not sure of the official date of the finalized version, but September 05 seems to have been the final prototype build, at least going by what DRX managed to get his hands on.


In conclusion..
So there does seem to be a little bit of evidence for this to have been concieved as a 16-bit Zyuranger game, previous to July 1994, or at the very least, the programmers just used the agreed-upon Zyuranger elements while designing it, and used a bunch of placeholder stuff until they received feedback from Saban Entertainment, which is far more likely, judging by what elements made it into the game even in the early stages of production.

Note: At some point in the near future I'll update this post with graphical evidence, and will do the same for the following games, as it might break up the textwall, which I admit is a bit of a pain to read.

I'm unsure which game(s) to tackle next. I think MMPR: The Movie for Megadrive/Genesis is probably the best bet, as the Game Gear ones are best tackled as a pair, considering the fact that they're both built on the same engine.

I'd really like to hear feedback on all of this, as I feel it could start a lively discussion on a topic that hasn't been debated to death. I hope this wasn't too much of a text wall. It's a little jumbled and disjointed, but I find it hard to trim this down into a concise format. Thanks, guys!

Last edited by Prototype; March 12th, 2019 at 08:23 AM.
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Old February 3rd, 2016, 01:33 AM #2
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I'm glad you did this, thank you
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Old February 3rd, 2016, 01:56 AM #3
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Silver_Tiger wrote: View Post

I'm glad you did this, thank you
You're more than welcome. I've wanted to do this for a while, but making large research-filled posts is occasionally a little daunting to me, because I feel like I'm just going on a bit of a rant sometimes. I mean, I have posted about it on the board before, but I've never made a dedicated thread about it, and so I'm not just completely parroting what I said years ago, I did notice a few other little differences in the early builds, updated the post and cleaned up the wording a little.

That being said, I've never seen many people other than myself do any meaningful research on the games or their production, and I think the clincher in me deciding to post this stuff was the fact that there are so many early unused sound effects and so much unused music.

Also, the fact that so many people in the credits used pseudonyms (which sometimes border on the bizarre) makes the production a bit of a mystery to me. When we're that informed that we have detailed analysis of raw Zyu2 footage, it seems odd to me that these early games are so vastly undocumented.
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Old February 3rd, 2016, 02:09 AM #4
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I am not good at expressing things through text, mostly because it takes so long to type it all out...you forget all that you want to say, and have the same problem, afraid it ends up sounding like a rant, but I will say this, I'm glad their are dedicated people like you willing to take there time to do this kind of thing, because even if people don't express it we enjoy this sort of thing, especially when we don't have access to the media or the desire to do all the research, so again Thank you
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Old February 3rd, 2016, 03:52 AM #5
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GekiCosmic, thank you for writing such an amazing post about the early builds of the Genesis/Mega Drive game. Seriously, I cannot tell you how much I enjoyed reading what you wrote; it was extremely enjoyable, and extremely enlightening. Now that I finally have a Genesis, I'm admittedly hoping to hunt down copies of the Genesis games as I never had them growing up, (I do have the first SNES game though, and my brother has the others,) so going into the Genesis game with some knowledge about earlier builds is only going to make the experience of eventually getting and playing the finished game more enjoyable for me. I always find it interesting to see how things like this ultimately come together, so I can't wait to see what you have to share about the other PR games for SEGA systems.
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Old February 3rd, 2016, 04:08 AM #6
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No problem! Just knowing that people enjoy reading this stuff makes posting about it worthwhile. I'm going to have to go through the other games again and recompile the information I had about them. I had a couple of text files full of information, but lost them when my old PC crashed, but truth be told I'm looking forward to going through them again.

It's nice to know that other people are as fascinated as I am.
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Old February 3rd, 2016, 12:04 PM #7
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GekiCosmic wrote: View Post

No problem! Just knowing that people enjoy reading this stuff makes posting about it worthwhile. I'm going to have to go through the other games again and recompile the information I had about them. I had a couple of text files full of information, but lost them when my old PC crashed, but truth be told I'm looking forward to going through them again.

It's nice to know that other people are as fascinated as I am.
If we weren't fascinated here...I don't know who would be lol

May the Power protect you Geki
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Old February 3rd, 2016, 12:55 PM #8
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I'm probably way off, but I dare say I heard at one point one of those games (thought it was MMPR genesis) was originally build off a scrapped Jetman game.
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Old February 3rd, 2016, 01:04 PM #9
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I wish I was older when the good MMPR games were popular. I was too young to get into them too much.
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Old February 3rd, 2016, 01:30 PM #10
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HezMania wrote: View Post

I'm probably way off, but I dare say I heard at one point one of those games (thought it was MMPR genesis) was originally build off a scrapped Jetman game.
Wow could you imagine a Mega Drive Jetman game!? I've ever seen Jetman but I know it was pretty cool and I've seen the game and it was pretty cool...wow the possibilities

brandostc14 wrote: View Post

I wish I was older when the good MMPR games were popular. I was too young to get into them too much.
I remember before I bought it we'd go to Blockbuster...R.I.P and get the Genesis game lol it was pretty cool...but when I got as a gift (I forget which holiday or event) I didn't stop playing it until around 99 lol...and back in the day when I knew there was a boring trip to be had, you wouldn't catch me without my Game Gear, I had the full line of Ranger games...and the car adaptor/wall adaptor <-the most genius things ever invented lol
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Old February 3rd, 2016, 01:31 PM #11
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HezMania wrote: View Post

I'm probably way off, but I dare say I heard at one point one of those games (thought it was MMPR genesis) was originally build off a scrapped Jetman game.
Funny thing. I recently played Jetman for NES, and I couldn't help but think that the SNES MMPR game was built off of that. They're very similar, from the 2D side-scrolling element, to the zord battles, right down to the two button inputs.

But, alas, I've no way of either confirming or denying it.
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Old February 3rd, 2016, 10:51 PM #12
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HezMania wrote: View Post

I'm probably way off, but I dare say I heard at one point one of those games (thought it was MMPR genesis) was originally build off a scrapped Jetman game.
Actually, you may be onto something there.

Megadrive was released in Japan in 1988, and Jetman aired from 1991 to 1992, so this was well within the early stages of the console, and early enough that Jetman was seen as THE cool new Sentai. Given that it received a decent Famicom game (on December 21 1991), it was clear that it was popular enough to warrant such a game. I'm guessing that when Saban started production on MMPR, plans were changed to capitalize on it's massive popularity. I'd then imagine that barring the Zyuranger Famicom game, Sentai game plans were put on hold to not step on the toes of Saban.

More tellingly, the "Smash Bomber" attack call that I couldn't place to a character? According to RangerWiki (the one time the wiki is useful), that's one of Jetman's team attacks.

So either they were just using Sentai attack names as filler sounds, or you're right on the money with this one.

Arectaris Returned wrote: View Post

Funny thing. I recently played Jetman for NES, and I couldn't help but think that the SNES MMPR game was built off of that. They're very similar, from the 2D side-scrolling element, to the zord battles, right down to the two button inputs.

But, alas, I've no way of either confirming or denying it.
This actually has a LOT of weight to it. After doing some research, I've found that the Jetman game and the SNES Power Rangers games share a lot of key staff.

- The Jetman game for Famicom was programmed by Hirohisa Ohta, who was also the Director and Chief Programmer on the first two SNES MMPR games.

- Jetman's Sound and Music was done by Hiroyuki Iwatsuki, who also did the sound for the first two MMPR games, plus The Fighting Edition, Zeo Battle Racers and the Japan-only Carranger game.

- Jetman credits Tomoko Okamoto (aka TOMOTOMO) for "Scroll Design", and he was also one of the graphics artists for SNES MMPR, and was one of the designers for both SNES MMPR:TM and Zeo Battle Racers.

- Then we have Shunichi Taniguchi, who recieved a "Special Thanks" credit in Jetman (albeit credited as 'TNY'), was part of "Project Power Rangers" in SNES MMPR:TM, was the Chief Designer of MMPR:The Fighting Edition, and also recieved a "Special Thanks" in Zeo Battle Racers credited as 'TANY'.

- Also, I'd like to point out for interest's sake that even without the Jetman connection, the various SNES Power Rangers games (including Zeo Battle Racers) seemed to share a lot of key staff members.

So it seems that when it came to Sentai/Power Rangers games, Natsume Co., Ltd. frequently went back to the same design team.

- Also of note, while the Famicom Zyuranger game was also published by Angel like Jetman was, rather than being developed by Natsume, it seems to have been developed by Arc System Works Co., Ltd. It would explain the vast difference in gameplay style. Interestingly enough though, according to a fan translation of the Zyuranger game, someone named Sunny Sasaki worked on both the Jetman and Zyuranger games. They're credited as "Power Staff" in Zyuranger and get a "special thanks" in Jetman.

Note: I've updated the first post with images and a few more noteworthy things.

Last edited by Prototype; February 5th, 2016 at 11:12 AM.
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Old February 4th, 2016, 10:31 PM #13
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The commercial was hilarious. Barbara, Amy Jo and Steve were great, and the commercial teaches us an important lesson about stealing.
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Old February 5th, 2016, 12:01 AM #14
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I see one of the screenshots says "switching to Megazord dynamo" - did they mishear the word "mode"?
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Old February 5th, 2016, 12:34 AM #15
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Well, I was planning on doing a post about the Game Gear games, but while searching around the internet, I found some incredibly interesting things regarding the first Megadrive/Genesis game. I honestly didn't expect to find anything so substantial.

I'll start with the stuff that relates to the prototypes seen in the first post.

I looked through an (admittedly blurry) .PDF scan of the instruction manual for the first game and found some interesting little tidbits.

Going by this screenshot of the main menu, it seems to have been taken from one of the July prototypes, as evidenced by the "1Player Scenario Mode" and "2Players Battle Mode". By the August 04 prototype, it had been changed to the grammatically correct "1 Player Scenario Mode" and "2 Player Battle Mode".



I'm going to hazard a guess and say that these following screenshots were taken from the July 18 build, as the Options menu contains "Key Configuration" rather than "Key Config", and it contains the "Normal" and "Fierce" attack types rather than "Light At." and "Heavy At.", and the Battle Screen contains "Mega Zord" and "Dragon Zord" rather than "Megazord" and "Dragonzord".



Of course, those are just minor points of interest. The real meat of this post is the following.

The following ad was taken from Sega Retro, and it was titled "PowerRangers_ES_PrintAd_1994-12.jpg" which suggests that at least in Spanish speaking territories, despite the game having clearly having a change in direction by July of 94, they were still promoting it there with a lot of screenshots of much earlier builds by December of 1994.



As you can see, it appears to be the Megadrive version of the game. If you take a look at the screenshots you can notice a LOT of changes.

-The level HUD is very different and is positioned at the bottom of the screen rather than the top.

- Much like the July 94 builds, Megazord and Dragonzord are "MEGA ZORD" and "DRAGON ZORD", and both Zords seem to be very discoloured.

- None of the level BG art from these builds exist in the July prototypes onward. The BG art looks much more like Sentai-inspired art (like the train track in the second screenshot), suggesting that the level designers were working entirely from Sentai footage.

- The first screenshot contains red and white pylon structures scattered about on a beach, suggesting that this may have been where you originally fought the Dragonzord, who I presume rose out of the sea here.

- The second screenshot contains a fighter that never made it to the July builds, or indeed the final version. Yes, that's right. Pudgy Pig was supposed to be in this game.

- Much like the July 08 build, for some unknown reason, Cyclopsis is referred to as "K.I. Shiny".

- The third screenshot shows yet another beta Level BG that didn't make it to the later builds, and contains a pink Madame Woe, and a Blue Goldar, who much like the July 08 build, is referred to as "Golder".


So clearly the game went through a lot of changes before they decided on the final direction.

Now, if we look in the bottom right corner, we see "SEGA - Bienvenido al Próximo Nivel" which is Spanish for "Welcome to the Next Level". I did some googling of this, and found actual video footage of a pre-July build from a promotional video, which seems to be a build in-between the one shown on the poster and the July 08 build.

According to the site I found it on, this video is dated October 1994, and was included with Issue #30 of "Super Juegos Magazine".

You can see the video HERE, with the relevant footage at 03:12 and 05:07.

Ignoring the fact that for marketing considerations, they falsely showed the Megadrive version on the Game Gear screen, (they weren't always entirely truthful with their previews, as you can see by the 32X previews which used pre-rendered footage rather than in-game footage), we can notice a few obvious things.

- Firstly, the level BG is that of the second screenshot of the advertisement poster. (Note that the level art is a bit self-congratulating, given the presence of a Banpresto sign in the foreground. )

- Secondly, the sprite art seems to have improved quite a bit since the build shown in the poster. The Dragonzord sprite is far closer to it's final sprite design, and although the colouring is closer to Dragonzord's actual colouring, even with the blur, by comparing poses, we can see some definite colouring differences and some slight sprite/pose differences.


Compare:



- On first glance, Goldar appears to have the same sprite as the final version, although the Hurricane from his "Hurricane Sword" attack is coloured Gold rather than Light Blue.

- Also note that either the HUD from the poster has been disabled, or that it's just cut off by putting Megadrive footage within the confines of a Game Gear screen.


Skipping ahead to 5:07, we now get advertisements for the Megadrive game proper, rather than a misleading Game Gear ad.

- The first thing you'll notice is the bizarre palette-shifting rainbow star background behind Green Ranger during the Dragonzord summoning sequence which doesn't exist in the July builds, and was replaced by a standard Quarry background.




- We then see battle footage from the Megadrive game, in the beta level from the poster's second screenshot. Note that unlike the footage we just saw, this footage does include the beta HUD, and we can see that Banpresto weren't satisfied with just a tiny sign, they needed a whole building too.



- From what I can tell, this is the exact same gameplay footage that we previously saw, only with the beta HUD visible.

Now, it strikes me as odd that they'd use this gameplay footage in a promotional video from October 1994, considering that the game seems to have had almost had a complete overhaul by July 08 1994, but it's possible that the video had been made a lot earlier and only ended up being distributed later. In any case, according the July builds, the game had been worked on since at least October of 1993.

I'm not sure if this was previewed anywhere else, but going by the promotional video and poster, it may have only been previewed in Spanish speaking territories.

Last edited by Prototype; February 5th, 2016 at 01:46 AM.
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Old February 5th, 2016, 12:43 AM #16
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That is some pretty thorough investigation... Very interesting, but damn it, now I want a playable Pudgy Pig
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Old February 5th, 2016, 01:12 AM #17
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Digifiend wrote: View Post

I see one of the screenshots says "switching to Megazord dynamo" - did they mishear the word "mode"?
Possibly. But it exists in the final version, and occurs just before "Megazord Sequence has been initiated!", so could it perhaps be a remnant from an early Saban script? Note that Dragonzord has an attack where it briefly becomes the Dragonzord in Fighting Mode to deliver a strike with the drill-sword, and it's referred to in the instruction manual as "Dragon Dynamo". In the August 04 build, the move was associated with the soundbite "Dragon Antler!". So whatever the reason, at a certain stage in production, they were certainly fond of the word Dynamo to refer to Megazord transformation.

Some of the other in-game dialogue seems a little off too, like Rita wanting to rid the "beautiful, innocent Earth" of the Rangers. That seems like more of a Bandora thing, since I can't see the Rita Repulsa we ended up with considering the Earth to be beautiful. And then you have her quote when she sends down a monster: "Go get them, my sweet child!", and her quote when you defeat the monster: "My baby..."

It doesn't surprise me that not all of the in-game dialogue fits, considering how frantically and frequently the actual TV scripts were being rewritten at the time. But "Go get them, my sweet child!" and "My baby..." again seems like more of a Bandora thing.

Come to think of it, speaking of Bandora's child, whose name was Kai, could THAT be where the name "K.I. Shiny" for Cyclopsis came from? Kai Shiny? I mean, we know that the original scripts for Doomsday had Kai (or Bubba) piloting Cyclopsis instead of Goldar, although the Cyclopsis fight does immediately follow the Giant Goldar fight.
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Old February 5th, 2016, 01:23 AM #18
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This is heating up pretty well!
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Old February 5th, 2016, 01:29 AM #19
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Silver_Tiger wrote: View Post

This is heating up pretty well!
I was in the middle of writing up a post about the Game Gear games, and when I clicked into one of the tabs I had open at the time, which was the Sega Retro page, I noticed the odd looking screenshots in the thumbnail of the Spanish poster. I was blown away by the revelation Pudgy Pig was originally one of the monsters, which makes me wonder if there were any other monsters that never got included.

Of course, that sent me down the rabbit hole, and I put my Game Gear posts on hold. It's interesting that despite having all of these prototype ROMs, I made the biggest discovery purely by accident. And here I was thinking that a different soundtrack was the most notable change.

I wonder if this early prototype still exists somewhere? I've got to wonder what the A.I. in it is like, considering that despite all the revisions, the end game was still pretty unbalanced in terms of enemy A.I.

Last edited by Prototype; February 5th, 2016 at 01:44 AM.
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Old February 5th, 2016, 02:34 AM #20
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GekiCosmic wrote: View Post

This actually has a LOT of weight to it. After doing some research, I've found that the Jetman game and the SNES Power Rangers games share a lot of key staff.
It's also worth pointing out that very early on in its development, the SNES was supposed to be backwards compatible with the NES; this was something Hiroshi Yamauchi himself had pushed for. The cost of said backwards compatibility with technology available at the time made this infeasible, but early on Nintendo very much wanted the two systems to be compatible. With that in mind, it's quite possible that Bandai initially developed their Jetman game with the idea of backwards compatibility, or at the very least, the ability to easily port the game to the new console in mind, only to abandon such plans when Nintendo dropped backwards compatibility from their list of potential features for the SNES. However, if the game was designed to be easily ported, I could see Bandai just reworking the code from the NES Jetman game as a starting point for the SNES MMPR game. I love the first SNES MMPR game, and it does kind of play like an NES title with SNES graphics, so I'd say there's definitely a chance that Arectaris Returned is onto something here.

GekiCosmic wrote: View Post

Possibly. But it exists in the final version, and occurs just before "Megazord Sequence has been initiated!", so could it perhaps be a remnant from an early Saban script?
This wouldn't surprise me; Different Drum shows that at one point, the various weapons all had pretty different names, and we know Saban wanted to use the term "Droid" before discovering that George Lucas had trademarked it, subsequently leading to the word "Zord" being created specifically so it could be trademarked in a similar manner and give the Rangers something unique in their arsenal. "Dynamo" was a somewhat popular term in the '90s to describe a really complex, powerful piece of machinery, (usually associated with a lot of action,) so a "Megazord Dynamo" at the heart of the Megazord wouldn't be entirely unbelievable, and could have been a term from an early Saban script to indicate the transformation sequence that ultimately would become synonymous with the words "Megazord Sequence has been initiated."

Red Dino Ranger wrote: View Post

That is some pretty thorough investigation... Very interesting, but damn it, now I want a playable Pudgy Pig
Yeah, that makes two of us! GekiCosmic wasn't kidding about finding a gem entirely by accident. Given that King Sphinx and Pudgy Pig were used in a lot of promotional material early on, I'm kind of surprised that Pudgy Pig was cut from the game, especially since by '94 he was already a pretty well known monster.
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