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Rockman X3 (Mega Man X3) prototype demo released

SolVanderlyn

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Oct 14, 2012
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From The Rockman Corner:

A little background on this for those just catching up: the build date for this prototype is August 23rd, 1995 - that's about four months before the game hit retail. The differences here are mostly graphical, i.e early stage backgrounds and early sprites (Byte/Mandareera, for example). The unused gate in Blast Hornet's stage (previously seen on the back of X3's NTSC box) is fully operationally, too. Of course, these are just a few of many surface-level differences. Who knows what unused wonders hide inside the code?
The Cutting Room Floor is documenting all of the changes, such as the color of X's armor:

 

SkyOdin

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Nov 20, 2011
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Wow, this is pretty cool. I'll need to take a look at some of those changes. The development process for classic games is fascinating to get a look at.
 

KojiKnight

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May 24, 2012
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It's a shame it's only 4 months off of the final build code... This was likely what they sent to reviewers and was clearly what was used by the marketing departments to make things like the back of the box and what not.

I'm sure there will be quite a few fun graphical things, but we're unlikely to find too many interesting changes compared to, say, Mega Man 8
 

Einhander

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May 4, 2011
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I remember having a very hard time going through the stages in X3. The difficulty was raised quite a bit compared to X and X2.
 

Opa-Pa

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Cool, I've been waiting for this! X3 is my least favorite of the original trilogy but still fairly good, and I always found some design choices kinda weird, so playing through this should be fun.

Plus I only recently found out this game was developed by the studio that made the Gameboy MM games, which I'm a fan of, so I wanted to replay it in some form anyway.
 

SolVanderlyn

Thanos acquires the fully powered Infinity Gauntlet in The Avengers: Infinity War, but loses when all the superheroes team up together to stop him.
Oct 14, 2012
27,297
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985
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Cool, I've been waiting for this! X3 is my least favorite of the original trilogy but still fairly good, and I always found some design choices kinda weird, so playing through this should be fun.

Plus I only recently found out this game was developed by the studio that made the Gameboy MM games, which I'm a fan of, so I wanted to replay it in some form anyway.
Wow, I never knew about the bolded. It does have a similar feel to it, I suppose.

It's about tied with X2 for me, as far as the SNES games go. I like how it tries to be different from its predecessors with the chip system, but it feels a bit bloated, and the soundtrack doesn't have as many stand-out hits and is possibly the weakest in the series outside of a few key tracks like Blizzard Buffalo or Gravity Beetle. One thing X3 got right is atmosphere. I can't explain it, but X3 has a very unique feel to it that the other X games don't.

If I were to do rankings, it would be X > X4 > X2 = X3 > X5 >>> X6, with the rest not even warranting a ranking on the list.
 

F0rneus

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May 28, 2013
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Wow, I never knew about the bolded. It does have a similar feel to it, I suppose.

It's about tied with X2 for me, as far as the SNES games go. I like how it tries to be different from its predecessors with the chip system, but it feels a bit bloated, and the soundtrack doesn't have as many stand-out hits and is possibly the weakest in the series outside of a few key tracks like Blizzard Buffalo or Gravity Beetle. One thing X3 got right is atmosphere. I can't explain it, but X3 has a very unique feel to it that the other X games don't.

If I were to do rankings, it would be X > X4 > X2 = X3 > X5 >>> X6, with the rest not even warranting a ranking on the list.
X8 is much better than X6 and deserves 100% to be ranked with the others.
 

SoulUnison

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Dec 4, 2011
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X3 was my favorite of the SNES games as a kid, but I played the series through again last year and it really must've just been because it was the latest and greatest game at the time that I regarded it so highly.
The difference between X2's branching, detailed stage layouts and X3's long hallways and giant, mostly empty square rooms is incredible.
I heard that X3 was actually developed by the team that made the Game Boy Mega Mans, and it really shows. It feels like the sparse, empty design of the Game Boy games blown up to a television screen's size.

I remember having a very hard time going through the stages in X3. The difficulty was raised quite a bit compared to X and X2.
X3 doesn't have a lot of interesting stage design to play with so it just throws bulky enemies at you as much as possible to slow you down and provide "challenge."
 

Ishida

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Jun 14, 2013
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Ok, I've been checking the prototype out. Current findings:

*Spotlights in the first level are static.
*Zero has no music of his own.
*Different sprite for captured X.
*No miniature previews of each stage on the selection screen.
*Different snow effect in Blizzard Buffalo's stage.
*X will fall to his knees, hurt, when hit by Blizzard Buffalo's charging attack. This doesn't happen in the final version. In fact, this "hurt" animation also plays if hit by the body of certain enemies, like the two legged missile launchers. It's annoying, it makes you vulnerable and stops the game for a few seconds.
*Graphical glitches on Buffalo's ice attacks.
*The Doppler logo in the Maverick's life bar is slightly different.
*X's picture doesn't change color during the "Weapon get" screen. Also, there is no demostration of the weapon. The wireframe of the weapon is white instead of green like in the final version.
*No password screens after beating the bosses.
*Toxic waste lacks transparency on Toxic Seahorse's stage.
*Minor stage graphic differences, for example ladders in Toxic Seahorse' stage.
*Zero's death lacks sound effect.
*There is no miniboss in Toxic Seahorse's stage! The room is not yet there.
*Different background elements in Tunnel Rhino's stage (Large pipes). Background is different in general. Better on the prototype, IMO.
*Extra background elements in the beginning of Tunnel Rhino's stage. Spikes also look different, as does the platform where the Heart Upgrade is.
*Bit's homing's fireball is faster.
*Tunnel Rhino's miniboss wheels lack animations.
*Tunnel Rhino won't knock you off the wall if he charges into it.
*Fought Tunnel Rhino several times. Not once he used his drills. He just charged back and forth.
*Volt Catfish's sprites are entirely different.
*Different background in Gravity Beetle's stage.
*Gravity Beetle's giant blackhole will not always be spawned at the screen's center, it can also completely devour the top of the walls, which makes the fight harder.
*Vile's first Ride Armor is blue instead of gray like in the final game. It also lacks sound effects.
*Vile's sprite after he gets ejected from the Ride Armor is different. It then immediately switches to his final version sprite.
*Vile stops in mid air to throw his fire bomb attack.
*The polygon ninja star enemy on Blast Hornet's stage looks entirely different. More like a wheel with spikes. It's also WAY easier, being destroyed with 3 charge shots.
*Byte's sprites are entirely different. Also his magnetic mine is nowhere near as effective as in the final game.
*Two entrance doors to Blast Hornet's room.
*You don't stop dead on your tracks during the 'cutscene' with the enemy dropping from the sky and breaking the floor in Crush Crawfish's stage.
*No dash jump for Ride Armors! D:
*Some nice little extra graphics for Crawfish when he's electrified.
*The usage of Sub Tanks is glitched in the weapons menu. It works, but the graphics don't reflect it.
*Crawfish's boss room is larger.
*The Mega Buster with the improven arm cannon is glitched. If you fire a charged shot, X will remain in "charged status". You can continue to fire normal bullets, but you cannot charge. You have to switch to a weapon and then back to fix it.
*Different backgrounds for the second half of Neon Tiger's stage.
*Entirely different sprites for Neon Tiger.
*The helmet part's radar detects more than upgrades. It also marks mini boss and boss rooms. However it doesn't show missing items on each stage on the stage select screen. :(
*The Doppler lab re-emerges from the ground in the stage select screen every time you return to it once unlocked, instead of staying there like in the final version.
*The Light Capsule that gives you the Golden Armor in Doppler Stage 1 is blue instead of pink. The armor is black, instead of gold. Seems like a glitched sprite. If you go to the pause menu and back, the armor's colors go back to being the same as the normal improved armor.
*I got locked out of switching my weapons with the trigger buttons every time I got a new armor upgrade. Pausing and unpausing fixes this.
*I defeated Bit and Byte in the Maverick levels, which means the first boss in the Doppler level should be the garbage disposer thing. Nope. The boss room is still as if I hadn't defeated Bit and Byte, but if you enter, there is no boss, the level ends immediately. It seems the garbage disposer boss hadn't been created yet.
*ENTIRELY different background for Doppler Stage 2. Water is glitched, it was not visible until I paused and unpaused.
 

Ishida

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Jun 14, 2013
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To complement my previous post.

*The sequence for obtaining Zero's saber is broken. You MUST make sure to defeat the Mosquito boss as Zero by being close to the exit door. If you don't, you will NOT be able to exit the room as X! For some reason, the game locks the screen in place once the cutscene is over. If you are not near the exit door, the screen won't allow you to reach it, making it unescapable by any means (You need to reset).
If you make sure to kill the boss and have the exit door accessible on screen, you can continue. The exit door's graphics will be glitched, and the music will not come back unless you die.

*The Z-Saber surrounds normal enemies as it does to the bosses. In the final game, the saber goes straight through the normal enemies and destroys them. The saber is also weaker against bosses.

*There is no way to fight Vile a second time. I defeated him without killing him in the Maverick stages. This means that the boss in Doppler Stage 2 (The giant squid thing) should have been replaced with the second Vile fight. Nope, the boss was STILL the squid. The boss also has strange behaviour. If you climb the walls out of the water, the whole boss sprite follows you. In the final game it cannot leave the water. And once you defeat it...



Then the game goes back to the introduction demo. The final level in this prototype is Doppler Stage 2.


It's very clear that a lot of bug polishing took place in the last 4 months. This prototype is 100% playable, but it has graphic glitches, gameplay glitches, etc. Some backgrounds were changed for the final version (Sometimes for the worse, in my opinion), some scenes/minibosses lack sound effects, etc.

Still, such a great piece of history for us Mega Man fans!
 
I was just playing X3 today! It's an interesting game. Not as memorable as X1 or X2, but still a really fun game. The difficulty really does take a spike though; I've had to retry most bosses acouple of times since i don't know the weaknesses.
 

Ishida

Banned
Jun 14, 2013
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Used the PAR codes to access the levels after Doppler Stage 2.

*Doppler Stage 3 are the capsule boss refights. Interestingly enough, there are 12 capsules in the room instead of 8. The strage tower thing that gives you items when you shoot it in the final game is not present. 8 of the capsules take you to the 8 Maverick refights, of course, however the spawning spot of X is corrupted in several of these rooms. It will spawn you in the top left of the screen and you will be stuck there. Only 3 or 4 Maverick rooms actually teleport you correctly.

*The 4 extra capsules take you to empty rooms and you get stuck in the ceiling, unable to escape.

*You can actually open the exit door and continue the stage without beating any Maverick refight.

*The background of the stage is different.

*Doppler's sprite has different colors. His fire shield attack also looks different.
 

Ishida

Banned
Jun 14, 2013
14,298
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Some more stuff I found.

*The stage background for the final level is waaaay different. It shows several Sigma bodies from Mega Man X2.




For comparison, this is how it looks in the final game.





*Sigma's final body (Kaizer Sigma) is glitched (His right arm overlaps his chest). Sigma's also more aggresive. He throws a lot of mines.
 

Ishida

Banned
Jun 14, 2013
14,298
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*The alternate (Destroyed version) of Doppler Stage 2 (Accessible only with PAR codes) is only complete until the Mosquito boss. After you defeat the boss, the screen will lock in place, trapping you inside. The exit door also doesn't work.

*The I. Tracer from Mega Man X2 is present in the game's code. Using PAR codes to make it selectionable will show that its energy bar has a very familiar symbol on it...



Sadly, using it freezes the game...
 

Opa-Pa

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Feb 6, 2016
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God damn, Ishida, thanks a lot for these! Now I where to look when playing it myself. Have you thought of contributing some to TCRF? That Wily bar is pretty interesting, I love when they included subtle stuff like that in the X series.

I was never a fan of the golden armor by the way, I kinda wish they kept that beta one lol.

Can't wait to try it myself, I'll probably check it out later today.
 

Ishida

Banned
Jun 14, 2013
14,298
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Great finds, Ishida. Especially that Wily symbol, holy shit.
God damn, Ishida, thanks a lot for these! Now I where to look when playing it myself. Have you thought of contributing some to TCRF? That Wily bar is pretty interesting, I love when they included subtle stuff like that in the X series.

I was never a fan of the golden armor by the way, I kinda wish they kept that beta one lol.

Can't wait to try it myself, I'll probably check it out later today.
No problem guys! A real pleasure. I actually beat the guys at The Cutting Room Floor to the punch in several of these. I will try to format my findings and pass them over to TCRF.