Sunday, October 10, 2010

Unused Sprite Examination: Jurassic Boy 2 (Sachen, NES/GBC)

  Something new that I wanted to try out.  As many of you probably know, video games are often turn out not to be what they were originally planned as.  One popular example is Sonic the Hedgehog 2; just one of the prototypes alone contains enough unused stuff to probably warrant it to be an entire game.  These unused, prototype mechanics, graphics, etc. sometimes end up hidden in the final commercial release's code, just not used by the game.  I plan on doing at least two other games (Magical Doropie and the NES Rocman X game) that showcase what hidden graphics lie inside these games.  Believe it or not, there's a ton of unused stuff in these games, and while I know dick about programming, I can at least show what graphics are hidden with Tile Layer Pro and rip them into sprite sheets (for anyone who gives a damn).  For this installment, it's Jurassic Boy 2.

  Forgive me if the layout's rather sloppy.  Here are all the unused graphics for Jurassic Boy 2 found in the NES ROM.  There's 10 used sprite sets and 21 unused sprite sets for Chen alone.  Yikes.  There's also two unused objects (they're just variations of what's in the game) and three unused enemies.  The slime enemy is easy to figure out, but the other two...I'm guessing they were planned as bosses?  Oddly enough, there's no other unused enemy graphics for the last two worlds.  Also, that skeleton rex doesn't have a jump(?) sprite like the caveman does.  Back to the Chen sprites, they certainly planned this game to match the calibur of Sonic 2 or Sonic CD, seeing as there's sprites for a peelout skill, and also how he would've been much more animated during gameplay.  Shame this never came to fruition, huh?  I haven't come across anything relating to the unused stuff mentioned in the NES manual, such as the powerups.  If they're there, they're likely compressed in a way TLP doesn't pick up.
  Another interesting find, digging around the ROM, was this:

  Beta Popo Team stuff!  This is actually hidden in the Popo Team ROM as well, and likely in other late TC-XXX and SA-XXX titles.  Looks like they base their games off of a previous one.  I couldn't piece the beta title together (not everything appears to remain) but it looks like it was even going to be called something else, judging by that "S".  "Po * Po's World"?

  The GBC ROM?  (Look to the left)  Nothing new.  It seems to repeat its tile set repeatedly, with only one of them actually used.  Chen's animations and the caveman are still there, but the skeleton rex is MIA.  They were probably too lazy to erase the beta remnants from the NES version.
  Last thing to mention: It turns out that some of the sprites used in the game are actually animated.  The moving platforms are an example.  All Sachen did was paint each animation the exact same so it looks static.  Maybe they meant to animate them?  (This could possibly explain the slightly-choppy framerate in the game; there's a ton of stuff happening but it's not visible.)  Below are examples, with red circles showing the sprites on the arranger and in the tile viewer:

The Original Platforms used

Platforms re-drawn with seperate animation frames

Video showing the newly animated platform in action

  I don't think I missed anything.  If I did, it's minor stuff.  My next U.S.E. won't be for a while, as it took long enough to put this together.  Stay tuned for more!  By the way, if anybody's wondering about using the ripped sprites:  go nuts.  Use them for whatever you'd like (though I'm not sure how many people care about Jurassic Boy 2) and have fun with them.  Seems kinda stupid to mention, but people care about this stuff when it comes to sprite sheets.  Hm.

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